It’s time for the Brand-Loyal edition of Works For Me Wednesday, hosted at Rocks in my Dryer. Mine is not really a brand, but I am oh so loyal to Harris Teeter grocery stores, here’s why: True confession: I usually get my groceries for half-price or less! My weekly budget is about $75 for a family of five. I do this using Harris Teeter and theGroceryGame.com
I love shopping at Harris Teeter. My 4 year-old used to call it “fish bread apple.” I realize that I sound like one of those cliche commercials where the mom pulls up to the register with her three kids smiling and sitting/standing still, as the smiling cashier hands them a balloon, and she saves fistfuls of money. Then the clean cut bagger boy offers to take the groceries out to the car. Cue the catchy jingle…”my Harris Teeter!” Y’all, it really is like this! Well, accept for the quiet smiling kids part.
One of my friends once said, “Only the rich people shop at HT.” To which I replied, “Oh yeah? Not if you only buy when it’s on sale and you have a coupon!” I am so
cheap frugal, I literally do not buy anything unless it meets these criteria. (How, you say? Read to the second section when I tell about the Grocery Game)
And boy do they know how to have a sale! They rotate their sales on about a 5-8 week schedule. I realize if I rotate what I buy and stock up, I can go with the sales. There are those few times when I just have to buy a particular thing. Honestly, I usually go to Super-Walmart for these, especially snack crackers and juice.
HT also doubles coupons. Some say that this just makes up for the inflated prices, but if the item is already on sale, you can really
take them to the bank save a lot! I usually only use coupons along with a store sale. Cha Ching!
The cashiers know me by name, for a few reasons. First, I always have a fistful of coupons. And I get rainchecks. They never give me a hard time when the coupon doesn’t scan, I forgot to “buy two,” or my kids grab all the gum off the shelf. (Why do they put that stuff there in the first place?) In fact, if they’re not busy, all the other cashiers come over and distract them while I’m checking out! Talk about teamwork! It used to go like this when we were done:
Cashier: “You’re total is $45.32. You saved… (shock and awe) … $65.89!! WOW!”
Me: “Thank you (huge smile). Have a great day!”
They’ve come to expect it now.
- I pay $1.25/week for the online service and $1.50/week for the Sunday paper.
- I clip and file the coupons out of the paper inserts. (about 20 minutes)
- I log on to TheGroceryGame and get a list of the BEST store sales combined with the BEST coupon. (with a reference to which week it appeared in the paper) I click on the items I want on my list, and print. (about 5-10 minutes)
- I pull the coupons for that list (10-15 minutes)
- I go to the store, buy what the list tells me, and voila! I usually save over 50%.
The list is an easy to read chart that is actually in the order of the aisles at the store! Zip zip zip! I can’t give you a screen shot of what the list looks like, for copyright reasons, but it’s a little like this:
Item Description—Wheat Thins
Manuf Coup—$1.00/2 (Smartsource 8/26)
OK, now my shameless plug! Do you want to try the Grocery Game? You can try it for 4 weeks for FREE. If you sign up, would you enter my email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) for the referral? For every three new subscribers I refer, I get 8 free weeks, and you can too! Have questions? Take a peek at the Quick Start Game Rules or post a question for me in the comments. I’ve been dong this for two years. I recommend saving up coupons for 4 weeks before you start your trial.
You can use the Grocery Game in many different US stores, and also in France or the UK.
What works for you when grocery shopping?
Want to read more tips with a slice of humor? Try: