Single people can have vastly different personal finance concerns, and thus follow different advice, than married people.
For example, you’ll often hear that in order to save on groceries you should buy in bulk. While that does generally bring down the cost per quantity of food and other household items, buying in bulk is not something single people are often able to do.
Having been single for just over 5 years now, I feel I’ve finally gotten a pretty good handle on how single people can save on groceries and other household items.
I made my fair share of mistakes when I was first single, mostly because I was trying to follow the same advice as married people and those with large families were using to save on groceries. Let me tell you, that didn’t work. Instead it ended up costing me more money in the end.
If you are in the same boat as me, here are some of my tips for how single people can save on groceries.
1. Don’t Make Excuses
First, let me start by saying that being single doesn’t mean you can’t save on groceries. Single people can save on groceries, but it may require a little more creativity and planning. There are lots of different methods someone could use to save on groceries, like couponing, buying in bulk, shopping sales, and more. Just because you find that one method doesn’t work for you doesn’t mean you should write them all off as bad ideas.
2. Buying in Bulk
The next thing I want to address is buying in bulk. I already said at the beginning that single people are not able to buy in bulk as often, but that doesn’t mean they can’t buy in bulk at all.
Single people can save on groceries, but they have to be more cautious when buying in bulk to make sure they only buy things they’ll be able to use up before they go bad. Otherwise buying in bulk will end up costing you more money instead of you saving money on groceries.
Take some time to figure out what are grocery staples in your house. Those are the things you should try to buy in bulk. Other things you can buy in bulk as a single person are items with far off expiration dates or household items that have no expiration dates. For example, I buy toilet paper, paper towels, and napkins in bulk whenever possible.
For things like meat, you can buy in bulk to take advantage of lower prices if you have adequate freezer space. Whenever I buy meat in bulk, I divide it up and freeze it in packages that are small and manageable for how much I like to cook at one time.
If you are lucky enough to have single friends, you might be able to buy even more items in bulk to save money on groceries. In the past, I’ve bought items in bulk and split the cost and savings with another single friend. It worked out well for both of us as we were able to save money and not run the risk of having things expire before we used them.
3. Shopping Sales
Single people can save on groceries by shopping sales.
I distinctly remember going to the store with my mom when I was child and helping her “stock up” during sales. Sometimes we’d end up with cart that was almost overflowing by the time we were done with all of our grocery shopping. But as a single person, that’s not realistic.
No single person needs that many groceries. Instead single people should use sales to stock up according to their needs. Instead of buying 6 or 10 of a sale item, consider buying only one or two extra. Single people can save money on groceries with this strategy and avoid having a large stockpile to store.
4. Use Leftovers Smartly
Leftovers are a friend and an enemy of mine. I like to cook once and have leftovers so I can eat off them to save time and money, but I don’t want to eat leftovers more than two or three times. Luckily, I’ve found a few ways to optimize my use of leftovers so I can save money on groceries and time on cooking without having to eat the same thing over and over.
I got a vacuum sealer from my parents a few years ago. This baby has come in handy for me several times. Usually I use it to help preserve some meals so I can freeze them and eat the rest of the leftovers at a later date. I guess this is my version of “freezer cooking”.
Lately, I have been doing some meal prep so I can just take a pre-portioned meal made with chicken out of my freezer, let it thaw, and empty it into my Crockpot to cook on low. This is an easy way to have a homemade meal without a lot of work or mess. A couple of my friends and I will get together and generally make up between 30-40 freezer meals each in about 2-3 hours on a Saturday.
Another thing I’ve done is find creative ways to use leftovers. For example, if I have extra ground beef from a recipe I made, I’ll make a casserole, sloppy joes, or tacos with my leftover meat. There are lots of ways to repurpose leftovers so they don’t feel like leftovers next time you eat them.
When I worked at an office, I also commonly took leftovers for my lunch the next day, which kept me from eating out as often. Eating out for lunch is a huge budget killer!
Single people can save on groceries with these tips and a little creativity.
Have you tried any of these tips to help you save on groceries? Can you think of any other tips for how single people can save on groceries?