Menu Planning for Single People

Dear FlyLady,

I am so sad that this month’s habit is menu planning. I am not married and I have no kids. My DBF (dear boyfriend) lives across town and our work schedules are VERY different.

On top of all that, I NEVER cook. (I actually use my oven to store stuff!) It is SO HARD to cook for one! Also, I am changing my eating habits, so I really eat very little. Every fresh food item I buy is rotten before I use it.

HELP!!! How can I cook and/or plan for one???

I really want to conquer this habit, but I am at a loss.

Patti in California


Hi Patti,

You’re over thinking this one girlfriend, honest! ¬†Here’s the deal…cooking for one is no different than cooking for 2 or more; it’s just an adjustment on the quantity. You still have to menu plan, go grocery shopping, prep the food, cook it and eat it. This can scale up or down depending on how many you’re cooking for.

So to do this well, start with a plan. Write out several meals you like or want to eat this week, then make an accompanying grocery list. Now shop for it; keeping in mind your produce. The more delicate stuff (like spinach,lettuce, etc.) you will want to eat earlier in the week while the more durable stuff, you can wait on like winter squash, broccoli, etc. See how easy that is so far?

Now as far as cooking for one, why don’t you instead, cook for two? Save one of those meals as a brown bag lunch the next day. Not only will you save money by not going out for lunch, you’ll eat better, you’ll cook once; eat twice and with all the extra money you have left from eating lunch in at work, you can get a place that’s closer to your DBF.

You’re welcome.

Leanne Ely, Your Dinner Diva from

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