I’ve never actually lived alone. I had roommates all through college, moved back in with my parents for a year, then got married and immediately moved in with my hubs. However, my husband doesn’t eat potatoes, marinara sauce, any vegetables other than lettuce, soy sauce, apples, or bananas. I on the other hand have started cutting back on dairy products, processed cereals, and meats. Since there’s not a lot of overlap there, this often ends up with me creating two individual meals every night. So I’ve become somewhat of a pro at creating meals for one person since I do it twice a day.
So if you’re one of my friends out there who is crushing the single scene, this post is definitely for you. When you’re the only one contributing to your food budget, you certainly don’t want to be wasting a whole bag of spinach every week.
Here’s a quick guide for how to plan your meals for the week to help you before your next trip to the grocery store. This will help you waste less food and hopefully by saving food, help you waste less money.
The steps below will give you an idea of how to start thinking about meal prepping for one. If you’re interested in a sample full week’s meal plan or over 50 helpful recipes, then you’ll want to consider downloading the full guide at the bottom of this page.
Cheat Sheet: A Guide for the Solo Cook
STEP ONE: BREAKFAST
Choose 2-3 breakfast meals to alternate between for the week.
STEP TWO: DINNER
Choose a protein. Write down 2 or 3 meals to make with that one protein. Repeat the above for a total of 2 or 3 protein options.
STEP THREE: LUNCH
Choose between leftovers, sandwiches, salads, or soups. Choose 2 or 3 lunches for the week and alternate between them.
STEP FOUR: GATHER YOUR RECIPES
Print out your recipes and use the conversion chart so they’re only making one serving.
STEP FIVE: WRITE OUT A MEAL PLAN FOR THE WEEK.
STEP SIX: MAKE A SHOPPING LIST
Decide which items you’ll buy fresh vs. frozen and prepackaged. Go through each recipe and write down all of the ingredients that you’ll need to buy.
STEP SEVEN: COOK!
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