Shopping The House & Stretching Take Out Meals For One

The other day I broke the top part of the white pitcher that held my kitchen utensils. Next time I got on Amazon I began looking for a new utensil holder.

Then I thought: What am I doing? I have too much in this one bedroom apartment as it is. Go look in the closets where everything lands and see what you can come up with.

Shopping Your Home Instead Of Buying Something New:

So that’s what I did. And that turned out even better. Because I really needed two different sizes. One for the taller utensils like long spoons. And the other for smaller items that always got lost in the taller utensil holder.

What I came up with worked perfectly. I assume this is a candle holder (in the back). I got it at Pier 1 on clearance because I thought it was cute.

I’m going to limit buying “what I think is cute.” Because eventually what I thought was cute ends up getting rotated with other things in my closets. And I’m running out of room! No, make that I’ve already run out of room.

The shorter utensil holder is merely a white plant pot.

So it all worked out for the best in the end.

Stretching Take Out Meals For One:

I don’t like to go inside restaurants to pick up take out orders. So sometimes I go to the drive thru at Raising Cane’s. Have you got one in your area?

I always order the same thing, The Box Combo. Kasi first got me going there and that’s what she ordered.

It comes with chicken (4 strips), sauce for your chicken (which is delicious) French fries, coleslaw, Texas toast and a drink. It costs under $9 before tax.

Raising Cane’s Box Combo Meal:

I’m not crazy about French fries, so I typically eat just a few. I’m going to have to ask them about maybe getting 2 orders of coleslaw instead.

When I get home, I take 2 strips of chicken and put them into a baggie and straight into the refrigerator.

The Next Night’s Leftover Meal:

Last night I put a serving of frozen Alexia Sweet Potato Fries on one of my red toaster oven pans. They are delicious! I added a frozen biscuit and the 2 pieces of refrigerated chicken from the night before.

I now put whatever I’m eating, if it’s frozen, all on the same pan and somehow it bakes everything perfectly at once. Maybe it’s something about the pan. And/or the convection toaster oven.

This brand also has other frozen potatoes I sometimes buy.

Here is the pan that I use. I’ve shown these Casaware pans before. I swear by these pans.

And I typically use this same long one every time, even though I have three other sizes. This one is big enough for 2-3 different types of food that make up my meal.

These pans cool very quickly, so they’re ready to clean fast. Not much seems to stick to the surface so cleaning up is a breeze.

Love My Toaster Oven:

Here is the Kitchenaid toaster oven I have. I had Breville ovens before, but I actually like this one better. The two convection toaster ovens are around the same price.

As most of you know, I don’t have an actual stove. That’s because when I moved in here six and a half years ago, I ordered a European style washer and had them take the stove so I’d have room for it.

Since there’s no plumbing here for washers, I attach the hose to the kitchen faucet.

The Kitchenaid is taller than the Breville, so food doesn’t get spattered on the top as much. I only have to wipe down the door about once a week.

Another stretching take out meals tip is to go during lunch hours and pick your food up. Many restaurants have lunch menus where the meal is cheaper.

I like to go to my favorite Chinese restaurant (Chopsticks). I’ve become friends with the owner. She and her husband are from South Korea.

Now my girls go there too. My 16 year old grandson loves their food.

I order 2-3 lunch menu meals. It comes with egg roll, rice, soup and a fortune cookie. At lunchtime you get a meal for $6.95-$7.95. That’s cheaper than fast food!

I Order For 2-3 Nights’ Meals:

Then I have supper for 2-3 nights. I just put the entree (except for the rice and soup, which I microwave to warm up) all on one Casaware pan and it’s heated in about 10 minutes.

Love their tofu and veggies! And I could eat their hot and sour soup every single day of the week.

Got any tips like this you want to share?



  1. We don’t eat any fast food, but once in awhile we’ll get take out from a Mediterranean restaurant that’s on the way home from my husband’s work. We both get a chicken and rice main meal (comes with a salad, too) plus hummus and pita bread, and a container of tabbouleh salad. The main dish lasts my husband two meals, and three meals for me. (They give you a LOT!) The hummus and pita bread lasts a few rounds, too. And I use the leftover tabbouleh to put on top of my mixed greens salad, which I eat most days for lunch.

