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Love cooking but hate eating leftovers for days on end? Here are four smart strategies for single-person cooking.
Cooking for one can feel daunting, and for many it seems like more effort than it’s worth. Among the most common complaints by single home cooks are: It’s not worth the time spent if it’s “just” for me; it’s hard to scale down recipes; and big making batches are efficient but boring to eat.
Rather than throwing in the towel, ordering takeout, or just suffering through beef stew 8 days a week, try these four smart shifts in your cooking.
Eating healthy should still be delicious.
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Buy in bulk, and store in small portions.
You don’t have to miss out on the savings from buying in bulk. But instead of trying to cook (and eat) a family-sized pack of chicken breasts, spend a little time repackaging and storing bulk ingredients. Those chicken breasts, for example, can be individually wrapped in plastic and stored in freezer bags. Then, when it’s time to meal plan your week, you can take one or two out, rather than having to thaw and cook the whole enchilada.
Same goes for nuts and grains: It’s often cheaper to buy large quantities, but the oils in the ingredients are susceptible to spoiling at room temperature. Portion out a week’s worth of almonds and freeze the rest—they’ll last much longer. Plus, you won’t feel compelled to eat them by the handful if they’re taking up precious cupboard real estate.
Cook bland grains, beans, and veggies (really!)
Yes, adding spices, herbs, and other seasonings to your food can add lots of flavor without added calories or fat. And yes, cooking large batches of whole grains, beans, and roasted vegetables is a super smart way to meal-prep for yourself. But consider this: Do you really want to eat a whole pot of chipotle black beans by yourself? Flavor fatigue is real, and after a few nights of the “same old thing,” your palate will be ready for something new. That’s when the urge to trash it and order takeout tends to hit.
Game the system by cooking your big-batch staples with just water or stock and a pinch of salt. This allows you to customize your seasonings anew with every meal. Those black beans can take you to Mexico on Monday (just add chipotle in adobo), France on Tuesday (hello herbes de Provence and goat cheese), and Italy on Wednesday (a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and fresh parsley will go great with a splash of balsamic vinegar.)
Get creative with sauces.
The word “sauce” doesn’t have to mean an elaborate French creation with butter, cream, and zillions of spices. A sauce can be as simple as whisking together tahini and lemon juice with a drizzle of honey, or mixing hot sauce into Greek yogurt.
But one thing’s for sure: Nothing livens up leftovers night like a fresh new condiment. Stock your fridge with items that last for weeks or months (such as mayonnaise, soy sauce, and miso), so you can experiment with different dressings and drizzles—without spending a fortune on specialty ingredients.
Make it, and immediately freeze half.
Cooking a large batch of anything—baked pasta, stew, soup—is an efficient and smart way to feed yourself. But even the most leftover-loving homecook grows weary of lasagna after four nights of it.
Release yourself from the drudgery of “leftovers, again?!” by immediately freezing half of whatever you just whipped up. Better yet, package the “for later” portion in individual containers. That way, you can thaw and reheat a singular dinner without having to relive it for another week. Investing in Pyrex or other glass storage containers will serve you well, because you can place them directly in the oven as you reheat (read: fewer dishes to wash!)
Remember this: For any liquid item (such as stew or soup), you’ll want to leave at least an inch of headroom in the container. Liquid expands as it freezes, so it’s best to give it room to do its thing in the freezer.
I would love to see more tips like this. I think cooking for one or two is harder than cooking for a family because you are often left with more food left over than you can possibly use up. People say, “Oh, just freeze the extra portions (I’m thinking specifically of casseroles and main dishes) but then you have to have an abundance of freezer containers, and freezer space, and you better be darn sure that the food you made and are freezing is something you’ll like enough to eat six or eight times. I love that you included a recipe for one portion!
Tanya I have written other things on the web site on tips for singles but I did a really big section on cooking for singles in our Grocery Shopping E Book. Many people keep asking for me to write more and don’t realize that I did do a bunch on that subject in there.
I will though try to write more on it. I know it is a little hard because I cook for 1 too.
I cook for one so I need all the tips I can get. I hate wasting food. I finally thought to start freezing bread a while back because I was tired of throwing away half a loaf every time. I now use the frozen bread to make homemade bread crumbs.
I tried freezing peppers, but they became too mushy. Thoughts?
