Eating Healthier (and Cheaper!) For One
- FREEZE leftovers.There are many dishes you can make that freeze well. For a description of foods and how to freeze them, click here (takes you to another site). You can try making burritos of your own and freezing them for later use. You can freeze rice, meat, and sauces. You can also freeze breads and bread products, as they freeze well. So if you like store-baked bread (like I did before going gluten-free), you can freeze half the loaf.
- SEPARATE your foods when you buy them, keeping some fresh and some stored for later use. For example, if I buy a package of chicken (but know that I only want to eat it once or twice during the week), I separate each chicken breast into a freezer-safe container. As I need, I take out an individually wrapped chicken from the freezer.
- AVOID BULK, if possible. You do not need to buy a bag of potatoes when there is only one or two of you. They go bad too fast. Buy an individual potato, or two, instead. Same for vegetables, fruit and even meat. Many stores will sell individual carrots, celery sticks and small heads of broccoli.
- GO TO THE BUTCHER for your meat. Many grocery stores have butchery departments where you can get one chicken breast, one hamburger, 1 steak, etc. ... buy your meats this way instead of in the prewrapped packages. The cost per pound is typically the same, and you get fresh meat that doesn't need to be frozen.
- DON'T BUY TOO MUCH FOOD THAT NEEDS REFRIGERATION. Mix fresh foods with things like pasta or canned sauces that can be stored for a long time.
- DON'T COOK MORE THAN YOU EAT. If you only eat 1/4 of a box of pasta, don't cook 1/2. Measure out your food and know what you eat.
- PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT YOU TYPICALLY EAT. In other words, don't buy eggs, bacon, cereal, and oatmeal if you normally grab one egg and a banana for breakfast. Most people buy more food than they usually eat because of "impulse" shopping. Keep a list and stick to it.
- CHOOSE SMALL, LOCAL STORES. Try to shop in smaller, locally-owned grocery stores instead of the big chains. Local grocery stores tend to sell smaller portions of fresh food items as well as have a good variety of individual foods rather than bulk (due to space and focus on local foods). You will also have less to choose from, meaning less impulse shopping.