So a while back I went through this phase where I was really into coupons and saving money when I was grocery shopping, and thanks to reading some friends' (Chrishtan, Jana, Lauren) blogs about how they are trying to save money, I am back in the game!
I checked out The Grocery Game after reading about it on the first two of the previously mentioned blogs, then Lauren also mentioned it in her blog! So apparently it's a pretty popular site (or we all read each others blogs). The concept is pretty cool. Basically someone has found a way to compile a shopping list of all the sales from the stores in a given zip code. So, for example, for Northport, I am provided with a list for Publix, Wal-Mart, CVS, Winn Dixie and Walgreen's. The list not only includes in-store sales, it also includes coupons that have either been available in the newspaper, in-store or online that can make the sale an even sweeter deal. The first four weeks are $1 and after that it's (I think) $10/month for a single store's list. As Lauren pointed out in her post about this, it does seem a bit silly to pay for info that could easily be attained with a little legwork. The nice thing about the site is that it basically puts together my grocery list, and I can take off things I don't want before I print. It also makes it easier to find coupons for the items already on sale.
I went grocery shopping for the first time today since joining the site, and I guess I have mixed feelings about it. I think the site helped some, but I also was able to pick up a Publix sale paper and primarily made my final list from that and the coupons I had on hand. I had a pretty decent stockpile from a few weeks of newspapers, in-store Publix coupons and the Internet. I also found out that some Publix stores will accept a competitor's coupon for a specific item; today I was able to use a coupon I printed on Target.com to get $1 off a box of 100-calorie packs (which became a pretty sweet deal -- $.99 after the sale price + coupon!). From what I understand, though, not all Publix stores do this, but at the ones that do, you can usually stack a manufacturer coupon, an in-store coupon and a competitor coupon for a really good deal, if you happen to have all three.
All in all, I think I did pretty well. I spent $85 total and saved $50 total (coupons and sale prices) on a week's worth of groceries for Bobby and me. I was able to get good fruits and veggies (2 ears of corn for $.50, a bag of carrots for $1.50, a bag salad for $.79, strawberries for $2.50, a bag of about 10 Fuji apples for $2.50 -- and a few other things) and meats (Polish sausage, a family pack of pork chops that we'll freeze part of, pot roast and hamburger meat), and those were probably the items I spent the most on. We got three boxes of cereal (buy 2, get 1 free + $.55 cent off coupon for Lucky Charms) and a free gallon of milk with those, thanks to a coupon in the Publix sale paper. I also snagged toilet paper and cat litter at low prices thanks to coupons. Oh, yeah, and I had a very nice $5 off coupon that Publix sent out with its mailer last week.
It took more effort, but saving $50 in one trip to the grocery store feels really good. I also feel like once I get the hang of "being a cheapskate" and figuring out how best to work the system to save the most money, I will be able to see even bigger savings on some trips!
A wee little update.
3 months ago