I took a little time to go over my grocery shopping expenses concentrating on the last 3 months.
Three months ago I began to get more serious about using Grocery Game. I'd been using it on and off without a real 'commitment.' Sometimes I would change my mind and go it alone, then I'd hop back on the GG bandwagon.
In August I decided to go for it, really do my best with it and I have learned some things that I'd like to share here.
First of all--I had three goals.
1.I wanted to cut my grocery budget
2 I wanted to keep a reasonably well stocked pantry
3.I wanted to shop in better stores. I have done customer service type jobs all my life and I just was so sick to death of apathetic service in the stores I was handing my money over to.
I shop regularly at several stores. A few months ago Aldi and Food Lion were getting the lion's share of my money followed by Sam's Club and Harris Teeter at a near tie.
My goal was that I would like to spend more of my shopping money and time at Harris Teeter and less at the other stores. Why? I just enjoy shopping in a place where the management obviously is working hard. The stores are nicer, the service is good the quality is good--one problem--the regular prices are higher than any of my other stores. HOWEVER--Harris Teeter runs great sales and always doubles coupons that have a face value of up to .99. Every couple of months or so they do a triple coupon weekend as well. It is tricky to really get good deals at HT-- you can get 'good deals' or you can get 'REALLY good deals.' On my own, like most shoppers I can easily find a good deal. With the help of Grocery Game however I can consistently find the GREAT deals and it thrills me! Yesterday for instance I made a short extra stop at HT since I had to pick up an RX at the Riteaid next door and they still had the 3x coupon weekend going. I swooped in and picked out some of the deals I'd missed the day before -mainly because they had needed to restock some shelves.
I got 2 16 oz bottles of olive oil, a large plastic can of Folgers coffee, (I like folgers best--bonus), 4 muffin mixes, 2 cans of evaporated milk (for pies!).
When my bill was totalled and my coupons and VIC savings subracted --and some HBC reward points applied --all done in seconds at the register-- my bill was $2.51!!
That's right-- $2.51. I even asked the cashier if there was a mistake cuz the coffee alone was over $10 before my coupons.
I don't think I'd have earned all these HBC points or saved near as much on food this week without Grocery Game.
And yes--I do some scratch cooking--but I like to have some convenience items on hand too-- last night my Hubby made cookies with a mix he found in the pantry and sometimes my daughter will make us a cake or brownies--so these are helpful.
Anyhow--I have been steadily lowering my grocery spending, inspite of the fact that the prices have been steadily increasing.
My pantry is very reasonably stocked as is my freezer--and every item in my stash was purchased at a good discount. It makes me happy to cook knowing that!
Last--I am now doing most of my shopping at Harris Teeter, a store I LOVE to shop in where I am treated like a queen. :) I have a very short list for Aldi this week and the only items we need from Food Lion are my college kid's diet coke and frozen pizza. Which they will buy. I don't even have to go there!
My Sam's shopping has decreased to every other month instead of 2x a month, Aldi is now at every 3 weeks instead of every 2 weeks. :)
This has worked. It is a little bit of work--but much less than if I tried to track prices and cut coupons on my own.
Sometimes my store prices are not exactly what GG says they will be--that's because individual stores can vary. This has worked both ways for me--sometimes my store has a better price, sometimes a higher one. Overall the prices are usually the same as those GG predicts when I use certain coupons.
This week I spent less than $100-- that's fine with me. :) I'm feeding 4 adults. I could easily skip shopping altogether and still feed us for about a month--but I prefer to keep on getting the good deals and stocking up on things that I may need within the next 3 months or so when I can get them for less.
This works! My advice to anyone who tries is stick with it--in time you will see the difference.
Even if you are on a special diet of some sort--and don't use convenience foods-- GG will still tell you when fresh meats, produce and dairy are at the best prices in a cycle-if you shop at a nicer store you will find they carry a nice variety of health foods, ethnic foods, organics and local grown foods-- GG will give you a heads up when those things are discounted too.
I do buy all my cleaning supplies this way and almost all our food.
Last week I purchased enough Delmonte canned veggies to last for several months at the same price as the Aldi canned Veggies. Delmonte does have better quality than Aldi-- but Aldi is fine in a pinch. That's what GG is about--better quality for less. Love it!