Tips for Shopping & Prep for Small Servings
Updated: Nov 14, 2019
As I've mentioned before, sometimes I don't like to buy a lot of ingredients because I don't want them to go bad. Here are some tips I've come up with to shop or prep for small servings. These are in no particular order. I will add more as I come up with them. :)
We are good at this!
1.) Buy meat from butcher at the grocery store.
- It is cheaper than you think, fresher and you can buy small portions (1/2 lb.)
- Also, a lot of times they have premade dishes (for example: meatloaf or burgers), which helps minimize prep work.
2.) Premade Pizza Crust: I like this Artisan StoneFire Pizza Crust - store in freezer
- It is sold at room temperature. I cut it up into individual pizza slices or breadstick size and then store it in the freezer. I can just pull how many slices I want and pop them in the oven for ~5-6 minutes whenever I want them. It tastes as good coming from the freezer as when used fresh at room temp.
- This may work for other bread products too.
3.) Pillsbury dough products (pizza dough or biscuits) - lasts weeks in the fridge
- If I don't want to cook a whole canister, I've found that I can just take however much I want to cook and put the canister in a Ziplock bag and then put it in back in the fridge. Later, I can cook some more. It still bakes well and tastes good for a month or several weeks storing it in the fridge.
4.) Italian Sausage:
- I like to add Italian sausage to recipes like pizza or pasta. When I buy it, I take off casings before I put it in the freezer. I just take 1 or 2 when I want to cook them. This is easier than taking a frozen sausage, reheating it and then trying to take off the casing.
5.) Meat - Chop up in small pieces before putting it in the freezer
- If you know what you're going to cook, then you can cut up the meat into smaller pieces before you put it in the freezer.
6.) Spice Mixes / Seasoning Packets
- I don't like to buy a lot of whole bottles of spices unless I know I will use them often. I like to buy spice mixes / seasoning packets, which have a lot of different spices in them. I use Filipino Adobo, Middle Eastern, and Taco seasoning packets often. I've also found that if you only use part of a Taco seasoning packet for example that you can store it at room temp and it will be fine for a long time.
7.) Use ingredients from a family kit separately for several different meals.
I bought this kit mostly because I wanted the Taco seasoning and couldn't find an individual packet in the store (this whole thing was only $7.99). You can buy a kit like this and then use the ingredients separately for different meals. You don't have to make the whole Taco Dinner as directed on this kit.
8.) Deli Cold Cuts / You can buy small portions.
I love deli cold cuts anyways, but you can buy small portions like with fresh meat from the butcher because deli meat is sold by weight. You can get 1/4 lb. or 1/3 lb. if you only want to make a couple sandwiches.
9.) Frozen pasta - ravioli or dumpling types
You can use only a few at a time (enough for 1 meal) and put it back in the freezer. You don't have to cook them all at once. It tastes fine later. As I will write about in an upcoming post, it's also really easy and fast to fancy or class them up. Stay tuned for that post!