Besides buying foods to think about them, I also buy food and cook meals to sample during the process and then don't eat more a few bites once it's ready to eat. I buy food to cook it and really not eat it. Yes, dumb and wasteful. Totally, on my part. But it's not about the food or the efficiency of money or food.
It's about the idea and thought of the food itself, to keep me connected to something I know almost everyone else has the power to eat whatever they want, whenever they want, wherever they want. The freedom to eat.
I don't have that freedom, even the luxury. Part is the digestive issues and part is that it's hard to buy some foods small enoough for one person to prepare, so I end up buying the smallest package and trying to divide the ingredients down to one person.
You can buy one of something in the meat department. They'll always accommodate you to split a package, even split a piece of meat, poultry or fish to the size you want but you can't split frozen meat, poultry or fish products.
You can buy enough fresh vegetables for yourself, but not packaged ones. The same for fresh fruit and frozen fruit. The same for bakery goods. And so on down the list where I have to buy fresh or what's available in the smallest packaged size to fit my needs.
But in the end, I often just cook food just to cook it and really not eat more than a few bites to satisfy the reward of cooking it. I'm not a good cook. I don't spend more than necessary preparing or cooking foods.
And that is mostly just a few minutes and into the oven at 350 for an hour (hint, that cooks almost everything except fish which is shorter) or put the lid and simmer, and then come back when the timer goes off. I don't use the oven too much anymore after buying a Breville Smart Oven, a way cool thing.
You just put it in, set the type, temperature and time and wait for the ding. I also have an extensive set of older style Calaphon cookware I bought 15+ years ago which is also way cool as it makes a bad cook like me better. It's really great stuff.
All that I was bought when I could cook and eat food, and now it's not often used except when it's ordinary stuff I can eat or the occasional time I buy food to cook but not eat more than a sample. But then I cook with some really good cookware and utensils.
After all, if you're going to cook, make sure you do your best. How much you eat isn't as important as the quality of your cooking. No one wants to cook to hate to eat what they cook. Even if only a few bites.