Buy in bulk. One reader, Zack, drives to the suburbs in New Jersey to shop at bulk retailers, such as Sam's Club. He fills large duffel bags of food to bring back to the city and estimates it saves a significant chunk of change each month.
Stockpile supplies. Cans of beans and tomatoes are cheap, store easily, and make quick, filling meals.
Compare prices. For some items, such as fruit, buying from street vendors turns out to be cheaper than shopping at Manhattan grocery stores.
Cook big. Zack makes lots of soup, chili, and other big dishes that can turn into leftovers or even go into the freezer for a future meal. To spruce up the dishes and make them even bigger, he often adds pasta or rice.
Plan ahead. By loosely deciding in advance which meals to cook on which nights, Zack avoids getting home from work—starving—and eating out just because it seems easier.