How to Save Money on Food When Living Alone

how to save money on food when living alone

Many people who live alone get stuck spending way too much on food. The cost of eating adds up, especially if you eat out or order takeout frequently. But living alone doesn’t have to mean breaking the bank to have food. With some simple planning, trim your grocery bills and eat well on a budget.

In this blog post, you’re going to discover clever ways to save money on food while being able to eat healthy. Ready to learn savvy strategies to trim food costs so you can keep more cash in your wallet while still enjoying delicious meals. Whether you’re passionate about cooking or hate spending time in the kitchen, let’s make the most from your grocery budget living solo!

Cook at Home as Much as Possible

Cooking at home is one of the best ways to spend money less on food living alone. Dining out for every meal can quickly add up, even if you only treat yourself once a week or so. Instead, make simple, homemade meals as often as possible.

  • Prepping meals in advance is essential. On weekends, cook a big pot of rice, beans, or grains that you can use for lunches and dinners during the week. Roast a tray of frozen vegetables to add to meals or eat as snacks. Having these staples on hand makes it easy to throw together a quick, affordable meal after work. For extra efficiency, double the recipes when you do cook and freeze half for later.

  • Focus on meals with simple, inexpensive ingredients. Things such as omelets, stir fries, pasta dishes, and tacos are budget-friendly options. Shop in-season fresh produce like fresh fruits or veggies as well as proteins on sale. Beans or eggs are more affordable sources of protein. Avoid ready to heat meals or packaged items which often cost more.

Cooking for yourself may require more effort, but the savings to your wallet will be well worth it. Focus on making homemade meals, prep staples in advance, choose affordable ingredients, and be selective when dining out. Making these small changes to your routine can help trim hundreds from your monthly food budget. Your bank account will thank you.

shop store brand products in bulk

Shop Store Brand Products & in Bulk

One of the easiest ways to reduce costs on your grocery bill is to buy store brand or generic products rather than name brands. Store brands are often made by the same manufacturers as the name brands but without the marketing costs, so they can could you up to 50% off the price. Things such as rice, beans, pasta, olive oil, and spices are all good options for store brands.

Shop Non-Perishables in Large Sizes or Bundles

For non-perishable items you use regularly, buy the largest size available or in bundles. Not only will the unit price be lower, but you won’t have to grocery shop as often. Things like:

  • Soups, Stews, and Chili: Homemade soups, stews, or chili often yield more than you could eat in one sitting. Freeze extra portions so you have a homemade meal ready whenever you need it.

  • Rice, Grains, and Beans: Cooked rice, quinoa, farro and beans freeze well for up to 6 months. Use them in dishes such as burritos, stir fries or serve as a side dish.

  • Breads: Wrap individual slices of bread, muffins, or rolls tightly in plastic wrap, foil or ziplock bags before freezing. They last up to 4 months. Simply thaw at room temperature and enjoy.

Living alone often means extra challenges when it comes to managing food waste and budget. But with some planning, minimize wasted food and maximize your food dollars. Freezing leftovers and repurposing ingredients are two of the simplest ways to make your groceries last longer so you have great home-cooked meals every day of the week.

Stock up on Sales

Look out for weekly ads to find the best deals on staples you use regularly. When there’s a good sale, stock up. Some products have a surprisingly long shelf life, so you can buy larger sizes and amounts to avoid paying full price later on. Check “best by” dates and use a permanent marker to write the date you purchased the item. With a little organization, you’ll save money and always have what you need on hand.

Eating well on a budget when you live alone simply requires some patience and planning. Buying store brand and in bulk, stocking up on sales, and proper storage are all simple steps that can make a significant difference in your food costs over time. Your wallet and belly will thank you!

Meal Plan

Meal planning is essential to saving money on food when living alone. Make a weekly meal plan and grocery list.

  • Take some time on Sunday and plan out your meals for the week. Focus on recipes that use similar ingredients so you’re not buying a lot of random extras. Having a plan in place means avoiding impulse purchases and wasting less food.

  • Cook extra food to have leftovers. Make a double batch of chili, stew, pasta sauce or casserole to have leftovers to eat for lunches and dinners later on. Freeze portions in single-serve containers that you can easily reheat. Leftovers are a gift to your budget and your time.

  • Save scraps and make stock. Don’t throw out vegetable scraps, meat bones or herb stems. Toss them in a bag in the freezer and once you have enough, make your own stock. Homemade stock is not only more flavorful than store-bought, it’s practically free. Use it as a base for soups, stews, and grains.

  • When you do dine out, choose wisely. Visit casual restaurants where you can get filling meals for under $10-15, or pick up takeout from places that offer discounts for calling in or online orders. Splitting entrees or getting appetizers as a meal are other ways to save. Of course, look for coupon codes and loyalty programs that offer deals at your favorite spots.

With some upfront planning and prep, you can save a significant amount on your food costs when living solo. Some extra effort pays off nicely in both your budget and your belly.

take advantage of sales coupons loyalty programs

Take Advantage of Sales, Coupons & Loyalty Programs

Don’t forget reducing your food spending by simply using your local store’s benefits:


Don’t underestimate the power of coupons. Check your Sunday paper, mailers, and online for coupons for the grocery stores you frequent. Clip or print coupons for items you actually buy and use them when that product goes on sale for even bigger savings. Loyalty programs and apps like also offer digital coupons you can load directly to your shopper’s card.

Sign up For Loyalty Programs

Most grocery stores offer loyalty programs that provide additional discounts and coupons. Enroll in programs at stores where you shop regularly. Your rewards and discounts will add up over time with each trip. Some programs even offer fuel rewards or other perks.

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