Tips For Empty Nesters

When your children are grown and have left your home it is time for you to make some changes too.  You no longer need to consider meals that will please the palates of an entire family.  This is the perfect time to experiment with new recipes the young people in the family would not like.

As an empty nester you have the luxury of cooking when you choose or eating out if that is your preference.  In fact, there is no rule that says you cannot eat a bowl of cereal or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or a dish or ice cream for dinner.  Now you cook because you want to and not because you must.

You will need to make some changes to your thinking when it comes to purchasing groceries.

One or two people do not need to purchase the family size packages of food.  Instead, purchase the smaller size packages.

Be careful when you purchase perishables.  Purchase only a few pieces of fruit and a small quantity of vegetables at one time.  When you purchase dairy products look for ones with the latest expiration date.  The same thing applies when you purchase fresh meats.

As you get older you need fewer calories.  Try to eat foods that provide maximum nutrition such as broccoli which provides vitamin A and C, and whole grain breads and cereal.  Beans and nuts are excellent sources of protein.  You want to include dairy products for calcium to promote strong bones.

You will want some plastic or glass containers to store food.  Prepare your favorite recipes to serve four or six people and then divide the food into one or two serving portions.  Either freeze in plastic containers or refrigerate in either plastic or glass containers.

Now might be a good time to invest in a vacuum sealer.  These gadgets seal the air and preserve the moisture and flavor of the original dish.  You can seal and freeze meals in single portions and then reheat in the microwave or boil in the bag.

Some people like to spend one day each week or every two weeks preparing several meals so they can freeze them and not have to worry about cooking for several days.

Just because you are only cooking for one or two people don’t ignore the convenience of your crockpot.  You can still make delicious convenient meals using the crockpot.

There are many food kit companies available.  This may be a good time to try one of the services such as Blue Apron, Hello Fresh, Plated, Home Chef, etc.  These companies will send you a package containing everything necessary to prepare three meals for two people.  The meals cost about $10 per meal.  You will receive all fresh meat, produce and the seasonings and spices needed to prepare the meal.  A detailed step by step recipe will be included. This is a great way to try new recipes and different foods.

Maybe you have some friends who would like to engage in swapping homemade dishes.  This way you each prepare enough food for both houses.  By swapping meals you get to enjoy more variety in your meals.