Small Scale Shopping

How do small households maximize their food dollars? Besides general cost-saving tips, you might save in other ways if you're a household of one or two:

  • Buy frozen vegetables and fruit in bags, not boxes. As long as they aren't thawed, you can pour out as much as you need, then reseal and return the package to the freezer.
  • Look for foods sold in single servings: juice, yogurt, frozen meals, soup, and pudding, among others. In that way you can have a greater variety of food on hand. "Singles" may help with portion control, too. Because small households are a big consumer market segment, more and more products now are available in single-size servings.
  • To save with economy-size packages, share your food purchases with a friend.
  • Shop from bulk bins for small amounts.
  • At home repackage meat, poultry, and fish into single portions in freezer wrap or plastic freezer bags. Freeze these portions to use later.
  • Ask the butcher or the produce manager for a smaller amount of prepackaged fresh meat, poultry, or produce. Usually they can repackage food.
  • Buy produce that keeps longer in the refrigerator: broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, parsnips, potatoes, sweet potatoes, apples, grapefruit, melons, oranges, pears, and tangerines.
  • Shop for convenience. Often mixed salad greens (perhaps from the salad bar) or raw vegetables, already cut and mixed for stir-fry dishes or salads, cost less than individual foods in quantity.
  • Buy small loaves of bread, or wrap and freeze what you won't use right away.
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