259/365 last family dinner for a while You don’t need to spend freely to eat well. After all, pound for pound, health-boosting oatmeal, beans, and apples are a whole lot cheaper than eggs and bacon, steak, or even chips. The first place to start is with meat, which accounts for a third of our food bills. You can save money by redefining this one item as a compliment, not the main attraction. For example, instead of steak, serve beef stew made with extra-lean meat, carrots, potatoes, celery, mushrooms, and onions, and cut your dinner bill by up to one half. In general, the less processed a food, the more nutritious and less costly it is. For example, a potato costs much less than a serving of frozen hashbrowns. You can cut the cost of breakfast in half by switching from cinnamon-flavored oatmeal to plain old fashioned oatmeal from the bulk bin at your local grocery. Also, purchase other dry goods in bulk, such as oatmeal, rice, nuts, tea, dried fruit, and seasonings   Frozen plain vegetables tend to be cheaper than either frozen with sauce or canned. Buy less expensive produce, such as apples, oranges, bananas, carrots, cabbage, and onions, and buy more expensive produce in season when it costs the least. Look for specials/use coupons. Buy these discounted foods in quantity and store or freeze. Finally, visit local farmer’s markets, grow your own, buy generic, do not impulse buy, and bring food with you to cut back on the dollars spent at restaurants.

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