BOSTON (CBS) – Here are some more ways to save when buying food.

Make meat the flavoring. Meat doesn’t need to be the star of the plate. Think steak tacos versus a rib-eye steak. Cuts like flatiron, flank and hanger steak are half to a third the price of premium cuts. Spaghetti sauce vs. hamburgers.

Eat meatless. Try this once or twice a week. Three ground beef burgers cost an estimated $5.69, but you can make three veggie burgers from a 74-cent can of beans.

Yes you can. But no one in my family will eat a “burger” made from beans no matter how many condiments I put on it. There are many other ways to achieve a meatless meal. Eggs are an easy way to go meatless. Grilled cheese and tomato soup is my go-to meatless meal.

Buy tubed herbs. You can get garlic, ginger, parsley and lemongrass in tubes from the Gourmet Garden. A $3.99 tube lasts for up to three months, and you don’t end up with a bag of wilted, slimy herbs after a week or two. I like the ginger for when I buy fresh it always seems to get moldy.

Airport food is crazy expensive. Don’t leave home without a snack bag of roasted nuts, dried fruit, a small block of cheese and a sturdy sandwich.

I wonder what folks at AARP consider a sturdy sandwich.

These are all great ideas for saving money. But a worrisome fact is that as Americans we are wasting so much of the food we buy.

According to the online magazine “Slate”, as much as 40% of America’s food supply gets thrown away every day. The total annual food-waste bill for consumers is $162 billion. I volunteer at our local food pantry and when I hear numbers like that I shudder.

American families waste between $1,300 and $2,300 worth of food annually. That’s a lot of dollars. We have got to learn to eat leftovers and not to over buy. No matter how much we save when we purchase our food if we don’t use it we have wasted the money and the food.

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You can hear Dee Lee’s expert financial advice on WBZ NewsRadio 1030 each weekday at 1:55 p.m., 3:55 p.m., and 7:55 p.m.

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