Meal planning for singles can seem like a chore. Many people who live alone feel like cooking for one person is a waste of time, or think it would be difficult for them to prepare healthy, delicious and affordable meals, without wasting any food.
The good news is that preparing and enjoying better meals for one person can be easy, as long as you plan it ahead. And keep in mind that since you are alone in the kitchen, it’s much easier to plan meals you really want to eat than if you had to prepare a menu for two, three, four, or more!
Here are the best tips about meal planning for singles tips:
1. If you don’t want to cook, have someone else cook for you
If you don’t like cooking, or if you don’t have time for it, it doesn’t mean you can’t get to enjoy delicious meals. Going out to eat at a restaurant doesn’t always sound appealing when you’re alone, but there is always takeout or delivery.
If you want meals prepared from the freshest ingredients, or if you have trouble finding vegan, organic, or keto options on the menus of your local restaurants, you can choose to order from meal plan delivery services that meet your unique needs.
2. Look for inspiration if you don’t know what to cook
When you are doing meal planning for singles, try to look for inspiration. If you enjoy cooking, but you simply hate trying to decide what you should cook day after day, look for recipes that inspire you. Of course, you can go online or flip through the pages of a cookbook to look for recipes that make you feel hungry.
But you can also try to reproduce one of your favourite childhood meals or, why not, try to come up with your own recipe using ingredients you feel like eating.
Make a list of recipes you already love, or would love to try.
3. Reserve a day for cooking all of your week’s meals
It’s possible to prepare, each day, recipes that are meant for one person only. But if you have a busy schedule, it’s a better idea to reserve a day where you will prepare meals that will feed you for an entire week.
Let’s say, for example, that you have time to cook on Sunday afternoon. Within a few hours, you should be able to prepare a few different meals, and to divide them into individual portions that you will be able to reheat when it’s time to eat.
Look at your list of recipes, and decide in advance what you will be eating, and when. Write it down on your calendar or in your phone.
4. Make a list before you go grocery shopping
If you want to plan a weekly cooking session on Sunday afternoon, you could go to the grocery store on Sunday morning, or on Friday evening, to make sure you have everything you need to cook.
It’s much easier to prepare delicious recipes when you have all the ingredients you need. Make a shopping list, and only buy what is on your list to avoid spending money on items that might end up being wasted.
5. Divide your meat into individual portions
If you don’t want to cook more than one meal at a time, you can still buy large packs of meat instead of buying smaller packs that contain only one or two portions. A family pack is often less expensive than a small one.
All you have to do is divide your large pack of meat into individual portions when you get home. Keep one or two portions in your fridge to use them soon, and store the rest in your freezer for future recipes.
6. Prepare versatile food items that can be used in many meals
If you do decide to prepare many meals at once, you will obviously have to eat the same thing more than once during the week. This is why it’s important to prepare recipes that get you inspired and excited.
If you prefer variety in your meals, you could prepare versatile food items that you will be able to use in different dishes throughout the week.
For example, if you cook a whole chicken on Sunday, you could enjoy some chicken meat in a plate of pasta or fried rice, in a taco, in a salad, or in a sandwich during the week. If you roast or cook a large batch of vegetables, you will be able to add them to a variety of plates.
7. Don’t hesitate to store leftovers in your freezer
If you do want to prepare large meals, but can’t stand to eat leftovers more than two or three days in a row, don’t hesitate to store individual portions in your freezer.
Whenever you don’t feel like cooking, you can simply open your freezer to find different delicious meals you will only need to reheat for a few minutes.