I am single during the week. (remember it stays in Las Vegas lol) A one qt pan is useful for a can of soup or a small amount of sauce, but even pasta for one requires a pot of several qts to boil the water. I would recommend a standard set of good pots and pans for anyone to sart cooking with. Good cookware is a lifetime investment. You won't waste your money.
If you're on a real budget, check out the clearance aisles and sales. Check onlline at cooking.com or chefscatalogue amazon.com and smartbargains. amazon has had some incredible prices on calphalon discontinued items.
I of course have more pots than I could use for any one meal, and that's the fun of it...choice!
to finish answering your question. a meal should be eaten sitting down. a single person should respect themselves enough to take the time to eat healthily and reasonably. and yes I enjoy the clean up too. I take care of my belongings. (If I lived in a junk yard I'd clean it up and make it hospitable!)