Wednesday, 22 January 2014 18:01

Cooking for one person

One of the disadvantages of living alone is that often lone diners feel that it is just not worth cooking a meal for one person. Cooking does require time and effort and many of us can’t be bothered to do it just for ourselves. There is no doubt that when you have spent a long day at work or school it is much easier to snack or just make yourself a sandwich.

But eating this way is not healthy and will make it much more likely that you will gain weight. Here are some things you can do to encourage yourself to cook.

Plan in advance! Grab your favourite cookbooks and a pen and paper and sit down on the weekend to plan what you are going to eat for the week. Advance planning will encourage you to shop for all the ingredients you need and eliminate excuses. Spending some time planning when you have relaxation time, like on the weekends, will help you be prepared for the week ahead.

Cook meals and freeze individual portions for easy warming up on nights when you don’t want to cook. Cooking enough for 4 to 6 people can mean that you have 6 nights of meals that can be spread out over a month if you use your freezer. These frozen portions can be used for lunch or dinner. Have plenty of containers handy for freezing items. Label everything that goes into your freezer to avoid waste. It’s always a good idea to rotate items in your freezer by putting the most recently frozen items on the bottom so you use older items first. Remember not to leave frozen items in the freezer for longer than two months. Check your grocery store flyers to see what is on sale and freeze items you use often. This is especially important if you are on a very tight food budget. If you have recipes that you make frequently, buy the ingredients when they are on sale so that you have them on hand for the next time you want to make the recipe. Quick to prepare, healthy items like cans of tuna and baked beans can be bought at low prices and stored in your pantry for times when you are in a hurry or can’t be bothered to cook. Eggs are quick to prepare and healthy, so try to keep them in your fridge at all times. If you find you don’t eat a dozen eggs fast enough, buy six to avoid wasting them.

Try not to snack when you come from work. Snacking is easy when you walk in the door and without someone else to cook for it’s tempting to snack all evening and not bother to prepare yourself a proper meal. To get you over the end of the day hunger hump have prepared raw vegetables in the fridge that you can munch on while cooking or put out a small bowl of mixed nuts or berries. Try not to buy unhealthy snacks to avoid temptation, especially in that difficult hour between getting home from work and when your dinner is ready.

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