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Home Buying Help – Money Management Tools – Home Decorating Ideas – Free Recipes

$5 Dinners -- Plus the Real Secrets to Trimming Grocery Bills

Put delicious meals on the table without busting your budget.

$5 Dinners

1. Tilapia Fish Tacos
2. Chicken-and-Veggie Pot Pie
3. Tomato Basil Eggplant Parm
4. Pasta With Sage and Garlic
5. Bell Peppers Stuffed With Rice in Tomato Sauce
6. Veggie Pizza
7. Hummus and Veggie Wrap
8. Simple Soy Stir-Fry
9. Portobello Burger
10. Whole-Wheat Linguini With Arugula and Edamame

10 Secrets to Slashing Grocery Bills

According to the US Department of Agriculture, a family of two spends about $350 a month on groceries. Ouch. Here are 10 tips to make food shopping painless.

1. Make a budget: Subtract your expenses from your monthly income and see what you can reasonably spend on groceries. Then divide that number by four to set your weekly budget.

2. Join the rewards program: Not only will you rack up reward points, but many supermarkets only let you take advantage of their sale prices if you’re a member.

3. Use coupons: Finding coupons is easier than ever thanks to the plentiful existence of websites where you can easily print out coupons.

4. Bring your own bags: Some grocery stores offer a discount if you bring your own bags.

5. Buy the whole chicken: It’s cheaper than buying it in parts.

6. Go meatless: At least a few nights a week, plan vegetarian meals. Meat can be pricey.

7. Eat before shopping: Food shopping on an empty stomach is a recipe for disaster. When you shop hungry, you’re more inclined to overspend.

8. Make a list: It seems obvious, but if you truly stick to your list, you’ll have total control over the amount of money you spend.

9. Avoid products placed at eye level: Companies often pay extra to have their products placed at eye level -- and you end up paying more for those goods too. Opt for products on higher and lower shelves.

10. Take stock: Before you head out, review your shopping list and cross-reference it against what’s in your cupboards and fridge to see what you can cross off.

-- The Nest Editors