Fast & Frugal Meals For One Person

Living alone, I don’t often cook big meals unless I’m preparing to freeze some of it. Which I do from time to time. But not often.

Most of my meals are made up of vegetables. But when I want meat, I’ll sometimes drive through a nearby Billy Sims Barbecue. (A former University of Oklahoma football player franchise).

Barbecue Restaurant Sandwich Meals:

I’ll often order a pulled pork sandwich with coleslaw, which is one of their menu items. The sandwich is piled high with meat, and I really don’t want that much meat at one time. I actually don’t like barbecue on my sandwich either, so I don’t add it.

Once at home I open up the sandwich and take about half of the meat off. I’ll put that portion in a sealed baggy and put it in the fridge. The next night I will heat up the leftover meat in my convection toaster oven. I’ll add some veggies and I have yet another meal.

The original meal is around $9. So this way I get two meals for $9.

Other times I will go through the drivethrough there and order some of their cooked chicken and pork. They sell it by the pound. I bring it home, divide it into multiple baggies and freeze most of it.

Then I can quickly heat up the meat and just add a salad or vegetables for a fast meal for one.

Bean Burritos:

I also frequently eat bean burritos I make at home. I’ll fix pinto beans, adding in chives from the patio and chopped onions. Then I add a bit of garlic and cumin from my spices.

Warm the bean mixture up. Add a bit of cheese to the flour tortilla. Then I add some of the bean mixture and my favorite fresh salsa.

I discovered this salsa not long ago at my grocery store in the fresh fruit and veggie aisle. It’s the best in my opinion. It is Cocina Fresca Salsa Cantina Style.

Then I add another bit of cheese on top of that. I prefer pepper jack cheese. I roll a couple of these up and warm them in the microwave for about a minute. Then I add tortilla chips on the side.

This is a cheap meal, can be made in just a matter of minutes, and is tasty and filling.

Eggplant Cutlet Meal:

Recently I discovered the Eggplant Cutlets by Dominex foods in the frozen foods section, as I’ve mentioned. Unfortunately right now that’s the only one they carry. I’m going to have to talk to the grocery store about getting the veggie meatballs by Dominex.

Apparently this company started out years ago making food for restaurants and selling wholesale. But now they’re branching out into frozen meals for grocery stores.

Instead of meat I’ll heat up a couple of the eggplant cutlets and add a few other veggies. I love cornbread (and so does Ivy) so I’ll cook up a pan of that. Then I’ll freeze some of the cornbread for more meals down the road.

These are just three of my preferred meals. I’ll write about more later.

What are your favorite go-to meals for one or two people?


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  1. I buy small shrimp from the frozen food section. When I am ready to eat it put the shrimp in my large colander. I boil pasta and when it is ready I pour it with the water over the shrimp. That is just enough hot water to cook the shrimp.

  2. Really good ideas from you and other readers! Thank you.
    Love to think about Ivy and her cornbread tidbits. Do you make yours from scratch? I use Jiffy.


  3. I like to cook a batch of something on Sunday afternoon that I can have for supper or take to work for lunch in the coming week like stew or a casserole or even a breakfast casserole for breakfast-for-dinner enthusiasts like me. I honestly don’t care if I eat the same thing every day for a week but you can get variety by what you eat with it, salad or veggies, biscuits or cornbread. Happy and healthy eating everybody!

  4. Brenda I love your blog! I cook for two and just wanted to mention one of our favorite meals is the eggplant parmesan recipe on the side of the Dominex eggplant box. If use the whole box it makes enough for two meals.

  5. I’ll buy a rotisserie chicken, cut up some of the breast to make meal size salads for my mom & myself with lots of mixed greens, tomatoes, scallions etc. The next day we’ll have chicken sandwiches.
    We love baked russets and sweet potatoes. We’ll have a meal of a baked potato with steamed frozen veggies on the side. I add pumpkin pie spice to my baked sweet potato. I don’t need butter or salt & pepper.

