Web Exclusive - Ask Amy

Next fall I’m moving to a new city to dance, and I’ll be living completely on my own for the first time. What are some cheap, healthy meals that serve one person? —Savannah

Cooking on a budget is easier than you might think. Meat can sometimes be costly, but there are plenty of less expensive protein options, like beans or tofu, that can serve as great substitutes a few nights a week. Tofu vegetable stir-fry over brown rice is one of my fast, budget-friendly favorites. Pasta is another cheap and easy option that presents endless possibilities—try this great recipe with white beans and kale. Preparing meals to scale and freezing the leftovers, as opposed to decreasing measurements to serve one, can help save time—it doesn’t take any longer to cook, but you now have three or four dinners ready to go.

If you want to keep cooking to a minimum, try buying a whole rotisserie chicken, usually between five and seven dollars. You can easily get three to four meals out of it: sliced chicken with roasted potatoes and green beans one night, an entrée-sized chicken salad the next, chicken burritos another day, a chicken sandwich for lunch and so on.

Here’s a tip for grocery shopping on a budget: the more work required of you, the less expensive the item. For instance, consider buying bone-in chicken breasts, which are generally a few dollars cheaper than boneless, skinless ones. Pre-washed, bagged salad lettuce is another example—you can save a lot of money by buying a head of lettuce and washing it yourself! The same holds true for breakfast: A carton of eggs or large container of oatmeal goes a lot farther and costs several dollars less than a box of cereal—you just need to spend a little extra time cooking.

Latest Posts


Laurent Liotardo (post-production by Nik Pate), Courtesy ENB

Catch English National Ballet’s Rising Stars in the Emerging Dancer Competition Livestream

The coronavirus pandemic may have postponed English National Ballet's annual Emerging Dancer competition last spring, but the show must go on—digitally! You can still watch ENB's best and brightest talent during the competition's livestream, taking place on September 22 at 7:20 pm BST (that's 2:20 pm ET). Now in its 11th year, the competition for the Emerging Dancer Award will be broadcast live from the company's East London production studio for the first time. Tickets are available for $6.99 per device and will remain available to view on demand until September 29.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
From left: Alaina Broyles, Courtesy Werner; Courtesy Underwood

Gaynor Minden's Latest Dancer Lineup Features a Body-Positivity Activist and Its First Guy

Pointe shoe brand Gaynor Minden recently welcomed 32 young dancers to its coveted roster of Gaynor Girls. But this year, the company included two applicants who push the boundaries of what it means to dance on pointe. While both Mason Simon Underwood and Colleen Werner are longtime GM wearers, they stand out from the rest of this year's group: Underwood is the first ever Gaynor Guy, and Werner is a body-positivity activist.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Dylan Giles, Courtesy Festival Ballet Providence

Festival Ballet Providence's New Leap Year Program Gives Dancers Facing a Gap Year a Place to Grow

A new training program at Festival Ballet Providence called Leap Year is welcoming pre-professional and professional dancers who don't have a studio or company to dance for this season.

The endeavor is the brainchild of Kathleen Breen Combes, FBP's executive and artistic director. "I kept getting these emails of dancers saying they just need a place to train this year," says Combes. "I thought, What if we could provide a space for dancers to get stronger, experiment and try new things in a nonjudgmental and no-pressure environment?"

Keep reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks