Married and Starting Out

Married and starting out features newly married couples sharing their experience as they combine finances, lifestyle and in-laws.

How to Save Money When Buying Groceries for Two

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Before my now husband and I began cohabiting, I ate minimally. I would eat most my meals at home. While I love food, being on a budget has come naturally to me and I would eat whatever was on sale that week; regardless of whether I had an aversion to eggplant, green peppers, or tofu, I knew that I would figure out how to make an edible meal out of the in-season vegetables on sale.

I can also eat the same meal day in, day out.  I once ate tofu and vegetable stir-fry with boiled rice for four weeks! My husband... not so much. While he likes to save money as much as the next person, he will not eat just any old thing-- his tummy is harder to please (I call it fussy!).

So, I have had to learn a few tricks to keep our grocery costs from escalating.  


  • I make sure I know exactly what my budget is for the month; that way I can work out how much I have per week or per trip to the grocery store.  
  • I know it sounds clichéd, but I do not go to the grocery store hungry. I know I will bring back food that will not get eaten and most of the time it is junk food that should not be eaten!  
  • I also plan my meals at home so I have a list of exactly what I need. There has been more than the occasional time when I have misplaced this list and had to sit down to figure out why exactly I bought three cans of chickpeas! 
  • I try to make as much as I can from scratch. The basic ingredients--flour, sugar, salt, butter-- that go into most prepared foods are far cheaper than buying pre-made food.  
  • When I am only eating for one I make individual-sized portions and freeze the rest. That way I always have homemade microwave meals ready for a time when I just want a lazy evening.
  • Whenever meat goes on sale, I buy larger value packs and freeze steaks or chicken breasts into double serving sizes and then defrost them as I need them. 
  • I also try to cook as much as I can with seasonal vegetables and fruit. When they are in season, they are cheaper and also taste better, so I win both ways! 
  • When the fruit or vegetable that I want is not in season, rather than pay the expensive markup, I buy them frozen. Not only are they far cheaper, but I usually buy in large value packs so I have them on hand until they come back into season. 

I hope these tips help you as much as they have helped me.  Using these money management ideas, I have been able to reduce our joint grocery bill to a similar amount that I used to spend on just myself!  I also cook more and have more variety in my diet, as I have someone to cook with and for.

Related Posts

How to Live on a Budget 

How the Budget is Going 

The Skinny on Budget Grocery Shopping 

Grocery Shopping with Kids on a Budget 

Money Saving Grocery Tips: Navigating the Aisles 

The 3 C's to Grocery Savings: Coupons, Clubs and Creativity


Vienna Nowell

Vienna currently resides in New York City, but is originally from London. She is a contributing writer under Married & Starting Out. She and her husband are recently married and they are contemplating taking the big step of buying their first home.  Still working their way through the processes of buying an apartment, she and her husband are learning as they go.  Vienna also writes a food blog,, and is a freelance writer, chef and food stylist.  She is looking forward to sharing her experiences and any tips she picks up along the way during their house buying endeavor. Compensated CareOne Blogger

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  • While I do love making braises and soups and eating the tender and flavorful meals that result, in the spring and summer I am looking for faster food. By this I do not mean hamburgers and fries, I mean food that can be made in a hurry, leaving me and

  • We're all looking for ways to cut our spending, and one of the first places that people look to cut is their grocery bill. The problem that many people (including myself) have is that there isn't a single item on a grocery list that makes an instant impact

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