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A Different Place in Life

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It hit me hard last week. I am truly entering a new phase of life. And I don’t think I’m as prepared as I thought I was…mentally that is.

We were not able to use our kitchen for a couple of days…truly, couldn’t even walk in there while there were some repairs and fixes being done to the floors. So I decided we would eat out those days. Reasonably priced meals, maybe a picnic…

But the first night in to this “banned from the kitchen” time and I was the only one here to eat dinner. Princess and Beauty had planned their own picnic with friends. And Gymnast tagged along at the last minute. I knew this was coming. I knew with Gymnast getting his license, I would be left to my own devices more often than not.

But I wasn’t ready for it…

A Good Book & Free Appetizer

I took myself out to eat anyways. I didn’t really want to go, especially alone. But I went.

I chose Mexican because, well one, options are limited in our tiny town, especially since many places are short staffed so have opted to shutdown at night. And because, well, chips and queso, come on! I grabbed a couple of books on my way out the door, my sweater and jumped in the car full of trepidation at this being my new normal.

The meal was great! I read several chapters in each book. And I thought…this could be very expensive. I need to nip this in the bud quickly.

I don’t want to be the person who goes out every night or picks up food all the time because I’m lonely or lazy. But I’m not sure I want to constantly cook for one…

I wish cereal was a meal option for me. I could do that every night, no prep, easy clean up…alas, diabetes prevents that.

Help…any other single moms suddenly find themselves alone, with an empty table and still need to feed yourself. What do you do? Do you cook for one every night? Do you eat in front of the TV?

I’m grateful that Gymnast has two more years of high school. I won’t always be alone…yet. But it is coming. I need to prepare myself.


18 Comments

  • Reply Gaby |

    I know it takes some planning, but what about meal prepping for one? Probably what I would do (other than eat cereal!) if it were just me. I honestly probably wouldn’t bother cooking all the *fancy* meals I do if it weren’t for my family. I think I spend on average 2-4 hours most nights making my family’s dinner (I like trying new recipes, and I’m slow in the kitchen!).

  • Reply Anonymous |

    When planning meals for one or two, I’ve had to get out of the mindset that it has to be complicated or substantial. Tuna, hardboiled eggs, hummus and veggies, etc. Thinking less about full sit down dinners and more simplistic might be helpful.
    About the future plans for your house, has your boyfriend decided to put moving on hold?

    • Reply Cwaltz |

      I am not single, however I have found making more than one serving means that I have lunch the following day, or another dinner. Since you are cooking for yourself it should be something you enjoy eating anyway.

      • Reply Hope |

        True. I have just never liked leftovers. And I love having a sandwich and yogurt for lunch.
        It’s dinners that are the challenge for me. Last night, I had raw carrots and cauliflower with dip and was perfectly content. I guess I also need to get over the psychological hump of needing a formal meal when it’s just me.

        • Reply Anonymous |

          I’m like you too! My husband will eat the same thing over and over for days until it’s all gone but I just can’t do that! Cut up veggies and hummus, cheese and crackers, hardboiled eggs, tuna, avocado toast…all healthy choices for one without a ton of prep

          • Hope |

            Yes, yes! I just did carrots, cauliflower and dip again. Feel full and proud of the healthy choice. And no clean up!

    • Reply Hope |

      He will be moving…just waiting on things beyond his control to be settled before he can leave the state. It’s teaching me patience…not a virtue I can claim. We are hoping by the end of the year, but after 4 years, I am used to the wait and don’t mind it. I stay busy.

  • Reply JP |

    Not a single mom, but I was single for a long time. I often ate frozen entrees, which you can get for $3-$4 and have become quite good. My current company sells these and they are pretty quality meals, just frozen. Then keep snacks on hand. They are great nowadays, because with Covid its hard to get in anywhere as you mentioned. The prep time is almost none and no cleanup. I keep several kinds on hand depending on my mood. At least its a hot meal and always ready.

    • Reply Hope |

      I might have to try this, but I know in the past…frozen meals were not a good option for me. But I’ll check out that aisle next time I go into the grocery store.

  • Reply Walnut |

    Start by becoming besties with the butcher counter at your grocery store and buying smaller portions. Instead of a package of chicken, get a single or two. Ask for 1/3 lb of bacon, sausage, hamburger, etc. same with the deli counter. You save money AND you don’t get stuck eating the same leftovers for days.

    • Reply Hope |

      Just did this for the first time…and I loved the money savings. I may get to re-adjust my grocery budget after I get used to this.

  • Reply Sarah |

    Leftovers. Cook a big meal on Monday and eat it the rest of the week (with different salads, vegies, etc.).

    Right now, I’m eating chicken that I cooked two days ago and had for lunch. Simple clean up when eating the leftovers.

  • Reply Reece |

    https://magicspoon.com/

    Look at this! A few podcasts I listen to have ads for this cereal which is keto friendly, low carb, 0 sugar, high protein. Might be an option for you?
    Also— do we get an update on the boyfriend situation soon? I don’t think you’ve mentioned him in awhile….

    • Reply Hope |

      Thanks for the recommendation. I will check them out.

      Boyfriend and I are still good, but he is still in Florida dealing with his business. We are hoping he can move this year…but after almost 4 years, there are lots of variables and I am content.

  • Reply Catherine |

    My favorite “just for me” meal is to use my mandolin to shred a ton of veggies (it was spinach and other greens in the spring, and zucchini now) and sautee them with some olive oil and spices. Then I make a little well in the veggies while they are in the skillet, crack and egg or two in the well, and bake for 3-4 minutes so the egg is still runny. Transfer to a bowl, add hot sauce, and enjoy! Minimal cleanup, can add cheese or whatever else.

    • Reply Hope |

      Ooh, I need to try this. I love veggies but typically just eat them raw when it’s just me.

  • Reply miranda zetsen |

    I live alone. One of the things that i find helpful is meal prepping. I also buy a club package of chicken than freeze the best individually. I normally put them in sandwich bag than into a freezer bag. When I buy ground beef I fry it up with garlic and onion. I than freeze into single portion meals. Easy to make into spaghetti, tacos or anything you normally use beef for.

    • Reply Hope |

      Nice. These are the same things I do on a larger scale…I guess I just need to learn to cut back.
      I bought my first 4 pack of pork chops, 1 lb of ground beef and small roast ever. Feels so weird to not have a full table.

So, what do you think ?