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10 frugal cooking tips that sizzle
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10. Slow means cheaper.
For Webber and Vivaldo, slowcookers are a godsend. They help tenderize tough meats and save time spent in the kitchen hovering over food. Slowcookers usually sell for around $40. Besides meat, they can cook a variety of soups, side dishes and main courses.

The bread and butter of your pantry
To keep yourself from panic shopping for a last-minute meal, or worse, shopping with hunger pangs, make sure you have enough food in your pantry to make a meal. We compiled the most common pantry items favored by Vivaldo, Webber and Turano.

Pantry mainstays:
 

While they're not technically pantry items, frozen vegetables, as well as a few fresh favorites also made the list.

Last-minute meal ideas
Victoria Gotti, famous Italian TV mom and author of cookbook "Hot Italian Dish," provided the following meal ideas, which make use of whatever's in the pantry or fridge.

If you have oil, pasta or rice and some greens -- you can make a meal. Saute the vegetables, mix them with cooked pasta or rice and you can stretch a side dish into a meal. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top of the pasta if you have any.

Feed a meat-eating family with beef stew. Simply take a pound of inexpensive cubed beef (or chop it up yourself) and throw potatoes, carrots, peas, mushrooms, a can of crushed tomatoes, beef or chicken bouillon cubes and spices into a pot and slow cook until the ingredients tenderize. Improvise with what you have on hand. The whole meal should cost under $10.

Do you have a secret way to save in the kitchen? Enter your cost-cutting tip in our monthly Frugal $ense contest and you could win $100!

Bankrate.com's corrections policy -- Updated: July 8, 2008
 
 
Create a news alert for "saving money"
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