One of my readers turned me on to an interesting website called The Grocery Game. The idea is that The Grocery Game tells you what’s going to be on sale at your local grocery store, and what coupons you will need from the Sunday newspaper. You then shop based on the information you are given, which includes some deeply discounted items and even some free items due to double coupons. When you shop depends on which stores you go to and when they run their sales (for example, in Los Angeles, Ralphs sale prices are good from Wednesday morning through Tuesday night, so if you’re using coupons from Sunday’s paper, you have to get to the market by Tuesday.)
I was intrigued by The Grocery Game, but decided not to subscribe because I have a pretty good system set up already and I don’t think it would help me much. Many of the deals are on processed items, which makes sense, since there are always tons of coupons for such items, but I almost never buy them. The Grocery Game offers a four-week trial for only $1, which seems like a good deal if you want to give it a try.
Keep in mind that whether or not you choose to play The Grocery Game, it’s important for your budget to only buy things that you will use (a 50-cent jar of spaghetti sauce doesn’t help your budget if your family hates that brand). It’s also important to keep a price book, so you know when something really is a good deal (more on price books within the next few days).