People who only have themselves to grocery shop for seem to be under the impression that supermarkets are against them. This is simply not the case. It is true that many products come in large and family sizes for the convenience of those people shopping for more than one person. It is also true that solo shoppers can purchase items in small quantities.
The truth is, solo shoppers may have it just a bit easier than they realize. There are small canned foods, single serve meat selections and then there is the produce aisle where you can purchase one or a dozen fresh fruits and vegetables at a time. The trick to shopping for one person is knowing how to shop smart.
One huge advantage to shopping for one person is the luxury of buying fresh produce. The reason this is such a coup is that you can buy one or two of this fruit or that vegetable and still have plenty for at least two meals! You do not have to buy five pounds of potatoes, you can buy a couple small to medium spuds and be just fine.
This also applies to buying deli meats because you can choose how much you want instead of having to settle for a family pack of something you will not be able to finish before it expires.
Do not buy in bulk
Buying in bulk is great if you have a family to feed, but not so great for the solo chef. By the time you get to the bottom of the product, either it is growing something entirely new because the original product went bad, or you are completely sick of eating it. As a solo shopper, you are not forced into buying excess amounts of anything that you don’t want/need.
You have the option of buying large quantities of things like dry pasta, rice, beans and similar items. However, you might ask yourself why you would do this because you will not be saving much money if the items become stale before you finally use them up.
This goes hand in hand with the advice to not buy in bulk. There are certain things that are okay to buy in bulk such as ground beef/turkey/sausage/pork. These large packs can be divided into single serve portions and then placed into freezer bags and frozen until needed.
You can freeze just about anything like breads, meats, even cooked meals can be frozen and reheated later on! Leftovers never have to be a bad thing again, just freeze what you do not want now and reheat it later or even throw it in with something else and create a whole new dish.
Only buy what you need
Before heading to the market, go through your kitchen cupboards and pantry and fridge and make a list of items you need. Then sit down and think about what you would like to eat over the next few days and add the ingredients to those dishes to your list.
The nice thing is if you only buy what you need and can use within a few days to a week, you will not have as much wasted foods. You may have to find time to go shopping about once a week, but your foods will be fresh and you’ll save money in the long run.
If you really think about it, cooking for one is less headache and hassle than cooking for several people. The main reason it is easier is that you already know what you like and about how much you will eat so you have eliminated guesswork from the shopping and meal preparation.