Frugal Village Forums banner
1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
540 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Come this Sunday it will just be hubby and me in the home ( :cheer4: ). I have been trying to work on my meal list and I get a little stuck. Somethings I have cooked can't be cut down, somethings can, and I have a list of some new things. I don't want to change the $ amount of my food budget, but I don't want to mess it up trying to figure out meals for 2. I don't want a ton of leftovers either.

Has anyone gone from cooking for a family down to cooking for 2 and have any advice you'd like to share???

An fyi ~ I don't care for cooking much and don't like a lot of ingredients.

Hubby didn't get that second job I suggested, so we can eat out all the time ;) so I still have to cook..
 

·
Member
Joined
·
27,948 Posts
I agree with Sunshine's link, very helpful.
I like making more and freezing it for future dinners or planned lunches.
Inviting others to dinner is nice too, maybe spending more time with old friends you haven't seen much of because you all were busy raising your kids and didn't have time for each other.

If you don't already do it, candlelight at dinner is a great thing to have. Why save it just for special times? Aren't you and your sweetie special ?
 
  • Like
Reactions: Libby and Syn D

·
Registered
Joined
·
540 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you both! I have looked on the net, but haven't found to much. I will check out that site.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
904 Posts
I have to cook for 1 so I feel your pain. The best thing I have found is to cook a normal batch and then freeze the left overs.

I may keep enough in the fridge for a couple of days at most.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
540 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
A good friend of mine is buying me a food saver for Christmas. I figured that could be helpful with the leftovers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
Anytime I find a recipe we want to try to print it out or email to myself. Since most recipes are for four I just try to estimate the amount of the ingredients needed for two (or three since we like to take left overs for lunch). I write down the amount of everything as I go. Most of the time my "guestimates" are pretty good. If everything works out ok (I am not such a great cook so there are plenty of hot messes) I copy "my" version of the recipe onto a 3x5 card and add it to my recipe box. The "for 2" version is the on file for us for use in the future.

I know this probably doesn't help much as what I do is pretty much trial and error (more error than trial!), but it seems to work out ok most of the time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
904 Posts
A good friend of mine is buying me a food saver for Christmas. I figured that could be helpful with the leftovers.
FYI,

Walmart carries a ziploc version of these bags in quart and gallon sizes. They even sell a hand pump for $3 or $4 as well. This is what I use and they work almost as well as the food saver.

The ziplocs will eventually lose their vacuum after a few months.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,402 Posts
It is just hubby and myself. I often cook a large quantity of something. We eat it that night, a serving goes in the fridge to reheat a couple of days later and the rest goes in the freezer. I often make a large pot of beans and put half in the fridge and half in the freezer.

My goal (and it works MOST of the time) is to cook one night, heat leftovers the next night, cook the next night, eat leftovers the next night and so on. So there is always a variety of leftovers to put together and reheat and I am not spending every night in the kitchen cooking.

A helpful tip so that the leftovers don't go to waste. Put them in see through containers and on ONE shelf in the fridge with the oldest in the front and the newest in the back.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,525 Posts
I basically divide up any meat I purchase into single size servings and freeze it. This way I can pull out a serving of meat and cook the next day. I usually have frozen vegetables in the freezer which just means microwaving some on a plate. Makes making dinner quick and easy.

Anything that would be good as leftovers gets packaged and frozen. Then I have something quick and easy to eat during the month.

Last month I threw a bunch of turkey into a crockpot. Then divided the meat up and froze it. Now I have turkey meat ready for whatever I might want to make with it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,200 Posts
Like Handy Andy I started by guesstimating and adjusting recipes downward. And since DH is still working, if there are extras they typically end up as his lunch later that week.

So you don't like to cook, look at your recipes and pick out the simplest, easiest ones or the ones you like enough to make often. It's just two of you, so you can rediscover your tastes, since you aren't catering to the kids.

You might check out this tv show: 5 Ingredient Fix : Claire Robinson : Food Network Her schtick is easy recipes with 5 ingredients or less.

You might also be interested in: Semi-Homemade Cooking : Sandra Lee : Food Network She does easy home made recipes using pantry staples, so you're not chasing down a lot of exotic ingredients.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Labontet and Libby

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,935 Posts
Dad and I used to cooking for two - we'd just take any recipe (usually for 4 servings) and eat half for dinner and half the next day for lunch/dinner or the day after that but that was the max. Now DH has moved in and he can sometimes eat for two so leftovers aren't really an issue anymore.

