Meal planning for one?
Results 1 to 15 of 15
  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    4
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Rep Power
    0

    Default Meal planning for one?

    I'm wondering how others who, like me, are single and in a one-person household go about meal planning. I've never managed to be very organized about it and yet I know if I committed to meal planning I could save money. Advice? I'm mostly vegetarian, if that helps, and I genuinely LIKE beans and rice but also want some variety. I'd love to hear any words of wisdom more experienced frugalites might have to offer. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Registered User Contrary Housewife's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Kansas City
    Posts
    8,048
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Blog Entries
    75
    Rep Power
    58

    Default

    What worked for me when I was single was to make up a recipe of something and freeze it in single serve portions.

    I also shopped from the bulk bins a lot, I didn't want a 2lb bag of rice or pasta, I'd just buy enough for a couple servings at a time.

    As for planning, figure out what you like to eat, or know how to cook and write down as many menus as you can think of. Then look for similarities, such as if you like beans you could have beans over rice the first night, and maybe turn that into a bean burrito for lunch the next day, and vegetable bean soup at the end of the week using leftovers from other meals.

    Try to vary meals during the week so you don't get bored, but not so much that you buy a lot of ingredients you're using only once in a while.

    These days when I am eating by myself I look for quick frozen foods I can heat up. Ravioli is one, it comes in a big bag and I can portion out enough for one and get a little leftover sauce out of the freezer or just throw pesto on it. I also love chinese dumplings, they also come in a bag and I get out a handful to cook just for myself. You can probably find vegetarian burritos, too. Those heat up in the microwave pretty easily.
    Stop trying to organize all of your family’s crap. If organization worked for you, you’d have rocked it by now. It’s time to ditch stuff and de-crapify your world.

    If you're not using the stuff in your home, get rid of it. You're not going to start using it more by shoving it into a closet.

    Use it up, Wear it out,
    Make it do, Or do without. ~unknown

    A clean house is a sign of a wasted life. ~unknown

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    No. California
    Posts
    354
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Rep Power
    17

    Default

    I cook a lot of soups and freeze them in pint containers. That way, I have quite a variety on hand and can pick what sounds good at the time. I also freeze rice in containers and have baked potatoes on hand. I cook beans for refried beans and freeze them also.

    For my salads, I chop up some heads of romaine and add baby lettuce and keep a bowl in the fridge. I always have cabbage and carrots in the fridge along with onions. I keep hard boiled eggs in the fridge too.

    So, I do most of my cooking ahead of time and reheat or eat a quick salad. It works for me and there is no waste.

  4. Remove Advertisements
    FrugalVillage.com
    Advertisements
     

  5. #4
    Registered User Brat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    midwest, country
    Posts
    1,143
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Rep Power
    19

    Default

    When I was single I cooked like I had for a while and put full meals in single servings in the freezer... It wasn't long that I had several meals. I am meat eater and I would get family packs of meat and put a single serving in each package so if I wanted to cook I didn't have to take out a big package. I did mark each package as to what is in it and keep a running list of the meals in a notebook and when things come on sale I would check how many was left and if I needed to replace and of it. Ice cube trays and zip lock bags became my best friend.. I still if I have a serving of a meal left I put it away and it makes good lunches for work.

  6. #5
    Registered User Spirit Deer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Boundary Waters, Minnesota
    Posts
    18,677
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Rep Power
    87

    Default

    There are two of us living here but I'm usually home alone. I often make a batch of soup or other foods that makes 4-6 servings and either freeze what I don't need within a few days, or eat the same lunches for the whole week.

  7. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    4
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Rep Power
    0

    Default

    Thanks so much to all who have responded! Some good ideas here. I think it's partly a matter of training my brain to think in terms of doing this rather than, you know, making it up as I go along. Will leaf through recipes and report back. Again, thanks!

  8. #7
    Registered User CPA-Kim's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1,027
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Rep Power
    17

    Default

    You can do salads in mason jars and they'll keep all week long. I always have frozen fruit for smoothies in the freezer. I eat healthy so I also buy frozen Alaskan wild salmon and cod. The portions are very small (4 ounces) but just right for one person. I also make soups/stews and do a lot with Greek yogurt. My Vitamix gets lots of use.
    Kim
    The Lord will provide

  9. #8
    Registered User Spirit Deer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Boundary Waters, Minnesota
    Posts
    18,677
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Rep Power
    87

    Default

    It's often pretty easy to cut a recipe in half. So if you make up half a recipe that's meant for four, you will have only two meals to contend with. In our household, that would be a supper meal plus a planned-over meal for lunch at work the next day. Or you could eat the second meal three or four days later for supper again. Or if it's suitable for freezing, you could freeze it to have on hand for a quick meal some other time when you're too tired or busy to cook.

