How to deal with the challenges of cooking for one. Picture: Pixabay

Living alone has many advantages, you have your own space, the bathroom is always available and you have the freedom to walk in your undies whenever you like. Oh the joys!

However, independent living also has its challenges, the biggest one for me being cooking for one.

I love leftovers (pity the same can't be said about my 3-year-old daughter), and of course sharing what’s left is always an option, but I have made it my mission to limit the amount of food I waste.

Eating out is certainly one way of winning the war on waste at home, but it does get pricey.

So some of the ways that I prevent wasting food:

  • Buying fresh produce only when I need it and in limited quantities.
  • Recreating dishes from leftovers by either adding different flavours or adding something extra.
  • Grocery shopping with specific meals in mind and buying only what I need.
  • When cooking I use only small and middle size pots and pans.
  • If I’m not going to finish it in at least two day, then I don't make it.

Most of my friends  who live alone has the same struggle. 

I asked Matthew Marks, Larnelle Young and Viwe Ndongeni to share their tips on solo cooking.

A sushi platter for one is one way to beat the stress of cooking for one. Picture: Pixabay

 Matthew - living alone for 7 years:

“The secret to cooking for one is buying in bulk and portioning your meals before freezing it.

“I always have leftover that can be used for breakfast or out on a sandwich the next day,” he says.

“I usually buy different types of pastas, sauces, extra virgin olive oil and lots of spices. The rest I keep frozen, like mixed veg, stir fry, chicken, beef, sausages and livers.”


Larnelle - living alone for four years:

“I’m the worst person because I'm always wasting.

“When I do cook it's usually for 2 days and the leftovers are for my hungry colleagues, so it always works out

“I usually cook grilled chicken breast or hake fillet with hot mix vegetables or a salad or mash or baked potatoes. Anything that’s quick and easy."

Grilled vegetables and meat is an easy solo dish. Picture: Pixabay

 Viwe - living alone for 8 years:

"I cook on a Sunday, have supper on Sunday, pack my lunch for Monday and I what I have left I save for Tuesday,"she says.

"On Monday night I eat something else, because I don’t want to eat the same food for 3 consecutive meals."

"For Tuesday's leftovers I add sauce or spice to change the flavour or make something to add to it."