Cooking Large, Saving Cash: Cheap Large Meals Quiz

Staff

4 Min Quiz

Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

It's the end of the month and money's tight, but stomachs are rumbling and you have to figure out how to plan inexpensive meals for your large family without breaking the bank. Take this quiz to find out if you'd be able to make it through the week with some change to spare, and maybe even learn a little about American food spending habits in the process.

In which of the following countries do families spend the largest portion of their income on food, according to the USDA?

Azerbaijan residents spend about 47 percent of their income on food, the highest in the world. Compared to many countries, the U.S. spends relatively little of its income on food.

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Which of the following cuts of beef is the least expensive?

Chuck is the meat you'll usually find made into ground beef. It runs around $2-$4 per pound. The short loin contains the tenderloin, one of the most expensive cuts at around $1 per ounce.

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True or False: Cooking vegetarian meals can save you money.

In many ways, vegetarian cooking is wallet-friendly because many of the culinary staples -- including rice, beans and corn -- are inexpensive. And vegetarian protein sources, such as beans, eggs and tofu, are often cheaper than meat.

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How many people make up the average American family?

According to the 2010 U.S. census, the average family size in the U.S. is 3.19. Yes, we know you can't have .19 of a person, but that's what happens when you're dealing with statistics! Believe it or not, the average family size has grown since the 2000 census, when it was 3.14.

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True or False: Buying food in bulk from a warehouse store will always save you money because your price per volume is lower.

Buying in bulk can be cost-effective for items that store easily and that you use often. But if you can't use it before it goes bad, buying in bulk can waste money.

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According to the USDA, what percent of the average family's disposable income is spent on food?

With all of the expenses of the modern family, spending more than 9 percent on food can be a strain on the budget. It's no wonder we love coupons and sales so much!

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Where on the shelf in the grocery store will you generally find the least-expensive items?

The most expensive brand-name items usually occupy the middle shelves, at eye-level where you're likely to grab them. Bend down a little for the best deals.

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True or False: You can double a recipe to feed the whole crew by simply doubling all of the ingredients on the list.

Not all ingredients in a recipe need to be doubled in order to make twice the amount of food. For instance, if you use twice as much water when cooking twice as much rice, you'll end up with a watery mess. Many recipe Web sites have calculators that help you figure out how to tweak a meal to cook for more people.

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According to the USDA, does the average American family spend more money eating at home or dining out?

We may love our restaurants, but figures show that a larger portion of the average American family's food budget goes toward eating at home than dining out (5.5 percent, as opposed to 3.9 percent).

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Fruits and veggies are cheaper when you buy them how?

In-season produce is likely to be shipped from a shorter distance than out-of-season produce, and there's also a larger quantity available, making it cheaper for you.

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True or False: 10 pounds of small potatoes will usually cost less than 10 pounds of large potatoes.

Those big baking potatoes carry a hefty price. If you don't have a preference, or if you're just mashing them up, opt for small potatoes to save some cash.

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True or False: Fresh fruits and veggies are usually more nutritious than frozen veggies.

Frozen veggies are often cheaper than fresh ones, but are just as nutritious. That's because they're packaged at their nutritional peak and maintain their nutrients. Plus, you can stock up when they're on sale and keep them around until you need them.

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Which day of the week will you find the best deals at the supermarket?

Many grocery stores release their sale advertisements on Wednesdays, but will sometimes let you use the adverts from the previous week too. So you might be able to get sale prices on more items if you shop on Wednesdays. Plus, getting there the day the sales start ensures you'll get the door-buster items that sell out quickly.

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What's the best time of day to grocery shop when looking for a bargain?

In the evenings, grocery stores will often reduce the price of perishable items or items about to expire to make them sell quickly.

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True or False: Eating healthier is cheaper.

According to a study published in the "Journal of the American Dietetic Association," cutting out junk food and focusing on foods with high nutritional value can actually lower your grocery bill.

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What's the most important rule for staying on budget when shopping for a large family?

Planning ahead is pretty much the only way to make sure you get what you need, and nothing more. That includes checking the cabinets before shopping to determine what you already have. It also means planning your meals ahead of time and making a list of ingredients so you know what you need to buy.

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True or False: Shopping without your children can help you save money.

Shopping by yourself -- with a list and a budget -- can help you save money. Shopping with anyone who doesn't have the expenses or menu in mind, including your kids, can lead to budget-busting "buy me that" moments.

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True or False: Foods that require more preparation are usually cheaper than foods that require less preparation.

In general this is true -- with pre-prepared foods you're paying more for the convenience. And that's not just ready-made meals, it's also true for cake mixes, pre-cut meat, sliced cheese and anything that required someone else to prepare it in some way. Save yourself some cash by making food from scratch.

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True or False: You can freeze bread that's about to expire to make it last longer.

Bread that's on the cusp of expiration is usually marked down and cheaper to buy. You can freeze it to extend its life until you're ready to eat it.

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Which is cheaper: uncooked chicken cutlets or a cooked rotisserie chicken?

Even though it's pre-cooked, rotisserie chickens usually carry a lower price tag than the same amount of meat in uncooked cutlets because you're not paying for the process of de-boning. Plus, cutlets are all white meat, which makes them more expensive.

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