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Regular Contributor
Posts: 217
Registered: ‎03-12-2010

New to cooking for 1..need advice

Trying to navigate cooking, shopping, planning for one. My dear husband of 58  years passed away in September and I am struggling.  I have never lived alone before and it's no fun.

I'm finding myself buying those frozen dinner type meals, but they're not the healthiest.

I always cooked a nice meal but now it's just too much food and I'm only liking leftovers for one more meal. Don't want to be eating chili 4 or 5 days.

Guess it'll just take time but thanks for any suggestions.

Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,461
Registered: ‎07-18-2010

Re: New to cooking for 1..need advice

[ Edited ]

Very sorry for your loss.  I lost my husband a few years back too, and I hated to cook. But I probably eat better now than I did then!

 

You will find your freezer is your best friend! If you make chili there's no reason that you have to eat it five days in a row. I often on the weekends make a big pot of soup, stew or chili. I divide it up into right-sized containers, and put them in the freezer.  It may take me weeks, but I can have chili once a week like that. (next time at the grocery store look for the Glad containers.)

 

Also there are a lot of items that are single portion, I buy salmon frozen from Costco that comes in a single portion packs.  Also if you have some frozen vegetables that you like on hand, you can add those to soups, or to omelettes. Same goes for bread, bagels and English muffins. All go in the freezer.  If I eat out and get leftovers I'll throw them in a container and into the freezer and eat them a week later.

 

 


Super Contributor
Posts: 358
Registered: ‎04-04-2016

Re: New to cooking for 1..need advice

@marmot24 i will let others who cook for only one offer better answers your question.  i do cook about half our meals and we reheat the other days.  i'm so sorry for the loss of your husband. Take good care of yourself.    

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 5,026
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: New to cooking for 1..need advice

Your best friends are your microwave, an extra freezer and a selection of Souper Cubers 

(Amazon).  The Souper Cubers look like Silicon freezer trays and you use them to freeze leftovers in serving sizes ( then you can stack in your freezer.  It just isn't efficient, even for a small family, to make a brand new meal each night.  Better to make a casserole, lasagna, chili etc, eat what is healthy, freeze the rest and rotate in at a later date. I definitely have cooked for one ( married at 40) so I know what you mean ( and I did most of it pre microwave!).  Sorry for your loss but you will get the skills you need, soon!

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 5,459
Registered: ‎05-12-2012

Re: New to cooking for 1..need advice

maybe you could google 'cooking for one.'

Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,279
Registered: ‎03-15-2021

Re: New to cooking for 1..need advice

@marmot24 If you want to prepare a large meal, but don't want the same food for several days, make your own frozen dinners. My mother kept the microwave safe containers that her frozen dinners were packaged in. She washed the used containers and stored them in her cabinet.

 

Our Christmas Dinner is served about noon and then we have the leftovers that evening. When we finished eating in the evening, my mother would get out her stack of containers, and we would be laughing and talking about the various combos we could make with that day's leftovers. Many of her plates were divided into three parts, but others were not. She would have quite the stack of homemade frozen dinners to store in her freezer. She had one of the huge chest types, but even a refrigerator freezer can hold a large stack of plates.

 

You might enjoy preparing your favorite meals now and then and making your own frozen dinners. I wish you all the best.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 30,530
Registered: ‎08-19-2010

Re: New to cooking for 1..need advice


@marmot24 wrote:

Trying to navigate cooking, shopping, planning for one. My dear husband of 58  years passed away in September and I am struggling.  I have never lived alone before and it's no fun.

I'm finding myself buying those frozen dinner type meals, but they're not the healthiest.

I always cooked a nice meal but now it's just too much food and I'm only liking leftovers for one more meal. Don't want to be eating chili 4 or 5 days.

Guess it'll just take time but thanks for any suggestions.


I lost mine in June.  We wasn't joined at the hip type of marriage.

I thank God I was left with no money worries. He was pretty close with a penny and didn't mind cremation, so, that's what he got. Would have been married 50 yrs in Jan.  

 

After all the getting rid of his stuff that wasn't nothing , but, clutter I freed up the house and made it my own.  Just this Friday I shelled out for home security package that was the best money I ever spent !

Now, for 25 a month after the initial pay out for installation of equipment I can sleep sound knowing I'm safe. No more laying in bed

listening for any little sound, didn't want a gun, etc.  This system gives me peace of mind which is priceless.

 

First thing you do is you don't advertise your alone. If somebody calls asks for so and so you say he's not here right now may I ask who is calling?  Some people like neighbors will know off the bat nothing you can do about that. Luckily for me the mowing men I hired to take that over sold some stuff for me I didn't need any more from their house, so, the buyers didn't know where I lived.

 

For the first time in my life I can think for myself and eat what I want, when I want, go where I want , spend what I want. When others pity me and say "you will marry again". I just smile and say "perhaps" then after we part I say "I don't think so " and LOL

 

Ok, the food. I go thru drive through and come home and not make a big o mess for me to clean up.  Buy those individual burgers and freeze what you don't eat.  Buy one piece of fish at store, lb. of bacon will last me 2 weeks.  I eat out of bags now, and Schwan man has individual servings of soups, pizza, lasangna, etc. Frozen pancakes, waffles no more getting up on Sunday morning and making waffles from scratch that kept 2 mixers going at once, Eggo is good enough for me. Individual popcorn ACT II bags are fine for me.  Grocery stores are a Godsend in their Deli section and plate lunch to go sections.

 

I still have to have my own cooking once in awhile. chicken and dumplings, my own fried chicken, just thaw out what you know you will eat, my own mashed potatoes and gravy.   