You need to par boil some veggies before you can freeze them. I know I sound like a broken record but I do love dehydrating things. If I have some thing like a pepper or bag of carrots which might spoil on me I just slice and toss on dehydrator tray, when they are dry I put in a container and they can sit in there forever almost until I need them for soup stew or in the case of hash browns I have a big plastic bucket of them and don’t have to worry about them going bad on me. I just grab a handful when I want hash browns.
I have a hubby and two boys to feed but sometimes we still have some leftovers. Some things, we will eat left over the next night. Then there are some things the guys refuse to eat as leftovers. I get stuck taking the leftovers for lunch for several days because I don’t want the food to waste. Then I get so tired of eating the same thing.
I’ve also had people tell me to freeze the leftovers in individual portions and I don’t want to keep that many freezer containers on hand for that. Plus, I basically rotate the same meals every two weeks. So, we would still get tired of the leftovers. I’m really starting to try and scale down the sizes of the meals I’m cooking on things I know the guys won’t eat as leftovers. Some casseroles, I’ve found I can pretty much cut the recipe in half. It still turns out great and I don’t have to eat the same thing for lunch for a week! LOL!
One issue I solved is leftover roast. We all like to eat roast the first meal but never as leftovers. I read a tip on this site to shred the beef and have bbq sandwiches the next night. I do that now and that’s a hit.
We almost always have veggies leftover. I bought a nice little freezer bowl with a seal-tight lid and now save every little dab of green beans, corn and carrots for my chicken pot pies or chicken biscuit casseroles. That was another great tip I read on this site.
Now, a question: anything I can do with leftover chicken broth? I was making a chicken tetrazzini the other night and the recipe called for only 1 cup of chicken broth. I think the can of chicken broth contained 2 cups or almost 2 cups. I didn’t know what to do with it and ended up pouring it over my dogs’ dry food. How do I use that or can I save it to use again? Can I freeze it?
Yes Angie you can freeze it. I keep a couple of containers in my freezer all the time. It is so handy to have it to just pull all and thaw when I need it. What to use it for. Well I will dump my cup or 2 of broth in a pan, melt, bring to boiling and throw in a little rice or a handful of spaghetti noodles and make chicken and rice or noodle soup. You can eat it just like that or add extra spices or even a few veggies. You can take the soup too one step farther and make dumplings (2 cups baking mix and 2/3 cup milk) and drop into the soup. Cook 10 mins. uncovered and 10 mins. covered.
Also one tip for everyone. If you find you are having a ton of leftovers cut back on the amount you are making. You usually can cut most recipes in half easily. I know people who keep cooking huge amounts thinking they won’t have to cook for a couple of days but if your family won’t eat left overs you are just wasting food so cut way back.
If you are worried you won’t have enough to fill everyone up if you do that just add a stack of bread and jam or some fresh fruit to the table and let them fill up on that.
I also will cook a my rice in chicken broth in place of the usual water. It is so yummy that way.
That turnover recipe looks easy and good.
Hello Jill and Angie,
I use chicken and any broth the same way. To flavor rice or spaghetti, to add to veggies.
When I have left over, I tend to freeze it in ice cube containers. That way I can retrieve exactly the amount I need for any given recipe or flavor addition.
And, in our home, chicken broth is the first thing we have right after that very first “sneeze and shiver”. Could be my imagination but we seem to avoid a lot of colds and flu this way.
Cath it may not be your imagination. I have seen many studies which say chicken soup or broth does help with colds. They think it might be the onions in it or something.
Listen just a couple of weeks ago I started drinking dill pickle just for feet cramps and I think it is working. Of all the crazy things so it the pickle juice works I will believe almost any thing.
my mom lives alone, she just turned 83, and when i called her the other day i had asked her if she thought it was harder for her to cook for 1 person or when all of us were home .. she said .. sometimes it is but what she does, she basically eats the same type of meals .. she knows she will eat pasta/sauce/some kind of soup/broth most of the month .. so she makes up her batches of the pasta sauce/broth that is used for soup, stew, and just to have broth to drink when thats all she wants .. she has these little containers in her freezer and then she told me she can make any variation she wants by adding this or that to the generic part of the meal ..
ex: pasta sauce over rice and shrimp .. next day, take some of left over rice, add to soup with vegi’s .. next day .. take leftover shrimp and cook with vegi’s and serve with salad ..
this way, its not too boring .. but yet .. it keeps her food bill down ..
thought i would share with u .. :D
I like to “recycle” leftovers to my single mother and friend. When I have leftovers that my family isn’t too excited about seeing again I pack them up in single serving plastic containers and freezer them. When I have a few in the freezer I take them to my Mom, or my friend. It’s new to them, they’re glad to have a quick microwavable meal, and we’re not wasting food. They are also a quick something to grab for lunch on those days when I don’t have time to pack something. So if you have single family, friends or neighbors think about them when you have extras.
