Widows Cooking For One

Have you found widows cooking for one to be near impossible, wasting food, time and money?  It helps to plan ahead so you can get more mileage out of your meals.  After all, if you cook two chicken breasts instead of one you not only save on your power, you have enough leftovers to consume without waste.

What I like about leftover meats is that they can be used in wraps or sandwiches.  A package of pita bread can be used for sandwiches or pizzas.  What I’m trying to focus on is purchasing food that is more versatile and so with more chance of being eaten up.

For flexibility and savings some foods are just as good dried, canned or frozen.  A stable in my pantry is canned chicken, tuna and salmon.  I can’t tell you how many lunches I’ve made with canned tuna, some spices and crackers.  Want a great tip for the extra food that you may get by using your store coupons?  Instead of buying individually wrapped packages, fill small baggies/containers with single servings and freeze the rest.

Widow fog is real and we need to watch out for food poisoning as we don’t always remember when we opened up a jar of Mayo or made that casserole still setting in our fridge.  Some food can look and smell okay, but could be harbouring harmful bacteria.  I think it helps to take a few moments to use a marker to date when it was opened or made.  In the end a smart strategy is “when in doubt, throw it away.”  To avoid waste a stir fry, soup or casserole is good for “cleaning out” your fridges leftovers.  Know what foods last longer in the fridge as a “fresh” purchase doesn’t mean a thing if half of it gets thrown out.

My recent favorite is the hot cooked chicken direct from the grocery store.  I get several meals out of it and often boil the bones for a good soup base.  When it comes to soups and casseroles I make enough to freeze leftovers as they will last up to 3 months in the freezer.  This gives me a variety of meals as I’m not a creative cook at the best of times.  I often use my slow cooker as it smells lovely, is great if I am entertaining as I can also socialize, and the bonus is that I have leftovers for the next day.

You don’t have to own a separate freezer as long as you make the most of the freezer in your fridge.  I personally buy bulk fruit and vegetables in large frozen bags from Costo.  I then take out just what I need at that moment.  Most fruits and vegetables will last 8 months in the freezer and so they are the best value for all those meals for one.

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