And, in order that the food be pleasing, it is not necessary that it be expensive. The maxim that "the best is always the cheapest" does not apply to food. The larger part of the price of costlier foods is paid for appearance, flavor or scarcity, and while people who can afford them may be justified in buying, it is well to remember that the cheaper foods frequently contain as much if not more nutriment and with a little care can be made just as pleasing. It is the lazy and unskilled cook who pays exorbitant prices for food rather than take the trouble to make the common foodstuffs appeal to the palate.

The remedy for the foolish waste of money in buying costly foods "will be found," writes Dr. Atwater in a Government Bulletin, "in a better knowledge of cooking and serving food, and in the acceptance of the doctrine that economy is not only respectable but honorable." The German housewife's "thrift" may seem a trifle sordid at times; but the study of the relative costs of foods should not be beneath the dignity of any woman. Housekeeping is becoming more and more a matter of science, and the laurels are bound to fall to the woman who conducts her household in a business-like way. No man, no matter how wealthy he may be, permits needless waste of money in the management of his business; no woman should permit waste in the management of the household, which is her business.

"It is common enough," writes Ida M. Tarbell, "to hear women arguing that this close grappling with household economy is narrowing, not worthy of them. Why keeping track of the cost of eggs and butter and calculating how much your income will allow you is any more narrowing than keeping track of the cost and quality of cotton or wool or iron and calculating how much a mill requires, it is hard to see. It is the same kind of problem. Moreover, it has the added interest of being always an independent personal problem. Most men work under the deadening effect of impersonal routine. They do that which others have planned and for results in which they have no share."

One point is worth mentioning here, and that is that "ready-to-eat" foods, except perhaps in the case of cereals,where the saving of fuel is worth considering, are expensive and not always so good as the old-fashioned dishes prepared in the old-fashioned way. The cook who is exceedingly pressed for time or the housewife who does her own cooking may be justified in using instantaneous, ready-flavored gelatine, for instance; but the result is seldom so good as gelatine prepared by the old method, and the cost is decidedly greater. Even in the matter of baking powder the housewife may, by making the mixture herself, reduce the cost to exactly one-fourth of its present market price.

Economy in fuel is another consideration of first-rate importance, especially where gas is used. The tireless and steam cookers have made possible no inconsiderable saving of fuel, and one, if not both, should be a part of the furnishing of every up-to-date kitchen. Important as these are, however, the wise planning of meals is still more important. It is no economy to buy a cheap cut of meat if that cut will require long cooking on a gas stove or in a gas oven; better buy one less cheap that can be cooked in a short time - for gas is expensive. Care must also be taken not to use the oven needlessly and to make the most of its heat. If meat is roasting, plan to bake potatoes at the same time; and do not light the oven just to bake potatoes or some vegetable that will cook equally well on the top of the stove - say in a steamer.

These are minor matters, of course, but they all play their part, and in many families call for greater attention than they receive. The importance of economy should be known by every housewife and should be explained to every servant.