Guide to Cooking for Two

Helpful shopping tips and useful products just for two.

When you cook for two, it can be hard to find products in sizes that don’t waste money or food. But if you know what to look for, you can find products that are perfect for pairs. Here’s a list of helpful shopping strategies and items that work when you cook for two.



These are good ideas, especially buying bulk and pulling from the salad bar. However, I suggest steering clear from the pre-cut fruits and vegetables, as these can be much more expensive than buying the uncut/packaged versions. Many veggies and fruits can be cut and frozen for use later. Carrots, peas, broccoli, etc freeze well. In summer- if you are in an area that supports it- go fruit/berry picking and enjoy affordable fruit that can be easily frozen and enjoyed months later.

Adi, Weston, VT


09/01/2009 - 4:13pm

When we became "empty nesters," my darling better half had a terrible time adjusting to cooking for 2 rather than a mob of 5. And with a husband that has a distaste for left-overs, what is a person to do? We like the "big-box stores" for the economy of shopping, but boy are their boxes big. We finally hit upon the idea that when making our favorite meals, cut it in half and freeze one for another day. She now makes her regular size meatloaf, which is yummy btw, and cuts it in half before cooking. She freezes that half for me to pop in the oven on another day when we might be busy. We still cook up the same size turkey about 4 times a year, but freeze left-over meat that last about 3 months. Cooking for two can sometimes be more challenging than cooking for 1 or a large group, but the two of us have been working on it together and actually, it has been a pleasant experience. The kitchen is still the same size as it has always been, but she and I seem to be very comfortable in it together. - Joe


07/31/2010 - 3:49pm

My last child (#5) has left the nest and while we did have leftover, I rarely froze anything because it would be used in a day of two!! My daughters still take me to the "big wholesalers" and I am definitely overbuying and I am doing the same when we go to the farmers markets. So I can take advantage of the fresh produce, I would really appreciate knowing the process to freeze fruit, herbs and vegetables. As you can imagine, it is definitely hard to "learn" to cook for one after cooking for a small army. Thanks for your help.


09/15/2010 - 10:47am

As a singleton, I appreciate these tips as well. I just wish...a: more recipes were available for ones and twos. I like to cook, but I don't like cooking on Tuesday evening, and eating the leftovers the rest of the week. And b: that small cans of veggies were more widely available. As with many other things, the small cans of vegetables tend to be cheaper than fresh, and there are many times that finances are the primary factor in my food choices. Therefore c: it would be nice if fresh, whole foods were a little more reasonable in price. After all, the experts, inluding the government are telling us to eat them, but they can be prohibitively expensive.


09/25/2010 - 3:11am

One thing we have picked up on is purchasing organic dairy products. Milk labelled organic here has an expiration date that can be as much as a month and a half from date of purchase. It costs a little more, but since we started buying organic we have NEVER, not ONCE, thrown out milk that has spoiled due to age.

Kaufman, New Orleans, LA


12/22/2010 - 3:23pm

One thing you forgot to mention - milk freezes well with no change in taste. I buy the half gallon, pour half into a smaller container and freeze. Small saving - but you don't have to buy it so often.


01/24/2012 - 2:05am

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