7 On Your Side

Tips for healthy and economic meals

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Putting a healthy meal on the dinner table may not have to cost as much as you think. 7 On Your Side has some money saving tips.

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It's possible to save money and still eat well at the dinner table. We have five ways to save money from Keith Hammerich, the executive chef instructor at City College of San Francisco.

Hammerich not only has to watch his food budget at home, he has to watch it at work, too.

The easiest way to save money at the dinner table is to cut down on your portions. He says the recommended portion size is four to five ounces, but many eat twice as much.

"Instead of having four ounces of something at 30 cents an ounce, you eat eight ounces of that it becomes twice as expensive," said Hammerich. "Nobody needs more. It's more of a want than a need."

Money saving tip number two: Leftover is not a dirty word. Take your leftovers and make a completely different meal.

"We can keep it fresh by adding some fresh herbs to it or some fresh garlic, or a fresh sauce of some kind, as opposed to just utilizing the ingredients the way they are," said Hammerich.

He took a leftover chicken and turned it into a casserole.

Money saving tip number three: Buy bigger quantities when things are on sale. Turn the leftover into a new creation or use a food saver to keep leftovers fresh.

"The food savers are basically a special type of packaging and as you put the product inside the bag, you attach it to the machine and it sucks out as much oxygen as possible," said Hammerich.

Tip number four: Buy less expensive cuts of meat.

"You should go for the legs of lamb or lamb stew. You should go for like a pork shoulder for roasting and turn that into stew. You should go for beef chuck," said Hammerich.

Tip number five: Do the prep work yourself. Buy whole chickens and heads of lettuce instead of buying precut.

So how's that casserole coming? We asked our taste tester and intern Zach Maruda to do the honors.

He had a nice meal and learned a quick lesson too -- things are hot when they come out of the oven.

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