Cooking for Less Than a Few

Published by Table for One

A Little Background

At first, my author nickname seems pretty depressing. But you’ll learn that I am certainly not a lonely, sad girl that goes to restaurants asking for a table for one with her head down towards the floor in shame.

I am quite the opposite! Yes, I am technically single (and by single, I mean unmarried). I do however have a wonderful best friend who keeps me on my feet and laughing so hard that my eyes will disappear from my face whom I have the privilege of calling my boyfriend! We have been together for almost 2 years (yikes!).

I also have a best girlfriend who understands my struggles of running a one-man kitchen at home very well. She shares almost the same amount of hours in her work week because get this — she is my assistant manager! It’s been over a year now, and as loyal as she is, she spends almost 20 hours of her week right by my side at work — and that’s not including the time we spend out of work!

Do you still get the impression that I am lonely? No? Great! Let’s move on.

The Problem

When I get the opportunity to cook, I want to do it right. I mean, I’ve got to prepare for the future somehow! I’ll never be the Super Mom or Wife that makes mealtime happen if I don’t at least practice! That’s why I dislike cooking for only myself. I like to have other people around to share mealtime with.

Michelle cooking

I find cooking more enjoyable this way. It provides better motivation to do the dishes, too. Sharing a meal with others, even if it is just two of you, provides a family setting that will make it easier to incorporate with my family later on. It is also a great way to build relationships with the people you love. Lots of things can happen at the dinner table — some maybe even better left unsaid!

a few people sharing a meal together mealtime with a quirky boyfriend

One thing I find daunting about cooking at home is the fact that I need to have fresh ingredients in order to provide a meal. Since I am cooking for less than few, shopping can be a difficult process to dissect. Based on the way foods are usually packaged, it’s either too much of this, or too little of that, and never a fair amount of money spent. Thankfully, while walking into a local grocery store, I found the answer to all of my problems — Bulk. Foods.

Bulk Foods

Ding! Lightbulb! As I entered the bulk section of the store, I was ecstatic! I saw what seemed like endless options that I could buy in a quantity that suites my needs. My eyes lit as I pushed my cart alongside the bins of snacks, candies, baking ingredients, beans, pastas, pet food and MUCH more. They even had peanut butter FRESHLY GROUND for you to dispense into a plastic cup. As I explored the numerous options, I was able to grab exactly what I needed in the exact amounts I needed them! Pasta? I won’t cook a whole bunch, I’ll get a pound. Caramel corn? Hmm, better get more than a pound. Cereal? A few servings will do. Wait — is this PEANUT BUTTER? Better return this $4 jar of processed peanut butter and get the fresh stuff for half the cost! (I will use this opportunity to note that only one pound of chocolate covered gummy bears is in fact, nowhere near enough to last you for the week.)

bulk foods in a cupboard

I was able to return almost half of my cart of processed foods that were packaged in amounts that did not suit my cooking routines, and trade them in for fresh ingredients that I knew I wouldn’t waste.

When I went home and labeled my food to FIFO it all, I was able to look at my fridge and pantry with a sense of accomplishment. I had found another solution to ease the struggle of running a one-man kitchen!

Am I missing something? Please, feel free to list your suggestions in the comments below! I’d love to try some as I find my jive in the kitchen!