  10. #9
    Registered User zakity's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    near Portland, Oregon
    Age
    49
    Posts
    3,035
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Rep Power
    34

    Default

    Many years ago someone on here posted her system of meals. I liked her idea and remembered it. It seems like she had some sort of a health problem where she needed to keep her weight in check. Going off what I remember, this is her system:

    She would cook normal sized meals twice a week (or so). She had a ton of certain sized containers (don't remember how big they were). She would package up the meal into her containers. She would record and freeze the packaged meals that she wasn't going to eat right away.

    Lunch was a pre-packaged container because it was easy for her to grab and go on the way to work. Dinner was a pre-packaged container, a side of veggies, and a side of a bready item (a roll, a biscuit, or a piece of cornbread that she baked, packaged up, and froze). If she was still hungry after her dinner portion, she would have another side of veggie.

    She would plan out what she wanted to eat each week by what she was in the mood for, what she had the most of in the freezer, and what needed used up. She decided what to cook by using what was on sale and what sounded good that week. She had a good handful of recipes that she liked and fit in her meal requirements.

    I remember that she had a handful of rules, like she couldn't eat something more than X times a week. I don't remember any other rules, but they were all good ideas.

  11. #10
    Registered User MsBookWorm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    CA
    Age
    38
    Posts
    346
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Rep Power
    7

    Default

    As a single I've noticed my definition of a meal has changed. Sometimes I don't cook anything, but just nibble on a bunch of snacks. When I do cook I freeze the leftovers so I have stuff on hand when I'm busier or have less funds. I also find I eat out more as a social thing.

  12. #11
    Registered User Spirit Deer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Boundary Waters, Minnesota
    Posts
    18,677
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Rep Power
    87

    Default

    Zakity, I don't know if the person you're talking about is me because there are some differences, but most of what you describe is what I do when I'm on good behavior. It makes things a lot easier when portions are planned for the calorie content so I don't have to calculate each and every food item, and I use a lot of single-portion dishes to help avoid the temptation to overeat. I've gone out of my way to acquire dishes and containers that hold what I need and no more. It really does help a lot, when I'm organized enough to set it up and stick to it.

  13. #12
    Registered User Ayanka's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Flanders, Belgium
    Age
    31
    Posts
    895
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Rep Power
    13

    Default

    well, I am lazy, especially when I am working too much, so I will tell you what 'system' I have. I would also like to point out however that I am chronically underweight and working shifts, which make it worse, so I don't count calories.

    I make a big batch of something I like, think pasta or 'asian' food and freeze it in small containers. These are 2 things that can be reheated easily. If I do it well (lately that is not the case), I have enough to be able to eat for several days my main meals from the freezer and I add bread and fruit for the other meals.

    What I do now is eat the food that is in the freezer and combine with deepfreezer pizza and add with bread, fruit, yoghurt whatever. I am pretty sure I won't win the price for healthy food, but so far it keeps me going without costing too much time I simply don't have. However, when I do have time and freezer space, I will add some healthier stuff back in the freezer.

  14. #13
    Registered User zakity's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    near Portland, Oregon
    Age
    49
    Posts
    3,035
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Rep Power
    34

    Default

    Zakity, I don't know if the person you're talking about is me because there are some differences, but most of what you describe is what I do when I'm on good behavior. It makes things a lot easier when portions are planned for the calorie content so I don't have to calculate each and every food item, and I use a lot of single-portion dishes to help avoid the temptation to overeat. I've gone out of my way to acquire dishes and containers that hold what I need and no more. It really does help a lot, when I'm organized enough to set it up and stick to it.
    It might have been. I am pretty sure that she lived by herself, so I didn't think it was you. But, it was years and years ago and my memory that fabulous...

  15. #14
    Registered User Spirit Deer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Boundary Waters, Minnesota
    Posts
    18,677
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Rep Power
    87

    Default

    If it was years ago, then it probably wasn't me. I'm home all the time too, so don't pack things for work. It doesn't matter either way. But it's interesting to know there's someone else out there who has so many of the same ideas I do when it comes to portion control and creating my own DIY 'diet' convenience foods.

  16. #15
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    4
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Rep Power
    0

    Default

    sorry for the delay but again, wanted to say thanks to all who have chimed in here! Zakity, the system you describe sounds like a great idea for me -- and there are several other great ideas on this thread I'm sure I'll use! Thanks all!

Similar Threads

  1. Need help with Meal Planning
    By BeachFun in forum Meal planning
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 08-07-2010, 05:52 AM
  2. New to Meal Planning..
    By rabelgirls in forum Meal planning
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 12-29-2009, 09:33 AM
  3. Help with Meal Planning
    By emily_hope in forum Meal planning
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 08-22-2009, 12:36 AM
  4. help me with meal planning
    By emtmama04 in forum Meal planning
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 08-09-2009, 03:45 AM
  5. Meal planning help
    By frugalmel in forum Meal planning
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 12-30-2003, 11:44 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •