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If you are like me, you have a lot of recipes for larger families. Then people move out, get divorced or even die and you are left with only one or two people in the home. Or you may be just starting out on your own or with a new spouse and you find very few recipes for one or two people but hundreds for larger families.
Tips and recipes for cooking for one or two people from our ThriftyFun community.
For the past few months, we have been sharing a plate daily with our single next door neighbor. He can barely afford to eat, so it's been a thrill for him and us sharing our food with him. In return, he helps us with our yardwork. I know this may not sound too frugal to some people but it sure works for us.
Only problem now is he just moved away and now we need to find someone else to share with. Surely there's a single person, or struggling single mom, or elderly person in your area you could share with.
Do you have any more tips for cooking for one or two? Post them below.
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I'm a thrifty 28-year-old, who is married without children. I always look for ways to be thrifty and save the money God has blessed us with. However, I'm having trouble when it comes to meal plans for two.
Most of the "good value" items in the grocery store come in large quantities, and when I buy them, most of the food goes bad before we eat it all. And stores charge more if you buy smaller portions. I've tried freezing extra foods, but even taking extra care to prevent freezer burn doesn't really work, and the food doesn't taste as good.
Hi there: Tonight I made Turkey noodle soup in crock pot. I bought pack of turkey wings (2 in a pack), added water, seasonings, carrots and cooked all day. I took the wings out, gave turkey scraps to dogs in their dinner mix. I put a little of turkey meat back into soup and save the rest, I will make wraps with flatbread and cheese, can add bell peppers, onions (heated up in fry pan)......Cost for
Turkey wings: a little over a dollar.....=2 meals for hubby and me, P.S. Enough soup leftover for his lunch and more too.
Today I made Turkey noodle soup in crock pot w/turkey wings I paid a little over $1.00 for. I de boned the turkey wings and gave scraps to dogs w/their dinner. This made enough soup for dinner, my hubbies lunch plus more.
I have the same problems when cooking for my boyfriend and myself. I like to cook hamburger helper, tuna helper (which is REALLY cheap to make) and chicken helper cause its really cheap when its on sale and we can take the left overs for lunch the next day. I can buy a sirloin tip when they are on sale and have part of it ground into hamburger and the rest but into beef stew, steaks, and/or small roasts to freeze. I use the small freezer bags and freeze enough for a meal for the two of us and it seems to hold up well to freezer burn.
I also buy pork loins when they are on sale and have them sliced into thin pork chops. they are very tender, bone free and much cheaper than center cut pork chops and I can also freeze two or three of those in each bag an just have enough when i thaw them out for a meal for two. You can basically do this with any meat. Buy a regular or large package and put small amounts in freezer bags and you wont have tons of left overs. And if i cook something that has a lot of left overs like vegetable soup or something I either freeze it in small plastic containers (enough for one meal) or I take half to my parents cause there are only two of them at home as well.
I live alone, but of course, the best buys at store are the large packages of meat. If it is a package that was wrapped at the store, ask the meat department to cut, say a large roast, into 2 to 4 smaller pieces and re wrap. When you get home divide it into meal size amounts, each one in separate bag, freeze, and thaw as you use it.
And a couple of cheap recipes for you: Chicken and dumplings are always cheap. Use whatever kind of chicken you want (whatever is cheapest). For less work and a smaller amount of food use a couple of boneless skinless chicken breasts, and use some cheap canned biscuits for the dumplings.
Another cheap meal I like is fried cabbage and sausage. Just buy whatever kind of sausage you like (I use smoked turkey sausage cause its low in fat). I bought this the other day for $2.50 and a head of cabbage for around a dollar. I sliced about half the sausage and chopped half the head of cabbage and put it in a frying pan and fried them together til the cabbage was tender. Add a little salt and pepper and bake a small pan if cornbread if you like and u have a meal for less than $2-3 and if you only cook half like I did then you have enough for another two dollar meal another day.
We like making chili, stews, soups, etc. You can typically get some kind of meat on sale at the store, add a few vegetables and perhaps some pasta, rice, or barley. We also sometimes make meatloaf, spaghetti, or Manwich, all of which can be made inexpensively. Without a lot of effort, you can have not only healthy meals but also very inexpensive meals. Invest in a few glass or plastic bowls for taking lunches to work, if that applies here, and you have the perfect lunches for work. If I buy meat in bulk and don't want to use it all right away, I use my Reynold's Handi Vac to vaccuum seal a freezer bag and it will survive my freezer a lot longer. Also, if you make a lot of one meal and don't want your household members to get tired of eating the same old thing day after day, make several different kinds of meals and freeze portions in containers or bags, then eat them at a later date.
