As prices rise, Americans turn to coupons, home-grown veg

WASHINGTON, June 3, 2008 (AFP) – Amid skyrocketing fuel and food prices, consumers in the United States are hitting the breaks on spending and even discovering the merits of home-grown food. With petrol prices inching toward four dollars a gallon — up 25 percent in just five months — and domestic food inflation up 6.3 percent, the American media is full of practical advice on reducing everyday expenses.

The country known for its afficionados of 4X4 trucks and sports-utility vehicles is dusting off old books of advice on saving and reducing consumption, including recipes on making soap and detergent.

“Make a grocery list and stick to it. Don’t shop when you are hungry,” the Kansas City Star advised its readers.

“Eat less. Drink tap water instead of sodas and bottled water. Use what you have. Set up one week a month as a use-it-up week and plan all your meals using only what you already have.”

Janet Fox Kreielsheimer, a financial consultant, said there were things people could do to free up extra cash to add to their savings.

“People must learn to make wiser long-term decisions concerning their finances,” she said. “They must avoid impulse purchases, which