Photo: © 2009 Jupiterimages Corporation
Focus on Your Food Bill
Many of us already take brown-bag lunches to work instead of going out to eat, but Jeff Yeager, author of The Ultimate Cheapskate's Road Map to True Riches
, says you can make your packed lunches cheaper by rethinking the ingredients you use.
"Lunch meat is a real rip-off," Jeff says. Instead of spending $6 to $8 a pound for turkey breast from the deli, Jeff says you should pick up a whole turkey breast from the meat case. "I just bought a whole turkey breast for 99 cents a pound, and I''m going to roast it and slice it into lunch meat the good, old-fashioned way. It's cheaper and tastes better too," he says. Jeff offers a few more tips that will help lower your food bill:
Save money on laundry.
- Check the international food aisle for bargains. "Many Americans don't go down that aisle or to ethnic markets, but many staples, like rice and beans, are cheaper in that aisle than they are two aisles over, and that is because it is an off brand," he says. Items like canned tuna are often a bargain in the international aisle, and condiments like hot sauce can be more than a dollar cheaper than popular brands.
- Invest in a slow cooker. "A slow cooker is a great way to take inexpensive ingredients, like cuts of meat that could be tough, and make it taste great," Jeff says. You can put the ingredients in a slow cooker in the morning, and by the time you come home from work, dinner is ready. Jeff says slow cookers don't cost much to run. You can use one every day for 8 hours for just 25 cents a month.
- Always ask for a rain check. If a sale item you want is out of stock, Jeff says you should always ask for a rain check and make a point to get the product at the sale price when it is back on the shelf.
- Reuse stale bread. "It sounds quirky, but my great grandmother was big on stale bread," Jeff says. You can use stale bread to make bread crumbs, bread salads, French toast, croutons, bread pudding and more. If you really don't feel you can eat stale bread, Jeff says you should take it outside and feed it to the birds.