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Old 07-06-2010, 02:53 PM   #11
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I have found that cooking for two means less pre-packaged stuff, here.
Instead of canned veggies, I get fresh as needed.
Instead of packaged rice side dishes, I use bulk and my own spice mixtures.
(Which means I don't get a week's worth of salt in them, either.)
My Food Saver is a BIG help... Kroger's just had their annual $3.99 a pound Salmon
sale.. I bought 10 pounds, portioned it out and froze it up. Now we can feast for a year
on fresh frozen salmon! (Ditto other meats and fishes.)

Another way to manage is to get in the habit of taking leftovers as your lunch meal, if you
can. Not only will your co-workers be jealous, but you will also save hundreds or thousands of dollars a year.

I've never had a problem shrinking recipes for 2; haven't found one yet that didn't work when cut in half. (Baking excepted; I don't bake.)

And it really helps if you view cooking as fun, instead of a chore.
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Old 07-06-2010, 02:54 PM   #12
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I eat a lot of leftovers. We're actually a family of four, but the kids often eat out or aren't home, and dh doesn't much go for leftovers.
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Old 07-06-2010, 03:19 PM   #13
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Gosh, I know exactly what it means. I have only one daughter at home right now. There rest of kids are in camps. And my wife is screaming at me for over cooking. But I have no clue how to cook any less.
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Old 07-06-2010, 06:11 PM   #14
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I cook for between one and three depending on the time of the year and the individual day. It's really just a matter of making things that can easily be done in single servings. For instance, I'm in bachelor mode today. I made a grilled chicken breast baked with pesto. Chicken breasts are wonderful. Wegman's has boneless breasts in individual portion packs that are pretty inexpensive when bought in bulk.

Some things that may help:
  • If you buy your beef in bulk, have them wrap the steaks individually.
  • Make large quantities of various sauces and freeze individual portions in ziplock bags. That way you can pull out exactly what you need no matter how many people you're cooking for. Same thing applies to soups, stocks, chili, stews...you name it. Be careful of shelf lives though. Soups and stocks are only good for a couple of months.
  • Buy bulk packs of things like pork chops, chicken breast etc, and freeze in individual portions. A vac system is great, but ziplock bags are fine too.
  • Get things that keep well and use them for multiple meals. A small spiral cut ham for instance. It eats up the refrigerator space a bit, but can make many, many meals (ham, ham salad, bean soup, etc) before it starts to deteriorate (two weeks or so). Kielbasa is another one that can be held for quite a while.
  • Sandwiches are your friend! It took a while for my mother to warm up to sandwiches for dinner. She came around eventually. I don't think it ever occurred to her that a sandwich could be something besides a bit of lunch meat or peanut butter inside of a couple of slices of Wonder.
  • Bagged salads! That one took a lot of getting used to for me, but I found I was throwing away more leafy greens than I used before switching to them.
  • You need a decent freezer! Make a big pan of lasagna, ziti or what have you, portion pack and freeze them. Things like this are great for those days when you just aren't into cooking.
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Old 07-07-2010, 08:24 AM   #15
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One thing I found funny was that a few people I know "don't eat leftovers". Huh? One thing I do is when in a restaurant, order with future meals in mind (for example, I like a good cut of very rare prime rib, but no way can I eat it, but I take it home and make beef stroganof for two). Even a little bit of Asian meals can make a great fried rice, one of my husband's favorite meals (that is to say MY fried rice). What I wonder when people say they don't eat leftovers is were they raised so rich that paying for food you throw away is OK? I just find an imaginative way to use something, or find someone who wants/needs it (when I lived in Florida I gave my sisters and parents the excess, and, by the way, they loved having it).
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Old 07-07-2010, 01:04 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrillingFool View Post
I have found that cooking for two means less pre-packaged stuff, here.
Instead of canned veggies, I get fresh as needed.
Instead of packaged rice side dishes, I use bulk and my own spice mixtures.
(Which means I don't get a week's worth of salt in them, either.)
My Food Saver is a BIG help... Kroger's just had their annual $3.99 a pound Salmon
sale.. I bought 10 pounds, portioned it out and froze it up. Now we can feast for a year
on fresh frozen salmon! (Ditto other meats and fishes.)

Another way to manage is to get in the habit of taking leftovers as your lunch meal.
There are many great comments on here and this is one of them that I agreed! I always use fresh and I portion out any meats that I buy. I love leftovers because I am not a big sandwitch eater so leftovers help me not get so bored of sandwitches and over come temptations of eating out instead.

My favorite is to stir fry veggies with garlic and throw them over a bit of pasta. Easy to make a small portion of that meal!

As far as the portion discussion; I think that everyone got a little rubbed the wrong way. It is easy to do on chats.
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Old 07-07-2010, 01:30 PM   #17
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Our house rule: ya eat what you're served, leftovers included.
I try to cook in smaller portion, to avoid wasted leftovers that somehow never make it to the plate... but that said. I like a couple of servings of leftovers handy in the fridge or freezer for those days we decide to take a 200 mile road trip and don't feel like cooking and all our spare $$ was used for gas.
Sometimes our college age 20 something kids are home for dinner, sometimes not. Sometimes they bring a friend for lunch. I like to have a single or double portion of something I can just zap and fill their tummies......
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Old 07-07-2010, 02:22 PM   #18
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For me it depends. Sometimes I plan for left overs, some times I just cook enough for that meal. I depends on what my week is going to look like, what's on sale, what the weather is going to be like, and what I have a hankerin' for that week. (i'm usully cooking for 2 or 3 of us depening.. oh that factors in too).
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Old 07-07-2010, 09:12 PM   #19
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I always liked leftovers when I worked because I would rather take them for lunch than sandwiches. I would actually make sure I made enough for a couple of days worth of leftovers. DH and Dad aren't as fussy about leftovers. So, if it is meat or sauce of some kind I just turn it into something else. Other leftovers I usually eat myself for lunch.

Growing up my mother always found a way to use up leftovers - we either got it the same way the next day (and ate it) or it was turned into something else and we didn't even notice!
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Old 07-07-2010, 09:28 PM   #20
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Leftovers

As a child, I hated leftovers, but then leftovers generally meant the same thing over and over again for days....weeks. I rarely mind leftovers the following day for dinner or lunch, but still do not like the same thing by the time I hit that third day. I do love leftovers that metamorphosis into other meals. For example: Day 1 and 2: Roast turkey -> Day 3 or 4: turkey casserole and/or turkey salad -> Day 4 or 5: turkey stew. I'd love more ideas to do this...and it would help me cook for two (or one on occasion.)

~Kathleen
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