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What is the average cost of food for a single person? Learn how to save money in a healthy way

Living expenses per month can be categorized into food expenses, communication expenses, utility expenses, housing expenses, daily necessities expenses, etc. In order to reduce the wasteful spending of living alone, it is necessary to grasp how much money is spent on which items and consider items that can be saved.
Food accounts for a relatively large portion of the cost of living. If you live alone and feel that you are spending more than you expected and can’t save money, you may want to reconsider your food expenses.
Here, we will introduce the average and ideal amount of food expenses for living alone, as well as how to save food expenses in a healthy way without overdoing it.

Statistics for Food Expenditure for Living Alone

First, in order to objectively evaluate the state of food expenses, let’s check the average food expenses of people living alone.
According to the “Household Budget Survey, Household Income and Expenditure Edition, Single Households” conducted by the Statistics Bureau of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, the average monthly food cost for a single person in 2021 is 38,410 yen. Food expenses by age and annual income are shown in the table below.

■ Food expenses for living alone (by age)

age average food cost per month
Under 34 243.55 USD
35-59 years old 289.55 USD
60-64 years old 258.75 USD
65 years of age or older 254.24 USD

■ Food expenses for living alone (by annual income)

annual income average food cost per month
Less than 1 million yen 228.71 USD
2 million to less than 3 million yen 262.11 USD
3 million to less than 4 million yen 257.62 USD
4 million to less than 5 million yen 301.96 USD
5 million to less than 6 million yen 330.18 USD
6 million yen or more372.99 372.99 USD

What is your ideal food budget for a month?

What is the ideal monthly food budget? Generally, it is said that food expenses should be within 10 to 15% of income. Assuming that food costs are 15% of your take-home pay, the ideal monthly food costs are as follows:
Check your ideal food expenses against your income.

■ Ideal monthly food expenses by income

take home Ideal food cost per month
2 million to less than 3 million yen 25,000 – 37,500 yen
3 million to less than 4 million yen 37,500 – 50,000 yen
4 million to less than 5 million yen 50,000 – 62,500 yen
5 million to less than 6 million yen 62,500 to 75,000 yen

How to save money on food

Below are some tips on how to save money on food. If you eat less or less food, you may not be getting the nutrients you need, which can affect your health. Try to save money on food while still getting the nutrition you need.

Set a food budget

Those who spend more than 15% of their income on food should carefully review their living expenses and clarify what they will spend and how much they will spend. You can deduct from your monthly income the amount that you have to pay with certainty, such as rent and utility bills, and manage your living expenses with the remaining amount.
Set a monthly budget for items that are likely to fluctuate, such as food, clothing, and entertainment. If you can visualize the amount of money you can spend on food, you can calculate and adjust the rest of your budget when shopping or eating out.

Reduce eating out and eating ready-made meals and increase self-cooking

When eating out or ready-made meals, service costs and packaging costs are added to the material cost, so naturally it will be more expensive than self-catering.
Also, when buying ready-made dishes and lunch boxes, buying things you don’t need is also a cause of increased food expenses. Reducing eating out and preparing meals and increasing the proportion of self-catering as much as possible will lead to a reduction in food expenses.

However, saving by self-catering is premised on continuation. With one-off, the effect of reducing expenses for eating out and ready-made meals is small, and food and seasonings remain, so you can not expect much effect. If you find it difficult to cook for yourself at night, try cooking one of your three meals a day, such as making your own bento for lunch or replacing the breakfast you used to eat at a café on your way to work. let’s

If you can’t cook for yourself and eat out, use discount tickets and coupons

If you can’t cook for yourself and eat out, use a shop with a discount ticket or a bargain coupon. Stores that have their own apps often offer coupons for app users only, or send information about limited-time discount menus, so it is a good idea to check before going to the store. I guess.
If you can’t decide which restaurant you want to go to, you can use an app that provides coupons for restaurants and choose a restaurant with a high discount rate.

Shop less

For those who end up buying every time they go shopping, reducing the number of shopping trips will reduce wasteful spending.
Limit the number of times you go shopping to one or two times a week, preferably on special sales days.

Buy food as cheaply as possible

Even if you cook for yourself, if you only buy expensive foods, your expenses will naturally increase. When shopping, choose cheap foods at shops that are as cheap as possible. You can get even better deals if you check the special sale dates on flyers and store apps.
In general, pork and chicken are cheaper than beef for the same type of meat, and vegetables such as onions, potatoes, bean sprouts, and Japanese mustard spinach are relatively cheap and easy to pick up.

Also, if you go to the store a little before closing time, you may find that meat and fish that are close to their expiration date are being sold at a reduced price as a gift item. If you plan to cook as soon as you get home, buying these discounted items will also save you money.

Bulk buy and save

It may be cheaper to buy food in bulk rather than in small portions. By buying food in bulk and storing it in the following ways, you can eat it all without wasting it, even if you live alone.

food If you buy a large amount of food and store it in advance, you can eat it as soon as you get home. Simply marinating the meat or fish in a sauce made from boiled sake, soy sauce, or mirin, or seasoning the meat or fish will save time and make it delicious.

