Many people who live alone and cook for themselves find that it is not always easy to get the most out of their money when cooking for one. Much of the food that is sold these days is geared towards families and family size portions. But if you live alone and only cook for one, you do not need to cook a meal that feeds four. You want to be able to cook good meals at home and save money and not waste food. Well, here are some very sensible tips for cooking for one to help you save money and food. Use your freezer.
Even if you find that you have this wonderful recipe for something that is meant to feed 4 or 5 people, go ahead and make the recipe as is. Make sure that it is something that will freeze well though. Using your freezer and freezing can save you both time and money. Make a big batch of lasagna and freeze the leftovers and when you are tired from a long day, all you have to do is come home and heat up a piece of your frozen lasagna and you have dinner that night. Look for bulk bins at the grocery store. Now, you may think this sounds funny since you are only cooking for one, but it makes a lot of sense.
When shopping for nuts, beans, fruits, vegetables, and grains most packages carried by grocery stores are too much for one meal for one person. If you buy this stuff in the bulk bins, you are able to control how much of the food that you are buying at once. This can save you money, since you are only buying what you need at that time and also help food not to be wasted and thrown away. Another great place to look is at the grocery store’s salad bar counter area. Most will have cheese, lettuce, vegetables and fruits that you can use in your recipes and not necessarily just for making salads.
Plan your meals wisely with leftovers. If you know that you are going to make baked chicken on Monday, then plan accordingly for the week and make a dish later in the week with the leftover chicken. Maybe something like chicken enchiladas. This can save you tons of money, while mixing it up and not having the same old leftovers later in the week. This also makes it easier to make a shopping list and not buy food that you will not eat and not have to run out to the grocery store four times a week for dinner. Cook with a friend.
If all else fails, find another friend oks for themselves and trade nights and make each other dinner. You can easily save money this way since most of the food you cook is too much for one person anyways. By trading nights during the week of who cooks that night, you can save your time and money since you are not always wasting food eating alone. The most important difference between soymilk and cow’s milk is variety! There are many soymilk manufacturers and their products taste quite different from one another. Try a few brands before choosing your favorite.
I find that the tastiest soymilk includes whole soybeans, rather than soy protein isolate. Soymilk is substituted for cow’s milk in a one-to-one ratio. Speaking of variety, soymilk comes in several flavors, including chocolate, vanilla, coffee, strawberry, and chai. When you’re making your first foray into cooking with soymilk, it’s best to use “plain” or “original” flavors. Later, you may find it fun to incorporate different soymilk flavors into your recipes (such as chocolate soymilk in pancakes). Around the holidays, you can find special flavors like eggnog, pumpkin spice, and chocolate mint.
Although many people love “light” soymilk in their cereal, it’s usually not a good idea to substitute low fat for regular soymilk in recipes. It can dramatically affect the flavor of the finished dish. When you’re deciding which recipes to start with, think carefully about what cow’s milk brings to the table. In some dishes, such as a dulce de leche sauce, the milk provides the main flavor of the sauce. You might try it when you’re more adept at cooking with soymilk, or experiment with soy creamer (described below). Soymilk sually works best in dishes that have very flavorful ingredients such as onions, coffee, fruit, and chocolate. In most recipes, the main quality cow’s milk provides is creaminess, and a soup such as corn chowder tastes wonderful when that creaminess is supplied by soy milk. I started making all my soups this way a few years ago and no one noticed they were dairy-free! Soymilk often has a little less sugar and salt than cow’s milk, so do taste and adjust your dish accordingly.
Most soymilk has about as much fat as 2 percent milk, so if your recipe calls for whole milk. ou should add a little extra fat. Just like milk, soymilk can scorch or form a skin if it’s heated and left alone. Keep stirring your soymilk, and use moderate heat. In desserts, you may want to use a rich, sweet soymilk, often labeled “soy creamer. ” Several soymilk manufacturers (such as Wildwood, Silk, and the Trader Joe’s brand) make soy creamer. It is excellent in ice cream, chocolate mousse, custards, and truffles. Just substitute it for cream or whole milk in a one-to-one ratio. My wife was out shopping the other day and picked up some of the things we needed around the house.
