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The Single Woman’s Guide to Saving Money on Food

Looking to save money on food? The easiest way is to….wait for it…eat at home and plan ahead. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics 1, the average person spends over $2,000 a year on food away from home. When you’re single and there is no one else to cook for, it can be tempting to assume you should just order food instead of cooking. However, you can save money by preparing some or all of your meals at home. Here are a few ways:

Plan ahead.

I bet you saw this one coming. Meal prepping, or meal planning, it’s all the same concept. You have probably heard this advice before because it works when it’s done right. By planning your meals ahead of time you can save money by having a plan in place for your meals. This can help you avoid last minute dining out.

Work with another single friend to split costs.

Do you have a close friend who is also planning meals for just one? Consider shopping together and buying certain items in bulk? You could even meal prep together to make it fun. Instead of buying an entire pack of apples that will go to waste, buy them with a friend and split the cost.

Recycle.

Having tacos tonight? You probably don’t need all of your beef. Go ahead and cook the whole package of beef and then plan to use it the next day for another meal or for lunch. Tacos tonight, burrito bowl for lunch tomorrow! Sounds like a good plan to me.

Know your habits.

Do you tend to overspend on food when you are tired or stressed out? If so, you’re in good company. If you know that you snack more on busy days, have healthy snacks available.

Don’t completely cut out dining out.

If you make any extreme resolutions, the odds are you won’t be able to stick to them. Instead of cutting out meals out, plan for them. Have a night that you eat out.

Automate your easiest meals.

For many, breakfast is the meal on the go. If you are used to the typical drive through or Starbucks visit for breakfast, consider automating your breakfast. What I mean by this is to simply have a plan in place to make this meal easy. Consider setting a routine to have your coffee prepared by a certain time and eating the same thing every day. This requires less thought in the morning about what you’re going to eat. If you already know that you will have coffee and oatmeal- it’s simple and quick. Did I mention it will also save you money? Sign up for rewards. Where do you regularly shop for groceries? Make sure you are signed up for their rewards programs. This will enable you to get coupons and potentially accumulate rewards for doing your regular shopping. It may not seem like much at first, but over time it can really add up.

Remember, none of these tips will work unless you do. You don’t have to implement every tip. Pick one or two and watch the savings stack up.

Want some more accountability when it comes to eating out? Snowball Premium provides personalized guidance to pay debt and build wealth. Make a long-lasting shift in your money mindset and habits.

Anna Paul, CFP® is an Investment Adviser and Certified Financial Planner. She currently serves as money coach for Snowball Wealth providing personalized financial guidance in areas such as budgeting, building and maintaining credit, estate planning, debt management, and money mindset. Most importantly, she believes in coaching clients to adapt their mindset to their goals. She specializes in helping individuals identify financial goals and take actionable steps towards achieving them. Anna volunteers with Carolina Youth Coalition as a mentor and serves on the Volunteer Income Tax Association. When she isn’t giving financial education presentations, she can be found hiking, couponing, or trying new recipes.

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