Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Food & Recipes

Font Size

10 Tips for the Single Grocery Shopper

Super solo shopping and dining can be a cinch.
By
WebMD Feature

Just one mouth to feed in your house? I remember those days fondly sometimes. Like when I have a hungry husband and two testy teens barking, "What's for dinner?," the minute I walk in the door. Or when my groceries total $200, and it's only been a few days since my last shopping trip.

I hope you're celebrating your singleness by feeding yourself well (and by "well," I mean with health in mind most of the time). Many singles say it's a challenge to shop and cook for one. Recipes are usually designed with a family in mind. You buy bread in loaves, cereal in large boxes, and eggs by the dozen.

On the other hand, frozen entrees, yogurt, and some frozen desserts are available in single servings. Fruit and vegetables can also be bought by the piece instead of the pound.

The grocery store truly can be a treasure trove of food opportunities for the single person. Here are 10 tips for super solo cooking and dining:

1. Freeze extra bread. Whenever you buy whole-grain bread, sandwich rolls, or hot dog or hamburger buns, take out what you need for the next few days, and freeze the rest. When you need more, just take it out of the freezer an hour ahead of time. Breads thaw quickly.

2. Smoothies are, by design, single servings. Keep frozen fruit and yogurt or light vanilla ice cream on hand for a last-minute smoothie. They're great for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or a snack.

Embellish the Soup

3. Canned soup is an easy meal for one. Some canned soups are better than others in flavor and nutrition. Find the ones you like and keep some in the pantry. You can embellish them by adding frozen or fresh veggies, or topping with green onions, fat-free sour cream, freshly shredded Parmesan, and etc. Make soup a meal by grilling a slice of whole-grain cheese bread, or serving a roll or whole-grain crackers on the side.

4. Pasta is a perfect entrée for singles. If you use fresh packaged pasta or tortellini/ravioli, boil what you need and freeze the rest. If you use dry pasta (try the new whole-wheat blends!), boil as much as you need and store the rest in your pantry. Another option is to make two servings of pasta and have the leftovers for lunch the next day. Cold pasta salad makes a lovely lunch, or you can microwave leftover pasta for a hot lunch. For easy sauces, try bottled marinara, store-bought pesto, or just a drizzle of flavored olive oil and some shredded Parmesan.

5. Throw together a lunch or dinner salad. Those triple-washed bags o' salad make salads a cinch! Buy a bag of the spinach or romaine salad greens for the most nutrition, then add any or all of the following:

  • Dried fruit.
  • Roasted nuts.
  • Fruit. Try fresh berries or pears, or a can of mandarin oranges.
  • Ready-to-go veggies like cherry or grape tomatoes; sugar snap peas; sliced, shredded or baby carrots. Or slice up some cucumber, zucchini, or bell pepper.
  • Canned beans (kidney, black, or garbanzo). Just rinse and sprinkle them on top. You can even buy 8-ounce cans, the perfect size for a single serving.
  • Cheese. Buy it pre-sliced, -shredded or -cubed, or cut it yourself.
  • Water-packed tuna. Just open a can, drain the excess water, flake, and toss it in.
  • Cooked shrimp. Get them in the frozen section, or buy fresh from a grocer you trust.
  • Sliced turkey, roast beef, or roasted chicken from a nearby deli or supermarket deli.
  • Light salad dressing. Keep bottled favorites in your refrigerator, or just drizzle a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar over the top

Today on WebMD

Four spoons with mustards
What condiments are made of and how much to use.
salmon and spinach
How to get what you need.
 
grilled veggies
Easy ideas for dinner tonight.
Greek Salad
Health benefits, what you can eat and more.
 

WebMD Recipe Finder

Browse our collection of healthy, delicious recipes, from WebMD and Eating Well magazine.



bread
Recipes
soup
Recipes
 
roasted chicken
Recipes
Flaxseed added fiber
Video
 
vegetarian sandwich
Recipes
fresh vegetables
Recipes
 
smoothie
fitArticle
Foods To Boost Mens Heath Slideshow
Slideshow