Cooking for One Tips

Whether you are new to cooking, have always cooked large portions for others, or feel overwhelmed for how to cook for yourself, never lose hope. Cooking for one should be viewed as a new learning experience. You will learn what you like to make, which recipes become staples in your kitchen, and how to plan your weekly meals with your budget.

You will also grow as an individual, because you will be focusing more on yourself. View food as a friend – a friend who wants to treat you well and supply you with beneficial nutrients to fuel your body. It is meant to help your body grow in all positive aspects.

Cooking takes effort and time, but with these tips you may find yourself conquering the kitchen in no time!

  1. Buy fresh, not fast. Produce that you buy locally or in-season, can be valuable for your health and your wallet. If you purchase produce in its peak season, it will enhance the taste of your meals, while also allowing you to save money. In order to learn how to cook more in the kitchen, it is important to experiment with new food groups and focus on using fresh ingredients. Although storing frozen dinners in your freezer is fast, and pulling through a drive-thru is convenient, they are not the end-all solution. Buy fresh produce to make quality meals for yourself…you and your body deserve it! For a full listing of when to buy produce, look here.
  2. Don’t overspend on food. This might seem counter-intuitive of point number 1 (buy fresh, not fast). However, it is only in your best interest to budget your money when purchasing food. For example, if you buy strawberries throughout the winter, and cabbage during the summer, you will be spending money in the wrong places. Sure, every now and then you should buy those products out-of-season if your heart desires, but buying produce in-season is fresh and more budget-friendly. As for non-produce items, purchasing items solely based on brand can drastically derail your budget. It is not necessary to buy the “best” brand in each food category. Find sales, use coupons, and compare prices between brands in order to make the most of your money.
  3. Shop bulk bins at the store. Not sure how much to buy of your favorite snacks and grains? Utilize the bulk bins to select the perfect amount for your liking. If you have certain grains, nuts, seeds, or dried fruits that you prefer over others, this is a great way to make those specific choices at a more reasonable price.
  4. Weekly meal prep. If you prepare, you will succeed. Life gets busy, and we all have priorities that cause our schedules to change at times. Therefore, planning for your week of meals will help to eliminate added stress. If you spend part of your day making meals for a week, you will be able to have fulfilling and satisfying options ready-to-eat. Make a large pot of soup, cut up fruits and veggies, pack snacks in containers, or pack new meals for different days. In any event, you will be prepared for life’s obstacles, while still eating yummy foods!
  5. Try new recipes. Buy a cookbook, browse the internet for meals, or invite a friend over for a night of cooking. Whatever it is that you choose, experiment and try new things. If you are typically known to be a picky eater, use the foods you do like in a new way. If you try new foods, you may even surprise yourself with something you didn’t expect to like. Gaining perspective from what other’s like, may inspire you to try the same. This is a learning experience and cooking for one can become something you enjoy rather than stray from. If you find a recipe, or make up a meal of your own, share it with people and take pride in your work!

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