5 Tips on How to Shop and Cook for One

By Lauren Livesay


"Oh...Just for One Today?"

The scariest thing a single person faces is their Aunt Edna asking each holiday when they are getting married. 

The second scariest thing is likely grocery shopping and cooking for one.  Many are hesitant to try due to the copious amounts of leftovers and go straight to Chipotle or the frozen dinner aisle. 

It can be overwhelming at first, but you can become your own personal chef with just a few basic tips.

1. Always have a plan. 


It is important to decide your meals before heading into the store.  Go old school with a written list, use your smart phone, or even find an app to help you.  Otherwise, you may get home with a bunch of random items that don’t make any possible meal (unless banana steak is your thing).

2. Purchase smartly. 

I love a “Buy One Get One Free” deal.  However, I know I will never drink two gallons of milk and definitely shouldn’t eat 6 boxes of fresh-made cookies before the expiration date.  Any non-perishable or freezable items with this discount, though…game on.

3. Prep your fruits and vegetables. 

Eating healthy is not always cheap, so avoid throwing away uneaten produce by first washing, chopping, and storing it in containers shortly after purchase.  It prevents the excuse of not having a readily available healthy snack.

4. Do some basic math. 

You bought your ingredients and you are ready to try a new recipe, but there’s one problem: it serves six to eight.  You can call every friend you know, or... you can convert it to an appropriate portion for yourself beforehand.  If you can eat the same meal five days in a row though, then just roll with it. 

An important note to remember, however, is that adjusting the portion size may also lessen the cooking time.

5.  Enjoy. 

This step seems self-explanatory, but it is easy to overlook.  Cooking is similar to creating a piece of art or fixing a home repair by yourself.  Be proud of your work and learn from it.  So, maybe your chicken piccata doesn’t turn out perfect the first time.  Now, you know what to tweak for the next go around. 

When you are feeling confident with a recipe, go ahead and invite your friends.  You could send them home with the leftovers or you might want to keep them for yourself!

Being single has its pros and cons.  Don’t let cooking fall into the latter category.  Put down the pizza delivery menu and start making a list today.

Lauren Livesay | @naivelyconfident

Event planner, cooking enthusiast, and lover of cheap wine