Does dropping a few pant sizes trim food costs?
Quite possibly, according to Barbara O'Neill, a professor and specialist in finance resource management at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J., and co-author of "Small Steps to Health and Wealth."
When dining out, bring home half of an entree for a later meal, O'Neill suggests. At home, set aside leftovers for future meals, she says.
"This really adds up," she says. "If you split all your dinners and eat 183 total meals annually, instead of 365, assuming that the cost is $5 per meal, that's a savings of (about) $910," she says.
While saving money, you can also shed pounds.
"If a half-portion dinner has 240 calories instead of 480, you could also lose 20 pounds in a year by eating half a food portion," O'Neill says.
However, Jay Zagorsky, an economist at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, who has studied the relationship between weight loss and wealth, points out that "smaller portions do not always save individuals money."
"You might lose weight eating only in the finest restaurants because the portions are small, but your bank account will not be larger," he says.