Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Grocery Game

Do you play the grocery game? I do. And it is a lot of fun. I only wish I didn't neglect to play it some weeks...sometimes even weeks at a time. It so worth playing that it really should be played weekly.

"What's the grocery game?" you ask. Well, it is a system of buying groceries, household supplies, and bath/beauty/health products for significantly less than retail prices. All it takes is a very inexpensive subscription to the website (http://www.thegrocerygame.com/), a newspaper, and a very little time.

"How does it work?" you ask. Grocery and drug stores offer three prices for their products: full retail price, phantom sale price, and rock bottom sale price. The phantom sale price is when they place a sale tag on the item but only knock of a few cents from the price. It really isn't a good price for the item but customers buy them anyway because "it's on sale." The rock bottom sale price is the lowest price they are going to mark the item down to. Isn't this the price you want to pay? What if you had a coupon to go with that rock bottom sale price? (For those of you who think clipping coupons is a waste of time, think of each one you throw away as being actual cash going into the dumpster. You can either pay the store $1 or give them a $1 coupon. Multiply that but however many coupons you use each week for a year and it really adds up...if you use them, that is.) But how do you keep up with all that information? The real sales and the coupons, combined, at the right time? You pay someone a small fee to do it for you! That's how. The Grocery Game only costs $10 for 8 weeks for one store...that's only $1.25 a week. Each additional store costs only $5 for 8 weeks. I recommend you sign up for one grocery store and one drug store. Why a drug store? Because the major drug stores (Walgreens, Rite Aid, CVS) all offer rebate programs which make a lot of your home, beauty, and health products completely free or better than free (they pay you!).

Are you convinced yet? Go ahead and try it out. The Grocery Game offers a $1 trial for four weeks. Sign up for all the stores available in your area (for $1) so you can see what each list looks like. Cancel any stores you don't want before your next billing date. They make it incredibly easy to know when your next billing date is and to cancel any you don't want....REALLY!

A note of caution: At first, you probably won't save any money at all! Why is that NOT bad? Because, if you are like most people, you'll bring home twice your normal amount of groceries without spending any extra money. The idea is to buy enough to last you until the next time that item goes on sale again...about 12 weeks. After about twelve weeks, you'll have about all the coupons that the list refers to and a stockpile of stuff like you wouldn't believe. After that, you'll only be buying a few items to replace what you've used. Now where to put all that stuff is another story. But wouldn't you rather stock that $0.25 shampoo when it is on sale rather than paying $4.99 when you run out? I would. And that's why I'm a grocery gamer.

I'll leave you with this week's savings (certainly not my best by a long shot):

Total for my three stores (Safeway, Albertsons, Rite Aid):
Full retail price: $244.27
Price paid: $129.71
Amount saved: $114.56
Percentage saved: 47%

Like I said, not my best week. I've had weeks where my savings was 65%. Some people can get up to 98% savings because they live in areas that have stores that double and even triple the value of coupons. Around here, they don't do that. Still...I'd rather pay $119 for my groceries than $244. This includes items I need for this week and items I don't yet need.

No comments: