5 Tricks for Singles to Save Money by Cooking at Home
You are a single living independently, trying to keep your costs and unhealthy calories down at the same time. On one hand, you know it's a bad idea to live on ramen and frozen chicken nuggets. On the other, it's hard to cook for just one person at home. You wind up picking up food at restaurants the vast majority of the time. This is an all-too-common situation for men and women who live alone and are trying to live practically.
Sure, there are tons of resources on how to feed a family for cheap by grocery shopping instead of restaurants, but what if you're just feeding one not-so-ravenous person? Believe it or not, you can use the same tricks as large families, saving money by buying groceries in bulk and cooking at home. You just have to change your technique considering that each dish will be serving a table of one.
Today, we're here to share some clever tips on how to save money by cooking at home, even if you're only cooking for one person.
1) Buy In Bulk, Portion, and Freeze
Small packs of meat at the deli can seem overpriced compared to the great deals on the huge value packs. You can still take advantage of those huge value packs if you know how to handle them at home. Buy the value pack. Then save most of them to portion out over the next several weeks.
When you get home with a large package of meat, start by cutting the pieces into single-serving sizes. Wrap them individually in plastic wrap and put all but two or three into a gallon zip-lock or a large tupperware, then freeze the extra portions. Now you have frozen meat in single-meal portions ready to go for a quick dinner cookup any night of the week, and at a much better price than buying your meat in smaller packages.
This, naturally, can work for foods other than meat as well, as long as it's something that freezes well.
2) Stock Up On Staples
For dry and canned goods, you have every reason to stock up. You'll be eating for the next year or two, right? So there's no harm in buying five pounds of flour and a value-pack of your favorite kind of pasta. If there are pallets or multi-packs of canned goods for a discount, pick them up and stock up your pantry. Fill the far reaches that you normally wouldn't use anyway. You can even buy large cans and then only eat a third or half with each serving in a week.
3) Master the Single-Serving Cookup
Next, start practicing cooking for one. Many of us learned to cook with and for our families of origin and our sense of recipe portions may be a little inflated. Learn what just one serving of dry pasta looks and feels like when you're portioning on-the-fly. Focus on using smaller pans to help you mentally portion and only whip up one serving of sides to make your meal complete.
4) Get Enthusiastic About Leftovers
If it's impossible to cook something you like in a single serving (like a box-mix side) then get good at packaging the leftovers into tupperware and masterfully reheating for a side tomorrow or the next day. If you don't like it microwaved, then re-sautee the side in a pan on the stove or crisp it in the oven. These little tricks can go a long way when cooking for one.
5) DIY Portioned Freezer Meals
If you like to make big meals like casseroles and soups and don't mind eating the same thing frequently, then you can make yourself the much healthier equivalent of freezer meals. With a casserole, you bake the casserole then slice it up into squares. Wrap the squares in plastic wrap and stack them neatly in a large tupperware. Then, when you're hungry, you can just reheat one in the oven for a deliciously almost-fresh taste.
For soups, package two or three servings per frozen tupperware and eat throughout the week after thawing one. You can even package whole meals in lunch-sized tupperware (meat, veg, side) and reheat like a TV dinner. This is both more cost-effective and healthier than real TV dinners.
6) Single-Serving Bulk Snacks
Finally, learn to pre-portion your snacks. You don't have to buy snack-packs for one person, even if you have impulse control about finishing a whole bag of chips in one go. Instead, invest in snack-sized zip-bags and portion out snacks bought in bulk. These are great for taking to work or snacking at home.
Bonus: Know Where to Shop
As our bonus tip, it's also smart to know where to shop. Some grocery stores are more affordable than others, some have a better selection of seasonal healthy foods or better prices on staples like pasta and spices. At QualityFood.ae you can find all the groceries you need and can even order your groceries through a mobile app. Contact us today to find out more about how to save money by cooking with groceries at home.