Grocery shopping for just yourself has its perks and its downsides. Sometimes you can buy too much of one thing and it goes to waste, but it can be easier to shop to appease your taste buds only.
Here are tips and tricks to grocery shopping for just you.
Carefully planning out your meals helps you shop in a less wasteful and economical way. Stick to your list to avoid overspending. You can also prepare by looking for recipes that require minimal ingredients, which means less to purchase and cost savings for you.
WHERE TO SHOP
There are many options for grocery shopping these days. While it might take extra time, your wallet may benefit from shopping at several different stores.
Traditional Supermarkets: These stores carry a wide selection of products. They also accept coupons and offer discount programs for customer loyalty.
Warehouse Stores: These stores, such as Costco and Sam’s Club require a paid membership, but you save by purchasing items in bulk. Since you are buying groceries for yourself, avoid perishable items here, but instead look for items like paper towels and other nonperishables.
Organic/Health/Natural/Specialty Grocery Stores: You can find a huge selection of fresh organic or natural foods along with specialty items like vitamins/supplements, gluten-free products, and specialty food for vegetarians.
Farmer’s Markets: Food is tasty and fresh and gives you an opportunity to support local farmers. However, availability of foods at a farmer’s market changes with the seasons. So, it is less predictable if you’re trying to stick to a list or recipes.
Here are a few ways to prepare before you grab a cart and start shopping.
Never Shop Without a List. Always create a shopping list and try to stick to it. Some grocery store industry studies have shown that most grocery store purchases are unplanned. So, give yourself some time to think about your meals and what you need to make them.
Have a Snack Before You Shop. Never go to the grocery store hungry. That may lead to impulsive purchases.
Be Wary of “Buy More Save More” Specials. Do you honestly need ten packages of cheese or 20 containers of yogurt? These specials typically aren’t for you if you’re shopping for one. When advertised specials say, “10 for $10,” it usually means you can buy 5 for $5 as well.
Consider Generic Brands. In many cases, generic products are only given a different label but manufactured in the same factory. The only reason they are lower priced is that they do not have to pay to advertise to keep up with 'brand awareness." Try some generic foods to see if they are the same or whether they are not made as well and are not worth the savings.
Here is more advice on budgeting which could help your grocery store shopping plan.
Reviewed December 2022