Living in New York City is expensive but Jay and I have noticed that we spend most of our money on food! We love to eat out but it’s pricey so we do try to use the skills we’ve learned on Food Network or from Guy Fieri to whip up our own masterpieces. Sometimes it works out — sometimes we order pizza to make up for it.
I’m not really a coupon girl but I do know that they will save you loads of cash if you can invest time in finding them. But I’m lucky to have this checklist from Teri Gault of TheGroceryGame.com to help. Teri started this business because she had a knack for clipping coupons and saving money. So she used her skills to create a business where members can reduce shopping time and save money by using coupons at the right times.
by Teri Gault
As CEO of www.TheGroceryGame.com, I LIVE by a list for everything in my life. If my day is getting stressful, it’s usually because I haven’t made a list of all the odds and ends for my day. I’m constantly planning something for which I need a list. And then I tend to make lists of lists! Since I primarily exist to help people save on one of the most expensive line items in their budget, groceries, it only seems fitting that I provide a checklist on how to save on every trip to the market without using a pair of scissors.
1. Only buy groceries on sale – Make this the number one step you take. And shoot for 50% off sales.
2. Log onto the Internet – Go to your favorite market’s website, and see what’s on sale. Or to take it a step further, use www.TheGroceryGame.com to access both the advertised and UN-advertised sales. Let those sales guide what goes on your grocery list.
3. Pick up a sales circular as you enter the market – This is a review of what you did in step one, but it helps to carry something in your hand for reference, and keeps you focused on saving $!
4. Be flexible – Keep an open mind to try new options that may be on sale, when your old standby isn’t.
5. Get the big picture – Usually one meat and one produce are the biggest picture on the front. That should be your cue… if you like it, get it! And if it’s meat that you like, grab two, one for tonight, and one for your freezer.
6. Read the tiny dates on packages – If there’s a great sale on yogurt, reach into the back, and find the longest date. 5 weeks away? “Invest” in 5 weeks of yogurt at 50% off!
7. Buy the limit – A sale with a “limit” might be a killer deal. If you eat peanut butter and there’s a limit of 4 at 99 cents, then “invest” in 4!
8. Look for BOGOs! – “Buy one get one free” sales are no brainers. That’s half off, and you know what to do!
9. Pay attention to sales signs on convenience stores – If you’re heading home after work, and see a banner outside a corner store advertising a gallon of milk at half the price of the supermarket, stop and grab some.
10. Check drugstore sales circulars that come in the Sunday paper – Yep! Drugstores sell groceries about once a month at great prices. If a drugstore is on your errand route, grab a few deals.
11. Introduce yourself to your butcher – Ask when they mark down the meat for same day sale. Plan your future trips accordingly.
12. Plan meals around the fresh produce sales, and use what you already have in your pantry, fridge and freezer.
13. Check the freezer section – For more variety on out of season fruits and veggies, your grocer’s freezer may have some great sales.
Teri Gault is the CEO and founder of TheGroceryGame.com, a website that provides shoppers with a fun and easy way to achieve substantial savings on their grocery and drugstore bills. Members log onto the site to get a weekly shopping list, which helps them to reduce shopping time and money by using coupons at precisely the right time for optimum savings. A wife and mother of two, Teri began The Grocery Game as a home-based business in February 2000. As an avid saver and coupon-clipper, Teri decided to use her skills to create a list to help identify when to use coupons, based on categorical sales trends, to achieve maximum savings at her local supermarket.