How To Cook for One On A Budget
How to cook for one on a budget is always a challenge. The problem I always have when I’m cooking for just myself is that it’s hard to prepare meals with the right proportions for just me. I either end up eating the same meal three days in a row, or wasting a lot of food. And I always end up paying a ton more money than I feel like I should at the grocery store.
So when I found out about eMeals, I was excited to try it and thought it was a great concept. Basically, you pay for a subscription to eMeals and every week they send you a meal plan and shopping list for the whole week. They also base it off of that weeks grocery store ad (local grocery stores include Publix, Kroger, Aldi, Ralphs, Whole Foods, and Wal-mart), so you end up saving a TON of money.
I signed up for the 1-2 person plan, which means I can have variety in my weekly meals and actually save money. They also give me tips that help save even more money, for example asking the butcher to give you a custom cut of meat that is the right portion for two instead of paying for the pre-packaged amount.
Each meal is numbered so if you wanted to skip a meal or replace it with something else it’s easy to do. Which is great for me because every once in a while I want to try a recipe I found on Pinterest or in Cooking Light. If you want to eat healthy, they have fat free, low carb, and organic meal plans you can sign up for.
I have the 2 person standard Publix plan since Publix is right down the street from me. I’ll usually make some modifications to my weekly plan, which is super easy to do. I don’t like eating packaged foods with tons of preservatives so I’ll usually swap those out for the real thing or a homemade version. But for the most part, it’s such a convenient and simple plan. I don’t have to spend hours on Sunday figuring out what to eat, finding coupons, finding recipes, and then scaling them down to just me like I used to do. Now all I do is open the pdf file they give me and head to the grocery store.
With my plan, it costs about $60 a week for 7 meals. But, my actual spending with the modifications I make and taking into account the meals that I won’t be home for that week, I spend between $15-$40 a week on food. And when I split it with my roommate it cuts that in half.
I would especially recommend eMeals if you don’t know how to cook or aren’t very domestic (ahem, bachelors) and here’s why: the recipes are extremely easy and all the instructions are given to you. If you did this program for a year, I guarantee you would teach yourself how to cook and find your way around the kitchen.
The only bad thing may be if you are a picky eater and don’t like the recipes they give. To that I say, get over it. Try new things! Or figure out a way to modify the recipes to your liking. For example, one of the chicken recipes they gave a couple of weeks ago seemed like it would be a little boring and not very flavorful. All I did was sprinkle some Parmesan cheese and Italian spices on top and it turned out great.
So, have you tried eMeals? What did you think? Leave your eMeals review or your “How To Cook for One” tips in the comment section!
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