When I became a mother, grocery shopping was very frustrating to me.  I could not believe how much I was spending every time I went to the grocery store, and still we would run out of food before the end of the week.  I felt like I was in a rut with food choices for the family; always buying the same items and cooking the same meals. Tonight I saved $195 on my groceries.  I spent $128, for a 61% savings.  I bought enough granola bars and cereal to last us a couple months, as well as some new food items we have never tried before.  This transformation in my shopping is because of GroceryGame.com.

Back in December 2008, I heard about the Grocery Game website, and when I posted questions about it on our local momslikeme.com website, the site coordinator contacted the company and got me set up with a free trial.  Overnight, I became the guinea pig for fellow moms who were interested to see how the site works.

The basic concept behind the site is that each week, you have access to a store-specific list (In Little Rock, it’s Walgreens and Kroger) of items that are on sale.  By combining sales (both published and unpublished) with manufacturer coupons, the list sorts items into three color categories – Green, Blue, and Black.  Green items are free, blue items are “buy now and stockpile” and black are “buy only if you need”.  With this list you are basically optimizing your shopping dollars by buying items not just when they are on sale, but when they are at the “Best” sale price, and then stacking coupon savings on top of that.  Whenever possible, you stock up on blue items so that you have enough of that item to get you through til the next big sale (grocery items have a sale cycle of approximately 12 weeks).

One perk of my guinea-pigdom is that I was able to talk to the CEO and founder of Grocerygame.com, Teri Gault, via phone.  She walked me through the lists for Kroger and Walgreens and showed me how the system works, explained why it is really easier to save money at your neighborhood supermarket as opposed to large discount stores (Wal-Mart), and warned me about the endorphin addiction that all Grocery Game players share.

Now that I’ve been “playing” the Grocery Game for almost a year, I have a pretty good system going. It takes me about 3 hours total to print my list, cut coupons, and get the shopping done.  My weekly grocery costs have gone from $130 to $80, and we have more food than ever before. I still get excited when I get to the cash register and save tons of money. My average savings is between 40 and 46 percent. I use some of my savings to buy more organic foods at the store and at the local farmers market.

You can try the Grocery Game for FREE for 4 weeks.  Just visit the site and sign up! After your free trial, membership is $10 every 8 weeks.  Most people find that the $10 is well worth it.  You do have to be willing to commit a little extra time, to your grocery shopping (being motivated to save money helps a lot!).  If you have questions or comments, let me know – I’m always happy to help people “get in the game”!

If you’re interested, I have another blog entry on How to Save More on Groceries.