cooking for one http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/16205/all en-US 5 Awesome Cooking Tricks for Single People http://www.wisebread.com/5-awesome-cooking-tricks-for-single-people <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-awesome-cooking-tricks-for-single-people" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/cooking-467654349-small.jpg" alt="cooking" title="cooking" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You're eating another bowl of cereal or a single serve microwave meal&nbsp;<span style="font-size: 13px;">&mdash; a</span><span style="font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.7em;">gain. You don't have a lot of time, and because it's just you for dinner, why go crazy, right? Wrong! You are the very best thing you've got in your life, and you need to take care of you. (See also: </span><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bulk-buying-basics-what-to-buy-how-to-store-and-money-saving-tips?ref=seealso" style="font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.7em;">Bulk Buying Basics</a><span style="font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.7em;">)</span></p> <p>As a single person, I have to manage my life on my own &mdash; including my food prep &mdash; so I keep a well-stocked pantry and constantly search for ways to make meals ahead of time, so I'm not tempted by take-out or eating poorly when my calendar is crunched. Here are five tips, and recipes to illustrate them, that work for me. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheaper-and-healthier-than-store-bought-10-great-freeze-ahead-burrito-recipes?ref=seealso">10 Great Freeze-Ahead Burrito Recipes</a>)</p> <h2>1. Make Mini-Meals in Muffin Pans</h2> <p>Muffin tins are a single person's savior because they control portions and instantly turn recipes for a crowd into single servings.</p> <p>I make all kinds of meals in muffin tins including quiche, meatloaf, breakfast and energy bars, breads and baked goods of all kinds, and pot pies (savory and sweet). Two of these goodies on a plate, and I've got a meal in minutes. Refrigerate or freeze any portions you don't use right out of the oven. If you have a 12-muffin tin and you don't have enough of the recipe to fill 12 spots, just put water into the empty ones to prevent the pan from burning.</p> <p>Here's one of my favorite recipes that illustrates the concept: <a href="http://www.gimmesomeoven.com/dairy-free-vegetable-quiche-with-eggs/">easy vegetable quiche</a>. I skip the crust altogether since baking in the the muffin tin browns the egg mixture on the bottom and all the way around. This saves time and calories without sacrificing flavor.</p> <h2>2. Portion It, Bag It, Freeze It</h2> <p>My crockpot is one of my favorite kitchen tools. I throw in all the ingredients, turn it on low, leave the house, and come home to a delicious, healthy, fully-prepared meal. The crockpot does 95% of the work, and I get all of the culinary benefits. However, most crockpot recipes make many more portions than I typically need so I take the&nbsp;&quot;portion, bag, and freeze&quot; approach.</p> <p>Chili is one of the most satisfying, comforting meals you can make in a crockpot, and it freezes very well. I love this recipe for <a href="http://layersofhappiness.com/easy-slow-cooker-vegetarian-chili/">easy crockpot vegetarian chili</a>. Once you savor your first sumptuous serving, put the rest into individual freezer bags, seal, flatten, and freeze. The chili tastes even better reheated in a handful of minutes in the microwave. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-great-cheap-and-easy-crock-pot-recipes?ref=seealso">25 Great and Easy Crock Pot Recipes</a>)</p> <h2>3. Make &quot;Natural&quot; Single Servings</h2> <p>Certain meals such as smoothies, baked potatoes, and sandwiches are naturally single-serve. To make them special, I always go over the top on the decadence for these seemingly everyday options.</p> <p>I'll use chocolate almond milk and a scoop of nut butter to make my smoothies extra velvety.</p> <p>With baked potatoes, I fill many different varieties with all kinds of toppings both savory and sweet.</p> <p>For my sandwiches, I'll make them ahead of time with hearty bread and gourmet cheeses, tightly wrap them or seal in a plastic container, stick them in the fridge, and then grill them into gooey panini when I get home.</p> <p>Speaking of gooey goodness, this collection of <a href="http://confettiandbuttercream.wordpress.com/2013/04/13/gourmet-grilled-cheese-pinspiration/">6 gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches</a> will knock your socks off.</p> <h2>4. Let Kale Soften With Time</h2> <p>Some things get better with age: wine, cheese, and kale.</p> <p>Kale?