19 May

How to Save Money when Dining In

If you’re among the 71 percent of Americans who are cooking at home more and eating out less to help cut costs,* then these tips may help you save even more.

Plan ahead. Cut coupons and review your grocery store’s weekly circular (often available online or via email), then create a menu for the week that takes advantage of the deals. Consider how you can use leftovers. And always shop with a grocery list.

Stick to the perimeter. You’ll find fresh produce, meats, dairy products and frozen foods along the outside of most supermarkets. Concentrate on this area for the healthiest and most reasonably priced items in the store.

Think value. Consider the nutritional value of food for the price and opt for nutrient-dense rather than calorie-dense items. A bag of carrots offers a lower price and higher nutrition than a bag of chips, for example.

Eat before you shop. A hungry shopper is an impulsive shopper .

Cook in bulk. Prepare more than you’ll eat, and freeze what’s left for an easy meal another day. Just be sure to keep a leftovers list so that you remember what’s in your freezer.

* Source: “Seven in Ten Americans Cooking More Instead of Going Out to Save Money,” Harris Interactive, May 2012.