We’ve been empty nesters for about three months now. There are lots of little differences, mostly positive however one of the biggest adjustments has to do with our evening meal.
I know how to cook for a family; in fact I never did really cook until I had one. So, after 30 years it’s back to two of us and all our favorite recipes serve at least four. I know there are great recipes out there for two people, but I’m not really excited about continuing to cook anyway. I cooked to feed my children and now that job is done, I want to scale back.
I’m usually working at least part of every weekday evening on one of my blogs so we’re switched to quick meals using these changes.
Trader Joe’s has great pre-made entrees that are smaller sized. For only $5-7 we pick up a lasagne or meatloaf and with a couple of sides have a great-tasting meal and leftovers for lunch the next day.
We sometimes buy frozen meals that need minimum preparation but easily serve two people.
Even though buying in bulk is cheaper per measuring unit, it wastes money if the food goes bad. So, we’ve shifted to smaller packages of products. Fresh and Easy is a new favorite store because they offer meats packaged for two people. I love to buy the stuffed pork chops or chicken breasts for only slightly more than the regular option.
Yes, we’re eating out more. But it’s not busting the budget because we are typically using a buy one, get one free coupon. Instead of spending $15 on ingredients for dinner, we spend it at a restaurant. I usually have some left over for a second meal the next day.
One of our favorite meals is a roasted chicken from Costco. For only $5, we get a chicken that lasts us at least 3 meals. The first night is warm chicken with sides. The next day we have chicken sandwiches for lunch and entree-size chicken caesar salads for dinner!
We still cook our old favorites once in a while, but usually when we have company to help us eat it all or room in the freezer to save leftovers for another day. How have life changes impacted your dining habits?