How to Cook for One


By Dane Feldman

Photo courtesy of Nicole Abalde.

Selfie Week may be coming to a close here on BTR, but before it’s through I wanted to address something many of us in our 20s have come to know all too well: cooking dinner alone. Cooking for one person can sometimes be tricky and it has been my personal experience that the issues stem from how we do our grocery shopping when we are on our own.

While it may not seem so at first glance, buying somewhat in bulk for one can actually be quite practical, but only if you plan it out. So, with that in mind, what you’ll want to do is pick out one or two recipes. Do this at home before you head to the market and make your grocery list based on the items needed for your dinners. Of course, add anything else you may want for the week, but leave out the microwaveable dinners and frozen pizzas. If you have a plan, you don’t need that junk.

It’s important to also avoid ordering in on nights you are too busy to cook. If most of the weeknights on your schedule look jam-packed with work, the gym, or other commitments, you will need to set aside a few hours either on Saturday or Sunday to cook your dinners for the week.

For example, cook this Shrimp Mushroom Stew on Sunday and, if you aren’t planning to eat it on Sunday, take out containers for Monday and two other days. Fill Monday’s and place it in the refrigerator. Fill the two others and you can either place them in the refrigerator for this week or freeze it for the following week.

After doing this a few times in a row, you should have a freezer filled with homemade dinners. Each morning before you leave for work, take a container out of the freezer and put it in the refrigerator to defrost; all you’ll have to do when you arrive home is reheat your dinner. This way, you’re consistently eating meals you’ve cooked for yourself (which means you know exactly what ingredients went into them) and your hard-earned money isn’t going to waste by dumping unused groceries or ordering too much take-out.

Cooking for one doesn’t have to be a daunting task. You don’t have to cook every night and the dishes you make don’t need to be culinary masterpieces. It’s likely that you will find yourself saving more money and calories without having to try too hard.