Shop for One on a Budget
Edited by Sobi, Grimm, Dougie-1, Doug Collins
Diets and budgets are as individual as each person using them.
Giving suggestions on how to shop for one on a budget is challenging, but we've covered the basics here so that you can adapt any lifestyle to be budget conscious.
Part of the reason it's challenging is because no two people consistently like the same things. Plus, cooking skills and budgets vary greatly, and some may have special diets for things like diabetes, or other health issues. Some people only eat all organic, or try to eat as much organic as possible. Others prefer to eat prepared or processed foods.
Understanding Why and How to Shop Smart
What's considered healthy to one person may not be to another.
It helps to know where your money is going and what you are spending it on. Every month, save all of your receipts and review them to see how much you have spent. Pay attention to what you are spending your hard earned money on.
Did you buy that $5 cup of coffee from the local coffee shop? That is part of your food budget. You could probably make that same cup of coffee at home for less than half of what it costs at the corner shop. Seeing what you actually spend your money on helps you to eliminate frivolous and impulse buys that can ruin your budget. When planning your menu and shopping items, think about what you can prepare with your choices. For example, a single person can get several meals from just one bird.
Meals From One Rotisserie Chicken
You'll also want to prevent food waste by organizing your refrigerator and pantry. Store your perishables so that they are in the order that you will use them, hopefully as soon as possible before spoilage, and learn to cook from scratch. This will help you avoid buying convenience food, which always costs more. If possible, also try to have one or two nights of meatless meals, or use meat as an addition to meal, rather than as the main course, since meat can be pricey.
How to Shop on a Budget for One
Because everyone has diverse tastes and budgets, no one plan works for everyone.
However, by following these steps, you can keep spending to a minimum, while still eating healthy:
- 2Research the stores in your area with the lowest prices. Many use local grocery store flyers for sales. Others will have web sites with prices, deals and printable coupons. Sometimes you can have the coupon on your phone. Coupons are money saving if they are applied to something you use. If they aren't for something you normally use, then you might get tricked into an advertisement. Remember, many coupons are just advertisements to trick you into buying things you don't need, and just save the one's you'll benefit from.Shop around for great deals on food and produce:
- 3Don't leave home without it! When you have your grocery list with you, it helps to ensure that you stick to your plan and not buy unnecessary items. With your list, cross off the items as you put them into your basket. Use a calculator while shopping so that you can see how much you are spending as you shop. If you go over your budget, then you'll have an easier time figuring out what to give up so that you remain within your spending limits.Have your grocery list with you:
Tips and Suggestions for Budgeting and Saving
Keeping your shopping order will mean less budget stretching, and more relaxing.
- Pantry: Keeping your pantry stocked with staples that you frequently use, prevents running to the store at the last minute, and you will always have something to eat.
- Places to shop: Find out what is available in your area in addition to chain grocery stores. Some areas have grocery outlet stores, Asian markets, roadside stands, and some of the smaller specialty stores may have good deals that are worth checking out.
- Compare prices: Pre-packaged and bulk-bin items may have a difference in price. With bulk-bins you can buy as small or as large an amount as you need.
- Soups: You can make soups with leftover vegetables, meats, and beans. If you are not going to make soup right away, freeze your leftovers, and then add them to soup when you're ready to prepare it.
- Freeze fruits and vegetables: They can be frozen in single servings before they spoil. You can use them in cooking meals, fruit smoothies, fruit crisps, etc.
- Dry legumes: Dried beans can be soaked the night before, drained, then cooked, drained again, rinsed and frozen in 1 or 2 cup servings for later use.
- Freeze Bread: Bread thaws quickly, so you can freeze what you don't use right away and it will stay fresh. You can make French toast, pancakes and lasagna; and freeze it in single serving portions.
- Spoiling: Eat things that spoil quickly first, spinach or leafy greens are good examples.
- Re-grow vegetables: You can re-grow green onions and celery on your window ledge. Using a small cup size glass or jar, saving about an inch of the green onion bulb with roots, place in glass of water covering roots. The green tops will re-grow and you can continue to cut them for your use. Change the water every 2-3 days. You can do the same with the bottom of celery, save about an inch of the bottom and place in water, the roots will sprout and the celery stalks will grow from the center.
- Cost Sharing: Ask friends or family if they will split the cost of larger packages. This way you can all save, while enjoying great meals.
Categories : Financial
Recent edits by: Dougie-1, Grimm, Sobi