Friday, September 28, 2007

Play the Grocery Game and save Over 50% on Groceries per week!

I don't know if you have noticed, but grocery prices have started going up recently. And, with a family of five myself, I needed to find some ways to cut down on the price of our weeky shopping expedition! Luckily, I found a website that has gone above and beyond my needs. The Grocery Game tracks the cycle of sales at grocery stores and also the weekly coupons in your Sunday newspaper. They then compile a weekly grocery list for you that shows you free items, the rock bottom prices ( time to stockpile ), and items to buy if you need them.

I have found other sites in the past that try to match sales up with coupons, and many of those are free sites. There is nothing wrong with those sites, either, but I have never saved as much money. The difference is that this site has a database that lets you know when a sale is the LOWEST it will be with a coupon. So, sometimes things might be on sale and you have a coupon, but the grocery game might not recommend you buy it yet. They know the sales are on a 12 week cycle, and the price will be lower yet.

It is very simple to use. Because of the shopping list, I can pull my coupons the night before at home. Then, when I get to the store, I don't have to rummage through my coupon carrier. Instead, I just print my list out and go down aisle by aisle and pull what I need. I have been using this method for 6 months now, and I hardly have to buy anything but what is on the list. I have so many condiments, meat, toilletries, diapers, etc stockpiled, that even when I want to make a certain recipe, I have everything on hand. It is safe to say, I am ready for a natural disaster, I have so many canned goods!! But, please beware....it takes about 2 months before you have enough stockpiled that you only shop via the list. Up to that point, I used the grocery list, plus I had to buy things I was low on ( even if they weren't on the list ).

If you want to know how much I save, well, let's just say on my grocery receipt last week I saved $192 dollars. I spent right at $100, and got almost $300 worth of groceries! You wouldn't believe what I walked out of the store with in my cart!!!! Now, that is my largest discount thus far, but on average, I have been saving around $90-120 each trip. On average, between 50-60% off my bill. Many weeks, my bill for the five of us is below $100, which never happened before. AND...another important note. Since almost all the items you are buying on sale on this list, it is very easy to watch as they scan your groceries (or check your receipt before you leave ) to make sure everything rang up on sale. My grocery store offers your item free if it rings up incorrectly, so I almost always get my money back on at least one of my items because I can quickly notice it rang up full price. Even if your store doesn't give a full refund like that, still bring it to their attention. They will need to offer it at the sale price it is posted for on the shelf.

Another helpful hint, the Grocery Game only tracks the coupons from the Sunday paper. So, if your store sends you coupons in the mail as a frequent shopper, make sure to look through that stack, also, to make sure you don't have extra coupons and you can then buy even more of the items you many want or need. Kroger, where I shop, also sends me coupons periodically for $9 off $90 of groceries, etc. When I get these coupons in the mail, I immediately log onto ebay and search for others selling these coupons. It is a great time to pay someone a little money for a coupon that will save you immensely. I now have enough of these coupons to last me through the next two months. Big savings!

In addition, they don't track rebates. I don't go out of my way for rebates, but I do them if easy. When I cut my coupons from the paper, I leave any rebates attached to the coupon. That way, when I pull the coupon to use, I immediately see there is a rebate. I then seperate it, and when I get home from the grocery, I already know to mail my receipt and codes the next day.

The website is http://thegrocerygame.com/ and it is well worth the $5 a month they charge. Basically, it adds $1.15 to my weekly grocery bill. Not too expensive for someone else to save you time and money by matching coupons and rock bottom prices for you. They will give you a 30 day trial for $1, if you simply want to try it first. If you do sign up for the trial or to become a member, please use moneysavingmethods@yahoo.com as your referral.
Happy Shopping!

Updated 1/30/08: Since posting this original article, I have seen an even larger dip in my grocery bill. Partly due to the fact I am so stockpiled, I just really CANNOT buy anymore items. And, partly because I am shopping Walgreens and CVS, too. I plan to take a picture later today to upload what my pantry, linen closet ( can't find the towels behind all the toilet paper ),and cabinets look like. Click here to see pic! My husband told me last night to stop grocery shopping, because the shelves were starting to bend in the pantry. I hope they don't break! Anyway, my total grocery bill for the last month for 5 has been running between $60-65 a week at around 60% off. If I get it any lower for an extended period of time, I will post again.

10 comments:

Jen said...

I just had to drop in and say thank you for your money saving posts. I'm in the process of reading through all of them, and plan on calling my phone company and Dish Network tomorrow, as well as sign up for grocery game. I have to admit when I saw some of the $35 menu plans, I thought NO WAY! I have a family of 5 like you, and some pretty good eaters! In September of 2007 I began a 6 week meal plan, and continued that through the end of the year. I found out that actually was a big money drainer for us, as we were averaging $400 week on groceries. So I saw $35 and thought it was crazy. I'd be happy with spending $100/week right now!
I've started using coupons and watching the ads, but found that takes a lot of planning time, so the grocery game sounds great. I have also started going to CVS, but am not totally sure of the system yet, and can't get the oop spending as low as I'd like. I'm trying, and learning more every day, so thanks for your helpful tips!

