Check out the bulk food bins in grocery stores. These are ideal when you’re feeling adventurous to try something new or prefer to only buy a small amount for a recipe. If packaged meats are too big, go to a butcher shop or the fresh meat counter at your grocery and get what you need. You could also freeze the extra portions and be prepared for another day. Deli counters are perfect for a few slices of cheese or a side dish of prepared salad.
Produce is best when fresh and may need to be replenished several times a week. Fortunately, you can buy one or two pieces of fruit and small bunches of lettuce or other vegetables. Frozen and canned goods are other options that help you avoid multiple shopping trips.
If you find it easier to cook a larger portion, freeze half of your entrée for another week. As long as freezer space isn’t an issue, it’s a good to double a recipe and save on time and effort.
Not all foods freeze well. Noodles, rice and quinoa in soups tend to get mushy after being frozen and reheated. Freeze the soup without them and boil a new batch and add when reheating. Dairy-based soups also don’t freeze well. Neither do dishes containing white potatoes get mushy.
Buying foods in larger sizes or bulk is typically more economical, so consider sharing with a neighbor or friend if you like to shop at Costco or Sam’s Club. Or participate in a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. You may even find some interesting foods that aren’t in your usual grocery.