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It’s good to have an economical, frugal approach to life. There are many things in life for which it is important to set aside money. Besides that, having more spending money for leisure is good too. One effective and simple way to save money is to have more home-cooked meals. Food prepared at home is less expensive than packaged, prepared foods and much less expensive than eating out all the time.

But even when it comes to meals made at home, there is still lots of room to save. Here are seven simple and practical ways to spend less when preparing home-cooked meals.

1. Always eat leftovers. Throwing food away is almost literally like throwing money away. It’s purely wasteful. Insisting on making new meals when perfectly good leftovers could be had is a big waste of time as well as money. The common tendency to waste food is a foolish habit. Of course, it is important to track when foods are likely to go bad and then eat them before that date. Freezing foods can help in this effort.

2. Buy what is in season. Prices rise and fall at the grocery store. While there are many causes for price fluctuation, what is in or out of season is always a major factor. If a fruit or vegetable isn’t in season, it will be more expensive as it usually has to have been shipped from far away. Foods in season will be fresher and better tasting, too — not to mention more nutritious.

3. Grow food with a garden. This suggestion might or might not be practical for your situation. Of course, most people living in cities will have trouble growing their own food. However, for many folks, having a vegetable garden is a relatively easy way to save money making home-cooked meals. Gardening can also be an enjoyable hobby. Some things — such as potatoes, tomatoes, and beans — are also relatively easy to grow.

4. Plan out meals. The advantage of planning out meals is that it allows for greater control over the entire process of buying and preparing food. As opposed to a more haphazard approach, meal planning provides the chance to identify areas to save. Through meal planning, it becomes easier to prioritize meals that cost less.

5. Don’t eat a lot of meat. Meat is one of the more expensive ways to take in calories. Red meat is particularly costly. Chicken is the least expensive of meats, as well as one of the most nutritious, making it the best meat to buy. While meat is rich in protein, which is vital to health, there are other good options. Eggs, yogurt, and certain kinds of fish are both health-friendly and easy on the budget.

6. Buy in bulk (carefully). Buying in bulk can reap some serious savings. In general, the more of a product is bought at once, the lower the cost per individual unit. However, caution and careful thought are key. Bulk purchasing can easily turn into a false economy without care. Food that goes bad before it is eaten will result in higher spending. Storage space can be a factor too.

7. Eat in moderation. It’s the simplest advice possible, but eating less is genuinely a way to save. Of course, eating too little to meet basic nutritional needs is a bad idea. However, overeating is far more common. For the average person, focusing on eating moderately at every meal will significantly improve health — and result in savings to boot.

There are a lot of reasons to make more food at home. Besides the chance to spend less money, meals prepared at home are usually more nutritious than other options. After all, outside of the home, it can be hard to even know what a dish is made of. In light of the importance of good nutrition, the seven ways to cut costs on home-cooked meals seen above are even more valuable.