Thursday, January 20, 2011

A Cool Budget Tool {Thrifty Thursday}

Thrifty Thursday Button with border thickThis week, I’d like to pass along a tool that has really helped us to stay within our budget. It is The Grocery Game

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The Grocery Game is a plan for shopping that allows you to take advantage of coupons both in your weekly newspaper as well as the online downloads from your grocery store.    You choose the store(s)! The idea is that you buy when the prices are at their lowest and pair that with coupons.

Do you see the percentages next to the items in the list? That is the percentage discount off of the original price. I usually only buy those items that are at least 60-70% off and then plan my meals accordingly.

Our local grocery store offers digital coupons that can downloaded to our Plus Card and receive additional discounts on items. You can use these in addition to the clipped coupons from the newspaper! Bonus!! Also, any coupon $.40 or less can be doubled. Another way to save extra money!!

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When I first started The Grocery Game, I felt overwhelmed at the thought of figuring and planning my grocery shopping. I’m all about a sale, but give me a break! You see the whole idea is to stock up on items you use often when they’re at their lowest price. Then, you just fill in on other items as you need them. Sounded great and all, but I just didn’t know if it would work. Clipping coupons was not high on my list…. until one day I was watching the checker process all of my items at the register and my heart began racing. You see, I was at the beginning of my “stockpile” so I had 2 carts full of groceries (cereal, shampoo, laundry detergent, meat, etc…). The total on the screen began to creep up to almost $450. I was about to hyperventilate. I handed the lady my coupons and, miraculously, my total began to go down and down and down…. to my final amount of $224 and some change !!! Woo-hoo!! Amazing!!! From that day on, I was a Grocery Gamer!!

Some things I’ve learned while “playing” the Grocery Game are:

1. Not every week has oodles and oodles of sales with multiple items marked way, way down. Just be patient. There is a cycle to the sales and after you’ve played for a while, you’ll begin to notice the cycle.

2. Buy multiple Sunday newspapers and keep the coupon “packs” intact marked with that Sunday’s date. I keep mine in an accordion folder so that when the Grocery Game list tells me what date the coupons were issued, all I have to do is go to that coupon section and cut only that coupon out. No need to cut all of them out and file them away. That takes too much unnecessary time!

3.Stock up on as many items as you can get for the number of coupons you have. You may buy 6 bottles of shampoo and pay less than $.50 each. I have an “overstock” cabinet in our Master Bathroom, a separate “overstock” cabinet in our laundry room, and an extra “overstock” shelf in our kitchen pantry. Just get creative. You’ll find places to store your stock.

4. Check your local grocery store to see if they have a coupon swap basket where other customers have left coupons they do not need. They are free for you to take! (just leave some of your unnecessary ones in return).

It will take a month or 6 weeks to build up your stockpile, so be patient. It will definitely be worth it. There is a slight cost to be a member. It’s about $10 for 8 weeks which is $1.25 per week. Two weeks ago, we saved over $80. You’ll make your money back.

If you do decide to try it, would you be so kind as to put my name as a referral? I’d love hear your money-saving tips. Leave a comment and share.

Living deliberately and intentionally,



2 comments:

  1. We LOVE The Grocery Game too! It has enabled us to have the kind of meals I like to have without blowing the budget on the insignificant things!

    ReplyDelete

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