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The official inflation rate was 1.9 per cent overall in March, but food prices were 3.6 per cent higher than they were a year earlier. When people talk about the rising cost of living, it’s almost always food that they single out first as a problem.

Some subtle ways to get better value from your food spending and reduce costs can be found in this list of 22 bad cooking habits. There are tips for defrosting meat, boiling eggs and cooking chicken. There’s also advice about not wasting energy by continually opening your oven door to check on food, and on protecting non-stick frying pans so they last longer.

Cooking can save you big bucks. But there are efficient ways to do so.

Some more thoughts on cutting your food spending:

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Let’s acknowledge that we all have some personal responsibility for our grocery bills as a result of food wastage. A report issued earlier this year said that more than half of all the food produced in Canada is lost or wasted by producers, distributors, stores and individuals.

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Rob’s personal finance reading list…

Ten bogus tricks for getting cheap flights

Budget travel expert Barry Choi trashes all the little tips that supposedly help get you cheaper flights. Examples are booking on a certain day of the week and last-minute deals.

Best credit card rewards for travellers, students, movie-goers and more

Travel rewards hog all the attention in comparisons of credit card loyalty programs, but there are lots of other good rewards to collect. Here’s a list of best cards for people who want free movies, hotel rooms, and for specific groups like students.

Best ETFs for young investors

Top ETF picks in all the major categories by the Young and Thrifty blog. One of the most common questions I get from readers is, how do I start investing in ETFs? This list will help beginners.

Five home upgrades for retirees

Consider these quite reasonable changes if you want to keep your home comfortable as you age. Examples: accessible door handles are much easier to grip than door handles.

Today’s financial tool

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The lowdown on making a complaint against an investment adviser at a firm regulated by the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada, or IIROC.

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If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

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