My wife in nursing home, so i live alone and cook for one.. - Graybeard Outdoors
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post #1 of 46 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 05:19 PM Thread Starter
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Default My wife in nursing home, so i live alone and cook for one..

Anyone here doing the same? I run into a lot of waste, since things come in family size packages. Please pass any food saving tips for we who cook for one. Even cost saving tips for other shopping would be appreciated.

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post #2 of 46 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 05:32 PM
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Divi it up and freeze the extra in meal size portions, been doing that for at least 25yrs since the last got kid was moved out, it's been SOP since just cooking for two, works the same for one, I do that often when the wife has other plans, I'm the cook, so it works fine, she doesn't cook very often.


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post #3 of 46 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 05:50 PM
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Im sorry for your situation, that's a rough row to hoe.
I have done much of the cooking for us, my wife does on occasion but its a chore for her much of the time and I kinda like it. And we arent losing any weight because of it so it is decent eats......
But when she is gone for something I usually dont go out of my way to do something as nice as I would as when she is here, Im 'easy' to satisfy; not that she is hard to, its just that I dont put as much into the effort for only me. This, and the other stresses you are under and no one to share the fruits of your labors with make it tough to 'make a real meal'. Did you like to cook before? If so, the skills and knowledge are there and maybe you need a kick start to get back into the discipline?
I encourage you to do so, it is good for the body, mind and soul. Paring back recipes by half would make for not having to eat the same leftovers for too long (and its good to mix 'em up day to day anyway). Buying 'family' size packs wont save you money if you throw half away, just get smaller/individual sizes for a while and see if you can sort it out a bit. Just making it yourself will save probably 1/2 over doing 'fast food' (bad habit but so easy to get into).
I make a goodly number of 'scrambles', use leftover real baked spuds diced up with diced onions and jalapenos, etc. with some microwaved bacon/ leftover meats/ diced precooked pork or turkey b-fast patty and topped with real hand shredded chunk cheese (much better cheese than the pre-shredded), or a nice omelette with similar.
I like to do a basic simple chili that I can have a bowl of anytime in an amount that lasts 4-5 days in the fridge.
A 'cottage pie' of a layer of good pre-cooked loose burger covered with a layer of diced onion, carrots and celery (could use canned but fresh is so much better, just be sure to nuke it all to cooked before spreading on), a can or two of cream of mushroom soup and topped with a layer of easy to make on the stovetop mashed potatoes (I get the smallish box of generic spud flakes) with shedded cheese on top and baked for 1/2 @350 makes me a comfort food casserole.
I still like a good hamburger on a good bun with fav toppings.
Remember you are not only doing this 'to eat' but to keep yourself healthy for her.
I'll be praying for ya!

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post #4 of 46 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 05:57 PM
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There's a knack to cooking for one or two and it takes some planning and practice. I tried precooking and freezing meals and it did not work for me. I want my food fresh. I generally keep some staple foods that I know I will use and that I can use for a lot of things. More perishable foods like tomatoes and lettuce are what I buy with the intent of using it soon.

Cabbage, potatoes, bell peppers, onions, celery, carrots all keep well and I keep them as staples. I can use them a little at a time for just the servings I need.

For lettuce, like romaine, wash the lettuce as soon as you get it home and put it in a zip loc bag. It keeps longer.

Learn to make curries and stir fries. One good basic stir fry is to use veggies of choice and meat of choice stir fried with some Maggie Gin sauce or similar sauce. Serve it with rice.

It's a big topic. I suggest researching cooking for one. I've cooked for just me. Now it's just me and my wife. We have very little wasted food and reasonable food costs because we've figured out what works best for us for our tastes.

I suggest focusing on a favorite food, and experimenting with how to make it work for you. Don't try to develop a whole system at once.

Some cook ahead things I do for convenience and because it's very practical are to make a few pounds of meatballs, or meatloaf, or precook a dozen Italian sausage links. Then keep them in the freezer. That way you can whip up a nice meal with, say, a few meatballs, some ragu, a little spaghetti, and a vegetable.

The key fact is that you can eat good and healthy and delicious and economically just cooking for yourself.

one thing about cooking pasta: you don't need a lot of water. I usually just use a quart. And I cook angel hair because it cooks fast. Break the angel hair in half so you don't have long strands of noodles. It's better that way.

I also get good bread like sourdough made at a bakery, I get it sliced. Then freeze the whole bag of it. It's handy for panini or open face sandwiches.
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post #5 of 46 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 06:01 PM
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Frozen veggies are also really handy for cooking in small batches. We like broccoli and cauliflower, so we get that frozen to keep on hand.
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post #6 of 46 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 06:46 PM
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Sorry to hear that. Even for two of us, we break up the packages and freeze them.
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post #7 of 46 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 07:31 PM
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I can't add much to this thread, except, the only food I really like to freeze for future meals is "pasta"
that's about all that I like as leftovers.

Praying for you my friend.

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post #8 of 46 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 08:01 PM
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First off, good on you for cooking - I know several guys that just started eating out all the time, and that's not healthy.

Deep freeze is your friend, and so the thrift store for good used Tupperware. If I'm opening a family pack, I know I'm cooking it all, then freezing the rest so I go ahead and put away the stuff I'm going to freeze right after its cooked, then I eat my portion. And unless I'm eating with someone else, I usually make one pot meals that freeze well and warm up later. But then I like a nice grilled piece of meat now and again, so I'll buy like a big pork loin, section it up into portions and freeze them individually. Same with fish, or shrimp, chicken, etc. I'm not a frozen veggie or fruit guy, so I'll buy those fresh, but just enough. I know its not ideal, and its going to feel like you're spending a nickel to save a penny, but you can do this.

And may I suggest that you be intentional about sharing a meal a couple of times a week with someone, either at your house or theirs, or out. Good for your own morale!

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post #9 of 46 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 11:08 PM
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I just go to a pound of fresh hamburger every week. Use about a fourth per meal per person. Brown in a skillet and then decide if its going to be spaghetti, burrito, taco, rice, or chili. Im not a fancy cook. Just the basic meals. My wife cooks like crazy and then complains about how much time it took to cook vs eat. Not me. I dont take long at all. 20 minutes and its dinner. And just a pot and skillet to clean.

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post #10 of 46 (permalink) Old 02-17-2017, 05:06 AM
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Stew a chicken, freeze some for future use. Chicken salad, chicken enchiladas, noodles, maybe add BBQ sauce for sandwiches.

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