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5 Tips for Making a Meal for Under $25

Buy and Freeze

Here's a term you'll want to learn: "Manager's Special."

"Sale," "Special Price," "Discounted" and "2-for-1" are important, too.

Almost everything goes on sale at one time or another, and you'd be surprised what you can freeze -- not only things like meat and bread but also fresh herbs, cheese, nuts and fruit. Some people even freeze milk and eggs, because they don't mind the slight structural changes that can result, which don't typically affect the taste. If you buy a whole bunch of a product when it's on sale and then store it correctly (well-wrapped and pre-portioned, and in the case of milk, with about a cup removed from the carton), you can continue to reap the savings for months.

And that's the trick to eating well for less: If you take the long view, you can reduce the cost of almost any meal you make. Freezing, in particular, is a tool you'll want to use. After all, it can save you from eating those bulk potatoes and green beans for a whole month.

For more information on cooking, freezing and staying on budget, check out the links on the next page.