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Food Prices on the Rise: Beef up as much as 28%

Costco Whole Chicken 1.19

Meat costs are up. Beef already went up by an average of 4% in January. The Agriculture Department expects grocery store prices to increase as much as 3.5% in 2014, up from 0.9% last year according to USA Today.

California’s drought has been a nightmare for farmers in the central valley, where 11% of US food is grown. Additionally, unusually cold weather in CA and citrus greening disease in Florida has already shown marked increases in the cost of produce nationwide.

The beef industry is still suffering from the lag of culled herds due to droughts in mid west grazing lands, and in turn, poor feed crops in the north.

Restaurants tend to pass on the cost of wholesale food price increases to consumers, where grocery retailers hold back longer from passing on these higher costs. *Databases at www.TheGroceryGame.com show dramatic increases in the cost of beef, pork, chicken, and fish, in January. The increases are on the original price or the sale price or both. Here’s just a few examples for beef:

AZ Fry’s – USDA Choice Boneless Beef Chuck Roast

Since 3/30/12 – $5.99 lb, sale BOGO (buy one get one = $3/lb)

2014 – 1/2/14 – 6.99 / 2.99 (16% increase in original price)

1/20/14 – $6.99 lb, sale 4.69 lb – and up we climb on sale prices…

2/7/14 – $6.99 lb, sale 4.79 lb

2/21 – $6.99 lb, sale 4.99 lb

2/28 – $6.99, sale 50% off (3.49 lb)

3/21 – 6.99 / 3.49 – this is the new sale price – 16% increase in regular and sale price will probably remain through 2014.

CO King Soopers – King Soopers T-Bone Steak

Since 2/8/12 – 9.99 lb, 6.99 lb

1/30/13 – 11.99 lb, 6.99 lb (9% increase in regular price)

2014 – 1/8/14 – 11.99 / 8.99 (over 28% increase in sale price)

With market share shifting from traditional grocery retail models to smaller version roll outs and dollar stores, price conscious consumers have more to consider.  Each grocery retailer tends to be strong in particular categories, but shift from week to week. Meat is simpler. As of now, the featured “loss leader” meat on the front page of the supermarket circular for chicken, beef, pork, and fish are still most often lower than the every day low prices at the smaller version stores and even warehouse club stores. Example pictured: Costco Foster Farms chicken varies from 1.19/lb to 1.29/lb. Supermarkets in areas that Costco serves regularly have sales on Foster Farms chicken from 79-99 cents a pound. In other areas of the country, such as where Perdue chicken is sold in the northeast, and elswhere, supermarket sales offer the best price over club stores and specialty stores like Trader Joe’s.

*Pricing data contributed by The Grocery Game, Inc.

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Plowing Through the Parade of Pathetic Grocery Apps

Grocery App and Ads

Gone are the days when FSI’s (free standing inserts) in the Sunday paper were the number one source of coupons. Numerous coupon sources and companies that aggregate coupons have proliferated over the past three years. With that and advancement with technology,  many of the best coupons are now printed or downloaded to the club card.

So along came the parade of grocery apps…

My smartphone has been cluttered with 32 apps that claim to help streamline grocery shopping, hone in on deals, and find coupons. OK, 32 is alot, but it’s my business to know. I found many of them by reading articles for top grocery apps. After waiting weeks and months for new apps to fail to fix their bugs, I uninstall. Some, have added patches to make them at least somewhat functional. I have laughed out loud at many of them, and become frustrated almost to the point of tears on others. What is the point of scanning my grocery receipt anyway? Even more pointless when the app returns their analysis that they couldn’t find better deals, but offered four other totally unrelated deals. That was “CartCrunch” by the way. “ZipList” is a crying shame. I can’t even begin. “PriceSpotting” is laughable, and has absolutely no value to saving money on groceries. Even high profile apps like “Favado” haven’t proven to offer comparison shopping, deal stacking, or even the best deals.

Not to pick on Favado, because the others are in the same boat or worse… Here’s just a few examples of missed savings potential among hundreds of current listings for numerous stores with many of the same problems:

The Grocery Game Favado
Ralphs – (Kroger) Ocean Spray $1.50 $2.00
Ralphs – (Kroger) Tillamook Cheese 32 oz.  $5.99  $6.99
CVS – Playtex 18 count  $1.29  $2.97
Trader Joe’s – Applegate Farms Herbed Turkey 7 oz  $2.69  $3.69
Trader Joe’s - Weetabix Cereal  $1.49  $2.99
Trader Joe’s - Lundberg Rice Cakes  $1.49  $2.49

Created with the HTML Table Generator

The problem with most of these apps is that they are developed by corporate people and tech geeks, who know nothing about grocery shopping, much less grocery savings, so they lack the strategies for getting the best value.

All that to say, at this time, the best grocery apps are administered by the retailers or supermarkets themselves. Here’s a list of links to supermarket apps and they’re quite good. Supermarket apps feature the ability to make shopping lists, add digital coupons, and take advantage of “personalized deals”, and most of them work quite well. The main drawback is that they don’t provide viable price comparisons with their competitors.

