Thursday, May 5, 2011

Couponing for One


              I frequently have people ask me if it’s worth couponing if they’re only shopping for one or two people.  The answer is a resounding YES!  Although a single person will not save as much money as someone shopping for a family of five, it’s because they aren’t spending as much either.  A single person might hear her coupon queen friend brag that she saved $150 this week on her groceries, and think, “I’ll never save that much money!”  Well if that single person is spending less than $100 a week on groceries, that’s probably true!    It’s better to think in terms of percentages than absolute dollars.
            In fact, it’s easier for a family of one or two to coupon, simply because it takes LESS time and effort to find coupons, meal plan and shop.  You won’t need as much space for your stockpile in your freezer and pantry as a family of five.  Even if you dine out a lot, a small family can still save a ton of money on cleaning supplies, paper products, drug store items and cosmetics! 
            One couponing strategy I teach has great value for the single-person household:  Use the largest value coupon on the smallest size of a product.     For example, there are frequently sales at Walgreens for the smallest size Reach floss for 99 cents.  Many times, there will be a $1.00 off coupon for Reach floss during the sale.  This means you get the small-sized floss for free!  Someone with a larger family might be tempted to buy a bigger sized floss, or have to hunt down multiple coupons to get the amount of floss they need for free.  A single person doesn’t even have to worry about that!  One or two packages are all that’s needed.
            If you’re couponing for one or two, your freezer can be one of the best weapons in your savings arsenal.  In my household, I am shopping just for my husband and me.  I frequently buy loaves of bread, divide them in half, and freeze them.  We just don’t use enough bread to eat a whole loaf before it gets moldy!  To think, I used to throw the other half away…  When I use frozen broccoli or green beans as part of my meal, I make ½ of the bag of veggies, and put the other ½ in a quart-sized freezer bag for another time.  Since many of the recipes I make are for four people, I regularly take leftovers to work for a delicious and nutritious lunch, or freeze them to use for a dinner later in the month.
            As you can see, couponing, meal planning and stockpiling are for everyone!  Whether you’re cooking for one, two, or ten, you CAN save 50% or more on your grocery bill!
           




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