A home-cooked supper costs the typical American family of four about $5 per person, and that figure is on the rise. But you can beat the trend. Use these tips for easy, affordable meals that will have you spending less but eating better.
Fish around: Switch out halibut and sea bass, which can cost $25 per pound, for wallet-friendly fish with similar tastes and textures. Tilapia and cod are as mild-flavored and firm as fancier fish, at one-third
Fake it: If a dish calls for $11-per-pound lobster or $25-per-pound crab, opt for surimi ($4 to $6 a pound). Used in Japan for 900 years, this imitation shellfish (made with real white fish seasoned with
crab or other seafood extracts) works well in salads, crab cakes, and casseroles.
Be happy as a clam: Fresh seafood doesn't get thriftier than blue mussels and chowder clams. Both are under $2 a dozen, and can be made into dollar-stretching soups.