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How to Buy, Cook, and Store Food for One

kristinabyas profile picture
Kristina ByasGuest Blogger
October 30, 2016 · 3.3k Views


Source: Magnolia Market

When you live alone and have a busy schedule, the last thing you will want to do is come home and prepare a meal for yourself. You could dine out or order in every night, but this will just cost money that you may not want to spend. With this being the case for a lot of busy singles, it would be wise to consider preparing your meals ahead of time and freezing them. This way, you can come home, warm up your food and enjoy home-cooked meals more often.

egg icon  For grains and foods that will last a while, we recommend visiting Costco, Sam's Club, and BJ's Wholesale, and make sure to check out more of our favorite wholesale stores for buying in bulk. For more perishable goods, Safeway, Vons, Trader Joe's, and Whole Foods are great options for a lone chef. 


Tips on How to Buy, Cook, & Store Food for One

1. Carefully plan your meals.

meal planning

Source: Magnolia Market

Before you can start whipping up meals in your kitchen, you will want to sit down and figure out what you will be making. The reason you will want to do this is so when it is time to head to the grocery store, you will purchase every ingredient you need. It is important that you choose meals that are still flavorful when reheated and freeze well, but also dishes you wouldn't mind eating more than once in a week.


2. Double check your cabinets and fridge.

kitchen pantry

Source: Mrs. Meyer's

You will very likely need to take a trip to the grocery store, but there may already be some of the ingredients you need sitting right there in your fridge or cabinets. After you have made your list, go through your cabinets and fridge and see if there is anything you can cross off. A lot of time, this will mean eliminating seasonings, eggs and a few other small items that most people already have in their kitchens.


3. Stick to your grocery list.

grocery list

Source: The New Potato

Once you have planned out your meals and check your cabinets and fridge, you can head to the grocery store to pick up the rest of your ingredients. Since you have a detailed list, it shouldn't take too long to work your way through the aisles. It may be tempting to deviate from your list, especially if something catches your eye and makes you reconsider one of your meals. Regardless of what you may have a hankering for, it is important that you stick to your list when grocery shopping. Don't add extra items to your basket and don't switch up your meals.


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4. Prepare your meal.


Source: Huffington Post

After you have purchased all of your ingredients, you'll want to get to the fun part: cooking. When most people plan to store their meals to consume at a later day, they often have to decide if they want to make a small batch or a large batch. If you only see yourself eating a certain dish once or twice, make a small batch. However, if it is something you really enjoy and can't get enough of, plan for a large batch. If you are making less than what the recipe will produce, you'll want to do a little math and scale things down so you make just enough for one or two meals. Once you've made this decision, you can start boiling, baking frying and whatever else you need to do to get the food cooked and ready to store.


5. Prepare for storage.

meal prep containers

Source: Daily Burn

To properly store your meals, you'll want to invest in Ziploc bags and plastic containers because you will probably be storing your food in your refrigerator or your freezer. After you have decided what you will store your meals in, you'll want to ensure they cool down before you place them in the freezer. This is because warm food can raise the freezer's temperature and could slow down the freezing process.


6. Store in refrigerator or freezer.

freezer meals

Source: The Pioneer Woman

If you happen to have made a few different meals, you'll want to determine which meal you'll be eating the soonest and store it in your refrigerator. If it is anything that you will be consuming the following week, the freezer is the best place for it. Don't forget to mark the dates these meals were prepared. The freezer will allow you to store them, but they will not last forever. You will want to be aware of how old they are, so you can have an idea of how long you will have to eat them.

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kristinabyas profile picture
Kristina Byas is a Milwaukee native who has written for Female Intel, Shepherd Express, Scandalous Women and more. She suffers from a severe case of wanderlust and has difficulty purchasing items at full price. You can learn more about her by following her on Twitter: @KristinaByas