Cool Link: Saving Money on Groceries
I am not by nature a frugal person. If it comes down to a choice between saving time or saving money, I would rather spend a few extra dollars to buy an hour to squeeze in more work - or have some play time with my family. But if someone makes it easy for me to save, I'm all for it.
Which is why I've been spending a lot of time lately at a site called The Grocery Game.
Teri Gault is a work-at-home mom who is an expert at saving money at the supermarket. Some years ago she began tracking local sales items in a database and noticed a few things about the methods grocery stores use to get us in the door and spend more than we should. "If you are shopping each week for what you will eat that week - 'Meal Planning' - YOU ARE WASTING MONEY," she says, because "That's what the grocery stores want you to do. You may get a few bargains, but you are forced to buy things that are high priced because you NEED them."
Instead, Teri suggests that when items you use are at their lowest price, you buy as many of them as your house will hold. Stockpiling your freezer and pantry will allow you to do most of your "shopping" at home, reducing your grocery bills by more than 50%. She uses her database to predict just when items are at their rock-bottom lowest price and uses it to come up with a weekly shopping list you can use to stock your pantry for pennies on the dollar. She claims that by using her system, one could feed a family of four for just $50 a week, buying name brands at name grocery stores -- and paying less overall than you would at warehouse stores like Costco.
So far, Teri's list is only available in a few areas - but she also teaches her system in an ebook she sells from her site, for those of you who do not have access to her weekly list. And she is feverishly working with franchisees to expand to every area of the United States (more on that below).
I've been using Teri's system myself for the last five weeks and I've been impressed with the results so far, never leaving the store with less than 45% savings (and on Sunday, walked out paying an incredible 67% less than I would have for the same items if bought at full price -- I ended up saving more than I spent!)
My grocery bills during this period are about the same as they were before. However, I'm purchasing about twice as much as I used to. I'm still in what Teri refers to as the "stockpiling phase," purchasing lots of items I don't need now, but will use later. She says it takes about 12 weeks to amass a good stockpile, as the grocery stores go through their different sale cycles -- and that as your stockpile builds, your need to buy diminishes - as does your overall grocery bill.
Of course, one of the things that most impressed me about Teri's operation is that she turned it into a home business. She gives you a trial month's access to her list for a mere $1, after which it will cost $9.95 every two months. Hundreds of grocery shoppers in California and Arizona have found this a reasonable price to pay for expert guidance - and many of them have used their savings to finance big purchases like stand alone freezers (a good idea with this system) and payments on new minivans (the better to cart away all those groceries in). And -- (and here's where it may interest readers of this newsletter even more) Teri is expanding nationwide, offering franchise opportunities to those who live in other parts of the country. Believe me, if I did not already have access to her list, this is something I would be very interested in pursuing -- because this is a proven service people need and it works .
Donna Schwartz Mills, Editor
11846 Balboa Blvd., PMB #256
Granada Hills , CA 91344