My mom does this for my husband and me sometimes. My youngest brother still lives at home and has his college buddies over a lot. But she ends up with leftovers, and she kindly sends them our way. I can testify–it is truly a blessing when she does!
I squeeze pre-prepared portions in freezer containers of just the right size (portin control anyone?) so they freeze as solid full blocks without any wasted space. Then I pop them out of the container and store them in plastic bags, and reuse the containers.
Peppers get mushy when frozen, but the liquid cooks off when heated. Its better to try freezing somehting than throwing it away. I freeze everything but the dog-milk, bread, etc. I’m going to try freezing beaten eggs next because mine alwasys go bad. I grew up on a farm where we built three houses and two quonset huts. I was used to many mouths to feed. So wHen I was young a newly married I made TUB-O-CHILI and my husband said “who is going to eat all this food?” I put it into umpteen freezer containers and we did, but by bit.
I now live alone after many years of cooking for four, and it is an adjustment. Here are a few ideas that have worked for me.
Buy frozen vegetables loose in a bag so you can take out just what you need.
Wrap romaine lettuce in paper towels and put back in plastic bag. It can last weeks this way.
Turn the cottage cheese container upside down once it has been opened. The liquid flows down to the bottom and effectively seals the container and prevents any more air from getting it so it tastes fresh longer. Same is true for other dairy products like yogurt.
I’m probably not going to run my oven for half an hour to cook one turnover! Sorry.
I had a toaster oven I used for small amounts. We moved and I bought a convection microwave. I don’t use the big oven at all! It’s just right for small cooking tasks.
My toaster oven works great for single serving baking. I appreciate the tart recipe. Some things I cook in the toaster oven are a package of muffin mix for six muffins, biscuit mix cut down for two or three biscuits, fish coated with cracker or seasoned flour, single servings of french fries from a reclosable bag of frozen fries, baked chicken breast, one frozen TV dinner–tastes better than microwaved, single serving pizza, leftovers, and just about anything in a single serving that I wouldn’t turn on the big oven for. Works great for me. I’ve been single for 18 years and have lived as frugally as possible. Cooking for one can still be fun.
I think cooking for one requires finding work-arounds. I have SNAP and only my fridge top freezer. Basically, it’s easier and uses less space to store frozen ingredients, than to store frozen meals.
Some of the things in my freezer are: Roasted red peppers at $.99 a lb. Roasted in the oven and divided into single survings, they take little space, and I can make sandwhiches or add them to any dish. I have sauteed onions too, cooked all at once and divided for the freezer. I buy bagged frozen veggies, for the convenience of being able to take out only as much as I need.
Fresh eggplant becomes the basis for eggplant parm, sliced, dredged in egg and breadcrumbs (any combination of flour and oil sets off the smoke alarms in my apartment), and oven baked on cookie sheets. I do 2 eggplant at a time, freeze individual slices, and bag them when fully frozen. Just take out the slices I need, add sauce and cheese, no need to thaw the eggplant!
Ground turkey and beef get bagged and frozen flat, also bought on sale.
I occaisionally buy whole chickens, at $.99 a lb, but I’m not crazy about dark meat, and it has to be cooked and broken down in order to freeze it. Here, the best price for breasts lately, split or boneless, has been $1.66 a lb.
One day, I got a very pleasant surprise, when I found split chicken breasts at $.39 a lb!! Yes, really, and with 2 days left on the sale date. I bought as many as would fit in my freezer, boned and skinned them, made stock with the bones and the little pieces of meat left on them, separated out the tenders, and froze everything in individual portions.
There’s no room for bread and milk in my freezer, but I found the “cold spots” in my fridge (all fridges have them), and keep the bread and milk in those cold spots so they keep longer, and greens keep longer on the shelves than in the vegetable drawers. The drawers work fine for apples, potatoes, and refrigerated snacks.