</p> <p>Kale is a powerhouse of a vegetable, although straight from the ground it's a bit tough on the palate. To soften it up, dress it with lemon, high-quality olive oil, and a bit of salt and pepper. Cover it and put it in the fridge, and this humble dressing will go to work to soften up those leaves to serve as a base for a delectable chopped kale salad whenever you're ready for lunch or dinner. I love this <a href="http://drinkandeats.com/2013/12/02/4-cups-chopped-kale-1-avocado-diced-12-cup-cooked-quinoa-12-cup-pomegranate-seeds-12-cup-chopped-pecans-14-cup-crumbled-goat-cheese-for-the-meyer-lemon-vinaigrette-14-cup-olive-oil-14-cup-app/">kale salad and quinoa recipe</a>, although you could throw in pretty much any salad ingredient your have on hand.</p> <h2>5. Stir-Fry Ahead, Rice Later</h2> <p>Stir-frys are perfect make-ahead recipes and can easily be portioned into single servings for future eating. You can either make up the main stir fry and then quickly make a serving of rice when it's mealtime or prepare the stir fry with noodles as the base to portion into freezer bags for either the fridge or freezer.</p> <p>I'm a sucker for <a href="http://cookingiscrazy.blogspot.it/2014/03/orange-chicken-stir-fry.html">orange chicken, and I love this recipe</a>.</p> <p>Single people don't need to sacrifice the quality of their meals due to their single status or lack of time. These tips and recipes will let you get creative in the kitchen with a minimal amount of effort.</p> <p><em>Got a make-ahead recipe for singles that you'd like to recommend ? Please share it in comments.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christa-avampato">Christa Avampato</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-awesome-cooking-tricks-for-single-people">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cooking-for-beginners-10-recipes-for-kitchen-newbies">Cooking for Beginners: 10 Recipes for Kitchen Newbies</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-12-best-frozen-food-values">The 12 Best Frozen Food Values</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-perfectly-respectable-uses-for-instant-mashed-potatoes">5 Perfectly Respectable Uses for Instant Mashed Potatoes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-healthy-changes-you-can-make-today">25 Healthy Changes You Can Make Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-easy-ways-to-save-on-groceries-in-a-pinch">5 Easy Ways to Save on Groceries in a Pinch</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Lifestyle cook ahead meals Cooking cooking for one singles Thu, 29 May 2014 08:24:28 +0000 Christa Avampato 1140877 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Live Alone Without Going Broke http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-live-alone-without-going-broke <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-live-alone-without-going-broke" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/home-5278354-small.jpg" alt="home" title="home" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="174" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>After sharing a four-bedroom apartment with four people, a one-bedroom apartment with another person three separate times (I slept in the living room), and then a two-bedroom apartment with four people (which means sharing a bed), I have been living alone for over a year in a small studio apartment &mdash; and I love it. No, really. You have no idea how good it is to come and go as you please with no one around. But after this month, I'm moving in with a good friend, so I thought it was the perfect time to recount the many ways to be frugal while living alone. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-before-moving-in-with-someone">What to Do Before Moving in With Someone</a>)</p> <p>I should let you know &mdash; I live like a 13-year-old boy. If you walked into my apartment, you'd see a string of clothes pretty much everywhere, leading up to my bed, which will indubitably never be made, with me sitting in it, hunched over my computer watching Netflix and eating Totino's pizza rolls. In other words, I'm not the healthiest or cleanest person who lives alone, but I definitely am one of the cheapest.</p> <h2>1. Know Your Neighbors</h2> <p>This is extremely important, and will save you (hopefully) on an alarm system. Living alone can be scary, but knowing who you live around is of utmost importance. Make sure they know what you're doing and when (especially if you're going away for a long period of time). No need for them to become an everyday part of your life, but a little familiarity can go a long way.</p> <h2>2. Share the Internet</h2> <p>Yes, I understand that you live alone, but if you're in a one-bedroom or studio apartment, you most likely have close neighbors. I live in a home above my landlord and next to another studio apartment, and the three of us share the internet. The signal isn't the strongest, but it works well enough to save 66% in Internet bills and/or coffee from the local coffee shop.</p> <h2>3. Get a Library Card</h2> <p>I can understand boredom, but if you live alone, I can't justify having cable (unless your main source of income is writing about television shows, in which case, I would like to steal your job please). Library cards are free, and the libraries nowadays usually have a large supply of DVDs waiting to be rented. If you can't live without TV service, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-online-services-are-worth-paying-for">use Hulu or get a Netflix account</a>.