One of the things she ended up looking for when she was out was a can of non-stick cooking spray, which we’ve been out of for some time now. She had planned on buying the Wal-mart Great Value store brand when she was out there because it was affordable and we know it works. However, she forgot all about the cooking spray when she was shopping and had to wait until she stopped at one of the local grocery stores instead. That’s why she ended up buying a can of Valu-Time Non-Stick Cooking Spray. This proved to be a mistake. The reason my wife chose this brand over the brands we normally would consider was the price.
We had a limited budget and she had to pick items that were more affordable. And, while not cheaper than the Great Value brand she had planned on picking up, it was definitely the cheapest one she had available to her at that store. Thave found that a lower price doesn’t always mean lower quality. In fact, I have purchased some lower priced items that were better than the more expensive ones. However, in the case of this particular product, there is a major drop off in terms of quality. My wife and I used this the other morning when we decided to make pancakes for breakfast.
One of the first things we noticed when spraying this on the griddle is it produced a lot more smoke than we would expect to see from something like this. This, of course, raised some immediate red flags because, after all, this is supposed to be something that helps keep you from burning items. As we made the pancakes, we learned the non-stick promise on the can wasn’t even close. It did nothing to keep the pancakes from sticking and, as a result, we ended up burning (though not to the point they weren’t edible) about a quarter of the pancakes that we made.
We also experienced similar issues with some other items that we’ve made, including some cookies we baked. I normally will recommend a product that is cheaper than the other items at the store. However, I only do that when the product works. This product does not and is not worth your money. If you are shopping for cooking spray and have the option to buy this brand or a more expensive brand, buy the more expensive one. DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION:The Contributor has no connection to nor was paid by the brand or product described in this content.
Many methods exist for Once a Month Cooking, batch cooking, or feeding your freezer, all of which will make your life easier when it comes time to figure out what on earth you’re going to eat for dinner. One of my favorite ways to fill my freezer with quick, delicious, nutritious meals is to pick a protein (or, more likely, have it chosen for me when I find a good sale), stock up on it and the other ingredients it will take to turn that protein into finished meals, and then cook and package those meals for the future. Batch cooking with chicken For instance, this weekend I roasted several chickens.
I ate one chicken leg, packaged and froze the rest of the chicken legs to serve with rice or potatoes at a later date, and I cut all the rest of the meat off of the carcass. At this point I can do one of two things with all that meat. One, I can chop it and package it in standard recipe quantities (two cups seems to work in most recipes) and freeze it as is. This alone is a time saver. Another thing I can do is cook this meat into several of many recipes (tetrazzini, cacciatore, chicken a la king, chicken potpie filling, etc. that call for cooked chicken, and package those in appropriate serving quantities for my freezer.
Another way to cook chicken for these sorts of recipes without heating your oven (and your entire kitchen, which can be an issue in the summertime) is to cut the raw chicken up into pieces that will fit into your crockpot, perhaps saving the legs or other choice bits for recipes that call for raw chicken, add some raw celery, onions, and perhaps carrots (which are purely for flavoring the chicken, and not for eating themselves) and a little water and/or chicken stock, and cooking the meat on low for 6 hours or so.
Make your own chicken stock the easy way That’s not the only use for your crockpot when it comes to dealing with those chickens, either. Don’t throw that stripped carcass away, but use it to make stock for many of the recipes that call for cooked chicken also call for. Put all the chicken bones in the crockpot, add that celery and onions, a couple of cups of water and a splash of vinegar (which enriches the stock by helping to extract the goodness from the bones), and cook it all on low all day (8-10 hours) until the bones are crumbly.
Strain it, chill it (it will be almost like jelly), if you like skim the fat off of it, and freeze it until you need it. This is much better and more economical than buying stock, and you can add seasoning and salt as you like instead of having to deal with the MSG and other additives in commercial stock. And it’s easy. You can find individual recipes for this sort of batch cooking in many places on the Internet, including a couple of Yahoogroups mailing lists devoted to the art of cooking for your freezer. Give it a try. Those busy nights ahead will make you glad you did.