I do buy certain convenience foods, on sale, and combine them with fresh or frozen ingredients. I’ve even gotten a couple of recipes off the packages that are good.
After our five sons were grown and gone, I found myself cooking the same amount as when all seven of us were here….and hubby would eat until the entire serving dish was empty. I cut recipes in half now and have learned to remove some to freeze before I take it to the table.
Invisible Germs in the Kitchen
The truth is you can't see or smell most of the kitchen germs that grow on your food. They don't even change the color or texture of a dish. That's one of the reasons why I am absolutely rabid about keeping the food I eat and prepare as bacteria-free as practically possible.
The way I see it there are three ways that bacteria can enter our kitchens (and therefore our mouths): before, during and after kitchen preparation and cooking:
- Before: It's contaminated before we even bring the food home.
- During: it's contaminated sometime during the preparation and cooking.
- After: it's contaminated post-preparation and/or during storage.
The good news is there are lots of ways you can prevent bacteria from growing on your food, starting with these steps.
Utilize your freezer.
I am a Costco member, even though it can give me shopping anxiety (I power through for the deals!) At stores like Costco or even your local grocer, it can make sense to buy in bulk for one if you make use of your freezer space. I buy large cuts of fish or meat at cheaper prices, then split them into individual portions and freeze until I plan to use them. This saves me from spending more on smaller portions any time I want to make Creamy Chicken & Mushrooms or Honey-Garlic Salmon.
You can also freeze perishable foods like bread. As one person, it can be tough to get through a whole loaf before it goes bad. Simply slice, freeze and take out one or two slices at a time as needed. Keeping your freezer well-stocked can help you make healthy meals in a pinch. Plus, you can freeze leftovers for a day when you don&apost have time (or energy) to cook.
Cooking For One
Happy Wednesday! It came quickly this week, since we had Monday off. I loved having an extra day to sleep in and lay by the pool, but it’s kind of gotten me thrown off a bit! I kept thinking Monday was Sunday and Tuesday was Monday, and I’m always wishing it was Friday. I digress.
I love to cook. I remember being so excited to escape the greasy campus food when I moved out of the dorm and into a house with a kitchen in college. I was going to cook every day and love life! But that proved to be a challenge. I was used to helping my mom cook dinner for our family of four, so when I started making dinner for just myself, I wasn’t sure where to begin! Over the past few years, I’ve perfected the art of cooking for one, and it’s actually not as difficult as you’d think! Here are some of my favorite tips for those of you just moving into your first kitchen!
1. The freezer is your friend!
Every two weeks or so, I buy a package of chicken tenders from the meat section of the grocery store, take it home and wrap each one individually in foil and pop it in the freezer. In the past, I bought the huge bag of IQF frozen chicken breasts, but then they started to get really gross (think blood and bones-ick.). This may be slightly more expensive and doesn’t last as long, but they’re definitely better quality! Plus, it’s super easy to just move one from the freezer to the fridge in the morning to thaw for dinner that night!
In addition to chicken, I will occasionally buy a big piece of salmon and cut it into thirds or quarters, depending on the size, and freeze that as well. However, I would recommend eating the salmon within the week!
I also like to keep a bag of frozen corn and a bag of frozen peas on hand in my freezer. If I don’t feel like cooking a vegetable I’ll just heat up a small bowl of one of those, or if I’m making stir fry I’ll just toss in a handful! These last forever and they’re super cheap!
2. Try to repurpose your leftovers in creative ways.
I’m usually okay with leftovers, but when you live alone, leftovers can last a while longer than you want them to. I don’t know about you, but eating something every day for dinner (and sometimes lunch also) makes me never want to eat it again. Typically, I try to avoid leftovers, but sometimes it can’t be helped! Let’s say you made a pound of hamburger meat for stuffed bell peppers one night, and you still have a lot left. Well, you could make tacos the next day, or you could make a small pot of chili!
3. Buy perishables in small quantities.
Sometimes it’s super tempting to buy both asparagus AND Brussels sprouts, but don’t. You will regret it and it will be a waste of money, because one will definitely go bad before you can eat it. You might think that you’ll get tired of the same vegetable every night, but if you prepare it a little differently, that will shake things up a bit! I like to roast Brussels sprouts, but sometimes I sprinkle them with red pepper, or toss them in sriracha, or sprinkle them with goat cheese!