・Freeze storage
For foods such as vegetables purchased in bulk, it is recommended that you simply prepare and freeze them so that you can quickly add vegetables to your meals when cooking for yourself. Cut onions and carrots into chunks or cubes and freeze them so that they can be used in curries and soups while still frozen.
The daikon can be sliced ​​or cut into bite-size pieces, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and frozen, or grated and frozen. Put the grated daikon radish in a storage bag, flatten it out and make some creases on it, then freeze it.

・Dried vegetables
You can make dried vegetables at home by cutting thinly sliced ​​vegetables such as radishes, carrots, mushrooms, tomatoes, cucumbers, and green peppers, arranging them in a large colander, and drying them outside on a sunny day. I can.
Drying not only extends the shelf life, but also saves cooking time and storage space.

When saving food costs, pay attention to nutritional deficiencies!

What you want to be careful about when saving food costs is that cutting food costs may lead to a shortage of necessary nutrients or an imbalance in nutrition. Even if food costs are reduced, there is no point in harming one’s health.
Try not to lean too heavily on certain foods in your diet, and be conscious of lowering your overall costs while getting all the nutrients you need evenly.

Nutrients that many people aged 20 to 29 (excluding pregnant women) are lacking include vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin C, calcium, and magnesium. Women are also iron deficient, so be careful.
Foods rich in these nutrients that are relatively readily available include:
(This is not a feature of the final product)

・Vitamin A
chicken liver, carrot, dried mango

・Vitamin D
salmon, saury (canned), mackerel (canned)

・Vitamin C
broccoli, green pepper, kiwi fruit

processed cheese, sesame, soybeans (boiled)

cut seaweed, hijiki, cocoa

Pork liver, clams (boiled in water), ganmodoki

Self-catering menu recommended for saving food expenses

From here, we will introduce a self-catering menu recommended for those who want to save food expenses. Even if you are a cooking beginner, you can make it easily and deliciously, so please try it.

Steamed salted salmon

Salted salmon, which is cheaper and more readily available than raw salmon, can help you save money and replenish your vitamin D intake. If you steam-grill it in a frying pan, it will be fluffy and delicious, and you don’t need to wash the fish grill.

unrolled chicken ham

Chicken breast is generally cheaper than chicken thigh. Even if you don’t have any special techniques, the action of shio-koji will make the meat naturally tender, and the slow heating during thawing will make it moist. Slice it neatly, place it on a plate, and add a side of vegetables to make a great dish.

Yakisoba style with bean sprouts

Bean sprouts, a saving ingredient that everyone can agree on. It is a wallet-friendly vegetable with a stable low price throughout the year. When you think of bean sprouts, you think of it as a garnish, but this “yakisoba style” looks and tastes just like yakisoba, so you can enjoy eating it. Another advantage is that you can eat it without worrying about sugar, unlike noodles.

grilled rice ball

If you hold the rice while it is still warm and wrap it in plastic wrap, you can prevent it from drying out and keep it delicious. Among them, grilled rice balls are suitable for freezing because the taste does not easily change. If you make a lot and freeze it, you can eat it right away without having to bake it when you are hungry.

If you live alone and want to save money on food, try using frozen home delivery lunch boxes.

To reduce unnecessary shopping, it is recommended to use the frozen home delivery bento that arrives regularly. Since the finished bento is delivered to your home, there is no need for shopping or elaborate cooking, and you don’t have to worry about wasting money.

Nichirei Foods’ ” Kikubari GozenⓇ ” is well seasoned and has less than 300kcal in calories and less than 2.0g of salt equivalent. Each meal contains more than 100g of vegetables (potatoes, mushrooms, seaweed, and beans. Fresh equivalent). Even if you are busy with study or work, you can easily adjust the nutritional balance.

Don’t forget to pay attention to your health when saving food costs for a single person

I explained how to calculate the ideal food cost and how to save money on the food cost of living alone. There are many ways to save money on food when you live alone, but the most important thing is to take care of your nutritional balance.
Let’s work on saving while considering health by taking advantage of the frozen home delivery lunch box that can get enough nutrition in one meal.

How much does food cost for a single person?
 According to the “Family Budget Survey (Single-person) Working Households” conducted by the Statistics Bureau of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, the average monthly food cost for a single person in 2021 is 264 USD.
 What is the ideal food budget for a single person?
 In general, it is said that food expenses should be 10 to 15% of income. If your annual income is 3 million yen, 15% of your annual income is 37,500 yen per month.


Welcome to my blog. My name is Muhammad Hassaan. I am a blogger and have a knowledge of five years of blogging. I also belong to the field of health as a D pharmacy student. That's why I am running this health blog. I am very much interested to read articles on health and love to share information with other people and also get information from them. If you have any questions you can ask me through the contact us page. Thanks for Visiting us and Have a great day.

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