One Sunday I was in dire need of groceries, usually I plan ahead and go to the store after one of my late shifts to avoid the hassle of a busy store.  I had failed to do so this week. 

When I arrived I grabbed a cart and headed in for my weekly groceries.  Most of the items I buy are at the front of the store, in the produce section.  When I made it to the raspberries that were on sale for the week, they had already sold out.  I walked away looking for a replacement and began attempting to maneuver my cart around. 

It had turned out to be a huge burden as there were crowds of people and children everywhere!  I thought “I should dump my cart and go for a basket”, but could I really carry it all?  I was going to give it a shot! 

After dodging the bumper carts in each isle, I arrived at the checkout lanes.  There were quite a few lines open, but there were two or three people ahead of me in each line! 

Even the self-scan lines were long.  I chose one and tried not to focus on how fast the other lines were going.  I was so thrilled to get out of there and decided from that point I was never going to get stuck in that again! 

We’ve all been there. The dreaded trips to the store!  As a single person, you also have the most flexible schedule to come back whenever you would like!  Ahhh the joys of being single!!!

Avoiding crowds is one of my favorite time saving ways to grocery shop, but there are also a few other tips to help making maneuvering the grocery store more enjoyable for going solo.

Check your list twice. 

Going to the store once a week is a time saver.  Going twice because you forgot something is a time waster.

When making your list make sure to go through all the recipes or meal plan for the week.  If you don’t have one, check out my article here.  

Double check your cabinets and refrigerator… there is nothing worse than starting to cook, to realize that your chicken stock has grown mold and you don’t have a backup!

Write or rewrite your list to be in order of the store. 

This will save you more time than you think!  You know that moment when you thought you had everything. Then you notice one item floating among all the scribbles, like milk. You then have to run to back of the store for it.

The more efficient you are at cruising through the store, the faster you will get out of there! 

Bring a pen to cross items off your list, this helps you to stay focused.  I have also used an app for my grocery list, but I found I didn’t enjoy much because I couldn’t just set my phone down in the cart while I was looking for something. 

Also, if you are always forgetting your list, take a photo of it, just in case!

Here are a few links to some free printable categorized grocery lists that I have found in cyber space that may be useful:

        - Time-Warp Wife
        - Hello, Cuteness
        - Today's Mama

Meat and the Single Person.  There are a few ways you can tackle to meat department to make it work for your lifestyle. 

  1.  Buy everything frozen and thaw them the day (or morning) before use.  Thawing in the microwave is something that doesn’t produce quality results, so I am always sure to pull meat from the freezer the day before.  
  2. Go to the meat counter.  I know this is a foreign thing to some of us, but it’s like the deli counter, for uncooked meat.  They will happily sell you one piece of chicken, one steak or one piece of fish!  Could it get any better than that?
  3. Buy the normal packs (or family packs) and freeze portions that will work for you.  As you probably already know, this can begin to be a burden if you don’t have time to do this right away.  Even though it is a burden, it’s one of my favorite ways to tackle the meat department.  I get a whole pack of chicken, cut and trim to my liking and freeze them in the correct portion sizes.  When it is time to use it, just pull it out of the freezer and meal time just got easier!  You only have to do the work once and not every time you want to prepare dinner.  Don’t forget your freezer bags!

Deli meats and the single person

Deli meats are easy!  Your friends at the deli can slice you the exact amount of lunch meat you are looking for the week.  They will even slice you two pieces of your favorite cheese!  Lunch meat spoils after a week, but feel free to buy a package of cheese because it has a longer shelf life.

The Produce Section and the Single Person.

Is the most amazing place for the single person!  Everything, well almost everything, can be sold in single serving.

You can buy two apples, a handful of green beans, or one potato!  This will really help limit all of the rotting vegetables in your refrigerator. 

Think smaller, your plan should help you identify how many times you will really be eating these items.

Also consider purchasing fruit that lasts longer for later in the week (example green bananas) combined one with a shorter shelf life (example raspberries) will mean that you are eating fruit at its prime and will be limiting spoilage.

Couponing and the single person.

Just because you have a coupon doesn’t mean that you need to buy it.  Ask yourself if this is something you use regularly and if it is something you will use soon.

I can relate to the awesome physiological pull in to have a coupon and a sale, but don’t waste your money.  I usually think that if I don’t need it in the next month, I won’t need to buy it now.  Another sale and coupon will come along.  Otherwise, you may purchase an item that goes to waste.

As a single girl, I feel like sometimes I get the short end of the stick.  Truthfully, when it comes to the grocery store, I feel like a winner!  I get all of the items that I want to eat, in the portions that I’m looking for from the meat counter, deli and produce section.  And I don’t have anyone around to argue with about it.  Plus, my bill is lower than everyone else wooooot to that! You should feel the same!  Now go concur that store like a champ!

Action Items:

Experiment with shopping times – when does your store have the best selection, shortest lines and it fits your schedule

What can you buy in a single items that you used to buy in bulk and waste?

How will you buy your meat – dividing the family pack, from the freezer or the meat counter?

What time do you usually find the best balance of selection and crowd at your store?  What are some other tricks you’ve used to supplement your single lifestyle at the grocery store?

Main Blog Photo (c):

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11/12/2016 6:06am

Many of us need a few simple reminders on how to shop smart. To save time and money, we should familiarize ourselves with effective shopping strategies. Like you, I make sure to prepare a list of what to buy so I don't overspend. I also set a budget every time I go to the grocery. I just stick to that budget. Whatever my budget- $50, $100, $500- I make sure to stop shopping once I hit the limit. Anyway, thank you for sharing those tips. Keep blogging!

11/14/2016 10:00pm

I love that you bring in the budget aspect! thanks for reading!

03/04/2017 8:25am

I don't like to buy frozen food like fish because you'll never know what was the technology and how many times it was frozen.


Can you help me to create perfect shopping strategy? I really need your help.


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