Cooking For A Family Of Two


I don’t know about you but the mere phrase, “What’s for dinner?” fills me (along with most adults) with dread.

When I was single, I lived off of fast food, and frozen dinners (oh and dates/dinner invitations).  It didn’t matter if I had left over pizza a few nights running because, well, I was single and that’s what single people do right?  When I first got married I found myself “practising” my family cooking – making big meals that I had grown up on and enjoying the dream of one day being able to cook for a family.  As the years went on the novelty of cooking for a family wore off and became more of a pain.  I had the little devil in one ear saying, “But good wives cook for their husbands every night – its part of their duty as a women.” I wasn’t admitting that I really didn’t like cooking and didn’t let myself believe that that, in no way, contributed to my ability to be a good wife.  I beat myself up for years because I really believed that little devil!  I grew up with a mother that cooked for her family every night, it was amazing and I have so much respect for that, but like a lot of other areas in my life, as much as I wanted it to be that way – it wasn’t going to be – Chris and I had to find our own way of doing things – including dinner.

There are not a lot of recipes just for a family of two – especially in the LDS culture where we cater for big families and big groups.  And childless women aren’t the only ones who struggle with the cooking for two dilemma.  Its a conversation I’ve had with women who are empty nesters as well.  Cooking for two is hard!!

So I took to the the experts – my childless friends in the Facebook Group – and asked what they did for dinners.  I got a lot of really great advice and realized we all adapt differently.  Some cook for the month ahead and freeze food.  Others eat out quite a bit. Others utilize leftovers way better than I ever have.  And some have hubby cook.  We all do what works best for us – for our situation.  I know here in England, in my area, fast food isn’t as available so it cant  be my choice.  My wallet probably thanks me, but I would prefer that to frozen dinners and cooking – but that is just me.  Every couple is different.

So to help I’ve scoured the internet for ideas and websites to help.

First lets start with the freezer meals.  This sounds like a terrific idea to me – but unfortunately the freezers in England could never fit a months worth of meals.  But, I can totally see the merit in this way of doing things.  This involves a day of cooking for a month of eating.  I would imagine using regular recipes would create a lot of food for two.
Easy Freezer Meals
Freezer Friendly Foods
50 Easy Freezer Meals
Making 50 Freezer Meals in One Day
The Art of Freezer Meal Kits

Lets move on to leftovers. Now, I am not a fan. Like I said with all my good intentions they usually sit in the fridge. Its a shame because so much good food goes to waste. A lot of girls in the group commented that they use the leftovers for lunches. Since my hubby and I work strange hours, this doesn’t work too well – but rest assured on the rare occasion we have left overs we will be making it a goal to USE THEM!
Leftover Hacker: Make Your Most Common Leftovers Taste Just as Good As the First Time
10 Leftover Foods that Are Better the Second Day

Now, I also found a few websites with recipes for two. As a test, I made one of the recipes for lunch for me and Chris today.

Grown Up Mac and Cheese

It was yummy and I LOVED that the portions were just right – not a lot of waste, but it seemed like a lot of work and reminded me why I just generally don’t love cooking. That being said, it was only one recipe so these websites are great resources for cooking for two and I will be trying again (sometime) with these websites.
Table For Two
1-2 Simple Cooking
Food Network – Recipes for Two
When a Family is Two: 10 Simple Home Cooked Recipes For Two for

And hey, I even found a FREE download for “Romantic Recipes for Two” here! (I do think you have to sign up for emails to download this book and others on the website).

Now… Here is a great site for shopping/budgeting for two:
Grocery Budgeting for Two: Under $25 a Week
10 Shopping Tips When Cooking for Two
Just Enough for Two

How about making things healthier for two??
Healthy cooking for 1 or 2
6 Tips for Making Healthy Dinner Recipes for Two at Home

Here are some websites with just general tips for cooking for 1 or 2:
Cooking Tips for One
Healthy Cooking Tips for Two & Healthy Recipes for Two
Practical Cooking Tips for Singles
Guide to Cooking for Two

Lastly, I am going to admit it – sometimes I get food with great intentions of making meals and get really angry when I see that the date has passed and wonder if it is REALLY out of date.  I thought this is a good reference:
Do Food Expiration Dates Really Matter?

I hope that you find something in this long list of links to help make meal time as a family of two (or one for our childless sisters) easier.  I know I’ll be referring to these sites and trying to adapt an easier system to my family of two.



"It would just make my heart soar if someone out there saw this, and she said to herself, be strong, trust yourself, love yourself, conquer your fears, just go after what you want. And act fast, because life just isn't that long." Pam Halpert (The Office)


  1. July 21, 2014 at 11:05 pm

    This post is brilliant, Jamie. Thank you for sharing!


  2. Sil
    August 7, 2014 at 3:26 pm

    What a great post, Jamie!

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