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I just read the thread about feeding a family of five or more frugally. So does anyone have any super saving ideas for singles? I see a lot of ideas for kids and families. What about those who are eating alone? How much are you spending food and rent??
 

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I'm single and I find it so much easier to spend next to nothing on food. My rent is high ($725), but I had to move out of my apartment for safety. I think it's a good trade off. But, if you like to cook, you can spend next to nothing. I cook a lot of pastas or rice & beans. I also grow sprout in my window sill to cut down on the cost of fresh produce til my container garden starts producing. I also just bought a smaller fridge. My duplex came with this HUGE fridge that would take me forever to fill! So, I bought a small bar-type fridge. I've figured that it costs less than $.20 a day where the big fridge was over $1/day.
 

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See, I never thought of getting a smaller fridge. I had thought about getting a small freezer because I can use it to store sales, but didn't even think about downsizing the fridge. If I fill it up stuff just goes bad in there, and that is NOT frugal. I just accepted the fridge that came with the apartment.
That is why I started this thread. I'm sure there is stuff out there I haven't thought of because, well. I can be a bit dense sometimes...
 

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Good Thread!!!
I pay $500 in rent and $35 for water (this is nonegiotable).
I spend about $75 per month in food and usually less than $50. I have kept my apt refrigerator and never thought about buying and utilizing a smaller one. I regularly fill up my freezer. I freeze EVERYTHING!! I make large quantities of food and then freeze it into serving size containers like chili etc. I then microwave the containers at night, this offers me a variety every day. I have found that many of the tips related to families apply to me.
 
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I used to buy too much produce at once and some of it would go to waste because it was on sale. So, now, I just buy what I need when I go grocery shopping.
 

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I pay $280 a month, electric and (well) water included. As far as I'm concerned, it's a steal considering that it's tucked away on 19 acres and mostly surrounded by woods. It's on the second floor of a horse barn/indoor riding arena, and is well-constructed and clean.

I've found that that I buy refrigerated items less and less. I wish my freezer were the larger part, as I stock meats and veggies in there. Refrigerated items tend to go bad while you're not paying attention, so I don't buy too much at a time. Keeps me from wasting food.
 

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I agree, as a single I would find a larger freezer compartment more useful, maybe so there were equal in size instead of the 1/3 to 2/3 ratio it seems to be.

I cook mostly from scratch, but tend to eat a lot of the same meals in a row. Like if I make spaghetti sauce it'll last me for 3 or 4 meals. Since I don't mind eating repetitively for a few days I'll eat the same thing for several days, but I know if I wanted more variety I could just freeze and rotate the meals.

I'm not sure what I spend monthly on food...but I do know (hopefully) that it's less and less as I learn more tricks and tips. Right now I freeze bags of milk, then thaw as needed and mix with powdered milk. Less cost, plus that way I can shop less often, trying to get it down to once or twice a month.

I guess I should start tracking my costs better, but while I love being frugal I really do dislike tracking my grocery spending. Not sure why that is....

I do try to calculate cost a rough per meal when I cook though, I find that motivating, like when I can make a meal for like 75 cents or something.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hmm... I wonder if there would be a market for fridge/freezer combos that were equal in size. Maybe someone out there could make some money on that idea....
 

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i do intentional leftovers, which get packed immediately for next day's work lunch. i also freeze portions in the freezer. i have a list of quick easy meals on the front of the freezer in case i draw a "blank" for what to cook or get stuck in a rut.

i plan meals, which has helped. i also eat very little meat.

i pay 700 a month to maintain, insure, and pay taxes on a mortgage free home.
 

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Squirt, your place sounds like a little bit of heaven!

I also do the cook a lot, and eat the same thing for a week plan. I always intend to freeze stuff, but I don't really mind eating chili for a week. :) Boring meals outweigh the annoyance of having to actually *think* about what to cook.

I love a big fridge, though, when I had a little one I was always running out of space. I think the side-by-side fridge/freezer combos are more equal in space than a top-freezer style. I do wish I had more freezer space!

