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    Consumers Buying Store Specials, Store Brands to Cut Down on Meal Costs: Survey

    About three quarters of consumers are buying more store specials, while more than half are buying more store brands, according to data from Allrecipes.com.

    New data online social network Allrecipes.com indicated that consumers are buying more store specials and private brands.

    Allrecipes.com examined activity patterns during the month of June, and discovered consumers are shifting their spending habits to cut down on meal costs.

    The June Allrecipes survey asked users what they were doing to save on food costs. Their responses included:
    -- 75.8 percent are buying store specials
    -- 65.9 percent are buying more store brands
    -- 61.7 percent are buying fewer snacks
    -- 52.3 percent are shopping at different stores to find the best prices
    -- 50.2 percent are using coupons.

    The survey also revealed that this July 4th, many cooks and their families will stay home for backyard grilling. Below are the most popular search terms related to grilling and backyard cookouts:
    1. Potato Salad -- shows 120 percent growth from April to May 2008, with year-over-year searches up 14 percent
    2. Pasta Salad -- shows 130 percent growth from April to May 2008, with year-over-year searches up 28 percent
    3. Hamburgers -- searches peak on summer weekends and holidays, even displacing chicken.

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