Single Senior on a Limited Budget

I'm a single "senior" so grocery shopping is a challenge at times, especially when it comes to milk, bread and other staples that will spoil before I can use them up. Buying smaller amounts of milk isn't an economical solution, so I buy a gallon and freeze two quarts (in quart jars). With bread, I freezer six slices at a time in gallon freezer bags for later use. I've also found that it's actually cheaper to buy a salad from somewhere than it is to buy all the ingredients fresh, unless you eat salad every day.
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When I eat out (about once a week), I usually eat at a place that offers "meat and veggie" meals. I ask for a carry out box when they bring my food and put half in that before I start eating. That way, I get two meals for one price.

I'd love to hear about ways other single people on limited budgets with limited freezer space manage the grocery angle.

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May 22, 20163 found this helpful
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I grow vegetables each year. I don't grow near as much as I could and would like to. I don't because I don't have freezer space to keep the harvest. By the same token, I don't buy as much frozen food when on sale as I would like to for the same reason.

It looks like we both could benefit from a freezer. I have been looking around for one. They really don't cost much to operate. When I find a small upright freezer at a good price (they're about the height of kitchen counter tops), I will buy one.

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One bargain I look for is Walmart French bread. It's only a dollar a loaf and doesn't taste like soy bean oil as some other brands do. You can often find it sliced. I buy as many loaves as I think my freezer will hold because I don't grocery shop very often.

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May 22, 20162 found this helpful

I have a single senior friend and we split the cost on things, like meat that neither of us will use before it's too old. Also when I cook a casserole I always share with her. Works for us! When she cooks stew, she shares with me.

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Anonymous
May 23, 20161 found this helpful

I actually have an under-counter SubZero freezer, but I'm still trying to figure out how to fit it into my very small retirement household. And yes to those who asked about freezing milk, just thaw and shake well before using.

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You can also freeze cheese for casseroles and such. One other tip, you can buy "mini moos" in bulk packs for about $8 at Sam's. They don't require refrigeration and a box usually last 3-4 months depending on how much creamer you use in your coffee.

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May 23, 20161 found this helpful

Not only is your arrangement with your friend beautiful, it's simply the way things should be.

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May 23, 20161 found this helpful

Yes, I prefer my homemade biscuits over store bought French bread, but many times I'm just not in the mood to make them.

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May 30, 20161 found this helpful

How do you defrost the bread? Whenever I use microwave setting to defrost bread or rolls it tastes like mush.

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Anonymous
May 31, 20161 found this helpful

We have a large family of 6 adults. Remove a frozen loaf of bread to the fridge to thaw removing only the number of slices needed t the time. Microwave the slices on a on a piece if paper towel at 10 second intervals until soft enough to eat or toast.

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When the remainder of the loaf is thawed put it on the counter to bring the bag and the air inside to room temperature. the bag of bread

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June 2, 20162 found this helpful

Try just setting out on the counter until defrosted. Then toast in a toaster oven.

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June 27, 20161 found this helpful

Wrap the frozen bread in kitchen roll and put it in a plastic food bag to defrost

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Anonymous
July 29, 20190 found this helpful

When I freeze bread I put the whole loaf in a Walmart bag and tie it shut! Just take it out set it on the counter over night and its like fresh bread!

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August 3, 20190 found this helpful

I freeze mine also, dont use microwave, just take out of frezeer in ziplock bag on the counter, tastes fine, doesnt take too long to thaw

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May 22, 20161 found this helpful

I actually had no idea you could freeze milk. Sectioning off half the meal at the start is a great idea!

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May 22, 20161 found this helpful

I didn't know you could freeze milk either. Won't it separate? A great idea though.

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May 22, 20161 found this helpful

No, just give it a shake after it thawing!

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May 23, 20161 found this helpful

I have had a different experience with freezing milk. When thawed, it tastes watery and sweeter. To me, not as good for drinking straight, but fine for all other purposes.

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May 23, 20161 found this helpful

I freeze milk all the time. We did blind tastings and no one could tell the difference.

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May 22, 20162 found this helpful

Yes you can freeze milk. Just take some out of the bottle. Then freeze. Take out of freezer at least 2=3 days before you need the milk.

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The milk will taste very good. Saves going to the store when you are low on milk. I live at least 21 miles from a store.

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May 23, 20161 found this helpful

I bake my own bread which is a lot cheaper and healthier than buying it at the store. I have a dough hook for my mixer so do very little kneading by hand. I bake 2 loaves at a time and when cool, cut each in half and freeze them. That way I always have fresh homemade bread. For those thinking about a small freezer, I did that. But those little chest freezers are so deep you are practically touching your toes to get to the bottom. l ended up filling it half full with dead weight (empty cardboard boxes worked) just so I had easy access to what I wanted.

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I ended up selling it. I don't think they make small upright freezers - too bad because that would be much easier. I have grown salad greens in a container on my patio and from one 6-pack for about $2 had fresh lettuce handy all summer, into fall. Lettuce here in the Pacific NW grows almost year around with a little planning. There are lots of berries and vegetables that you can grow in containers on a deck or patio and have fresh food right outside your door. Some you can even grow indoors in the winter. Just some of the things I do!

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May 23, 20160 found this helpful

I too senior budget and using the help from many of thrifty fun readers used several tips. One was start looking at what I'm eating in what amounts. That saved big $$$ as I was throwing away too much. MAKE A MENU start with 3 days and expand. Piggy bank for change not just loose in pocketbook. Use flavor water instead of buying. Ask yourself do I really need it when out shopping. I believe what gr. uncle george said "a man can only wear 1 suit at a time". Reuse-repurpose-and thank Thrifty Fun sharing site.

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July 29, 20190 found this helpful

I saw a small upright freezer advertised at Sam's Club not too long ago.

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Anonymous
May 23, 20160 found this helpful

Fill empty freezer space with empty milk cartons filled w water. A full freezer is more economic al to run . be sure to leave headspace in bottles as water expands when frozen

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May 23, 20160 found this helpful

Growing up, and this would still be applicable, we used to get together, 4 - 6 women (some with families, some not) and share the expense as well as the work in making big batches of cabbage rolls. Of course a deep freeze is pretty much necessary.

We also used to share the expense of buying a young steer and having it butchered and professionally wrapped. These days, with all the worries about synthetic steriods in beef and pork, if you can find a farmer who raises organic meat and if that's your preference, this option becomes attractive again.

These days, as a single woman, I find my freezer very handy when the grocery store has such items on sale as a 10 lb. box of boneless, skinless chicken breasts or, in early fall, whole salmon.

A pressure canner is also a mainstay in my home. When I do cook, I prefer to make big batches of things. Canning what I don't immediately use is a good option in that it preserves nutrients far better than the freezing process. Pressure canners aren't inexpensive, however, and an option to consider would be sharing the expense with at least one other friend then take turns using the thing.

I'm none too happy with the quality of breads available at the grocery store and want healthier options. Multi-grains, for instance, with flax or barley for texture. I bake my own, as needed, and can thus control the loaf size.

Hoping some of my ideas prove beneficial ....

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May 29, 20160 found this helpful

Powdered milk can taste better when you make some up, freeze it, then thaw in the fridge and shake before drinking it. And you can make it in the small amounts you need.

Or add a little powered milk to your regular milk that you froze and thawed to make it taste better.

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