If you want to save money on food, dieting isn't your only option. Here are a bunch of good ideas:

  • Use coupons at the supermarket, or at least focus your purchases on items that are on sale.

  • Cook twice as much as you need, and freeze half. Then, when you don't have much time, instead of going out or ordering a delivery, you can simply heat up something from the freezer.

  • Discover homemade soup. It's cheap to make, tasty to eat, filling, and economical.

  • Cook from scratch now and then. It's often cheaper than using prepared foods. (For example, spaghetti sauce is easy to prepare, and you can make and freeze a lot of it.)

  • Cover your pots when you cook. Doing so consumes less energy.

  • Re-engineer leftovers into new meals.

  • Make banana bread with aging bananas. (You can pop the bananas into the freezer until you have time to prepare them.)

  • Use perforated plastic bags to prolong the life of your veggies.

  • Use powdered milk in baked goods -- there's little taste difference but a great dollar difference.

  • Rework your recipes. If a recipe calls for a pound of beef and you have only half a pound, adjust the recipe to prepare it with what you have, instead of running out to buy more supplies. With many recipes, you might save money by strategically substituting or eliminating some ingredients.

  • Don't waste food.

  • Take up gardening. You can grow some of your own food.

  • Become a little more vegetarian in your eating. Meat is often the most expensive part of a meal. Enjoy meatless meals more often, or reduce the amount of meat in each meal.

You'll find many more handy tips on our Living Below Your Means discussion board, from where most of the suggestions above originated. The board's directory of tips is especially handy. Once you've saved some money, put it to work for you -- learn more in our Savings Center, which features some special interest-rate deals.

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