Cooking for two can be tricky. With many recipes portioned for large families rather than couples, you can end up with a lot of leftovers, awkward portion sizes if you do try to adjust the recipe or, worst of all, wasted food and money. So what should you do if you’re trying to perfect the art of cooking for two in your newlywed home? Try these tips for some ideas!
Find Recipe Resources
Nowadays, there are lots of resources to find recipes for you and your spouse. And, even better, there are many websites and cookbooks that specifically offer recipes perfectly portioned for two, so you don’t need to worry about cutting recipes in half, adjusting ingredient or spice portions, cook time, or anything of the like. When you’re unsure of what to make or if you’re just beginning to learn how to cook, getting your hands on some recipes that are made for your exact portion needs will make things easier from the start.
Make a Meal Plan
The single greatest asset to anybody trying to get control of their kitchen is meal planning. Whether you use a chalkboard on your wall, a spiral notebook on your counter, or a meal-planning website, getting a plan in place will change the game for you. Meal planning can help you get strategic about using ingredients, make your grocery store runs seamless, and make you feel more organized and like a total boss in your kitchen. If you have the ability, consider subscribing to a meal planning service or website; many have recipes available right on their sites, allowing you to save your favorites and even set up a grocery list for each week you plan. Getting a good routine in place for meal planning will make everything else in your process, from purchasing to packaging leftovers, go more smoothly.
Focus on Your Freezer
Freeze perishable items to extend their life. This can include produce, meat, and even bread. Another great option for utilizing your freezer well is to freeze a portion of a large recipe for use on another day. This works especially well for meals like casseroles and soups, and it means you’ll have a meal with almost no work required ready to go in your freezer for the next time you just aren’t feeling up to cooking.
Consider These Portion Tips
Make sure you’re buying the smallest amount of produce possible. It may take some investigating in the store, but you should be able to find small portions so you’re not wasting so much food. When in doubt, check the salad bar at your local supermarket for a shortcut that might just work wonders for you. Also, do not discount frozen produce and fruits; they will last much longer than fresh produce, taste good, and can even cost less than the fresh alternatives. If you’re unsure about using frozen fruits or vegetables, try a bag or two of frozen items for a week and see what you think.
Remember the Bulk Section
When shopping for food like nuts, rice, dried fruit, or baking items, head over to the bulk dry goods section to get the exact amount you need. This is especially useful if you’re planning a recipe that requires an ingredient you may not need again anytime soon. It’s also great for those times when you just won’t go through even the smallest preportioned size in a sufficient time. And, as a bonus, items in the bulk dry goods section are often cheaper than their bagged or boxed equivalents.
Try a Meal Delivery Kit
If you’re feeling a little nervous about your abilities in the kitchen, why not try a meal delivery kit with preportioned ingredients so all you have to do is cook whatever comes to you? This is a great option for newbies who want to get a little more comfortable with the various techniques and terms used in the cooking world, but it’s also an awesome choice for couples who just want to add a little variety to their meal plans. These services often have two-person options and are available in a variety of formats including vegetarian, paleo, gluten-free, organic, and even diabetic-friendly options.
Share a Farmshare
If you know you’d like to connect with a local farm-share group in your area but because you’re cooking for two instead of a crowd it just isn’t practical for your home or budget, consider going in with a friend or another family. Split the cost and items, and you’ll be able to use fresh produce without feeling wasteful or causing an unnecessary expenditure for your two-person home.