2 THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR IN SUPERMARKET APPS:

  • #1 – Sometimes the digital coupons are for less value than the printable or FSI counterpart, and many supermarkets will supercede the paper coupon if a digital has already been loaded. The solution is to download after you know there isn’t a better paper coupon.
  • #2 – Personalized deals are not always the best price. For example, a personalized deal for meat may be on a regular sized package. Even though it’s less than the original price, the value pack may be on sale for even less. That’s just one example of many. Personalized deals are an effective marketing tool that cannot always be trusted as your best deal.

Of course, www.TheGroceryGame.com has an app and mobile site that work better than all the other apps combined, leverages the best of supermarket apps, and actually does help you save the most on groceries. Just saying.

 *****

As CEO of www.TheGroceryGame.com, Teri Gault is the foremost expert in grocery savings. Over the past decade, Teri has been featured and contributed to media and publications, such as Good Morning America, The Today Show, 20/20, Inside Edition, Time, Redbook, Wall Street Journal, and countless more national and local channels. Teri has authored two books, “Shop Smart, Save More”, written with Sheryl Berk and published by Harper Collins. “The Grace of Saving”, Teri’s latest book, is the inspiring story of America’s smartest shopper, and her rise from an everyday mom, to one of the country’s leading savings experts.

Public Relations Director, Dawn Wickwire

www.TheGroceryGame.com

Email – PublicRelations@TheGroceryGame.com

(949)374-6308

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31 Days to Save – Day 31 – Take it on the Road!

“31 Days to Save ”: A crash course in grocery savings!

http://www.TheGroceryGame.com saves TIME!

Jump in at any time. Catch up on days you missed here on Pinterest.

Listen to Day 1 - Blog Talk Radio

Listen to Days 1-3 - Blog Talk Radio

Listen to Days 4-5 - Blog Talk Radio

We’ve been focusing on saving on groceries for our first 30 days, because groceries are the biggest, easiest and fastest way to save BIG bucks! If you’ve been with us, your cupboards, fridge and freezer should be fuller, yet you’ve paid much less, even though it’s only been 31 days. And there’s more to come, as the big mile marker is 12 weeks! If you’ve joined www.TheGroceryGame.com, you’ve been maximizing your savings the quickest and easiest way possible. And now, you’re on your way to save thousands of dollars on groceries for 2013 and every year after!

But there’s more… Members often say that their grocery savings mindset has carried over into everything else! With this video, I hope to encourage you to save money wherever you go, on all things!



Be sure to end your 31 days, by commenting on the Facebook thread for Day 31  ”Take it on the Road!” Share how your mind has already opened up to savings in all areas of your life, and tell us how much money you plan to save in 2013!

www.TheGroceryGame.com – For as little as $10 for 8 weeks, you should save $6,000 a year! Most people save enough in their 4 week FREE trial to buy a deep freezer!

Have a happy and prosperous New Year!

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31 Days to Save – Day 29 – Family Party Time!

“31 Days to Save ”: A crash course in grocery savings!

http://www.TheGroceryGame.com saves TIME!

Jump in at any time. Catch up on days you missed here on Pinterest.

Listen to Day 1 - Blog Talk Radio

Listen to Days 1-3 - Blog Talk Radio

Listen to Days 4-5 - Blog Talk Radio

We’ve learned a lot of ways to save money, and one is to eat at home, but feeding a family is a lot of work. For me, getting dinner on the table every night, after shopping, prepping, cooking, then dishes, dishes and more dishes… if the only reward was saving money, it wouldn’t be enough to keep me going for the long haul. But I have a big reward that’s my biggest motivator for keepin’ on keepin’ on… I look forward to that crowning moment of time with the ones I love! If our dinner table wasn’t something to look forward to most of the time, I know I would have burned out years ago.

I hope this video on “Family Party Time” helps you as it’s helped me to keep meals at home for the long haul!:

 

To show your commitment to 31 days, go back and comment on our Facebook thread for Day 29 “Family Party Time.” Ask questions, or share some of your ideas on how you make dinner at home special and enjoyable for you and your family. And tell me if you think it helps to motivate you for all your labors and keeps you going!


Optional Additional reading:

There’s a lot more that goes into making “Family Party Time” at your dinner table, more than I can put in a paragraph and a three minute video. Part of it starts with kids in the kitchen. From beginning to end, it’s all a safe and fun place, and we’re all in it together. Here’s something on the topic from “Shop Smart, Save More”:

Chapter 12: All in the Family

Kids, by definition, are fussy eaters. But here’s a little secret I’ll let you in on: they will eat almost anything if they make it themselves. My boys always loved to experiment and whip up their own bizarre dishes (who knew you could eat broccoli with chocolate chips?). Even more fun: give that dish a crazy name, like Alien Asparagus or Monster Meatballs. Just make sure if you have little ones, you supervise all their culinary efforts closely (watch hot stovetops, pointy utensils and even butter knives). You can even encourage them to draw their own menus for the meal while the dish is cooking (a great distraction when they’re whining, “Is it ready yet?”). Remember to have fun and not take things too seriously. Kids will spill and slop and sprinkle flour all over your kitchen floor. That’s what kids do. You want them to feel comfortable in the kitchen, so when you’re old and tired (like me!) and they’re almost all grown, they can make you a meal fit for a queen–and do their own clean-up!…

