[In Pictures: 10 Ways to Save on Food Costs]
Corinne Kantor, a registered dietician in Orange County, Calif., who blogs about nutrition on TheFoodCop.com, says there's no shame in frequenting discount stores, many of which carry plenty of canned fruit and vegetables, as well as fresh and organic foods. She is a believer in buying in bulk and in adopting an age-old strategy that has carried many consumers through tough times: starting a garden. "You don't need a large yard," Kantor says. "Container gardens are perfect for small spaces."
"You can always grow your own food to save money," she adds. A packet of 50 tomato plant seeds, for instance, can be found for $3.95, and the same price will give a consumer 675 spinach seeds. As long as consumers are willing to get their hands a little muddy, growing one's food has always been dirt-cheap.