There’s nothing sexy or smart about a man who regularly alternates pizza, Chinese food, and McDonalds through his diet. Spend a few minutes learning to prepare your meals efficiently and you’ll not only save money, but you’ll make your mom proud, impress your girlfriend, and feel a lot better physically.
By Jason Pippi
Tired of stepping over week old remnants of the pizza delivery boy? Tired of filling your trash can to the brim with Biggie Size cups from Wendy’s and burrito wrappers? But–you are just one man, living alone, what can you do?
Many guys spreading their wings for their first time fall into a fast food frenzy. They complain that they don’t know their way around a kitchen or that it’s silly to buy a ton of food that will go to waste because they live alone.
But what if there was a way to buy cheap, eat healthy and cook just the right amount of food for one person?
Knock Off Brand
Food is not like clothing. Unlike a fake Ed Hardy t-shirt that you can sniff out from across the club, cheaper brand food is almost identical to the name brand stuff. So look for your local grocer’s brand. A couple dollars off really adds up at the end of the shopping trip.
Biggie Size Me
Hitting the gym hard and seeing no results? Not eating at home could be your problem. Restaurant food is jam packed with high amounts of calories, fat, and sodium. Buying fresh vegetables and meats cut out loads of fat and calories, and also help you to avoid preservatives and other ingredients that are bad for your body.
The key to cooking for one is versatility. You need to be able to prepare a dish one night, and then transform it into something totally different the next night. Ingredients that make this easy are things such as soy sauce, taco seasoning and BBQ sauce. Like stocks, it’s all about diversification. But be careful not to mix ethnicities too much.
Pop open a bottle of tropical flavor chicken marinade to enjoy a zesty chicken hoagie one night and use the left-overs to make fried rice the next night. Make some spicy chili one night and have a pasta dish or hot dogs the next. The key to not wasting money on food at the grocery store is making sure you use everything you buy.
You feel like chicken tonight? But there are 4 breasts in one package. Solution: cook all four breasts on Sunday night. Just because you made four breasts doesn’t mean you have to eat all four at once. Use one breast to make chicken tacos and then the next night have BBQ chicken over rice. If you’ve had the breasts in the fridge for a few days, cooking them extends their edibility for another few.
If you know you’re going to eat pasta again later in the week, you can make it all at once and keep it in the refrigerator. It will keep for several days.
It’s Not Thanksgiving Dinner
Look, you don’t have to be the chef of a ritzy restaurant to cook for yourself. Many companies have come out with products geared toward single servings that are easy to make. Ready Rice from Uncle Ben’s is a cheap, healthy side dish that takes 90 seconds to go from store shelf to your stomach. And your mother would be proud of you for buying Bird’s Eye single serving Steamfresh vegetables. If you can work a microwave you can eat smart.
Start out simple. Cooking can be fun and hugely beneficial. Check out one or two of the millions of recipe sites out there today to find quick meals.