4. If you want something big, invite friends over!
I love lasagna and enchiladas, but if I made them for just myself, I could never eat it all! If I’m dying to have something different, I will whip it up and invite a few friends over to help me eat it. And depending on how many people you have/what you make, you may still have some leftover for lunch!
5. Don’t be afraid to experiment
I will often find recipes on Pinterest that look delicious, but they typically feed a small country. If I want to try it, I’ll peruse the ingredients and come up with a smaller version for myself! Or, I will add the ingredients on top of a pizza or mix them into pasta for something easy and different. Just make sure you scale everything down evenly, or else the flavors will be off and it will not be delicious.
Cooking for one can seem boring, but it doesn’t have to be! Hopefully you learned something new today. If you have any tips or yummy recipes for just one person, let me know! Also, be sure to check out all of my recipes– most of them have a serving size of one person!
4 Ways to Use Your Leftover Crawfish
It’s the season of Crawfish Boils, but unfortunately with the Stay at Home orders we can’t have gatherings and enjoy with our entire families.
When we had our Crawfish boil, we ended up with a lot of leftover Crawfish. So I decided to challenge myself to see what dishes I could come up with the leftover Crawfish.
The day after our Crawfish Boil, I created a Crawfish Boil Salad. Oh my goodness. This salad was banging!
The Crawfish Salad included first the leftover items, Crawfish tails, mushrooms, and corn. The additional items included Romaine lettuce, mixed greens, yellow bell peppers, boiled eggs, edamame, shredded carrots and spicy ranch dressing. Oh my! Spicy and delicious goodness.
One day we had leftover Fried Redfish, so I created a delicious Crawfish Étouffée.
I topped the Fried Redfish with Crawfish Étouffée served over rice. WOW.
The Crawfish Boil Pasta was by far one of my favorites! The Crawfish Boil pasta included Sausage, Corn, mushrooms, garlic all from the Crawfish Boil. I sautéed the Ingredients along with some diced onions and bell peppers.
Once the items were heated all the way through. I tossed in some boiled spaghetii noodles. Finished with some fresh Parsley and Smoked Paprika.
This pasta was ON POINT! Spicy!!
The last dish I created was a Fried Crawfish Tails Sandwich. We had just enough for sandwiches for each of us. This was so easy. We simply fried the Crawfish tails. Toasted the bread, spread some of the leftover DSF Crawfish Dip, served on a bed of lettuce and topped with a few handfuls of Fried Crawfish. Served with some fresh cucumbers and tomatoes with Sour Cream and onion chips on the side.
This dishes were superb and so easy. The perfect way to avoid wasting the leftover Crawfish. I am not a big leftover Crawfish person, but these transformational dishes were so easy and perfect!
What do you like to make with your leftover Crawfish? Leave a comment and let me know.
Why Should We Reduce Food Waste
India wastes as much food as the United Kingdom consumes, as published in a study in the CSR Journal. These are not good stats. Food wastage is an alarming issue in the country. The bigger the party or the wedding, the higher the food. This is especially alarming because, per the Global hunger index, India ranks at number of 102 out of the total 117 countries in the world.
Tossing edible food in the dustbin not only wastes the food, but also increases methane levels in the environment as it rots in landfills. When you do the opposite and manage the food waste in your kitchen, you can cut down on trash support the ecosystem.
8. Go For Frozen
Similar to canned foods, I choose frozen for foods like berries, some vegetables and meats because they won&apost go bad as quickly as the fresh alternative and are much cheaper. In fact, produce is typically picked at peak ripeness and flash-frozen, so it may even be more nutritious than their fresh counterparts that ripen in a truck or on a shelf. For more, check out this comparison of fresh and frozen vegetables, with tips on how to make frozen veggies delicious. Another way I save money and cut down on waste is by slicing and freezing my bread. It is hard as one person to get through a loaf before it goes stale on the counter, so freezing bread keeps it fresh for as long as I need it to be. To be a sustainability pro, consider freezing veggie scraps in a gallon bag to make homemade stock that is no-cost, waste-free and will elevate your soup game.
How Long Do Leftovers Last?
Leftovers—they&aposre every meal planner&aposs best friend. What&aposs leftover from a delicious home-cooked dinner or a fancy restaurant visit makes the best work lunch the next day. But as much as we might try to stretch out Monday night&aposs dinner over the course of several days, life happens. And now you can&apost help but feel a little uneasy about those week-old leftovers that suddenly resurfaced in your fridge.
