3 Ways to Avoid Food Waste When Cooking Solo

Anyone else, not a fan of cooking for one? While there are benefits to cooking for yourself like getting to choose the recipes, no one can judge your combinations and if the food doesn’t turn out it isn’t a big deal. But with the benefits come the negatives like having no one to bounce ideas off of, it’s lonely and of course, you end up wasting a lot of extra food.

As someone who has been cooking for just herself for a while, the last one definitely gets me. Let’s face it, eating healthy isn’t the cheapest way to go. Not to mention, I don’t want the same thing every single day and things come in bulk (hello six heads of romaine lettuce). Unfortunately, I find myself throwing away so much food.

When you’re only cooking for one it’s hard. Ingredients are sold in single-sized portions. This year one of my goals is to save as much money as possible. One of the places I want to cut down spend from is grocery shopping. With that being said, I am sharing with you five ways to avoid food waste when cooking solo, so you can stop throwing away your money.

Shop for less, more frequently
If you’re only buying what you know you will make later that night or even for the next couple of days, you won’t buy extra things that you might not end up using. This makes meal planning even easier because you are no longer planning out for the week. Produce spoils rather quickly, so I have discovered that stopping at the grocery store every couple of days after work has really made a difference.

Can’t use an ingredient for more than two meals, don't buy it
This can be a hard rule to follow, especially if you think a certain ingredient will really make the meal, but it’s definitely a necessary one. If you can only find one recipe that you like to use that specific ingredient in, and it doesn’t require the whole can or bag, you likely will not use the rest before it goes bad - therefore you should probably find a different recipe to make. Even if you do not have two meals in mind think about if it is a flexible item that can easily be incorporated into other things. For instance, I know I can use a green pepper in scrambled eggs, in a salad or eat it with hummus.

Pro tip: Come up with a repertoire of go-to leftover meals or snacks. For instance, if you have greens like spinach leftover, you could add them to a smoothie, random veggies can be thrown into a salad or sauteed and then added to rice bowls. 

Move items you need to use to the front of the refrigerator
This seems like common sense, however, we all know that things get lost in the back of our refrigerators. I mean, think of how many times you have found something rotten in your fridge, not only is it a waste of money, but it probably made you have to clean your fridge and waste time you could have spent doing something else. If it’s in the back of the refrigerator it will get lost, therefore if you have it right in front of you at eye level, you’re sure to use it.

No comments