Shopping smarter for food during the holidays


NEW YORK - It's hard to avoid food during the holiday season. It's everywhere. But when it comes to thinking about your stomach, don't forget to think about your wallet. CBS News spoke with Stephanie Smith, senior editor at Yahoo Food, for tips on how to shop smarter for food this holiday season.

One big question that always comes with food chatter: Do we stay in and cook or eat out? "Some estimate that you can save up to $8 per meal, per person, by cooking at home versus going out," said Smith.

Cook at home:

- Pick generic brands versus brand names. "With that easy switch you can save up to 30 percent off your grocery bill," said Smith.

- If you're entertaining for a large group, hosting several events or giving wine as gifts, Smith suggest you buy in bulk. Try to buy a case of wine instead of individual bottles. Smith said that will save you money, up to 15 percent, and time.

Meal delivery services:

- Although it may not be as cheap as cooking at home, outsourcing your meal is still cheaper than going out to eat, said Smith. It's a good option, she said, "If you want to save time and don't want the hassle of dishes, and cooking and cleaning."

- Munchery delivers premade meals created by trained chefs for about $10 - $12 a meal. It delivers right to your door during the week of the holidays, but not the day of.

- Hello Fresh is a weekly recipe-kit delivery service focusing on fresh, easy-to-make foods. The cost averages between $59 and $129 per week, based on number of meals. Like Munchery, it delivers during the week of the holidays, but not on the actual days.

Apps to help you save while shopping:

- Grocery Pal scans for offers at a number of grocery stores in your area and loads coupons on the goods you're shopping for.

- Checkout 51 allows shoppers to receive money back on grocery purchases. Consumers receive a weekly list of deals in their area. After they pick specific deals they like and purchase, they upload their receipt through the app. When their balance reaches $20 or more, Checkout 51 will send them a check.

- Saving Star helps consumers earn cash back at grocery stores by applying savings directly to their grocery store loyalty card. Customers can also submit a picture of their receipt.