Cooking for One or Two: How to Save Time and Money

When it comes to preparing meals, those who live alone or with a partner or roommate — especially Millennials and newly married couples — often face a unique challenge. Many recipes are written for four to six servings, but what if your household is just one or two?

Here are three tips for cooking for fewer people.

Extend the Life of Your Produce

Do you find yourself struggling to consume fresh produce before it goes bad? Your intention to eat fresh fruits and vegetables is great, but consider purchasing canned and frozen fruits and vegetables instead to avoid waste. Other ways to keep produce longer include: freezing bananas and other fruit before they spoil for use in smoothies, sprinkling lemon juice on leftover slices of avocado to prevent browning, keeping certain fruits in the refrigerator to halt the ripening process, or making a big pot of vegetable soup to freeze.

Stretch Your Food Dollars

Millennials may not use coupons as frequently as older generations, but there are other ways to save money at the grocery store. Look for generic brands and stock up on pantry items when they are on sale. If you can participate in a rewards program through your local supermarket, take advantage of members-only discounts. Lastly, choose one or two nights each week to eat using ingredients you have left over in the refrigerator and pantry. For instance, if you have eggs and vegetables, make a breakfast-for-dinner omelet!

Freeze Now, Eat Later

Freezing future meals is an easy way to save time and money. Look for recipes with instructions on how to buy items in bulk, prepare a series of meals and freeze them to be reheated later.

The freedom to prepare food on your own timeline, at your own pace and with your own food preferences can be a lot of fun. Get creative in the kitchen and you'll be prepared for a week of delicious meals for one or two.

Lindsay Arnett, MS, RD, LD
Lindsay Arnett, MS, RD, LD, is a registered dietitian and communications and pediatric nutrition professional in Boston. Connect with her on Twitter.