I guess I should start tracking my costs better, but while I love being frugal I really do dislike tracking my grocery spending. Not sure why that is....
Me too!! I think I feel this way because I spent several years in college with NO money for anything, even food. There were weeks when I lived on nothing but oatmeal, and pastries from my coffee shop job. To this day, I cannot eat oatmeal, I don't care how frugal it is!

I get really stressed out when I "can't" buy this or that food item. And it's not like I'm eating lobster or anything! :) I'm trying again with the saving money on groceries thing, but I have to look at it as a game, finding great deals, rather than this or that item is too expensive. If I want ice cream, darn it, I'm going to buy ice cream! LOL.

I used to buy too much produce, etc. as well. What saves me money is actually to shop on the day - decide what I want to eat, see what ingredients I already have, and go buy what's missing. It seems counterintuitive, but I was spending more the other way, and never cooked half of it. I do this a couple of times a week, and eat leftovers the rest of the time. It also helps that the grocery store is 2 blocks from my house.
 

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I'm glad I'm not the only one who doesn't really track grocery spending, though I am going to start for a while. I would really like to track over a year, because numbers interest me, but I'm sure I'll lose interest in the project long before that and stop. Also I sort of "binge" grocery, several times a year, stuffing the stockpile and freezer, then shop very little for long stretches between. So how much do I spend? I have no idea. I would have to track over a long period and average it out. I don't budget by categroy anymore - I just know that I have $X to spend, for whatever needs there are for the month. I try to set some limits in my head, but they're a guideline, not a rule. Like Misfitz, if I want something, I'll get it, unless it's way out of line.

Like the rest of you, leftovers are a way of life, and intentionally so. I think I would be looking for a train to throw myself in front of if I had to cook for a family every night. My most important criteria is "easy." Easy and quick and not too many dirty dishes is best of all.

I live in a one-bedroom apartment, about 2.5 miles from work. I pay 480 a month, and I should start getting a 10% senior discount in May, unless they stop the program. Since they like to retain older residents - we're quiet, tend to move less often, and don't trash the apartment - I imagine that will go through. My water is a pro-rated $10 a month.

I think there are frugal blessings and curses for singles. It makes it much easier to manage money since it is just me -- no Dh out there using the debit card without writing it down and all the similar crises we hear about. No one to disagree about financial priorities.

The flip side, there is no one else to be accountable to, so "cheating" is easier, and staying motivated may be harder, especially if everything is just rocking along nicely and there is not a crisis to deal with. It surely happened to me this last year.
 

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I don't rent and I could only take a 'guesstimate' of what I spend on food. It will also vary per the time of year. Xmas I spend quite a lot, as I love to bake. During the summer I would be surprised if I spend over $40 a month, but maybe as I like/buy lots of fruit. I grow my own veggies.

I buy a few 'convenience' foods, just to have on hand. My crock pot, bread machine, dehydrator, and freezer I could not live without.

The crock pot helps me clean out my refrig. and usually ends up in a great soup. I eat on it for a couple days then the rest goes in the freezer.

I save plastic containers and put food in the freezer in single serving size. Then, even if I have company, I can just take out two, or whatever is needed, containers.

Like another poster said - lots of the family idea things can just be cut down to single size an applied.
 

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StacyS, I hope you feel safe and secure where you live now. I know how important that is as a single lady.

One thing I find easier about being single is I control all the money. And that is good. I'm having a hard time with my food budget though. I stopped doing the challenge. I just can't seem to get it down to what I want.
 

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Franny, how does the bread machine help? I have contemplated buying one, but can't make the numbers add up...I have always thought those were great frugal tools for large families, but am curious how it works for singles?
 

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Forgot this but one of the challenges I find in single frugality is loneliness.

If a family decides to go frugal, they have each other, they can have games nights or find free activities to do together.

For me, one of the great difficulties is my spendthrift friends who say, "Come to this show" (40 ticket) or come bowling/skiing, etc., all of which have price tags that I don't want to incurr.
 

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I probably spend about $70 per month.
 

