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Please don't remind me that I'm poor; I'm having too much fun pretending I'm simply "living green" like everyone else these days.


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Portion sizes for one

One of the problems I have when cooking (or purchasing) foods for one is the size of the packages. For example a package of hot dogs or bologna. These are made in packages suitable for a family. A family might eat a whole package at one meal... depending on the family size. As a single person, I either have to eat it for several days in a row (so I don't waste anything); or, repackage and freeze it so that I can use only what I need for a meal. I flash freeze hot dogs and bologna and repackage them.

When it's repackaged, I can take out only one piece at a time for my meal. I don't get a taste for bologna or hot dogs often. Every now and then I like a nice simple fried bologna, cheese, and tomato on toast sandwich. Or sometimes a chili dog. Or chop it up to use in an omelet. I do date the package so I know to use it before it's been in the freezer too long. I repackage other lunch meats, bread, bacon, sausage, cheese, and other things too.

When I buy eggs they will sometimes get past the expiration date before I know it. Eggs are good for a few days past the date which gives me time to do something with them. When this happens I find creative ways to keep the eggs longer. One way is to boil them which makes the eggs last longer. I can make egg salad or put sliced egg into a lettuce salad. Another thing I like to do is to buy a package of English muffins.
Then make my own egg McMuffins (with or without meat) to put into the freezer.

I also use commodity foods a lot. Getting commodities each month really stretches my food budget. One of the best things they started doing was give out vouchers to get fresh foods from the farmer's market. Fresh produce in this area is extremely difficult to get. The weekly farmer's markets are a blessing to us.

I chose to spend my vouchers all at once to get greens. Greens at the store have gotten extremely pricey. I got 20 dollars in vouchers so I bought 20 bunches of greens. All of these have been put into the freezer in individual portion size. I sure wish they gave more than 20 dollars a year.

If you think about it, there are a lot of ways to repackage foods into individual size. Open a can of peas or corn, divide into portion sizes, cook enough for one meal, and freeze the rest. Yes, you can freeze left over canned foods. When you cook a large amount, freeze it in individual portions to eat later. For example, it's hard to cook a pot of vegetable soup or chili in a size for one. Cook it as usual and freeze the leftovers.

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