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    Most Women Disregard Cost When Planning Meals: Survey

    Although coupons, circulars and store brands offer savings opportunities at the supermarket, a new poll to be featured in the September 2009 issue of ShopSmart, from the publisher of Consumer Reports, has found that the majority of women are missing the chance to economize in their own kitchens. Only 29 percent of women polled said they budget or estimate how much a weekday dinner will cost, and one in 10 women won’t serve leftovers.

    Although coupons, circulars and store brands offer savings opportunities at the supermarket, a new poll to be featured in the September 2009 issue of ShopSmart, from the publisher of Consumer Reports, has found that the majority of women are missing the chance to economize in their own kitchens. Only 29 percent of women polled said they budget or estimate how much a weekday dinner will cost, and one in 10 women won’t serve leftovers.

    The telephone survey of 1,001 women age 18 and over was conducted in late April by the Consumer Reports National Research Center and is included in a ShopSmart feature on saving more at the supermarket.

    “Women are spending only $1 less on groceries than they were 18 months ago, and this shows that we need to look beyond the supermarket to cut costs,” noted ShopSmart editor-in-chief Lisa Lee Freeman. “The biggest place for savings is right in [the] kitchen, and our tips for buying foods and tweaking recipes will shrink [consumers’] food bills and increase the flavor of [their] meals.”

    Among the survey’s additional findings were the following:

    --Women are making fewer trips to the grocery store now vs. 18 months ago.
    --Seventy percent of married women do all or most of their household’s grocery shopping.
    --Forty-two percent of women are stocking up on on-sale food items more often, and 35 percent are buying more generic or store-brand items more often, due to the economy.
    --Seventy percent of married women are mainly responsible for cooking weekday dinners.
    --Most women (55 percent) don’t mind cooking weekday dinners; 18 percent dislike it.
    --When deciding what to cook, women go through the refrigerator and pantry to see what they have (86 percent), decide what can be prepared quickly (78 percent), and pick what will be nutritious or healthy (72 percent). Less than a third (29 percent) said they budget or estimate how much the meal will cost.
    --Thirty-eight percent of women are cooking at home more often, and 35 percent are preparing less expensive meals more often, because of the economy.
    --On average, women spend 45 minutes cooking a weekday dinner and 31 minutes eating it.
    --In a typical week, women eat about five home-cooked or home-prepared dinners.

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