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Money saving tips on how to buy for a small family.
Nashville, Ark. - One of the major challenges adults face when their children leave
home is learning to
cook or buy food for just one or two people in their family instead of four or more.
One of the reasons for this challenge may be that most of our food packaging is made
for four or more servings. In today’s tough economic times, no one wants to buy more
food than they can eat before it goes bad.
Another reason grocery shopping may be a challenge is that many adults,
especially older adults, find many reasons for eating by themselves a challenge. Having
no one to cook for is one of the major challenges, which leads to not eating a well-balanced
To help meet these challenges there are some tips and tricks to buying
food in smaller packages and eating healthier. The first step is to learn how much
to buy for one or two so that food is not wasted. Here are some general guidelines
for purchasing the appropriate amount to serve two people:
Meats, baked goods and fresh produce pose the greatest difficulty in shopping for
one or two. Meats are often packaged into family sizes. With today’s high prices,
you may want to take advantage of lower costs on larger packages.
The freezer can be a great tool for people who only cook for one or two. Divide meat
into smaller packages once you get home. Be sure to use a storage container designed
especially for the freezer. Otherwise, you may not be happy with the look of your
food when you take it out to cook it.
Don’t forget that bread freezes well too. Just divide a loaf and put the extras in
the freezer. Grab a few slices when needed and allow to thaw. Bread thaws out quickly.
You can also defrost it in the microwave or toast it.
Fresh produce is one of those foods that can generally be purchased in small amounts.
However, some items such as lettuce can only be purchased whole so you may want to
look at another option, such as sharing with a friend or purchasing the pre-packaged
No matter what size family you have; one, two or more, there are some very important
rules to follow anytime you go to the grocery store.
Rule #1: Make a shopping list based on your menus.
Rule #2: Organize your shopping list to follow the layout of the store. By following
the layout of the store, you are less likely to spend time wandering the store and
being tempted to purchase items not on your list.
Rule #3: Shop off hours. If possible, shop early in the morning, or late in the evenings.
There will be less congestion in the aisles and fewer people at the checkouts. Also
avoid high traffic days where a lot of people will be shopping. Usually Friday and
Saturday are the busiest days.
Rule #4: Never shop when you are hungry. Studies have shown that hungry shoppers spend
more than they planned. Plus, they spend more time exploring the aisles they do not
When you shop, keep the Dietary Guidelines in mind. To meet your daily needs and add
variety and balance to your diet, select foods that will fit into the MyPlate meal
plan. You can determine your exact needs by visiting the website choosemyplate.gov or I’ll be glad to send you some information.
Shopping for one or two is always a challenge, but hopefully this information will
make it a little bit easier. If you would like more information on cooking for one
or two, contact me, Jean Ince, at the Howard County Extension Service at 870-845-7517
or e-mail me at email@example.com or visit my office located on the second floor of the courthouse.
Here is a recipe designed for just two servings. You might want to add this to your
½ lb. lean ground beef
2 Tablespoons chopped onion
2 Tablespoons flour
Salt to taste
Dash of pepper
1 cup skim milk
1 (3 oz.) package low-fat cream cheese, cubed
1 (2 oz.) jar sliced mushrooms, drained
1 ½ cups (3 oz.) whole grain noodles, cooked & drained
By Jean Ince County Extension Agent - Staff ChairThe Cooperative Extension ServiceU of A System Division of Agriculture
Media Contact: Jean Ince County Extension Agent - Staff ChairU of A Division of AgricultureCooperative Extension Service421 N. Main St, Nashville AR 71852 (870) 845-7517 firstname.lastname@example.org
The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative
action institution. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate or need
materials in another format, please contact your County Extension office (or other
appropriate office) as soon as possible. Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay. The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension
and Research programs to all eligible persons without regard to race, color, sex,
gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital
or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and
is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.