I’ve always been a frugal shopper. I try to get the most for my money, especially when buying groceries and household supplies. This can sometimes be a real challenge for those of us who are single and/or live in small spaces. Often the best bargain is to be had in the larger sizes.
Big House, Carefree Shopping
When I lived in a great big house it was pretty simple. My only concern was if I could use it up before it went bad. I had plenty of cupboard space to stock up on dry and canned goods when they were on sale. Same thing with paper products. 36-roll packs of toilet paper on a really good sale? I’d take two or three. I also had a great big fridge with a great big freezer. The freezer was great when there was a sale on frozen stuff, or things that can be frozen, like meat. The fridge, on the other hand, while it was nice to have plenty of room for cold drinks and such, was really too big for one person. It encouraged over-buying of freshies as well as collecting leftovers that had to be thrown out once they became unrecognizable.
Little House, Careful Shopping
Now I live in about a hundred square feet. No room to stock up on toilet paper now. I have a really small fridge (in reality, at 4 cu. ft. it is probably just the right size for one person) with a tiny freezer compartment. No more stocking up on meat and frozen foods. And I’ve learned what really needs refrigeration and what can do without, as well as alternative items (like shelf-stable UHT milk). My strategy now for many consumable items is to try to buy only enough to last until my next regular shopping trip. I think the business sector refers to this as “just in time” inventory. The supermarket has a lot more room than I do – I’ll let them keep my overstock. I still try to get good deals, but I know I am not always able to get things as cheaply when I only buy what I need. I can call the amount I overpay the price of being able to live comfortably in a small space. And while I might be spending more buying right-sized items, I’m not wasting as much to spoilage.
How about you?
Do you practice right sized shopping? How is it working out? Any tips you’d care to share?