(End of excerpt from “Shop Smart, Save More” by TeriGault with Sheryl Berk)

http://www.thegrocerygame.com/more-ways-to-save/teris-book-shop-smart-save-more/

For your commitment to 31 days, go back and comment on our Facebook thread for Day 29 “Family Party Time”. Ask questions, or share some of your ideas on how you make dinner at home special and enjoyable for you and your family. And tell me if you think it helps to motivate you for all your labors and keeps you going!  http://www.facebook.com/TheGroceryGame
See you tomorrow!

http://www.TheGroceryGame.com/ – Save enough in the four week FREE trial to buy a deep freezer!

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31 Days to Save – Day 30 – Instant Rebates at the Supermarket

“31 Days to Save ”: A crash course in grocery savings!

http://www.TheGroceryGame.com saves TIME!

Jump in at any time. Catch up on days you missed here on Pinterest.

Listen to Day 1 - Blog Talk Radio

Listen to Days 1-3 - Blog Talk Radio

Listen to Days 4-5 - Blog Talk Radio

If you can learn to navigate instant rebates, you can save BIG bucks! The offers are usually to mix and match, and buy a minimum number of items within a specified group, and get instant savings at the register. There’s often several different offers at a time for one store: Mix and match 10 from this group for $5 back, and 5 from another group for $3, and 7 from another group for $3, etc…Instant rebates offer huge savings, especially if you choose items with the highest value to begin with, and use coupons for more “deal stacking”. But… It can cost you money if you don’t buy the right items and quantity, and if you get too many, you don’t save as much. Sound complicating???…

Watch this video, on how http://www.TheGroceryGame.com/ states the final price of each item with any available coupons and the instant rebate figured in, and then how our tools organize your selections into their various “Instant Rebate” groups, so you can be sure you have all your ducks in a row before heading out to the store! In the end, the best advice I can give is to just log in and try it!:


To show your commitment to 31 days, go back and comment on our Facebook thread for Day 30 “Instant Rebates.” Ask questions, or share what kinds of deals you’ve gotten by “deal stacking” with instant rebates!

Optional Additional reading:

Here’s an article on Instant Rebates, and a review on lots of other savings strategies that we’ve covered over our last 30 days:

http://save.lovetoknow.com/expert-interviews/expert-shopping-tips-grocery-game

For your commitment to 31 days, go back and comment on our Facebook thread for Day 30 “Instant Rebates”. Ask questions, or share what kinds of deals you’ve snagged by “deal stacking” with instant rebates! http://www.facebook.com/TheGroceryGame

See you tomorrow!

http://www.TheGroceryGame.com/ – For as little as $10 for 8 weeks, most members should save $1,000! Roll your savings from the 4 week FREE trial into a deep freezer for investing!

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31 Days to Save – Day 28 – Maximize Holidays!

“31 Days to Save ”: A crash course in grocery savings!

http://www.TheGroceryGame.com saves TIME!

Jump in at any time. Catch up on days you missed here on Pinterest.

Listen to Day 1 - Blog Talk Radio

Listen to Days 1-3 - Blog Talk Radio

Listen to Days 4-5 - Blog Talk Radio

It’s not about the holiday… Even if you’re not celebrating the holiday, all holiday weeks are must shop weeks! They’re a once a year opportunity to get the lowest prices on certain foods. So even if you’re doing absolutely nothing for any particular holiday, you simply must take advantage and invest for your pantry, fridge, and freezer. Think beyond the holiday and cash in on savings for weeks and months to come!

Watch this video, for more details on how and why we Maximize Holidays, beyond just the holiday:




To show your commitment to 31 days, go back and comment on our Facebook thread for Day 28  “Maximize Holidays”. Ask questions, or share some of your greatest holiday investments and what you did with them to make your everyday family meals!

Optional Additional reading:

Remember, after the holiday is over, we usually see see great clearance deals on candy, decorations and costumes (around Halloween). Think of how you can use the different varieties of candy in your holiday baking. Then toss it in the freezer until you’re ready to bake those Christmas goodies! And before you pass up all those marked down costumes, think of the kiddos in your life who might love a costume for a holiday gift, or even a dress-up box filled with a discounted costume or two and maybe some play make-up and accessories.

Think beyond the holiday!

For your commitment to 31 days, go back and comment on our Facebook thread for Day 28  ”Maximize Holidays.” Ask questions, or share some of your greatest holiday investments and what you did with them to make your everyday family meals!   http://www.facebook.com/TheGroceryGame

Three more big savings days to come!

See you tomorrow!

www.TheGroceryGame.com – First and foremost in grocery savings!

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