Cooking for one on $40 a week is not that difficult, if you are careful and do not splash out on expensive ingredients. You also need to be sure that you buy things that are economical yet tasty and nutritious. Cheap food can still be very tasty, it is just a matter of cooking it correctly and seasoning it right.
Obviously there are foods you like and foods you do not like, and it would be silly of me to suggest you buy anything you do not like. So forgive me if I suggest anything here that is not to your particular tastes!
Things you cannot afford on your budget are…… steaks, chops, the more expensive fish, lobster, crab. Things you can afford and which are good for you are potatoes, pasta, rice, eggs and bread. Then you also need to have ingredients that are not too costly to go with these such as cheese, sausages, bacon and chicken. Beef, lamb and pork cost more than chicken, so maybe you should leave those for now. Another way to make sure you get a good meal without spending too much is to make some casseroles, using something tasty like some stewing meat with the bones to help make a lovely deep stock, and some cheap seasonal vegetables thrown in. You can also make a soup from any left overs, which is quite delicious and nutritious too.
Make some home made potato cakes with mashed potatoes, some finely chopped onion, salt and pepper to taste, and the main ingredient of your choice. This could be ham, cheese, cheese and tomato (in which case just a touch of tomato), corned beef, tuna, chicken, peas or salmon. Fry these in a little oil in a frying pan, with a touch of butter to give it colour. These are tasty, nutritious and quite cheap to make, also very easy to make. They go very well with a side salad.
Making your own pizzas and bread is a wonderful way to eat economically and eat well. If you have fruit trees, fruit bushes or vegetables or you are able to grow some use these to cut down costs. Once a week have a delicious roast chicken, with some tasty stuffing. Roast potatoes and various vegetables with gravy. Use the bones and left overs to make a soup the day after.
For deserts that are nutritiious, filling, tasty and cheap try home made apple crumble, rice pudding, creme caramel, home made yoghurt or bananas and custard.
Bake your own cakes to save money and get better cakes, with the flavours of your choice. You can batch cook and freeze them.