Dining Delightfully--For Less

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(NAPSI)—Here’s food for thought for many families for whom the idea of great dining has been wiped away by an uncertain economy: You can still get a taste of the good life. There are many ways to save money on fun foods and nutritious meals. Try these tips:

• Check this publication for sales and coupons.

• Plan your meals for the week before you head to the grocery. Check to see what foods you already have and make a list of what you need to buy.

• Go for stews, casseroles or stir-fries, which “stretch” expensive items into more portions. Substitute protein-rich beans for more expensive meat.

• Ask about a loyalty club membership for extra savings at stores and restaurants you visit frequently.

• Find the “Unit Price” on each product and use it to compare different brands and different sizes of the same brand to determine which is more economical.

• Buy in bulk if you can and have enough space.

• Buy fruits and vegetables in season to lower the cost and increase the freshness.

• To save time as well as money, prepare double or triple the amount of favorite recipes when you have the time. Freeze the food in individual containers and use them throughout the week.

• Spice up your leftovers-use them in new ways. For example, try leftover chicken in a stir-fry or over a garden salad or to make chicken chili.

• When eating out, look for high-quality bargains. For example, a major family-friendly restaurant chain has come up with a low-cost, highly delightful menu that makes it easier to treat the family to breakfast, lunch or dinner, any day of the week. IHOP’s new 7 for $7 Menu features a delicious variety of seven meals for just $7 each, including Bacon-Wrapped Sirloin Steak; Chicken and Waffles; Cheesy Western Omelette; Nutella Crepes; Bacon and Cheddar Hash Brown Stack; Hash Brown Crusted−Chicken; and, at under 600 calories, there’s the SIMPLE & FIT Veggie Omelette. All these meal deals are available for a limited time at participating IHOP locations. To find one nearby, visit

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