10 Tips for the Single Grocery Shopper
Super solo shopping and dining can be a cinch.
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
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
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 entrÃ©e 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
- 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
- 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
- Cooked shrimp. Get them in the frozen section, or buy fresh from a grocer
- Sliced turkey, roast beef, or roasted chicken from a nearby deli or
- Light salad dressing. Keep bottled favorites in your refrigerator, or just
drizzle a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar over the top