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5 Tips to Shop and Cook on a Budget

Food Network's Chef Aaron McCargo offers some helpful tips for cooking on a budget.

Fresenius Medical Care North America and Food Network Chef Aaron McCargo, Jr. encourage everyone to follow these five tips to make their shopping and cooking experiences more fun and affordable:

Buy fresh produce in season, when it is least expensive. You can freeze many items for use later in the year. Your local farmer’s market can be a great place to find excellent deals on seasonal fruits and vegetables.

Buy meats in bulk to save money. Divide meat into portions and freeze it — using freezer paper, vacuum-sealed bags, plastic freezer bags or tinfoil to avoid freezer burn — until you are ready to use it in a recipe.

Consider generic or “store brands,” which are often as good as name brands, but priced lower.

Utilize leftover vegetables, rice and pasta in soups, stews, casseroles and stir-fries.

Have a cooking party with friends and make meals to freeze for a week or two. Also, when cooking for yourself, make extra servings and freeze for later use.

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