Friday, March 10, 2006

The Grocery Game


Have you heard of it? You sign up for the service and they promise to help you save money on your grocery bill. They have testimonials with people claiming to get $60 of groceries for less than two bucks. How do they do that? Well, it really is a game. The GG people will tell you what specials your store is running this week- both the advertised and unadvertised. Then they give you a list of coupons available to you, and then let you know if they have any extras like a double coupon day. But what they do is match up the coupons with the special items. In theory a $5.00 box of laundry detergent you could get for about $1.50, or a box of cereal for 20 cents. It sounds promising to me, and in an attempt to curb my grocery spending, I did a little research. And of course, the Grocery Game is not available in my area. I decided I needed to try this myself.

So we have started a subscription to the local paper, in order to get both the Wednesday and Sunday coupons and flyers. I also have online access to a few of the stores. The tough part is actually taking the time to sit down with all of the above and create a shopping list. Part Geek that I am, I was sort of looking forward to tackling this experiment. I still haven't gotten to it yet. However, when I went and did a little shopping on Wednesday, I took a handful of coupons, just in case. I didn't get any special deals, but I did get a few bucks off my total bill, which I suppose, is worth it. With the coffee coupons that Andy has been using, and the few that I've used, we've already paid for our first month of newspaper. So we'll see if I can keep it up. I would like to be more organized. The best laid intentions anyway.

So to start this project, I am starting with my existing grocery receipts. I am taking each item on the receipt and putting the price into my Mastercook program. I figure if I can get about two months worth of receipts in the computer, I should be able to plan my weekly grocery trip, and know exactly what it is going to cost me before I even leave home. Then I can change things up if needs be. I have a long way to go on this project though...so it will be a work in progress. So far though, I have to say that by being coinscious of what I am spending, and planning a little more carefully, our grocery bill has gone down about 12-15% since January. I would like to see it go further. If I could get it down to about 50% I would be a very happy camper. I'm sure I can do it, I just need some practice, and no more going to the grocery store on a whim without a grocery list in hand.

I'm not sure if I'll be posting dinner tonight. Right now I am thinking it's a breakfast type of night with pancakes and sausage. But I am also thinking about a stir-fry...so I guess it depends what happens between now and then. And if I don't come back, happy Friday everyone!

3 comments:

Joe said...

Hey Erika,

While I don't have anything to do with this site, www.pinchingyourpennies.com is one I use that basically does the same thing but it is community driven. They have state/national forums where people can post the deals the find.

Patti said...

Interesting that you are posting about the GG. I just signed up for the 1 month trial to see how it goes. About 2 months ago, there were no stores in my area, now there are 2. I will try to let you know how it goes.

Erika said...

Interesting site Joe- thanks for sharing!

Patti, do let me know how it works for you. I'm not entirely convinced that it works as well for those of us who eat healthily. There are a lot of coupons out there for the prepared foods and things like that.