Are you tired of having too many leftovers when you cook at home? There are quite a few ways to cook only two portions, or four if you want lunch the next day. It’s frustrating when you see a really good recipe on Pinterest but it calls for 6 servings. In this article we will look at five different ways that you can cook at home and save money but not end up with a ton of leftovers. The first method is cutting a recipe in half.
No one ever said you couldn’t take a regular recipe and cut it down. If you want a quiche, look into making a smaller one in a muffin pan. You don’t need to buy a full sheet of pastry dough that you cut up and waste most of either. You can make the crust using hashbrowns. You can also make egg cups by buying Canadian bacon, and using that as the bottom of the cup. Again you would assemble this in a muffin pan.
If you want to make more egg dishes, but don’t know how to halve an egg, buy liquid eggs. You can easily pour out 1/8 of a cup instead of 1/4 for smaller recipes. Eggs aren’t the only thing you can get smaller portions of.
Get Friendly with Your Butcher
Supermarket butchers are happy to recut and repackage meat for you. Most meat sections have a small bell that you can ring for help. Ask the butcher to slice you a smaller chuck roast for pot roast or beef stew. You will save money by only buying what you can easily use. Whole chickens are cheaper than cut up chicken packs. Ask the butcher to cut up the whole chicken for you, and then use the pieces in different meals throughout the week.
Slow Cooker Convenience
Most of the common slow cookers hold 6 quarts. You certainly don’t need to make enough soup for 10-12 people. Yes, it can be nice to have leftovers for another dinner or lunch the next day, but you don’t really need or want that much.
Slow cookers offer a major convenience as well as saving money. You can buy a cheap cut of meat and cook it slowly for a wonderful pot roast. You could buy a 3-quart size slow cooker. But if that’s still too large, or if you have a 6-qt hanging around, put a 1-2 quart ceramic or Pyrex dish inside of the slow cooker. Fill the slow cooker insert with water up until approximately halfway up the side of the smaller dish.
You may want to start with something simple like some seasoned chicken breasts that could be finished on the stove if needed. As you gain knowledge, you can start quartering down standard recipes and test them.
The new electric pressure cookers are fool-proof. They are sometimes called “multi-cookers. ” You can use them as a pressure cooker, steamer, rice cooker, and slow cooker. If you’re short on time, they can help you craft an all in one meal like beef stew. The other nice thing is that you can cook smaller portions more easily.
Let’s say you have a bag of frozen chicken breasts in your freezer. You can pour in a cup to a cup and a half of water or broth and then put the chicken directly in or on top of a trivet and pressure cook on high for six minutes. You then have a completely cooked chicken breast that you can serve with just about anything. Add teriyaki sauce or barbecue sauce or make your own honey dijon mustard sauce.
Foil packets are where you take a piece of foil and place in it a protein like fish or chicken, some vegetables like thinly sliced potatoes and asparagus, and then put in some seasonings. There are a tremendous amount of recipes out there if you Google terms like “chicken packet meal” or “fish foil packet. ”
You then cook the packet in an oven (or better still, a toaster oven) for the set amount of time at the given temperature. You get a well cooked meal with perfect portion sizes without messing up too much of your kitchen, and no leftovers to deal with.