I have found that a "Food Saver" is an excellent iinvestment. There are only two of us, but I buy large packages of meet and vacuum pack them in portions for two. I never have problems with freezer burn. We don't eat Hamburger Helper and all that stuff, it's too unhealthy.
Also remember that if you are using everything you buy in a smaller portion, you are actually saving more money than buying in larger quantities and throwing it out.
Thank you so much for these tips! I guess I hadn't considered that it IS saving money if I buy smaller packages and actually use it all up, instead of buying in bulk and it going bad.
I'm learning a lot from all you wonderful people on this site. Many thanks!
Suggestion - how to get by 4 days with 2 entrees:
Serve the same entree on Mon and Wed, vary the veggies, bread and side dishes. Ditto for T and TH. Fri is leftovers or omelettes. Hope this helps.
Been doing this for years ever since I developed this method. Family never objected as the breads and sides make it seem like a completely new meal. Also, label everything the the fridge with masking tape and a Sharpie marker. Less moldy surprises that way.
Take a can (or 2) of beef stew place in either a 8x8 or 9x13 pan top with biscuits. bake at temp as directed on package until biscuits are brown (about 350-400* 10-12 minutes)
I shop aldi's allot too.try having breakfast for supper. Maybe eggs, meat, hash browns, and toast.
I love to make porcupine meat balls using 1 pound hamburger. 2 cups instant rice and 1 can tomato juice. Add hamburger and rice. Mix well form into small balls pour tomato juice over it, and cook on medium heat until brown. It's very good, and very filling.
My tip is for freezing food...my number one product I absolutely love is called Glad Press N Seal. Next to my whisk, wooden spoons and rubber scrapers, it's the one thing in the kitchen I will not do without. I buy big packages of meat, lay out the portions (for 1, 2 or 3 people, depending on what it is) onto a large piece about 1/3 from end, and proceed to wrap. First I fold over the short end and press down up close to the meat, fold it over, press some more, folding in the sides as I go, all the way down to the end. I stick on a label with the name of what it is, I like to double wrap my meat, so I pull another piece off and wrap it again. By putting the label on the first wrapping, it is protected inside the second wrap from getting wet or coming loose in the freezer. I have pulled out meat from 2-3 months and found it just as fresh as when I got it.
I have found it is much easier to cut recipe's in half it is easier to do this then to make larger quanities and freeze, they somehow just do not last & I hate to throw all that money down the drain.Also keep on Hand lunch meat and stuff for sandwiches some night's when you do not feel like cooking a large dinner you can do that or have hot dog's,hamburg's.One thing I seem to make alot are omlets with cheese and cut up pieces of ham.Meatloaf is nice you can alway's make sandwiches the next evening. If you make larger quanities, buy some rubbermaid container's with seperate slot's then you can freeze your main meal and veggie's in the different slot's or just the main meal,then you can serve with roll's or veggies whatever you have on hand when you warm it up.Just make sure when you freeze thing's you do not freeze for long period's of time.I do not understand why but it seem's to me when I was younger thing's lasted much longer in the freezer.That is whay I plan on useing food in a week or maybe 2 that is frozen at the most.Hope this help's Darlene
I just have my husband and myself to cook for as well and I have the same problem with freezing meats and vegetables. What I have found that seems to work for freezing meats is that if you cut the meat into individual sizes, first wrap each piece in plastic wrap, then wrap in a piece of newspaper then wrap in freezer paper. I learned this from a couple of butchers and it works for me. I've had several different brands of vaccum sealers so far and had no luck. I guess sometimes the old ways of doing things really are the best. Hope this helps!
Invest in a vacumm sealer. There are only two of us left at home. I buy in large quanities, divide, & vacumm seal. If I have enough leftovers for another meal, out comes the sealer. Use my sealer daily. Just be sure bags are vacummed and sealed very good.
Brown the meat of your choice then make a pasta or rice dish made by Pasta Roni or Rice-a-Roni or any brand like that in the same pan. You don't have to remove the meat and put it back in. I would drain the fat before making the side dish in that pan. My pasta roni fettuccine alfredo was delicious last night.
I really need help. I'm not creative at all, and I'd like to know some recipes to make meals for two.
I only have $118 a month to spend. I'm not picky, and will eat any foods. Any ideas are welcome.
By alphabetlife from Oklahoma City, OK