Shopping and cooking for one

Appetite for Life

Shopping and cooking for one

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Shopping and cooking for one can be tricky. This page offers offers some helpful tips for people who shop and cook for one.

Planning and shopping for meals

  • Plan out your main meals for the week.
  • Try to include a variety of foods from each of the five food groups each day:
    • grain (cereal) foods
    • vegetables
    • fruit
    • dairy foods
    • lean meat and meat alternatives
  • Prepare a shopping list and try to stick to it.
  • Make use of foods that are easy to prepare, such as frozen vegetables, tinned fish or tinned fruit.


  • Cook one-pot meals like soup or a casserole to save on washing up.
  • Make extra and freeze in single serve containers for a quick and easy meal another time.
  • Slow cookers can be purchased cheaply and are useful for cooking in bulk.

Quick meal ideas

  • Cold roast chicken, meat or tinned fish with salad and bread.
  • Mix a jar of pasta sauce with cooked pasta, cooked vegetables and top with grated cheese or tinned fish.
  • Microwave a potato, top with baked beans and cheese and serve with a salad.
  • Try chopped fruit with custard, yoghurt or ice cream for dessert.

Variety is the spice of life

  • Organise meals with friends or family.
  • Try new recipes – borrow cookbooks from friends or the library.

This general advice was accurate at the time of publication (June 2020). For more information about nutrition and your individual needs, see your GP or an Accredited Practising Dietitian.