Sunday, February 15, 2009

Grocery Game Organization

It's Sunday again which for me means grocery shopping. The Grocery Game is only updated on Sunday so for my store - Harris Teeter - it's only good for me on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday so I try to go on Sunday in the hopes that they won't be completely cleaned out! For other stores, such as Giant the Grocery Game is good for the entire week because their sales only change on Friday's. You'll have to know your own stores schedule to know your best day to shop.

Today I thought I'd talk about getting ready to go shopping and how I do it. Organization is the key. I may not be organized in the rest of my life (the triplets seem to undo everything I do) but in this one area I am organized to a tee.

I actually start thinking about my shopping on Wednesday because Wednesday is the day Harris Teeter puts out their new sales and the Coupon Mom updates her site at noon. So, I put the two together to see what my deals will be on Sunday. Mostly I look for the meat on sale to think about meals.

This week there wasn't much meat on sale so I went to the fridge/freezer to look around. Then I went to my computer and cookbooks to come up with meal ideas. This week's theme was all on the computer - some recipes that have been passed on from other moms :) I am NOT a monthly planner. I go for what sounds good a week at a time. God bless those of you more organized then me in this.

I write my list from my meals and then buy everything on sale around my list. Often by stockpiling there's very little I need to buy to make the meals I want.

This week's meal list:

Monday: Triple Decker Quesadilla (x2 - I have to bring a meal to a friend)
Tuesday: Chicken Skillet Pasta (didn't have it last week)
Wednesday: Velveeta Cheesy Beef Stroganoff
Thursday: Crock Pot Chicken with Black Beans and Cheese
Friday: Tator Tot Casserole
Saturday: Out with friends/date night (woo hoo!)

On Sunday I go to the Grocery Game and I go to my Harris Teeter list. I've snapped a picture of the print out I get:

I can't go in closer for copyright issues but this is what you will get - your columns include: Item Description; Original Price; Sale Price; Manuf. Coupon; Store Coupon; Final Price; Amt. Saved. You will get a list of pages and pages of stuff - highly unlikely that you need all of it - so you click on whatever you DON'T need - this will gray it out meaning it won't print. What is left is what you do want. Then I print it. Once I have it printed out I go to my organizer for my coupons:

It's just a pretty accordion file where I file all of my coupons by date so they are easy to find. The Grocery Game indicates by date where to find each coupon: RP is Redplum; S is Smartsource; PG is Proctor and Gamble.

For example this week:

Item Description: Jimmy Dean Frozen Breakfast Entrees
Original Price: $3.09
Sale Price: 3/$5.00
Manuf. Coupon: $1.00 (R 1/25)
Store Coupon: None
Final Price: $0.67
Amt. Saved: 78%

(This was one of my good deals today - can you tell? And I had the coupon times 4 so I stocked Kirk up on some breakfasts for the week - he's very excited!)

Here's a photo of my groceries from HT and Wegman's - I run there once a week to spend $10 and get some stuff free (they send me coupons, of course I go!) Oh, and I got 10% off at Wegman's - there were coupons in this week's flyer. Not pictures: 4 gallons of milk.

At Harris Teeter I spent: $49.24
And saved: $64.76

At Wegmans I spent: $14.78
And saved: $9.30

Yes, way under budget but I am going to CVS tomorrow for their deals - mostly cereal and snack food but I'll tell you tomorrow how I did.

On my needs list I had 12 items to allow me to make the meals stated above because of my current stockpile - it works! If you shop at a different store (since obviously HT isn't everywhere and apparantly Kroger is great but we don't have one) then let me know how you organize to shop where you are and how you save money even if it isn't with the grocery game :)

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