Tightening the belt before dinner

by Jessica Wong, CBCNews.ca

With the daily onslaught of negative news about global economies, it's understandable that the average Canadian has belt-tightening on the brain. And as we take stock of where in our daily lives we can cut back, be more prudent financially and find savings, we inevitably come around to the dinner table.

A re-occurring theme in blogs and columns of late is making more economical food choices. Most aren't proposing anything radical and new. Actually, what many propose is a return to tried and true habits from leaner times of yore. For instance:

Personally, I've been paying more attention to using up everything in my fridge and pantry: from dinner remains and those pesky lone veggies pushed to the back of the crisper to the cans, bottles and jars littering my shelves.

Four slices of steak from one meal added to day-old rice and chopped up Chinese greens turn into a different take on fried rice. Cornmeal, bacon bits and the last dregs of a carton of whole milk become savory muffins. Macaroons emerge from some egg whites I had kicking around, mixed with an "I didn't know I still had this" bag of coconut.

Are you changing your food habits, or returning to more thrifty ones, in the midst of the current economic climate? What are your best tips for saving cash in the kitchen?