Milk, eggs, meat and produce prices are way up. Meanwhile, gas and heating oil are gobbling up more of our available cash, leaving us less...

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Milk, eggs, meat and produce prices are way up. Meanwhile, gas and heating oil are gobbling up more of our available cash, leaving us less to spend on food. What’s a home cook to do? Here are some tips:

Cut back on meat

• Find the meat department’s “reduced for quick sale” section. Most supermarkets have them, and though you won’t find a deal every week, occasionally you score.

Build filling meals around cheap protein. Dried beans are a good bet — especially tiny red lentils that cook in a flash. Pair them with ginger and curry powder or other zippy flavors, and simmer with inexpensive veggies like cabbage and carrots.

And don’t forget about eggs, still a decent deal even though the price is going up.

Get organized

• Make a weekly menu plan and shopping list, and stick to it. Set aside an hour each week to get organized, on a weekend or an evening after the kids go to bed.

• Grocery shop only once a week, at the store that has the best combination of deals and products for your needs.

Eat in season

• Eat mostly or only seasonal fruits and vegetables. Cook more root vegetables in the winter; eat more grapes, tomatoes and zucchini in the summer.

• Use your freezer, especially for winter temptations like out-of-season fruit. In late spring and summer freeze rhubarb, peeled and sweetened peaches, and summer berries to use year-round. Freeze black bananas to use in muffins or bread.