  6. Brenda… your blog is such a delight as are your readers too. Great ideas from everyone. I love anything left over made into a quesadilla. Just what ever leftover you have and add cheese. Then make it a bit extra crispy in a hot frying pan. I cook for 2 but I do make batches in my slow cooker to freeze. I make a Mexican filling for tacos or burritos and a chili where most of the ingredients are canned except for onions, peppers and mushrooms. Freezing bags are my most favorite things. We usually can split a meal fairly easy and also a small pizza. I prefer to eat less meat and more veggies so I always have frozen veggies ready to go to bulk up any meal. Such great ideas everyone. Thanks!!! I’ll have to give the pinto bean burritos…. I usually have always used black beans or refried beans. I also love pinto beans along with cornbread!

  7. My mom lives on her own and makes all her meals; rarely eats out. She cooks very healthy, too. She just freezes the portions into individual meals. Or else she makes some pasta and tosses it with a bunch of veggies and herbs.

  8. Lately I’ve been thawing out a lb of salmon or some chicken breasts and bake them or air f ry them. Then roast a big butternut squash and steam some broccoli to eat with it.
    This wk I’ll be baking acorn squash to go with some meal, prob some ham slices. That way I can use some ham to make a western or quiche with my frozen zucchini that I froze in the summer.
    I also eat some fruit, choc of course or take out some frozen cookies that I’ve made or a bundt cake that I wrapped individual after I bake it.
    I basically eat what I want, cooking a big meal like a huge ham or even a turkey, like I did a month ago bc I count too!
    Stay safe and have a awesome day!

  9. Just passing this on from a friend of mine who is a wine connoisseur. She just stumbled on a wine that she says is the best she has ever had; Shannon Ridge Chardonnay 2018.

    I, too, live alone, and have for most of my life, so I am quite creative with my meals and I am totally in to frugality. Being frugal is an art. My favorite food in the world is sushi and out west we have something called SuBu, sushi burrito, wrapped in seaweed. It is heavenly. We also have sweet deals where you can buy $50 worth of food vouchers for $25 with participating restaurants and food trucks. Fortunately for me SuBu was featured and I bought $100 worth of vouchers for $50. I don’t know if they have things like sweet deals in Oklahoma.

    I also love spring rolls and make my own and also my own dipping sauce.

    1. I’m not a very creative eater. I’ve never had sushi. And I don’t drink. I absolutely hate the taste of wine. So I’m kind of a boring eater! I’d be a dud at a party if I liked parties.

  10. I like the idea of making two meals out of the one from the bbq place. I’m going to have to start doing more of that. Very convenient!

  11. Once or twice a week I cook up veggie/bean stew.
    My favorites are kidney beans or chick peas, which happen to be healthy too. I always add tomato paste, garlic, onions, olive oil, plus whatever veggies I have around (i.e. peppers, carrots, potatoes, etc.)
    Most important is the turmeric, which is a wonderful
    anti-inflammatory. Taste wonderful too!
    Since its just me, I have leftovers for at least two more days.
    Thanks for the suggestions, Brenda!

  12. I had a can of Campbell’s Steak and Potato soup with added individual size canned peas and corn to the thin gravy soup and heated it up on the stove. I would have added carrots, lima beans, etc if I had them. It looked and tasted like veggie soup. Quick and easy. There is enough for another bowl left for in fridge. More individual size veggies are going on my grocery list, plus more steak and potato soup. I also had a rice cake with peanut butter on the side. Pretty tasty.

  13. Tortillas filled with leftovers are a staple here, too. Filling and cheap!
    Growing up in a blue collar family of 7, my mom never threw anything away. She made ‘jackasses’. Take leftover spaghetti (like angel hair or thin spaghetti with sauce mixed in) roll it up in a flour tortilla with a dash of hot sauce and pepper jack cheese. Then she’d fry them up. Sounds weird but boy, we just loved them! I make them too but spritz with Pam and bake instead.

  14. Thanks for these meal suggestions. Hubby and I have been empty nesters for many years. 24 years. So it just the 2 of us at meal times.

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