Yesterday I spent the afternoon with Teri Gault, founder of TheGroceryGame.com, which is a shopping system of collecting coupons and matching them to grocery store sales.
Since it’s the dead of winter in most areas of the country and my farmer’s market seems lightyears away, I’ve been making the most of my grocery stores and it made sense to listen to Teri’s advice.
As we all know, one trip to the grocery store can be an expensive venture — you go in for milk and you leave $80 later with fifteen things you don’t need.
Not only was it fun to shop with someone who enjoys the grocery store as much as I do, Teri provided me (and you!) with some great tips that will help you be a better — and more budget conscious– shopper.
Using Teri’s system we brought our grocery bill from $176 to less than $81.
While you don’t necessarily wind up purchasing your favorite brands of every item, you will get to try new things and discover different options that you might never have tried.
Throw away your shopping list
This may be counter intuitive, but this is why – It’s not about making a list of what you’ve run out of. It’s about what you should be investing in, when it’s a great deal.
Buy the limit
When you see an item that is “10 for 10 dollars” you certainly don’t need to buy 10 to get the deal (in most stores). But if you see a “limit 4’ for example, it is a good indicator of the very best deals, which are often called “loss leaders.” I know you don’t need 4 jars of peanut butter right now, but you will eventually, so stock up.
Hit the web before you hit the store
Browse your local store websites, where you can access sales and unadvertised sales to help you match the best coupons with the best sales. If you’re not a coupon clipper, this is how you can take advantage of the best sales at various stores in your area.
Find hidden organic coupons
Read the words on coupons, don’t just go by the picture. If you’re like me and you like to purchase organic products when possible, this is a super-helpful tip.
A coupon might say in the fine print “good on any,” but pictures a non-organic product. If the manufacturer has organics in their line, you can probably use this coupon to save on organics.
Lose weight on veggies/fruit
Most supermarkets spray vegetables with water to keep them fresh. When they’re priced by the pound, make sure they are dry. And if not, shake off excess water – water adds weight and increases the price.
How do you avoid racking up grocery bills bigger than your paycheck?