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6. Keep rice, noodles or beans on hand
If you keep foods like pasta, rice and beans around at all times you'll always have what you need to whip up a quick meal. These items don’t cost very much and never go bad, so you can keep them around forever.
7. Think about tomorrow’s lunch when you're making dinner
Making sausage-stuffed manicotti topped with béchamel sauce for tonight’s dinner? Don't make just enough for one family meal. Double up your recipe so that you’ll have yummy leftovers you can take to work during the coming week. This alone could save you much as $60 a month.
8. Learn to love leftovers to reduce food costs
Eating the same thing two nights in a row can be pretty boring. But if you save your leftovers from several meals, you can repurpose them in a way that will make your family happy and help reduce your food costs. For example, if you have some leftover rice, some cooked chicken, and half a head of broccoli, you could turn this into fried rice the next day. Finding interesting ways to combine leftovers will make you a better cook, plus you'll spend less money eating out.
9. Get some Tupperware
Whether you’ll be taking meals to work or just saving leftovers at home, you need some good, practical containers. Tupperware is more expensive than those plastic containers available at your supermarket, they’ll keep your food fresher. Since Tupperware can last for several years, think of this as a small investment that will save you money down the line.
10. Don't forget you have a freezer
If you're single and cooking for one, you could make a large meal on Sunday and then eat the same thing six times. But that would be seriously boring. Instead of putting half the meal in a leftover container and sticking it in the refrigerator, put it in the freezer instead. That way you'll have a nice, homemade dinner waiting on those nights when you feel you don't have enough energy leftover to just fry an egg.
11. Go out for brunch instead of dinner
If your family has to go out for a meal, make it brunch instead of dinner. Dinners are not only more expensive, but they also require bigger tips. Brunch at one of your favorite restaurants could cost half as much as a dinner but would still taste great and give you a nice break from cooking.
If you'd like more tips for cutting your food costs, here are 10 simple ones.