Avoid wasting money, food, and most importantly: avoid getting food poisoning. Learn the rules of when to keep leftovers and when to toss them, according to the food safety experts at the United States Department of Agriculture.
Can You Tell If Leftovers Have Gone Bad?
You can&apost be sure your leftovers are still safe to eat based on sight, smell, or even taste. This is because foodborne illness is the result of contamination from bacteria, and bacteria often doesn&apost change the appearance of food. With time, you may notice a change in your food such as mold, change in color, texture, or smell𠅋ut if you don&apost see these changes in your food, it doesn&apost necessarily mean you&aposre in the clear. It&aposs best to stick to the old rule: when in doubt, throw it out.
The bottom line: the ol&apos sniff test isn&apost going to be enough to determine whether food is safe to eat. It&aposs important to know the guidelines on how to properly store and reheat leftovers, as well as some general rules on how long to keep your leftovers.
Tips for Safely Handling Leftovers
How long leftovers last is also dependent on how you handle and reheat leftovers. Stick to these guidelines to preserve your leftovers for as long as possible without risk of foodborne illness.
1. Keep Food at a Safe Temperature
According to the USDA, bacteria can rapidly grow between the temperatures of 40 degrees F and 140 degrees F. This means you don&apost want to leave food in this temperature "danger zone" for an extended period of time.
To prevent bacteria growth, hot food should be kept at a temperature of 140 degrees F or warmer, and cold food should be kept at 40 degrees F or cooler. Any dish that has been left at room temperature for more than two hours should be thrown out. Dishes that have been left at a temperature of 90 degrees F or higher should be thrown out after an hour (sorry, summer potluck leftovers).
2. Store Leftovers with Care
When it comes time to refrigerate your leftovers, you&aposll want to cool food as quickly as possible. The longer you allow food to sit at above 40 degrees F, the more bacteria you invite to contaminate your food. Despite what you may have heard elsewhere, the folks at the USDA say hot foods can be placed directly in the fridge. They recommend dividing up larger quantities into smaller containers so they can cool even faster.
Be sure to wrap leftovers tightly in plastic wrap or store them in an airtight container to retain moisture and keep bacteria out. Label them with the date so you can know when it&aposs time to toss them.
3. Reheat to Reach a Safe Internal Temperature
Ideally, reheated leftovers should reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F to ensure that bacteria is killed. It&aposs never too late to start using a digital thermometer—like this #1 Amazon best seller! If you&aposre using a microwave, use a microwave safe covering with a vent to help retain heat and destroy harmful bacteria. Make sure soups, sauces, and gravies are brought to a boil, to ensure any trace of harmful bacteria is killed. Slow cookers aren&apost recommended for reheating foods, as they leave the food at an unsafe temperature for too long.
How Long Do Leftovers Last in the Fridge?
Now for the real question: can last week&aposs dinner become this week&aposs lunch? Here&aposs what the USDA says:
"Leftovers can be kept in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days or frozen for 3 to 4 months."
So if you&aposve passed the four day mark, it&aposs best to go ahead and throw it out. I know, whomp whomp. But better that than flirting with food poisoning, right? This goes for really any type of leftover including: salads, cooked meats, casseroles, or pizza. If you don&apost think you&aposll be able to eat your leftovers within four days, go ahead and freeze them. You&aposll thank yourself when you need to make dinner on the fly, and you&aposll help to reduce food waste.
OPT FOR WHOLE FOODS TO EAT HEALTHY ON A BUDGET
Okay. We know this might not be the most popular tip, but hear us out. The markup on “convenience foods” is pretty insane. Those steamable bags of frozen veggies? Crazy expensive. Select cuts of meat. Ridiculously-priced. Pre-chopped fruit? Don't even get us started.
Buying whole foods is one of the best ways to make your grocery budget go a whole lot further. Instead of buying chicken tenders, buy the entire chicken and cut it up yourself. You'll get multiple meals out of it!
Instead of buying chopped fruits or veggies, buy your own when the produce is in season then chop it and freeze it. Does your family eat a lot of meat? Buy a whole dang cow. Yes, we're serious.
Yes, buying whole foods requires a bit more effort, but the payoff is huge! If you want to start eating healthy on a budget, cutting out convenience foods will help you do it.