A guide to eating, shopping for singles

By: Kim Beavers Email
By: Kim Beavers Email

Eating for one usually means you have to shop for one. With about 100 million single people in the U.S., that means a lot of people are shopping and eating for one.

It actually never occurred to me that doing so was difficult. I had a long single life prior to my married life and that is when I discovered myself as a “foodie." On several occasions colleagues, would say “You cooked that for yourself?” in response to my grilled steak salad with Peach Melba dessert menu or “You were running late and still made breakfast?” in response to my cream of wheat with raisins breakfast after calling in late.

You see, it never occurred to me to not eat. For me, skipping meals is just not an option -- why would you give up the chance to eat something delicious and wholesome? So first off for all singles young and old, you are worth it, and it is certainly worthwhile to make yourself a delicious and complete meal at any time!

Now the business of shopping for one can be hard from the standpoint of food waste and cost containment since many times the larger the package, the lower the cost.

Below are a few suggestions to help you get the most out of your shopping dollar:

Use the freezer.
Items that freeze wonderfully include: bread, pasta sauce, chicken broth or any broth and meat. Milk will also freeze, however, there are some textural changes with fat containing milk and it may not separate as well. Admittedly, I personally never froze milk but wanted to include it as an option just the same. The key is to remember (or write down and rotate) what is in your freezer.

Buy produce in smaller quantities or just plan for and eat lager portions of produce.
A head of lettuce will actually keep in the crisper drawer for a week -- just keep eating it (a big salad is a great way to get in your greens each day). Cantaloupe can also be tackled by a single person, but a watermelon would be tough, so try the already-cut varieties there. Most other produce can be purchased in smaller amounts for the same price as larger quantities.

Desserts can be tricky.
Some of them do not come in small sizes. Take pie for example, it would be hard and not all that healthy for one person to eat a whole pie, even spread out over a week. So do try to buy individual servings or buy things that keep well. Look to freezer items. However, some of the individual portioned desserts can have more calories than one slice of or piece of a larger item, so use caution and read the label.

Frozen dinners and burritos.
These are great to fall back on but don’t forget to add some delicious produce to make them healthier. Burritos are one of my favorite frozen foods. I do go for healthier options, which is mainly bean and rice or bean and cheese from the regular aisle and then several options in the organic section (aim for < 3 g saturated fat). Adding a fruit and vegetable makes this a meal.

Eat soup.
Soup is also a great single food but some of them, like frozen meals, need more. A salad is nice, of course, and will keep your lettuce from going bad. However, you can also embellish soup by adding frozen vegetables and meats as you heat the soup.

Shopping for one is similar to shopping for four; you need a basic menu plan for the week. Shop from your menu and then eat. Enjoy!

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