Aside from driving less and being happy with a smaller house, what other significant things we should cut back on?
Ultimately, Yeager says, consumers should direct their frugal efforts toward downsizing their lifestyle--in major areas like housing and transportation--rather than saving a buck here and there. U.S. News recently spoke to Yeager about the most effective ways to economize. Excerpts:
SHOOT: Great article, great ideas, and definitely trends worth adopting. Less is better, less is healthier, and for sustainability, less is the only option.
Eating lower on the food chain, for one. I try to spend only a dollar a pound on food. It's a myth that it costs more to eat healthy. You can spend a lot, but when you think about the kinds of things we should eat the most of--whole grains, legumes, and produce--they tend to cost less per pound than things that are bad for us like red meat and many processed foods that are high in trans saturated fats. I encourage people to eat more meals at home. Forty-five percent of the average U.S. family food budget is spent on food prepared outside of home. And they cost an average of 80 percent more than preparing the same food at home. There's a lot of waste, too. According to the USDA, about 25 percent of food is thrown away, so arguably you could reduce your spending here by 25 percent simply by being smarter about food storage and portion control.