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Smart Shopping Tips for Small Households

11 Ways to Save Money and Stop Food Waste

-- By Bryn Mooth, SparkPeople Contributor

Ever notice how the grocery shopping experience seems specifically designed to entice us to buy more? With all of the family-size packaging, buy-one-get-one sales and better deals for bigger quantities, food shopping can be particularly challenging for small households. Those of us who live alone or with one other person often end up buying and cooking more than necessary. The result? We either throw food away or get tired of eating leftovers for three days straight.
 
How can singles and couples manage their grocery purchases so they don’t buy more than they need? Here are a dozen ways to downsize your food shopping—and your food waste.
 
Have a plan.
It’s common advice, but taking the time each week to create a meal plan will help you shop more sensibly. When you’re cooking for one or two, it’s helpful to think of smart ways to reuse key ingredients. For example, tonight’s grilled steak dinner could easily become tomorrow night’s hearty steak salad. What’s more, having a menu plan will keep you from overbuying while you shop.
 
Cook from scratch.
Frozen, boxed and prepared foods from the grocery store commonly serve four people or more. If you’re a household of one or two, you end up paying for twice the food you need. Instead of using packaged foods, cook from scratch. You can easily scale down most recipes to serve one or two people (and shop accordingly).

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