The other option is just cut everything in the recipe into two or half - again most recipes are for four people.

We do batch cooking and *I* freeze into the appropriate portions - used to be for two but now for four. If DH doesn't eat two servings at dinner, he gets the leftover one for lunch. Dad would just eat and eat and eat til it was all gone - super boring if I had made a huge crockpot of soup/stew/chili etc.

I also make a huge tub of salad for the week and we pull out as needed. Usually its our vegetable component of dinner :lol: or DH's lunch so one tub lasts almost a week here. Quick and easy - we just dice up a tomato and chop fresh herbs on the day its being served so its fresh.

A big issue with cooking is the prep. So instead, on grocery shopping days, are you able to wash, and pre-chop veggies and portion out meats/proteins into meal sized portions using zip bags or clear plastic containers? This way its literally grab and throw in the pan, add sauces. Done. Makes cooking less painful. (IE bell peppers, halve and deseed so all you have to do is slice/chop as necessary - store in a ziploc tub) My dad loves it when I do this and he's been cooking for a REALLY LONG portion of his life. Even cooks/chefs want easy peasy sometimes :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,479 Posts
When I was a new wife, I found a book that had a plan DOLDOL
which is double, one, leftover, double, one....

This works for us. It means that you make any meal with 4 portions the 1st night, have something else, like hamburgers or ? that's a single meal the next, and leftovers the 3rd, repeat. DH is fine with leftovers, but we get tired of eating the same thing every day.

Also, try planning it beforehand. When I roast a chicken I know that I will have roast chicken the 1st night, chicken slices in sandwiches the next day and probably chicken slices again that next night. But I took the drumsticks off the 1st night and froze them, 2 drumsticks make just about exactly the right amount of meat for chicken salad for us, now that's in the freezer.

Then I'll cut up whatever is left of the meat and put some of it and the carcass in the crockpot with suitable additions, soup. Can be frozen for another time OR make stock and chop up the bits and make hash, stuff on rice, etc.

I cook enough for 4-6 people most of the time, but I cook the plainest, largest meal first, and then transform the remainder for other meals.

You can do this with any large piece of meat.

It can also be done with things like soup/stews. Make the stew first, water it down for soup, or if you don't really have enough for 2 dinner portions, make stuff on toast/rice/potatoes or pot pies.

It isn't all that different, you just have more to deal with the 2nd and 3rd time than you did before!

IHTH!

Judi
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
669 Posts
My husband does not like leftovers, so I try to cook smaller quantities unless it's something I can transform, such as roast into stirfry and wraps and whatever, but not too much of that.

I like food.com's serving change feature, although that does not work for all recipes.

A number of members there have made cooking for two cookbooks that collect good recipes that either are designed for two or are easily reduceable. These are some I look at

Cooking For One Or Two Cookbook - Food.com - 152060
Cooking For Two Cookbook - Food.com - 176093
Two By Two Cookbook - Food.com - 125002
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
106 Posts
I didn't want to start a new thread for my hint so I thought I would bump this one.

When I buy ground meat, beef, turkey, Italian sausage etc... I freeze a portion or two raw for a burger and then I fry the rest as crumbles with things like minced celery, minced onion, garlic, mushrooms, red or green peppers. I freeze this mixture in 1-2 cup containers and use it to make small amounts of American chop suey, chili, soup etc... This allows me to have a variety of vegetables in a dish that I would not normally bother with when preparing one or two servings.

This morning while I was making coffee and puttering around in the kitchen I put together a small casserole of ACS using a container of crumbles, a cup of frozen marinara sauce, 1/2 cup of elbows (that I cooked prior to adding) and a handful of grated cheese. I will toss it in the oven at dinner time for a half hour at 350. Serves 2.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
922 Posts
aunt bea - that is a really good idea to add veg with frying ahead of time. i cook for
2 now and dont always bother to add more veg since the amounts are so small.

i will definitely do this when making ahead. i think i will mark on the package what
i added to the meat since certain things might not go together.

thanks for sharing your hint.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top