 

Your still in shock, but, when your appetite returns you will find your

own way. I had so much to tend to in regards to consolidating all the financials, going thru legalities that had to be taken care of, probate, transferring title to my own name, house, cars. Gave my own Will to the Executor who will be going thru what I've been thru. I lost 10 lbs.

 

I got calls 2 weeks later from people wanting to buy my house ! There is people out there who study the property tax website and look for changes. Calling you up and say "are you interested in selling your house we pay top dollar" I say No and hang up on them. Nerve !

 

I had 2 sister in laws who thought they should share in the wealth of what he left. They was not in the Will, not named at all, We were childless and they thought for sure he remembered them. He didn't.

what he got from his mother's estate he still had left and the bank made me give them that even though I was his POA, beneficiary, executor. When I tried to move the money into my checking account bank wouldn't let me and so 2 thirds went to them even though he done gave them their share of the mother's estate yrs ago. They grabbed what little was left and took it.   

 

Good Luck and hope your journey is better then what I've been thru.

Sorry for your loss.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 9,326
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: New to cooking for 1..need advice

I'm so sorry for your loss.  I  can't imainge how hard it must be.  My own DH has health probelms and I'm afriad I may be in your position one day.

 

As for meals I understand not liking leftovers too much but maybe make some things that can be frozen.  They will taste fresher and it's nice to have something already made up ready to pop into the oven.

Valued Contributor
Posts: 637
Registered: ‎03-13-2010

Re: New to cooking for 1..need advice

Marmot....just try making meals as if you were cooking for just TWO....then eat one serving today, and finish tomorrow.

 

That way, you have GOOD home prepared food that you don't have to look at for weeks...

 

Instead of TWO people eating it in one days meal, one person eats it in two!

 

This is what I do most of the time ( I'm single too, by choice)....

 

I too do NOT like to look at the same thing for five days, and I don't care for frozen stuff, no matter how well packed or stored. I like it fresh or the next day!!!

 

Sorry for your loss....that must be very hard and somewhat disorienting.....but please don't get in the habit of eating prepared food every night....not good for you. It sounds like you used to cook, so you know how, so just adjust the portion size. I agree it's hard to cook for one, but for two, over two days, easier.

 

Hope this helps.....! 

Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,715
Registered: ‎05-08-2010

Re: New to cooking for 1..need advice


@sharkky wrote:

@marmot24 wrote:

Trying to navigate cooking, shopping, planning for one. My dear husband of 58  years passed away in September and I am struggling.  I have never lived alone before and it's no fun.

I'm finding myself buying those frozen dinner type meals, but they're not the healthiest.

I always cooked a nice meal but now it's just too much food and I'm only liking leftovers for one more meal. Don't want to be eating chili 4 or 5 days.

Guess it'll just take time but thanks for any suggestions.


I lost mine in June.  We wasn't joined at the hip type of marriage.

I thank God I was left with no money worries. He was pretty close with a penny and didn't mind cremation, so, that's what he got. Would have been married 50 yrs in Jan.  

 

After all the getting rid of his stuff that wasn't nothing , but, clutter I freed up the house and made it my own.  Just this Friday I shelled out for home security package that was the best money I ever spent !

Now, for 25 a month after the initial pay out for installation of equipment I can sleep sound knowing I'm safe. No more laying in bed

listening for any little sound, didn't want a gun, etc.  This system gives me peace of mind which is priceless.

 

First thing you do is you don't advertise your alone. If somebody calls asks for so and so you say he's not here right now may I ask who is calling?  Some people like neighbors will know off the bat nothing you can do about that. Luckily for me the mowing men I hired to take that over sold some stuff for me I didn't need any more from their house, so, the buyers didn't know where I lived.

 

For the first time in my life I can think for myself and eat what I want, when I want, go where I want , spend what I want. When others pity me and say "you will marry again". I just smile and say "perhaps" then after we part I say "I don't think so " and LOL

 

Ok, the food. I go thru drive through and come home and not make a big o mess for me to clean up.  Buy those individual burgers and freeze what you don't eat.  Buy one piece of fish at store, lb. of bacon will last me 2 weeks.  I eat out of bags now, and Schwan man has individual servings of soups, pizza, lasangna, etc. Frozen pancakes, waffles no more getting up on Sunday morning and making waffles from scratch that kept 2 mixers going at once, Eggo is good enough for me. Individual popcorn ACT II bags are fine for me.  Grocery stores are a Godsend in their Deli section and plate lunch to go sections.

 

I still have to have my own cooking once in awhile. chicken and dumplings, my own fried chicken, just thaw out what you know you will eat, my own mashed potatoes and gravy.   

 

Your still in shock, but, when your appetite returns you will find your

own way. I had so much to tend to in regards to consolidating all the financials, going thru legalities that had to be taken care of, probate, transferring title to my own name, house, cars. Gave my own Will to the Executor who will be going thru what I've been thru. I lost 10 lbs.

 

I got calls 2 weeks later from people wanting to buy my house ! There is people out there who study the property tax website and look for changes. Calling you up and say "are you interested in selling your house we pay top dollar" I say No and hang up on them. Nerve !

 

I had 2 sister in laws who thought they should share in the wealth of what he left. They was not in the Will, not named at all, We were childless and they thought for sure he remembered them. He didn't.

what he got from his mother's estate he still had left and the bank made me give them that even though I was his POA, beneficiary, executor. When I tried to move the money into my checking account bank wouldn't let me and so 2 thirds went to them even though he done gave them their share of the mother's estate yrs ago. They grabbed what little was left and took it.   

 

Good Luck and hope your journey is better then what I've been thru.

Sorry for your loss.


You're a wonder, @sharkky .  Though our circumstances are different, I wish I were as resilient and adaptable as you!