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11 Smart Shopping Tips for Small Households

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CLAY10237
Berries go bad easily. Frozen packaged are often too expensive. Try this. Lay a piece of parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Spread berries in one layer across the parchment. Freeze for several hours until very firm. Transfer to freezer bags. This method works "berry" well for lots of food...Just make sure the food is dry otherwise it will be soggy and unappetizing when thawed. Report
Super excited to have found this article. In the next few months I will have an empty nest. Just my husband and I left here. It is going to be interesting trying to scale down dinners, Especially when my schedule at work is not regular. Report
CLAY10237
I'm training myself not to be a "stock up" shopper. Most of the time, "stocking up" for one person doesn't make much sense because it can blow your whole grocery budget. I have no choice but stick to a very specific food budget. With recent spikes in food costs, which will only go higher, I realized "stocking up" was costing me money and throwing me off my budget. I can cut a 10 ounce piece of pork or beef in two for the freezer and chicken thighs usually come 4 or 6 to a package for freezing. (ALtho I am soooo sick of chicken.) I drive little out of the way for one store that sells salmon in 4 oz portions for $4, perfect for freezing. And another small grocery that packages meat in smaller sizes that are great for one person. For me, grocery shopping wisely is being aware of what's costing you......like stocking up... Report
SAMBER6
Thanks for sharing these great tips! Unfortunately, we often overspend while doing grocery shopping. When you’re in a big store you want to buy everything and you think that everything is necessary. To my opinion, the most helpful tip is to make a budget and a shopping list. Also once my a friend of mine gave me a good tip – when you’re just back from the grocery store make a photo of your fridge when it’s full. Then next time you just take a look at the photo and you already know what you have to buy! I think it’s very convenient. Sienna from http://personalmoneyservice.com/ company Report
CLHBEARLOVER
I will buy the larger packs of meat and then come home and package them into smaller packages to put in the freezer. (I.e. 1 or 2 chicken breasts to a freezer bag ...) That way I can pull out one or two pieces of meat when I need it and not get overly sick of food that I've prepared. Report
I buy bags of frozen vegetables without the seasonings and take out only what I need.

Starches seem to take the longest time when cooking for 1, so on the weekend, I like to bake a pot of whole grain rice in the oven. I put a baker and a couple yams beside the pot. let it all bake for about 45 minutes. I can also bake a casserole if I feel ambitious. On top of the stove I can boil up some hard boiled eggs. I baggie up the rice into 1/2 cup portions and put in the freezer. Potatoes go in plastic containers in the fridge. I date the eggs with a permanent marker and put back in the egg carton. I can eat just the egg whites for quick protein or add whole eggs to a salad or make a quick egg salad sandwich. Report
I buy bags of frozen vegetables without the seasonings and take out only what I need.

Starches seem to take the longest time when cooking for 1, so on the weekend, I like to bake a pot of whole grain rice in the oven. I put some bakers and yams beside the pot. let it all bake for about 45 minutes. I can also bake a casserole if I feel ambitious. On top of the stove I can boil up some hard boiled eggs. I baggie up the rice into 1/2 cup portions and put in the freezer. Potatoes go in plastic containers in the fridge. I date the eggs with a permanent marker and put back in the egg carton. I can eat just the egg whites for quick protein or add whole eggs to a salad or make a quick egg salad sandwich. Report
KELLYFIT123
A lot of this I do already, but I never thought to freeze soup starter ingredients. I ALWAYS end up wasting celery. I can chop it and keep it in the freezer! Thanks for the good idea. Report
CAROLCLINE
good comments just myself and husband I do shop, and so does he because he has alwayls been cook even when our children growing with a garden married 50 dec 2013, so we have experienced. a lot of knowledge about shopping. wish we had that garden again. Report
I thought buying the big tub of yogurt would be more cost efficient, but I was wrong! There are four servings and they usually cost $6-7. The same brand 4 pack of individual yogurts cost $4. And I always thought individual packaging cost more! Report
TRAYERG
I buy the large tube of ground chuck (8 lbs), especially when it's on sale, and cut them into 1 or 2 lb. sections. I put them in zip loc bags and freeze them so that I can pull them out and defrost just the amount I need I need accordingly. I have shared custody so I don't have the kids with me all the time and this helps for the days that I only have to cook for my husband and myself. Report
SASSISPRING
No butcher where I live, however, the stores do carry under 1lb cuts of meat. I usually buy the $2-$4 cuts of pork or beef and buy the larger size of hamburger as that freezes up nice after being cooked. I break down chicken when I go home, as the smaller sizes are generally expensive. I put the chicken in separate freezer bags. There are no 1/2 sizes of eggs in the stores either, it's all a dozen or larger. The one area I buy builk is toilet paper, paper towels and soup. As for lettuce, there isn't much choice there either, so I tend to buy bag lettuce unless the other is on sale. Report
NAILGIRL920
I buy a whole chicken (pasture raised... I only eat chickens that walked, flew, and saw sunlight... No antibiotics... Etc...) and I roast it for a couple hours on 250 degrees. After I take it out of the oven, I take all the meat off when it's cool enough to handle. One breast is dinner that day, the other goes in the fridge for day after next, and all of the dark meat comes off the bone and goes into ziploc bags in the freezer for soups, pastas, salads, stirfrys, whatever! When I have time, I use the carcass and drippings to make homemade chicken broth that I store in the freezer. That's a LOT of mileage out of a $10 chicken!! :) Report
I am one of a couple-now retired-and it does seem I am always buying too much. My thinking seems to go along the lines of stocking up. In reality that is not necessary. The grocery store will be there. Report
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