Smart Shopping Tips for Small Households

Ever notice how the grocery shopping experience seems specifically designed to entice us to buy more? With all of the family-size packaging, buy-one-get-one sales and better deals for bigger quantities, food shopping can be particularly challenging for small households. Those of us who live alone or with one other person often end up buying and cooking more than necessary. The result? We either throw food away or get tired of eating leftovers for three days straight.

How can singles and couples manage their grocery purchases so they don’t buy more than they need? Here are a dozen ways to downsize your food shopping—and your food waste…

Read more at Spark People.

Ham Timble for One

This is one of my favorites that I was often on our table growing up. It is great for leftover ham during the holidays. You don’t need much and you have a great meal.

Ham Timble for One

1 TBSP butter
2 TBSP bread crumbs
1/3 CUP milk
1 1/2 tsp parsley flakes
1 egg
1/2 cup finely chopped or ground ham
salt and pepper to taste.

Heat oven to 350º.  In a saucepan, melt butter and add bread crumbs and milk. Cook for 5 minutes stirring constantly. Add ham, parsley and slightly beaten eggs. Turn into an individual mold or custard cup. Set in a dish of hot water and bake for 20 minutes or until a table knife comes out clean from the center.   You can double the recipe for two. Reheats well.

Comfort Food: Chicken Noodle Casserole

This is a good dish for a cold day using up leftovers. Enough for two.

Chicken Noodle Casserole

1 cooked chicken breast, cut into cubes
1 can cream of mushroom or cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cup egg noodles, cooked
1/4 – 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs

Mix soup and sour cream, add chicken and noodles, top with bread crumbs and heat in oven for 30 minutes at 350º F.
Add veggies and you have a wonderful meal!

Budget Tuna Salad

A recent blogger asked, “What Is Your Favorite Frugal Food?” and the first thing that came to mind is the tuna salad I just whipped up this morning.  It is inexpensive, tasty and simple.  Get creative! Add chopped hard boiled eggs, dill relish,  avocado, or green pepper.

Tuna Salad

1 1/2 cups of pasta
1/2 cup celery chopped
1/4 cup onion chopped
1/2 cup light mayo
1 can or pouch of tuna

Cook pasta as instructed. Mix celery, onion, mayo and tuna. Drain pasta and rinse pasta in cold water. Add salt and pepper to taste (I used seasoned salt and seasoned pepper).

Double Chocolate Brownies

This  brownie recipe, designed for the smaller household, are incredible.  This recipe is a keeper.  Adapted from Taste of Home’s Cooking for One or Two

Double Chocolate Brownies

  • 1 square or 1 ounce packet of unsweetened chocolate
  • 2 TB butter (do not substitute)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup AP flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips.

Preheat oven to 350º. Grease a loaf pan (8″x4″).

Melt butter and unsweetened chocolate in small saucepan or in the microwave. Stir until smooth (don’t overcook!).  In a mixing bowl, combine the egg and sugar, stir in the chocolate mixture and the vanilla. Combine the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder and salt) and gradually add to the chocolate mixture. Stir in the nuts once the mixture is fully combined.  Spread in a loaf pan and sprinkle with the chocolate chips. . Bake for 350º F for about 17 minutes or until the toothpick comes out clean. Cool. Makes about 8 wonderful brownies.

Note: As I think about it, you could also bake these in a mini muffin tin but it won’t take nearly as long to bake! I might try that soon.  I am ready to make another batch! ☺

Skillet Grilled Catfish

This incredible catfish is flavorful and easy to fix. You can substitute tilapia or swai.

Skillet Grilled Catfish

2 TBS flour
2 TBS cornmeal
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp pepper
1/8 to 1/4 tsp red pepper
1/8 cup (2 Tbs) butter
2 large catfish fillets

Mix the flour, cornmeal, onion powder, basil, garlic salt, thyme, pepper and red paper  in a gallon storage bag or bowl.  Add each filet at a time covering to coat. Melt the butter in a cast iron pan large enough to handle the catfish with room.  Add the catfish and fry on each side for approximately 10 minutes over med/high heat. Don’t walk away from this! Fish will flake easily with fork when done.  2 servings/25 minutes

Apple Crisp for Two


This tasty treat will make two large servings.

1/3 cup of brown sugar
1/3 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup of flour
1/3 cup of butter melted
1 cup of apple, cored/chopped
1 tbs white sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350º F. Lightly grease a baking dish large enough to hold a couple of cups. In a bowl mix the brown sugar, oats, flour and melted butter until crumbly. Place 1/2 of the mixture in the bottom of the baking dish. Add the apples on top and sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon then top with the remaining crumb mixture.  Bake for 40-50 minutes or until golden brown.