News you can use: 10 tips on cooking for one, including thise one that I wholeheartedly embrace:
Forget about the meal planning. Every article on the subject perkily advises going to the store with your week's menus all laid out in advance. This is daft. You know the one perk of eating alone? You can eat whatever the heck you feel like. When you go to the grocery store, have one or two recipes you definitely want to make. Also staples that whip up into your favorite meals. I always buy arugula and eggs, and always have pancetta on hand, so that I am never more than 10 minutes away from my favorite salad. And have a stable of stuff that you can turn to when you don't feel like doing anything more strenuous than turning on the toaster oven, like cheese and tortillas and frozen baguettes.
I love to cook, but a lot of the fun of preparing a mean is sharing it with others. Cooking for yourself requires the same amout of labor input for a lot less joy in the end experience. The longer I've lived alone, the more likely I am to snack, eat out or bring home take-out. I try to always have stuff for my few favorite recipes when I do feel like cooking (like green onions and a cheap cut of steak for Mongolian beef) and I usually have some ground beef and hot dogs for a quick hot meal. I tend to favor cooking methods for which I can use whatever I want to throw in, since I've usually got a lot of restaurant leftovers -- stir fries, stews, pasta dishes.
And for the nights I just don't feel like cooking or bringing restauranrt food home, by all means;
Have a small emergency stash of stuff that keeps forever and requires no effort at all. A jar of pasta sauce and a box of spaghetti. Or, I dunno, Trader Joe's Mac and Cheese Bites. Sometimes you just don't feel like cooking, and you can give in to that feeling.
Oh, and Waiter on the Way is our friend.