As an independent single person in the modern world, you would think that those who have yet to settle down, or have chosen not to, would not be penalized for their solo lifestyle. Unfortunately living as a single person in a couple’s world translates to higher grocery bills, holiday supplements, and paying the cost of living for two despite living alone. While the times are slowly changing, and travel operators are beginning to change their biased ways, there are ways to keep your costs down in the meantime.
Cut your Grocery Costs The cost of food is often where single people feel the higher costs of living the most. Food companies package their products for families, marking single portions with extortionately higher prices. It doesn’t make any sense that less food would cost more, but food companies prefer to sell in bulk and figure single people will be forced to pay the higher premiums. Luckily, there are ways to get around the system.
Freeze your food.
Go ahead and buy in bulk and then portion your meat, bread, fruit, and even herbs into plastic baggies. Just take out what you need, when you need it, and never worry about waste again. You can also make larger portions of meals, such as lasagna or pasta sauce, and freeze additional meals for later.
Writing out your grocery list before you go out shopping can help you eliminate waste and lower your budget. Separate your foods into perishables and non-perishables, this will help you see if you can realistically use that mozzarella, yogurt, and milk in one week- or if you will have to throw an expired item out by the end of the week. Many grocery stores are now online, and will tell you expiration dates of their foods before you purchase them. As you can imagine, this can be extremely helpful when planning your next grocery shop. Careful planning takes time, but it will save you a lot of money and food wastage down the line.
Cut your living costs.
Living alone can be great, but the electricity and heating bills- not so much. Consider taking in a roommate to share the costs, and lessen your monthly expenses by up to half. If a roommate isn’t your style, contact your utility companies. Try to switch to a meter so you are only charged for what you use, and inquire if there are discounts for single people. Some utility companies will discount your bill by up to 25% if you let them know you are living alone. This can really add up, especially in the winter months when the costs of heating a home increase.
Avoid unfair vacation supplements.
For decades cruise companies, hotels, and tour operators have been charging solo travelers supplements on their holidays. The tourism industry says that the extra cost for single travelers is to outweigh the decreased benefit of single person spending compared to couples. Whatever the reason, many companies are beginning to change their ways and more and more operators specializing in only solo travel are starting up.
Just You is a fantastic resource for solo travelers. They offer tours, cruises, and even city breaks, without the extravagant supplemental costs. Book your holiday through a solo specialist travel company to get the best deal, or consider arranging your trip yourself and negotiating a rate directly with the hotel where you will be staying. The tourism industry is slowly waking up to the power of solo travelers, but they still have a way to go.
Living the single life, whether by choice or circumstance, shouldn’t be a punishable offense. Take control of your finances, and avoid the extra costs associated with the solo lifestyle.
Jessica Galbraith is a professional writer that likes finding ways to cut costs while providing content for Intuit UK.