  2. I agree with your ideas for stretching meals…we do some of that too. One Mexican place we have not been in awhile, serves so much, and yes, nearly the price of a drive-in and then we have enough for at least most of a meal the next day too!! You are right…the lunchtime prices are great and they still give you about the same amount of food as nighttime. We were not very hungry tonight so I used up one leftover BBQ chicken thigh (I mix about half and half BBQ sauce and ketchup as it causes less issues with acid reflux later in night…plus still tastes just great…and obviously saves money as my preferred BBQ sauce is not cheap)…cooked up a delecta squash, adding a bit of butter, coconut sugar, salt and pumpkin pie spice on top, and we shared one of those tiny cups of already cooked rice that you microwave. I like to cook up a pound of taco seasoned meat (for tacos or taco salad, or other dishes) and with the leftovers, we have 2 days worth of yummy taco meat omelets which I also grate some cheese into, sometimes add other veggies and sliced black olives, adding a bit of salsa to top when serving. When we have chili, usually the leftover chili is either made into omelets or I cook up some hotdogs in buns and we put chili as well as other toppings on top of that. Of course, once in awhile a person simply has to make some chili macaroni with cheese on top too….leftovers are great for that too.

  3. I have never heard of that take out place. Sounds good though. I haven’t had a french fry in a LONG time.
    Glad you found some containers to use and didn’t have to buy anything new. I am gradually getting rid of stuff and Christmas is going to be a bonanza of purging here. xo Diana

  4. Brenda, I’ve been trying to Dec litter. Of course, it is difficult to decide which items to keep and which items to send to anew home. One item is a red Christmas quilt with white embroidered snow flakes. Beautiful. Since this quilt is only used one month out of twelve, I didn’t feel that it deserved taking up space in my small home for eleven months out of the year. I sell at an auction and will sell the quilt this weekend. Since I love white bedding and have a beautiful throw pillow with Santa Claus on it, it will give a touch of holiday cheer without taking up so much space to store. Do you agree with my plan?

  5. There is a great restaurant in our city that serves the best BBQ chicken. My husband would order a take out meal that had one half a chicken, baked potato and green salad. He loved the thigh and leg and my favorite was the wing and breast. We would share that and have half a baked potato each and half the salad also. The portions were generous so we had a great meal for two for $7.50. Not only was this frugal but there was no waste.

  6. Always a good idea to shop in your house! We have so many things. It’s crazy really. I have no idea 😒 what to do with all my 200+ cookbooks. Or many of the beautiful glass collectibles that were gifts, or inherited. Then there are all the photo albums. Yikes!
    I have not purchased anything for almost 5 years. No need to.
    Maybe 2 baby blankets to use watching TV a few years ago. That’s about it.
    We need nothin. Only good and healthy meals. Cooking can be/is a hardship in our later years. We do love to cook and bake though sometimes. Now,
    many meals are often from our favorite restaurants. Fortunately, they are still in business, doing okay. People love Italian food, AND pizza 🍕,,,,, never goes out of style.
    Hope everyone has a safe and delicious 😋 Thanksgiving.

  7. Haven’t seen an ad here with any cockroach in it. Shopping your house is the thing to do if you’ve been living in your own place for any amount of time. After moving out of my parents’ home after high school more than 50 years ago I’ve accumulated a lifetime of item. I’ve donated a lot over the years but there are always the favorites one hangs on to no matter what. And now with the internet if I need a fresh idea about what to use for this or that, it’s easy to find inspiration online.

  8. Shopping the house certainly is a way to keep down on clutter. I use canning jars of all sizes in many ways, partly because I like the look and partly because I already have them on hand from canning. We use them as drinking glasses, to hold candles, to hold bathroom items such as cotton balls, to hold leftovers, and so on. Since the two-cup jars usually have measurement marks on them, I use that size jar to measure when cooking and baking. Whenever a recipe calls for a beaten egg, I crack an egg into a two-cup jar, put on the two-piece lid and shake the jar until the egg is a smooth consistency. Then I just pour it from the jar into the other ingredients. So, when I need a replacement item I usually turn to these handy jars.

  9. Thanks so much for the tips on how to stretch a take out meal. I find myself doing some very similar type things. I love to buy a meal with chicken strips and a couple of sides. I usually put a few of the strips in a biggie, as you did, to use in a salad the next day.

    Shopping our homes makes perfect sense. Thank you!

    I did not see any ads with cockroaches.

    1. Well I emailed the ad network about it anyway. They’re good about responding. I love the idea of putting the chicken in a salad!

  10. Oh have mercy, the ad with thecockroach in the ear has got to go. It gives me the creepy shivers. I cant bear to look at it. I think i counted 4 throughout today’s post……🤢

      1. They said if you’d get a screenshot of the ad they’d figure out which company it’s coming from. They deal with so many they don’t know right off the bat.

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