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5 Tips to Eating Well at Home on a Budget

It's so nice to go out once in a while to a fancy restaurant or even a nearby steak house and treat your family to a delicious dinner. However, unless you have money to burn, everyday meals at home can also get pretty costly. Is there a way to reduce what you usually spend on groceries? If so, you could quickly save a lot so let's take a look at some ideas which may change your buying habits.
Here it is. My five essential tips to eating well at home without breaking the bank.  Apply these tips consistently and you will see results.    
TIP 1:
Try to only go shopping for groceries when you have a specific list of the items that you need. This helps prevent impulse buying of additional items, and of course helps ensure that you got everything (no running back out to the store for that pesky forgotten item)! Also try to avoid food shopping if you are very hungry or thirsty as you will probably purchase more.
TIP 2:
Waste not, want not. Try to keep track of expiration dates, leftovers and other perishable items in your fridge, and try to use or consume everything before it goes bad. Keep your perishable items in mind when meal planning as well - if, for example, you buy a bunch of parsley for a recipe that requires only a few sprigs, try to plan other meals that will use the rest of the parsley so that it doesn't go to waste.  
TIP 3: 
Compare prices.  For non-perishable items, be sure to check prices online and among your local grocery stores.  Amazon, for example, has many great deals for non-perishable items if you buy in bulk, for a minimal delivery fee (and often free). This requires a bit of planning ahead but is well worth the savings. Also, always look for coupon codes when you buy online. It's a lot easier than the traditional coupon clipping and you can bookmark Discountrue.com to easily find the best deals online. 
TIP 4:
Try the generic alternative for your name brands. You can even google the generic brand you like and see what other people think of it before you purchase. You will rack up significant savings for every name brand that you can replace with an equivalent generic brand.
TIP 5:
Plan meals according to what's on sale. Most grocery stores post their specials in advance. Grocery stores also typically have huge sales immediately following any holiday. Plan your meals around sale items, or consider whether sale items are worth freezing for later use. 
Tip 6: 
Try to buy produce when they are in season.   The price of in season fruits and vegetables drop significantly. You can also buy it in bulk and freeze it for later!  Check out a few more tips from thekitchen.com
 Follow these simple rules and you can stay easily within your budget.  Enjoy the extra savings!

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