Being single gets a bad rap, but I like to think that it has its perks. Don’t get me wrong, I am not that girl trotting around, flipping her hair while she beams about how incredible life is when it’s just me, myself, and I (read: having a boyfriend would be, like, totally fine and awesome).
However, when it comes to going grocery shopping, us solo shoppers don’t have it all that bad. In fact, the supermarket is a glorious place where eligible bachelors and bachelorettes should frequent as much as possible to celebrate their liberated lifestyles. We can go on our own schedules, get what we want and as much of it as we like (or at least as much as our single budget allows), without having to take anyone else into consideration. It rocks. And if we’re lucky, we can even check out that hot guy in the produce aisle bagging mustard greens like a total fox (I have never done this*).
When we asked the members of the singles club within the MyRecipes and Cooking Light staff to divulge their stories and secrets about shopping solo, we ended up getting about an equal level of response from those that are actually in relationships (grass is always greener, right?). Here’s what everyone had to say about how single people go grocery shopping–or in some cases, how leaving your partner at home makes for a much better experience at the store. Either way, I still need a boyfriend.
*JK, Yes I have.
“I really enjoy grocery shopping so I never go when I am in a rush. I usually go early Saturday morning and it takes me about 30 minutes.” –Daniel Boone, Designer Cooking Light
“If I go in with a list and I’m on my own, I’m a woman on a mission. I cook for my boyfriend a lot, so I usually try to stick to our menu plan for the day or week because we make a plan to fit with our calorie budgets (we’re both trying to lose weight), but if there’s no plan–Katy, bar the door! Oreos are going home with me!”- Kimberly Holland, Editor CookingLight.com
“I used to share and split grocery shopping with a roommate, so we’d go together and would pick out things we both liked so there was some level of constraint there. However, now that I only buy for myself, there are pretty much no rules and I basically just go for whatever I feel like having that week. I usually spend less than I think I’m going to, but overbuying is definitely a thing I do sometimes because there’s no one there to be like, Do you really need that? True story: I actually bought four bags of veggie chips yesterday because they were on sale. #adulting.” –Jessica Colyer, Production Assistant MyRecipes
“I’m not single, but I prefer grocery shopping alone! It’s sort of a meditative thing for me. When I go shopping with my boyfriend, yes, it’s fun, but he doesn’t share the same fascination with food I do. And we always end up buying so much prosciutto—more than he or I could ever eat—and not enough vegetables. There’s only so much cured pork I need in my life, ya know?” –Riddley Gemperlein-Schirm, Editorial Fellow MyRecipes
“I’m only cooking for myself so it’s very easy to buy for and stick to my budget. I think bringing a significant another, friend, or family member with me to shop is a big no-no. I’m very focused and I know what I want, and it’s possible if I had another person with me I’d get distracted or add things to my cart based on their recommendation. Overall, I think for a happy shopping experience where you can stick to the plan and see, touch, and feel everything you want, it’s best to go it alone.”- Michelle Darrisaw, Editor CookingLight.com
“I’m not single, but when I shop by myself, I find myself buying all the good stuff: Ice cream (it won’t melt while we have an in-store tantrum!), cookies (they’ll never know I bought them), fancy new things (because I had time to scan the shelves and actually read labels).” –Ashley Kappel, Digital Content Manager MyRecipes and CookingLight.com
“I only overbuy if I go to the store hungry and without a plan. If I use the Cooking Light Diet, I’m able to meal plan for a whole week, so I don’t have to estimate how much food I’ll need. I know in advance. I enjoy cooking for friends a lot, but I don’t like bringing anyone to the grocery. It’s a hassle, it’s easy to get off-task, and it can easily increase the size of my shopping list. I’d rather fly solo to the store and then cook for family or friends when I get back. And no roommates. Never again.”- Matthew Moore, Editor Cooking Light Diet
“I definitely overbuy…I hate not having what I want in the fridge at any given moment, and I refuse to let my solo status keep me from getting basically everything I see at the farmer’s market. Then I have the “problem” of how to eat 2 pounds of tomatoes in 5 days. I’d probably shop by myself regardless of who I was cooking for, that way I can move as quickly or slowly as I like.”- Hannah Klinger, Editor Cooking Light
“Personally, I think it’s a lot harder shopping for one than two+. My roommates and I often shop together (or create grocery lists together and then one person does the actual shopping), and I save SO much money that way. Cooking for one is just hard, for several reasons: 1. So many leftover random ingredients (I like to try fun, new meals if I’m just cooking for myself) that I have good intentions of using up but always end up throwing away, and 2. You end up eating the same dinner the whole week because there are so many dang leftovers.” –Emma Crist, Assistant Editor MyRecipes