The Game

I've been playing the Grocery Game for the past several months and I love it! For anyone who doesn't know, the Grocery Game is a website that matches up Sunday paper coupons with grocery store sales ( I was skeptical at first, but made myself commit to 3 months of really trying it before I made any decisions. At first, I really hated it. It really takes a lot of time, cutting out coupons, organizing them, and then shopping the sales. I didn't really understand how to shop at first, and so with all of the time I was spending and the mediocre results, I was pretty frustrated. But now, I have limited myself to two stores (Lowes Foods and CVS) and it really is a game. I can't wait for the beginning of the week when I can head out to ... CONQUER HIGH FOOD PRICES AND SAVE THE WORLD! Just today, my trip to Lowes was quite sucessful. I spent $56.94 and at the bottom of my reciept, my total savings were ..... (drumroll in your head) ... $77.90! $36 of that was coupon savings and the rest were store sales. Some of my favorite good buys have been:
A 6-pack of Bryers Disney yogurt for .50
Cinnamon Chex cereal for .43
Stride Gum for .08 a pack (I got that today!)
Barilla whole wheat pasta for free
Crest toothpaste and toothbrushes for free

There are a few rules to the game:
1. Sometimes it's a team sport. I take Kate with me every time I go and we're learning to shop together (umm ... I bring fruit snacks and an I-Pod)
2. You can't be brand loyal. If you'll only eat Jiff peanut butter or use Tide laundry soap, then you're not going to get super-great deals.
3. It takes awhile to learn the ins and outs of the system. For example, when Lowes foods has something on "buy one get one free", that really means it's 50% off, so if you have a coupon for the same item that says, "buy one get one free", then you can use the store sale and the coupon for an excellent deal.
4. Sometimes store clerks don't know their own policies. I have CVS's 1-800 customer service number saved on my cell phone in case I need it.
5. You have to stock up on things when they are on sale. Diced tomatoes might be on sale one week, but not again for another 2 months. So, if you buy as many as you can, you'll have what you need until they go on sale again. (I get 3 Sunday papers a week to get an optimum number of coupons)
6. Choose your cashier wisely. If she looks like the wicked witch of the west on a bad hair day, you might want to choose the clueless 16-year old.
7. Make it fun for yourself or you'll never survive
8. Some things are often on sale and some things are never on sale. We have enough cereal and granola bars to last us for months, but I don't remember ever seeing ... actually, I can't think of anything that doesn't at least go on a store sale. Never mind.

Well, that's my Grocery Game report. It is quite fun and satisfying. I keep telling Cletus how much money I'm saving him, but I don't think he fully realizes how awesome I am. Maybe some day when we're old, we'll shop together using the Grocery Game and then he'll realize ...


K.Q. said...

I've been doing this for the last year and LOVE IT!! Sometimes I leave my purchases out on the counter until Travis gets home or I'll take a picture and say, "Look at what I got for FREE today."

Just a tip: I used to cut all the coupons and file them. Now I keep them in their little smart source or redplum booklets and write the date in permanent marker on the front of the booklet. I keep the booklets in a basket with a lid. Then I just cut out the coupon when I need it. It has saved me a lot of time.

Also, I don't know what websites you use, but is my favorite for store deals. Have Fun!

chris said...

i had just staggered home from harris teeter, where i spent 3 hours buying about half the things i need for the month. i spent so long because i did coupons and grocery game. i was ready to give up, but i decided to do it three months, also. maybe i, too, can get smarter and better at it and save masses of money. i spent $90 and saved $60, which seemed pretty good until i saw andra willis there and she said she had just spent $3 and saved $30.

Heather said...

Way to go Alice! I'm very impressed!

Crystal and Brad Barger said...

That is great. Part of me wants to try it out and the other part is too lazy to get started.

Hester Family said...

That sounds awesome! My skeptical side says, "Are the coupons for things I already buy, or do I start buying things I don't normally buy?" So, maybe you can tell me how that went for you. Are coupons ever available for produce? Just curious. Sounds like a great thing to get started on!

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