Cooking for one and working full time

(9 Posts)
citygirl1961 Thu 12-Jun-14 20:31:44

Hi, I am a lover of ready meals but they are not that healthy or so I've heard and quite expensive if bought regularly. I live on my own and work full time and want quick meals which are cheap and fairly healthy - or are ready meals OK - maybe the lower fat ones? I don't want to get home and spend ages chopping veg etc. I am tired of having to think every night what to have to tea, I can't get organised, can anyone help?

EmNetta Thu 12-Jun-14 23:58:30

Getting organised is key! Batch cooking for 3-4 days means there's always something home-made in the freezer to de-frost in the morning, or get a slow-cooker and use a family-size recipe, freezing 3 portions when it's cooked and eating one same day. This will probably halve the cost of food while cutting down on preparation.

Youdontneedacriminallawyer Fri 13-Jun-14 00:07:27

How about making a nice soup? Other ideas - omelette, baked potato, quiche (easy to make), sausage and mash, cauliflower cheese, veg curry, stuffed tomatoes or peppers. All will involve a certain amount of preparation though.

You're right, ready meals are v v expensive and not v v healthy.

EBearhug Fri 13-Jun-14 00:13:59

A freezer and batch cooking. Big batches of bolognaise, chilli, soups, stews, whatever. Eat some freeze some, individual portions.

sixlive Sat 14-Jun-14 06:22:32

Grilled fish/meat plus veg/salad, lots of variation and simple. If you eat ready meals you will be used to sugary and salty food. I'm not a fan of batch cooking I find it vaguely depressing and boring to have spag Bol, chilli again and again.

EBearhug Sat 14-Jun-14 10:05:23

That's why you need a freezer. I don't mind the same meal two days in a row, but I usually want a change by the third.

TheSpottedZebra Sat 14-Jun-14 10:10:21

Another vote for batch cooking - using a freezer and a microwave.

I've also found fresh pasta and those packets of pre-cooked rice to be v v useful in these situations.

Tbh, it's much easier in the summer when you feel more like eating salads and cold foods.

erin99 Sat 14-Jun-14 18:26:33

Tbh when I was cooking for one I batch cooked curry, bolognese and chilli but not much else. We eat the same thing 2 nights in a row, so only have to think of 3.5 meals a week.

How about planning eg 2 nights a week ready meals, 2 nights batch cooked stuff, 2 nights of the SAME quick cook meal like pasta or stir fry, chicken ramen. Obv change each week but just buy one lot of ingredients each week. Though this time of year stuff like salads are good rather than curry. For ready meals I like the ones with fresh raw veg in, often thai curries and the like. For stir frys and even veg alongside baked chicken etc, consider fresh mixed bags. Esp for stir frys I think this works out pretty cheap and healthy.

shortaris1 Mon 16-Jun-14 10:56:25

I live on my own and often do stir fry's with ready to wok noodles (59p for 2 packs in Aldi), whatever veg are cheap, salmon or chicken and a sauce made from soy sauce, garlic oil, sesame oil and sweet chilli sauce. Dead quick to do, just take your meat or fish out of the freezer the night before. If you really CBA to chop a few veg then they do a stir fry veg bag for about 89p that you could use two nights running.

Aldi also currently have 2 ready marinated salmon fillets for £2.79 which can be microwaved in 4 minutes. I've seen them elsewhere for about £4. If you need to split the packet and freeze separately they can go in the oven for 15 mins instead but you could cook both and take one in cold to work for lunch the next day?

In Winter I make lots of soup, chilli, sausage/venison sausage casserole and use the slow cooker to fill the freezer then a few nights a week you can have something homemade and defrosted.

Frozen veg steamer bags are also a good idea as you can get some veg in you in about 3 minutes flat in the microwave.

Quiche is good as well as again you can have it cooked for tea and then cold for lunch the next day with veg or salad.

It does get repetitive though at times but HTH.

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