Have you been brown-bagging it lately? If so, you're not alone.
Two in five Americans are dining out at restaurants less than they were six months ago, according to a recently released Rasmussen national telephone survey of 1,000 people.
The new data is further evidence that we're all just trying to save some money. In June, consumer spending remained flat, despite a boost in income. Americans put their extra cash into savings, raising the national savings rate to its highest level in a year.
Eating at home is an easy way to cut back on costs. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the average American family spent $2,505 at restaurants in 2010. Americans typically spend about $1.7 billion every day at the nation's nearly one million restaurants, according to Consumer Reports.
But penny-pinching doesn't have to mean skipping out on restaurants altogether. It's certainly possible to dine out without forking over too much cash. Here are 15 tips from Money Talk News on how to save on meals away from home: