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8 Great Ways to Save Money on Food

Whether you're eating out or grocery shopping, you can dine finely and frugally

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1. Fine wine savings

Find bargain-priced wine at the Accidental Wine Company. As the name implies, much of its inventory has had "a little accident," like a blemished label or maybe a discontinued bottle design. Both sales costs and shipping are discounted.

2. Cheap eats

You'll find many inexpensive dining options in most college towns. College students are always short on funds, so street vendors and frugal-food peddlers inevitably set up shop near campuses.

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3. Sprout new savings

Grow romaine lettuce by putting the "stub" (the bottom inch or two) in a glass of water near a sunny window. You can do the same thing with celery, spring onions, napa cabbage, bok choy and similar vegetables. For best results, cut a thin layer off the stub first.

4. Weigh your options

If you need only a few vegetables or fruits for a recipe or meal, buying a small amount at the supermarket salad bar may be cheaper than buying a bag of precut vegetables.

5. Use the wrapper

Reuse empty butter or margarine wrappers to grease a baking pan. You can store unused wrappers in the freezer in a sealed plastic bag.

6. Home fans

Many restaurants such as Papa John's or Domino's offer discounts on pizza when the area's professional sports teams win. Look for a promo code to use when ordering by phone or online.

7. Eating out

Go out for lunch instead of dinner. Lunch entrees and appetizers are typically 25 percent to 50 percent cheaper than dinner items, and the portions are sometimes just as big. Breakfast is even cheaper.

8. Champagne taste

Save on bubbly by opting for sparkling wines like cava and prosecco, which are often cheaper than genuine French champagne.

Contributors to 99 Great Ways to Save 2013: Lynnette Khalfani-Cox, Tara Finnegan Coates, Joan Rattner Heilman, Stacy Julien, Megan Lawson, Marlece Lusk, Bob Lyford, Anne Masters, Jeff Yeager and AARP members like you.

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