When it comes to cooking for one, meal planning and budgeting can be a bit difficult when there are so many factors to consider.
Take grocery shopping, for example.
It’s hard to plan, buy and cook fresh, balanced and diverse foods in a cost-effective manner when you’re cooking for a single person, especially when you have limited time to grocery shop and don’t want to waste food that will quickly approach its use-by date.
Dietitian Susie Burrell is here to help, sharing some hot tips that make meal planning for one easier on her Instagram account.
Burrell says a good starting point in your supermarket trolley is ‘two to three proteins’ per week to use over a ‘couple of meals’, and also buy some ‘key staples’ such as frozen vegetables, canned beans and tomatoes, and “a handful of key portioned controlled snacks.”
The dietitian also suggests opting for wraps and good-quality crackers to cover lunches and snacks for the week if you don’t use a lot of bread.
For proteins, Burrell says salmon (“of course”), chicken strips or lean mince and a steak or lean sausages are a good idea — particularly when paired with tinned salmon or tuna for lunches and a carton of eggs, which will “get you through an entire week for $40 or less.”
Burrell says if your goal is to “drop a few” kilograms, one of the best cost-effective options, that are also nutritious, is frozen meals.
As for snacks, cheese and crackers, nut bars and a large high-protein yoghurt are “all you need.”
Pantry staples are key to a versatile diet as they don’t expire as quickly as fresh foods — and they don’t necessarily have to be unhealthy.
Burrell says passata, tinned beans and tomatoes, corn chips and long-life milk are low maintenance and can go a long way.
And let’s not forget some sweet treats! Burrell says frozen berries are ideal, but not to rob yourself of more dessert-like indulgences because “life’s short.”
Lower sugar ice creams and chocolate balls are all you need.
For a daily dose of 9Honey, sign up here to receive our top stories straight to your inbox