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Cooking and Shopping for One

Let’s face it: a single person can eat well on a lot less than even two people can. ‘It’s not even a question of simple math. You have to take into account that you are looking and purchasing two types of snacks, drinks, etc. because tastes for those late night munchies sessions are different for each person. There are problems associated with this, though. So to help you out and help save you a bit of cash, we’ve put together some ideas on shopping and cooking for a single person.

First we’ll talk about shopping and storage. If you think that buying bulk at places like Costco and Sam’s Club saves you money, you are right. The thing is, how does buying 20 pounds of hamburger at as much as 15 cents a pound less save you any money if you can only eat about half a pound a day? And who wants to eat hamburger everyday for 40 days straight? Not this guy. Think individual packaging. Buy some freezer bags and make sure the meat you buy is unfrozen. Divide your meat out into individual portions and freeze immediately. If you have a guest over, you can always pull two packages out. Also remember that while you want to put as much into your freezer as you can, leave enough room for the cold air to circulate thought the freezer and keep your meat and veggies frozen. Make sure that there’s no air in your freezer bags before you freeze your portions. Air bad, space good. ‘Remember that.

Also, think about your current cooking skills while you’re making your purchases. Unless you’re Felix Unger, think Cornish game hen, not Christmas goose. Not only do you have the added benefit of not having to eat the same leftovers for a week, but it sounds pretty good when you can tell your friends over the phone, “I have a Cornish game hen in the oven, I gotta go.” Yeah, you’ll look like Emeril, and there’s no Chef Ramsey throwing plates at you if you screw it up somehow. The point is really, that you can buy any type of food you want and portioning shouldn’t be a factor.

Another couple of cool things to think about are spices and recipes. Get a spice rack, Junior. I know you might only need marjoram once or twice in your lifetime, but when you need it, brother you will need it. It stores, nearly indefinitely, and you’ll look like you can actually cook something beyond Sloppy Joes.

Mmm…Sloppy Joes. That’s a perfect lead in to the next subject: Cooking. Cooking is chemistry on a very beneficial level. You combine components and process them, through heat and cold mostly. Really, when you look at it that way and realize recipes are directions, then you’re home free. However if you are like 99% of your brethren, directions are not an option. The best advice anyone can give you is smell and taste often. If it smells good, there’s a 90% chance it will taste good. You taste for saltiness more than anything else. Does it need salt or is it too bland? We’re not advocating that you go off the ranch and start going rogue in the kitchen, but sometimes you might color outside the lines a bit. It’s fun to buck the system, thumb your nose at the recipe “man.” Just don’t go crazy. The single years are the BEST time to find your own spin on traditional recipes because you are the only one that has to eat your failures.

Hopefully these couple of tips will help you make some smart choices when in the grocery store and in the kitchen. Until next time, have fun!

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