</p> <h2>4. Make Leftovers Your Favorite Meal</h2> <p>Everyone should plan out their dinners whether they live alone or not. That's a given. But I always talk to people who live alone who say, &quot;I don't cook because there's no one to eat with me!&quot; Well, you have you to eat with, and then you have you to eat with for lunch the next day, and if there are enough leftovers, lunch the day after that. In other words, leftovers are the best thing you can hope for when you live alone and want to save money.</p> <h2>5. Utilize Your Freezer</h2> <p>I have to admit, there's nothing worse than sharing a fridge and freezer with a roommate, especially if you have the same eating habits or your roommate is in a relationship with someone who doesn't understand labeling systems. But mostly, freezers are only so big and can only fit so much, so having it all to yourself is something to take advantage of. Also, you can freeze large amounts of soup, fresh fruit, meat, and more if you don't end up using it all.</p> <h2>6. Remember: Preservatives Aren't the Answer</h2> <p>And speaking of a freezer, don't buy all the crap that I buy just because it's cheap. There's a fine line between being frugal and not taking care of your body. And I have a terrible tendency to buy food that is terrible for me. Just because you live alone doesn't mean that you have to buy food that will never expire. Just plan ahead, and make sure you cook the perishables first, or freeze them. It will be just as cheap, and you'll feel better for it.</p> <h2>7. Buy in Bulk</h2> <p>When you run out of toilet paper when you live alone, you really run out of toilet paper. There's no one to hand you another roll or run to the store. You're screwed. So buying in bulk can be a cheaper and viable option.</p> <h2>8. Start an Herb Garden</h2> <p>Fresh herbs are expensive at the store, but they're super cheap to grow. My attempts at this failed miserably, because yet again I'm a 13-year-old boy who can't cook and only likes eating frozen pizza. So basically, I had a TON of basil. Like a bazillion bunches of basil, and I had no idea what to do with it. Shortly thereafter, it all died. So if you're going to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/garden-ideas-for-small-spaces">have an herb garden</a>, USE IT!</p> <h2>9. Get an Extra Job or Volunteer</h2> <p>I have two jobs, currently &mdash; a full-time job and a part-time one. The full-time is at a non-profit, and the part-time is at a local music venue. This is in addition to my occasional writing. I'm not suggesting an extra job is always the answer, but if you're bored and want someone to talk to, it beats going out and spending money on drinking or dining out or the other typical ways that people who are always alone spend loads of money. Volunteering is also a good way to go, as well. Sometimes you get free meals out of it! And I mean that in a totally altruistic way.</p> <h2>10. Make Sure You Have Enough Space to Work Out</h2> <p>You live alone, so your roommate won't get mad when you flip on the TV to a yoga video or all of a sudden do 50 crunches while watching &quot;New Girl.&quot; (I have a tendency to do this because Schmidt is ALWAYS working out. I also sometimes drink whiskey during &quot;Mad Men.&quot;) It's your space, so you can do whatever you want. Just make sure you have enough room to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-exercise-in-under-5-minutes">work out any time</a>. Saves on the gym!</p> <h2>11. Have a Full-Sized Kitchen</h2> <p>You may be tempted by the price of a studio apartment with a kitchenette, but it really just means you'll eat out more. Having a full kitchen with more than a college-sized refrigerator and two stove burners can go a long way with both saving money and eating healthy. Go big, or don't move in.</p> <p><em>If you live alone, how do you do it on the cheap?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jennifer-holder">Jennifer Holder</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-live-alone-without-going-broke">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/51-uses-for-coca-cola-the-ultimate-list">51 Uses for Coca-Cola – the Ultimate List</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-cheap-ways-to-make-your-car-look-awesome">12 Cheap Ways to Make Your Car Look Awesome</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/pesky-pests-easy-homemade-mosquito-and-insect-traps-and-repellent">Pesky Pests: Easy Homemade Mosquito and Insect Traps and Repellent</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-disposable-products-you-can-reuse">21 Disposable Products You Can Reuse</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-savings-mistakes-even-smart-people-make">8 Savings Mistakes Even Smart People Make</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living cooking for one living alone small spaces Wed, 31 Jul 2013 09:48:44 +0000 Jennifer Holder 980773 at http://www.wisebread.com