Food & Drink

Higher prices = more leftovers

Anyone who hasn't yet felt the pain of skyrocketing food prices certainly will soon So, where does that leave American consumers?

At home, eating leftovers, said Harry Balzer of the NPD Group, an Illinois-based market research company. “I've been tracking leftovers for 20 years,” he said. In general, Americans, who spend about 10 percent of their disposable income on food, tend not to let their food expenses rise faster than their disposal income.

“If you ask people what they're doing to stay in control when food prices are rising, they say, ‘I'm going to eat more leftovers, I'm going to cook more at home, I'm going to stock up on good deals, I'm going to carry more meals from home,'” Balzer said. ”The only one I think they're going to really do is eat more leftovers.”

Leftovers are efficient, he said, and they also speak to the driving forces behind the way we eat: “What's easiest?” followed by “what's cheap?”

Remember that what's left on your plate in a restaurant is a leftover, too. “And certainly there are restaurants that serve just gigantic portions,” Balzer said. “You walk out and you know you have a second meal.” Chicago Tribune