Eat Better, Spend Less
Smart Food Preparation TipsPlan ahead.
The single best way to save at the supermarket is to map out your dinners for the week and shop with a list, experts say. Sounds like a no-brainer, but most of us don't do it. That's how we end up buying things we already have. Take a quick inventory of your pantry, fridge, and freezer so you know what you've got on hand. Then decide on the recipes you want to make for the week. Jot down the ingredients you need and head to the supermarket.
The freshest foods have better flavor and more nutrients, and they're also less expensive. In the off-season, try frozen fruits and veggies, which offer the same healthy benefits for low prices.Get more than you pay for.
Grocery stores across the country are going the extra mile to help you eat healthy. For instance, Safeway stores' online Food Flex program gives you a nutritional snapshot of your purchases and shows you better alternatives. Whole Foods Market holds weekly value tours of its stores to point out good-for-you deals. (Who-knew secret: You can taste most foods at Whole Foods to make sure you like them before buying. Ask for details at the service desk.)Veg out.
Go vegetarian one or more days a week and you'll slash your grocery bill big-time. Angela Barton, author of the blog My Year Without Spending, says that since she and her husband switched to eating meat just a few times weekly, she saves 25 percent every time she shops. Swap beef and chicken for beans, grains, and eggs.
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