Meredith said...

WOW! This sounds awesome! I thought the Grocery Game was at least $10/mo! I might have to check it out if it is only $5! :)

Thanks for this info!

Michelle said...

Hi,
I'm going to give the grocery game a try. Thanks for posting about this. We're a family of 5 too and our grocery bill has skyrocketed. We need all the help we can get. I used your email as a referral. Thank you bunches!

Cristy said...

THANK YOU!!! Signed up for trial membership and already found 3 GREAT deals for Walgreens this week on items I NEED! Also, I hope I helped you get your free 12 week membership for your yearly budget. I absolutely LOVE your website!

Leesie said...

This is a great post Carrie. Thank you! I have a question on the Grocery Game - does it do ALL of the supermarkets (even in the NY area)? I think I would like to give it a try as I have so much trouble between the circulars, so many coupons, what's on sale, what's not on sale, etc. I'm finding I am really not knocking my food bill down by much. I am stockpiling, and don't think I am doing that correctly (maybe the spending too much will slow down now that I've built a stock pile and can add to it little by little now, using coupons of course!) - maybe it isn't so bad after all lol. I went from a empty pantry to a pretty full one. I had to put all my canned stuff in the basement tonight because I ran out of room in the kitchen. Thanks again, Leesie

Carrie @ Moneysavingmethods.com said...

Leesie,

It is Nationwide.

If you go to the first page and enter your zip code, it will tell you what grocery stores it offers in your area.

For example, if I enter mine...it comes back with Kroger, Meijer, CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid and Wal Mart.

All you can do is check.

If you have only been coupon shopping a few months, your bill probably won't go down yet.

When I started, it seriously took about a good 3 months before I saw ANY difference in my grocery bill( maybe it was 2 months..I can't remember now ).

My point, anyway, is that even while things are on sale..you still need to buy meat, milk, ketchup if you are out, toilet paper if you are running low. And, if you need it, you may have to pay full price or slightly on sale.

BUT, once you are fully stockpiled, then you rarely have to buy "needed" items.

That is when you will start seeing a difference in your food bill.

I would say you are doing pretty good if your pantry is full.

Your savings should start kicking in soon.

Robin Jones Gifford said...

Hi ladies.

Just wondering how the Grocery Game compares to the free Coupon Mom?

Thanks.

Robin

Carrie @ Moneysavingmethods.com said...

Hi Robin,

For whatever reason, the Grocery Game always had more deals and finds for my area than Coupon Mom. Not sure why that was or is. I haven't compared them in a year or so, since I started using the Grocery Game. And, not sure if it is true for all areas of the US.

I would advise signing up for the free trial and comparing the two lists for your area for a month and see if the extra finds are worth the fee...OR if the Grocery Game even has extra deals for your area. Obviously, I can only speak to the Ohio grocery lists.

For me, the less than $5 a month fee to find more deals still put me ahead.

Now,with referring others...I don't have to pay at all. So, if you do like their service while under the trial...start letting your friends/family, etc know about it. For every 3 people who sign up, you get 3 months free.

Julie said...

Great site Carrie! I was wondering are you ever throwing sutff out that has gone bad? At home it's just my fiance and I so I wondering if the grocery game will even help us save? As I'm sure you are going thru way more food and a lot faster with a family of 5 than we would. How do you keep track of the foods that need to be eaten before a certain time? Thanks!

Carrie @ Moneysavingmethods.com said...

Julie,

I try not to throw anything away.

Obviously, when I stockpile, if it is non perishable, it won't go bad. For example, I have 4 containters of mayo and about the same of ketchup and mustard in my pantry. Those will just sit there until we need them,and I got them all free or almost free. So, why not get them?

We have about 10 tubes of toothpaste I got free right now. When I get to much, I begin giving some away. Food pantrys need them

So, you should be fine with non perishables.

With fruits, vegetables, and stuff like that, I do not stockpile much. Because I don't want it to go bad.

But, what I do, is buy whatever fruit is on rockbottom price that week.

So, this week, we have gobs of strawberries, cantaloupe and oranges.

A few weeks ago, we had apples, grapes, etc. So, we don't get stuck on one type of fruit or veggie.

If I find an amazing deal on fruit/bread, etc, I will freeze. Since strawberries were so low this last week, I bought a few extras and froze the fruit.

I will also stick loaves of bread in the freezer if it just an unbelievable sale. If it is just average, I buy just enough to get me through until the next time we need bread.

You should definitely save money for the two of you.

The other key, once you are stockpiled, you will find you don't need to buy condiments, sauces, soups, etc that often, because your panty will be full.

Usually takes about 3 months to start seeing the savings, unless you have a small stockpile alread and have been getting coupons for the last few months.

 
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