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Part 2 from the Previous Post

I’ve been chatting with a friend who reads my blog, and I realized that I left some things out of my previous post…say it ain’t so!

First off, I want to say that I think The Grocery Game is fabulous!  There are many good reasons to sign up for it:

  • The format of the lists makes it easier to recognize good deals.  Each grocery store list has a column for the percentage you save on each item.  You quickly learn what is considered “rock-bottom” prices.  The higher the percentage saved, the better the deal, obviously, and you start being more discriminatory about what you will and will not purchase.
  • Another neat thing about the lists is how items are color-coded.  Free items are in green, rock-bottom items are in blue, and sale items (but only buy if needed) are in black.  The lists are organized according to the layout of the store, but you can sort the lists any way you want.  You can check mark what you plan on getting and only print those items.  Lots of planning went into how these lists were devised.
  • You learn patience.  Just because an item is on sale does not mean that it’s the right time to buy something.  After four weeks (the trial period), you will probably see an item go on sale twice.  In my case, it was the Hebrew National Hot Dogs that I’m so fond of.  This go-round, I had two coupons, so I stocked up.

The main downside to The Grocery Game lists is that they don’t come out until Sunday in order to factor in the coupon inserts for that week’s Sunday paper.

My stores’ ads last from Wednesday through Tuesday, so that leaves me only two and a half days to shop.  When I’m working, this isn’t good because the week gets hectic.

If I come across a coupon in the Sunday paper for an item I bought a few days earlier (using my other web sites), I know that I can take my coupon back to the store, tell them I didn’t have my coupon during my purchase, and get my money back.  If the store gives you a hard time, return the item and re-buy it with the coupon.

Other things to remember…

  • Keep your coupons with you.  I started to put mine in the car when I went to Starbucks the other day but changed my mind.  I went straight to Walmart, where I found a great deal…if I had my $1 coupons that were at home.  Back I went, wasting precious time in my day.  It was worth the trip but unnecessary.
  • Buy two Sunday papers.  I found having two inserts invaluable this morning as I prepared to shop.  There were a couple of B1G1 items, and I was able to clip two coupons to use on them.
  • When printing coupons from the Internet, hit the back button to print them a second time.  Most sites will allow you to print two copies of a coupon but no more than that unless it’s a PDF you can download.
  • Printing coupons from the Internet is notorious for being a hit or miss thing.  A couple of the sites require that you install a coupon printer and have Java enabled on your browser.  Try different browsers.  I have the most success using Safari.  Check out THIS link, which helped me print coupons from SmartSource and RedPlum.  Folks, it can be done.  Be persistent.
  • Watch carefully while your cashier is taking off your coupons.  Just this morning, I caught one of my coupons (a biggie…$3) not being scanned.
  • Know how much items cost and watch them get scanned as well.  Several items at CVS did not ring up correctly last week.  A couple of the problems were due to signage (not my mistake, but I got the price advertised) and a couple of problems were with the way the prices were entered in the system.  I always check my receipt after I leave.
  • I have found that keeping a list of the coupons I’m using and what the item will cost me afterward helps me keep my ducks in a row and helps me when I’m looking over the receipt later.  I typically have a general idea of what I’m spending before I get to the register.  This helps me recognize a problem instantly.
  • Create a spreadsheet and enter your savings.  It’s hard to see how much you’re saving unless you put it down in black and white.

This sounds like a lot of work, doesn’t it?

It’s really no different than deciding to eat healthier.

What you’re doing is training yourself by developing new habits.  Once you decide that this isn’t a fad for you, then you’ll be permanently hooked.

Consider older people today.  The generation that lived through the Great Depression learned how to save money.  When times got easier, still they penny-pinched.

Life-long habits reap life-long rewards.

2 Responses

  1. Thanks for sharing your experiences and the great tips for saving money at the grocery store. I don’t think I’ll use the Grocery Game but will look carefully at more coupon usage!

  2. The husband and I are very impressed with your savings!

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