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WDAY: The News Leader

Published September 27, 2011, 10:12 PM

How a trip to the grocery store can save you money

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - It's a tough economy. The national poverty rate is at 15%, the highest it's been since 1993. Jobless rates are still above 9%. But Americans are still finding money to eat out....almost five times a week according to a new survey.

It's a tough economy. The national poverty rate is at 15%, the highest it's been since 1993. Jobless rates are still above 9%. But Americans are still finding money to eat out....almost five times a week according to a new survey.

It tastes good, it's quick and easy, but quick and easy is not always better.

Megan Ness – NDSU Extension Family Service: “It's kind of getting past the barrier of the misconception that fast food is always cheaper than going to the grocery store and preparing meals.”

People we spoke with said hectic schedules get in the way of preparing meals.

Matt Hunt - Fargo: “Convenience, driving around on the road a lot, it's hard to have time to put something together in the morning.”

Many people probably think they don't have time to make a meal everyday before work, so they're eating out, spending at least $5 a day, or $1,300 a year. But what if you did just that, made a meal everyday, Monday through Friday for a year. How much would you save? We went shopping to find out.

We kept it fairly simple, but picked up everything you would need for a well balanced lunch. You have your Bread, deli meats, carrots, yogurt. All your major food groups included. It all came out to less than $10 a week, or $520 a year. That's a savings of more than $780.

Megan Ness: ”You need to start small, don't "Ohh this week we're never going to eat out." Look at what you're doing and where you want to be at.”

Ness says that small start can save hundreds a year. And those savings can result in a much healthier lifestyle.

Jennifer Torgerson - Fargo: “I do not go out a lot, we plan our meals. I try to eat organic, always try to include fruits and vegetables and meats. It's cheaper and better for you.”

Minneapolis-St. Paul ranked last of all major cities, eating out only 3 and a half times per week. Miami was number 1 with people going out more than six times a week.

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