In my last post, I mentioned the Grocery Game. Loni commented on it and said I should blog on it, so here it is.
I got hooked on it because of my friend Pippin, yes that is her real name, isn't it cute! It does require a little prep work and flexibility, but it is totally worth it. Basically, what the people at the Grocery Game do is cross-reference what is on sale in the stores and the coupons in the paper. Loni had heard that it is mainly convenience food, but I don't really eat that stuff, so I don't buy it if it is on there. After you have been "playing" for a while, you realize that most coupons in the paper are for bath items (shampoo, toothpaste, etc.), paper products and laundry items. They say it takes about 12 weeks for you to build a "store" in your own home.
But the grocery game is not just about coupons, it is about saving money and getting the best deal. The weekly list often includes fresh produce, lunch meat & cheese and organic items. The list will show you the product, original price, sales price, coupon if applicable and finally the % you are paying for the item. It also categorizes the items into three buckets, best deal, good deal, and luxury items (items that you should only buy if you need them or want them, but not the best deal). So those are the benefits, but what are the costs you ask?
Well, time is a huge piece of it, you have to cut coupons, make sure you go to the store sometime between Sunday and Tuesday, and gather everything together to make your trip. I have been doing it for close to 6 months now, so I have a little routine and really it doesn't take that much time. I get so excited about how much money I save, that it doesn't really bother me. The other "cost" is the convenience factor. You have to be flexible in what you and your family eats and uses. For example, I use all kinds of shampoo, I don't care what kind and that works for the grocery game, because all different kinds are on sale. We are also very flexible in our meals for the week. I am using the royal "we" here, because I have nothing to do with this thanks to my wonderful husband! BG just looks at what we have in the pantry or the freezer and makes something. Oh, and one more cost, storage. We have a very large pantry, so that helps, but we also have toilet paper in our closet, our bathroom cabinet is full of toiletries and our two laundry room cabinets are full of cleaning supplies!
Side story about BG and the Grocery Game....BG kept complaining because I kept buying diced tomatoes, so he started throwing them in everything even if the recipe didn't call for it. So now, what has been on the grocery list for the last couple weeks, diced tomatoes!
After doing it for a while, you get in your grove and you start seeing the pattern. I am really hoping that laundry detergent is on sale again soon, because we are running low!