Is your wallet worn out from too much eating out?
Buying groceries is an obvious cost-saver, and there are several ways to be smart at the register.
Consider these tips:
First, before you hit the grocery store, create a meal plan. List foods you will definitely consume at home. If you have three business dinners and a date coming up in the next week, you're not likely to eat from your fridge. Know your schedule and what you want to have in the house if you'll be eating at home.
Next, spread out your shopping. We tend to overbuy if we shop once a month or once a week. Instead, make a couple of trips each week. Remember to check expiration dates and never grocery shop on an empty stomach!
Also, it's sometimes best to bulk up on certain items, such as nonperishables -- just make sure you have enough shelf space. Examples are dried beans, rice, pasta, canned goods, cereal and spices. For singles, it may actually be cost-efficient to buy smaller items that are priced more per ounce, because they're less likely to go to waste.
As for perishable items, remember you can always seal and freeze meat and veggies for later. Consider investing in a vacuum sealer to store foods in the freezer long term.
Finally, don't pooh-pooh generics. The quality of store brands is much better than it has been in the past, and the savings can often be significant -- often more than 50%.
To view Farnoosh Torabi's video take of today's segment, click here.
Farnoosh Torabi joined TheStreet.com TV in July 2006 as the site's first official video correspondent. Previously, Farnoosh was a business producer and on-air reporter for NY1 News, Time Warner's 24-hour news channel in New York City. Farnoosh is a regular columnist for AM New York and has written for Money, Time, New York Daily News and Newsday. Farnoosh is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University, with a degree in Finance and International Business and holds a M.A. from the Columbia School of Journalism.