The Grocery Game

Anybody who has been around me lately has probably heard at least something about my new obsession with saving money at the grocery store.  Some people have asked how I do it, and some people (like the cashier at Giant Eagle today – I’ll get to that later) just stand in amazement.  I’m not going to go into a lot of detail about how I go about finding the sales – there are lots of websites for that (the ones I use most frequently are The Grocery Game, Sisters Shopping on a Shoestring, and Money Saving Mom).  Each of these websites gives some sort of breakdown each week of sales (by store), and how to best match coupons with the sales to get the best prices for stocking up.  Eventually, the goal is to be well-stocked enough on non-perishables that you only ever have to buy them when they are dirt cheap or free.

So, each Saturday I check out those websites, get out my file of coupons (un-cut, sorted by date), and clip my way to savings!  So far we’ve been doing this for about 5 weeks, and have saved roughly 50-60% each week.  Right now we’re still spending what we were before, but our stock has grown (because we’re getting A LOT more for our money), so in the next few weeks, we should be able to cut our spending by about half.

Here’s an example from this week.  I visited two different stores (Target and Giant Eagle), and purchased all of the following:

Here’s a breakdown of what I purchased where, and how much it cost:

Store #1: Target

(4) 12-Packs of Coca-Cola – REG $4.69 – SALE $2.50 ea. + Tax

Total Savings: $8.76 (45%)
Total Paid: $10.76

Store #2: Giant Eagle

(1) Crisco Vegetable Oil 48 oz. – REG $4.79 – SALE $3.00 – FP $3.00
(2) Reynolds Slow Cooker Liners – REG $2.49 – $1.00/1 coupon (x2) – FP $1.49 ea.
(2) Folgers Coffee (1 Reg, 1 Decaf) – REG $9.59 – SALE $5.99 – $1.00/2 coupon – FP $5.49 ea.
(2) Campbell’s Condensed Soup – REG $1.25 – SALE $0.67 – $1.00/2 coupon – FP $0.17 ea.
(3) French’s Classic Mustard 14 oz. – REG $1.79 – SALE $1.33 – $0.30/1 DOUBLED coupon (x3) – FP $0.73 ea.
(2) French’s Spicy Brown Mustard 14 oz. – REG $1.79 – SALE $1.33 – $0.50/1 DOUBLED coupon (x2) – FP $0.33 ea.
(4) Dole Canned Pineapple 20 oz. – REG $1.50 – SALE $1.00 – $0.50/2 DOUBLED coupon (x2) – FP $0.50 ea.
(2) Hungry Jack Pancake Mix & Syrup – REG $4.59 – SALE $2.50 – $1.00/2 coupon – FP $2.00 ea.
(4) Barilla Whole Grain Pasta – REG $1.39 – SALE $1.00 – $1.00/2 coupon (x2) – FP $0.50 ea.
(4) Barilla Piccolini Pasta – REG $1.39 – SALE $1.00 – $1.00/2 coupon (x2) – FP $0.50 ea.
(3) No Yolks Egg Noodles – REG $2.00 – SALE $1.67 – $0.75/1 DOUBLED coupon (x3) – FP $0.17 ea.
(1) International Delights Coffee Creamer – REG $1.89 – SALE $1.50 – $0.55/1 DOUBLED coupon – FP $0.40
(12) Yoplait Original Yogurt Cups – REG $0.70 – SALE $0.50 – $0.40/6 DOUBLED coupon (x2) – FP $0.37 ea.
(1) Breakstone’s Sour Cream 16 oz. – REG $1.79 – SALE $1.25 – $0.60/1 DOUBLED coupon – FP $0.05
(1) Shout Laundry Stain Remover – REG $3.29 – SALE $2.99 – $0.55/1 DOUBLED coupon – FP $1.89
(2) Scrubbing Bubbles Bathroom Cleaner 22 oz. – REG $3.59 – SALE $2.99 – $0.75/1 DOUBLED coupon (x2) – FP $1.49 ea.
(3) Reynolds Wrap Foil 80 ft. – REG $4.09 – SALE $2.99 – $0.75/1 DOUBLED coupon (x3) – FP $1.49 ea.
(6) Ziplock Bags – REG $2.99 – SALE $2.49 – Various Coupons – AVG FP $1.85 ea.
(2) Oral-B Advantage Toothbrushes – REG $2.99 – SALE $2.00 – $0.75/1 DOUBLED coupon (x2) – FP $0.50 ea.
(3) Dove Original Deodorant 2.6oz – REG $2.59 – SALE $2.33 – $0.75/1 DOUBLED coupon (x3) – FP $0.83 ea.
(1) St. Ives Body Lotion 18 oz. – REG $4.19 – SALE $3.00 – $1.00/1 coupon – FP $2.00
(3) Birds Eye Steamfresh Vegetables – REG $1.69 – SALE $1.00 – $0.50/1 DOUBLED coupon (x3) – FP FREE!
(1) Schwebel’s Italian Bread – REG $2.39 – SALE $1.69 – FP $1.69
(1) Milk Gallon – REG $2.38 – FP $2.38
(1) Green Pepper – FP $2.62
(1) Red Pepper – FP $2.27
(2) Sweet Onions – FP $3.10
(1) Bunch Bananas – FP $0.87
(1) Red Ripe Strawberries – REG $3.98 – SALE $1.99 – FP $1.99
(1) 5lb bag Idaho Potato – FP $2.50

In addition, I used $14.00 in On Your Next Order Coupons for savings on this trip.

Mfg Coupon Savings: $33.70
Bonus (Doubled) Coupon Savings: $17.45
Card & Store Savings: $32.20
Total Savings (56%): $83.35
Total Paid $68.18 (incl. tax)

I received $12.00 in On Your Next Order Coupons towards next week’s shopping trip at Giant Eagle!

Totals for Today’s Shopping:
SAVINGS: $92.11 (54% savings)
Spent: $78.94

So, there you have it.  I think my favorite parts of doing this whole grocery game and couponing thing are: (a) some healthy competition with my mom; and (b) something I can do that is completely unrelated from youth ministry and seminary – its a healthy diversion and its saving us money!

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2 thoughts on “The Grocery Game

  1. How long did it take you to line all that up and type everything up? By the time I get home from the store I just want to get it all put away. Good job!

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  2. Wow, when I saw you in the store today, you told me you were a little obsessive about this, but didn’t realize the sheer insanity of what you do. Haha, good job though. You’ve inspired me to do this. It will surely help save some extra wedding funds! Thanks!!

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