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I'm not single, but I have to plan meals for my youngest that is separate from our due to a special medical diet. What I have found is that produce can be a challenge when trying to be frugal. Here's some of what I do not just for him but the rest of us too. When I find produce dirt cheap or from our own garden.


Potatoes

I'll bake 10 pounds at a time and cool over night in the fridge. The next day I'll scoop out the insides (saving the insides for the next step) and make bacon and cheese potatoes for DH & DS1 with a 1/4 of the potatoes. I'll wrap and freeze to save for game day snacks. The rest I scoop out the insides and make stuffed potatoes. any of the following will work; I use broccolli (when I find a good deal or don't want it to go to waste) cheese (cottage, cream, or whatever I have) sauted onions, chives, sour cream, bacon, garlic, mexican seasoning and salsa. I then wrap and place in a ziplock bag with the type of stuffed potato they are. I pull out just what I need to complete a meal and heat in microwave or oven.

I'll boil and mash 10 pounds of potatoes and place in containers in the freezer for meals.


Onions

I dice raw onions and freeze for meal preparation. I make sure to label bags.

Green peppers

I just seed, slice or dice and place in labeled bags for use in recipes like omelettes, chilis, ect.

Tomatoes

I blanch and shock in water then peel. I bag and freeze for future use in soups or chili.

A great way to be frugal with mushrooms, broccolli, cauliflower, celery is to saute finely diced vegetables and pack in ziplock bags pushing out air before sealing. Label bags. Thaw and use to make cream of soups. I've saved tons of money doing this. It's a super quick supper. I serve with a salad and biscuits.

Strawberries, pineapple, melons, grapes, blueberries can all be frozen together and pack in containers for a quick fruit salad. I make this often when my husband is on big jobs. It thaws in his lunch kettle and is ready to eat by lunch. It makes a great ice pack to keep the lunch cool too.

Blueberries can be frozen for pancakes or muffins.

Bananas

I peel and put a craft stick in then freeze. I dip in a thick chocolate syrup and wrap individually and place back in freezer. Quick healthy snack.

I mash and premeasure for banana bread & cake recipes. I make sure to clearly mark which recipe.

I saute banana slices in butter and brown sugar. Then I cool and place in containers and use to top pancakes, waffles, ice cream.

Strawberries & blueberries

I freeze in ziplock bags and mark for smoothies

I cook over medium heat with a bit of water and sugar to make a thick chunky sauce. I freeze in containers. I use over pancakes, waffles, ice cream, to fill crepes, over angel food cake.

Apples

I make apple sauce and freeze

I make a cooked pie filling of sorts and freeze in containers. I make mini tarts or serve over breakfast type cakes.
 

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Forgot this but one of the challenges I find in single frugality is loneliness.

If a family decides to go frugal, they have each other, they can have games nights or find free activities to do together.

For me, one of the great difficulties is my spendthrift friends who say, "Come to this show" (40 ticket) or come bowling/skiing, etc., all of which have price tags that I don't want to incurr.
I agree and disagree with this. I thought food would be so much cheaper with just my daughter and I at home. Instead we would feed off each other. "ooh you know what sounds good? Arbys." or "man I'm craving chinese for some reason." Then you've got the other person, instead of shooting your thoughts down, chiming in, "YAH!!!"
I had to really be firm with myself and with her when these comments were made. I stopped myself from making comments and when she would say something similar I would say "that does sound good, we should make it." Granted, not everything was cost effective to make, nor did it turn out as well sometimes, and at times I was just dang tired and didn't WANT to make the item. But, now I've noticed the comments are less and less from her as it didn't work. But at first, I'm just saying, the social urge to go eat can be just as strong with family. Just as hard to resist.
 

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Yeah, I guess that is true. My ex had a habit of coming home from work late and too hungry to bother fixing something, so he would order literally $60 worth of delivery food, then fall asleep on the couch with it all sitting in front of him on the coffee table til morning when he would throw it out!!

Drove me mad!

But, yeah, kids can be such bad influences! :chomp:
 
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