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People who live on their own have it a little bit harder than those who live with another person or two. In terms of food, there are even more challenges–for one, it’s not as much fun to both cook and eat all by yourself. There’s also the fact that buying packaged foods isn’t usually optimal since it typically comes in packs of two. The trick to eating healthy though is dedicating yourself to cooking at least once every week, so you can enjoy great meals for the next several days.
But the challenges don’t stop there…as not only do you need to be doing the actual cooking, but you want to be sure that you are staying within your own budget. With these concepts in mind, here is how you can shop, eat, and cook healthy meals without going broke.
The first thing you must do is put together a plan. Prepping meals for one person is not tricky, however, you’ll need to juggle with having enough food that won’t go bad. With this in mind, you want to make sure you plan your meals in advance. A week in advance is ideal. Furthermore, cooking your meals in bulk will help you out significantly, especially if you shop once or twice per week. The last thing is to always have room for cooked meals that you can store in containers.
And while you are still in your planning phase, make sure to build your meals around foods you like and will eat. Make sure that your meals are balanced as in a meal has all of the necessary food groups or micronutrients (protein, carbs, and fats). Some other things to keep in mind on a health standpoint is picking meals where you will feel full and satisfied afterward. Foods that help with that are leafy greens, vegetables high in fiber, or berries. These fill your stomach while also keeping calories down.
Once you’ve picked out your foods, now is the time to go to the grocery store. As a rule of thumb, it’s good to buy dried goods in bulk things like rice, pasta, beans, and spices. That being said, when you are buying produce or protein, buy only what you need. Of course, buying big packs of meat or frozen vegetables and keeping them in the freezer works as well. And if it saves you money long term, there’s nothing to complain about.
Once you have gone to the grocery store and have everything you need you are ready to cook your meals. Of course, you want to cook these in bulk and should be kept in mind when you are planning everything out. With this in mind, you want to pick a day and dedicate 3 to 5 hours to do all of your shopping and cooking. Keep in mind when you are putting all of your work in at once as opposed to little by little, you’re going to be making healthier meals for yourself. You’ll have fewer excuses to put off cooking later in the week when you have days that are particularly draining. And even if you aren’t a master chef, there are some tools out there to make your life easier. Consider investing in a microwave, slow cooker or rice cooker, blender or a food processor. These are all machines that make your life easier and save you a lot of time.
The last tip is to try and supplement your cooking with services that provide fresh and healthy meals that can easily be integrated into your weekly routine. We have tried GoReadyMade and think the quality and freshness of the meals are great, and take off some of the pressure of cooking every day–as well as a ton of leftovers.
Cooking solo is within your grasp if you have a plan and the right tools to get it all done. All that’s left is for you to plan it out, pick a day to shop and cook and execute it!