Tuesday, December 11, 2007

My little secret

I think it is time to let you all in on my little money saving secret. I recently discovered, through my neighbor Kari, something called The Grocery Game. Basically it is coupon clipping to the extreme. The idea is to clip coupons and hang on to them until you can use them to your advantage. Then when the coupon is 'played' you get grocery's at rock bottom prices. The website posts lists of the sales and matches them up with the coupons that are currently available. For instance, this week i got 2 packages of Wholly Guacamole for free. The coupons were in the Sunday paper about 3 weeks ago i think. Alot of the things on the list, like the guacamole, you can freeze. One of the principals they talk about is stockpiling. Some of you might call it food storage. I haven't thus far been very good at having any food storage. but now i am getting close to having a 3 month supply of food and other household goods.

I have a grocery budget of $60 per week. Pre grocery game i was spending my $60, sometimes a little more, but by the end of my week i was stretching my limits as far as having things for dinner. We would often end up getting a pizza on Saturday because i didn't quite have enough food to make meals for both Saturday and Sunday. Now i spend my $60 and come home with so much more food. Also i have been able to get some of the things that i wasn't able to afford before, like organic milk. I also had been avoiding things that i like, such as crackers, but now if i play the coupons right i can get them(I currently have 11 boxes of assorted crackers in my pantry, I think i have that many boxes of cereal too.) This week i spent $63 and i saved $51. that is a 45% savings.

Unfortunately there is no such thing as a free lunch. You can get a 4 week trial membership to the site for $1. After that it is $10 every 2 months for one store list and $5 every two months per each additional store. I have 4 stores on my list right now but i am going to drop down to only HEB soon(I'll explain why in a minute). The best thing to to if you are considering starting the game is to collect coupons for a couple of weeks before stating the trial. All the coupons come from the Sunday paper. The way o figure it the money i spend on the membership and the newspaper, i save each week.

Now the icing on the cake.......There is a free version of this site. It is called Coupon Mom . But coupon mom is not specific to the Austin area, it is out of Atlanta. It also does not have HEB but it does have Target and wal mart. It does have Randall's, specific to Texas. here is a video clip that should explain things much better than i can.

I would recommend any one who is interested in cutting their weekly food budget to at least check out the websites.

P.S. if you decide to subscribe to the Grocery Game let me know so you can put my e mail in the recommendation section.


Robin said...

That is really cool! I do wonder, though, since I don't currently take the paper and I also have a family of notoriously picky eaters, if there would be enough of an advantage off of what coupons I really would use versus those I wouldn't. If you knew how much I spent on groceries/household items each month, you'd probably order me to pay (what is it?) $1.50 for a Sunday paper to start trying this out immediately.

I'm so glad this is working out for you and that it has helped you get a few months' worth of stuff stored away. Good for you!

Sheyenne said...

Hey, cool Alison. I may just give it a try. I can't believe you can buy groceries for your family on $60/week though. We spend about $150/week and I look for sales and don't buy name brand items. We do buy a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables though.

Kristi said...

Were your ears ringing or something? I have been in a pickle over this since we moved here from Utah, in Utah they had a free thing like this "The Grocery Guru". I am definitely going to check it out, I guess I will have to start getting the Sunday paper though. . . bummer!