Works For Me – Harris Teeter and The Grocery Game

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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.

——————————————————————

Of course, I would not be able to save so much money if it weren’t for TheGroceryGame.com.

  • 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
Original Price—$3.29
Sale Price—BOGOFree
Manuf Coup—$1.00/2 (Smartsource 8/26)
StoreCoup— none
Final—$1.49 each
Percent Saved—55%

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 (singforhim94@gmail.com) 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?

Other Works-For-Me posts:
Homemeade Tomato Sauce
The Nightly Routine
Organizing Toys

Want to read more tips with a slice of humor? Try:

How To Get Great Customer Service

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About Sarah Pinnix

I'm a mom, blogger, vlogger, libertarian. I love Jesus, and my husband, too. Social Media Strategist for a Non-Profit (All statements here are solely my own)

Comments

  1. Overwhelmed! says:

    I already use Grocerygame.com and I love it. There are weeks when I make a killing thanks to that website! 🙂

    I’ve got many friends and neighbors saving their Sunday paper coupons for me because the real savings kick in when you have multiple coupons for the same product. 🙂

    [Reply]

  2. lynnae @ from under the clutter says:

    I have mixed feelings about the grocery game. It probably has a lot to do with where I live. Nobody doubles coupons around here, so the deals aren’t quite as good. Add that to the fact that I have NO storage in my house, and it sadly doesn’t seem worth it for me. I’ve heard lots of people (like you) do great with it, though!

    [Reply]

  3. Mrs. Fussypants says:

    I always thought Harris Teeter was pricey! I may try the Grocery game. If I do, I will be sure to credit you as the referral!

    Thanks so much for your visit!

    Love & Blessings, Alli

    [Reply]

  4. SingForHim @ Real Life says:

    Lynnae, you’re right! It is not really that great unless you get double coupons. My friend in Georgia has that problem.

    [Reply]

  5. Emily (Laundry and Lullabies) says:

    I love love love Grocery Game too. I use it at Vons (which does double coupons) and it has saved me so much time and money. A bunch of the checkers at Vons know me and my kids now, too, which is pleasant.

    [Reply]

  6. reprehriestless warillever says:

    The Grocery Game doesn’t cover the good grocery stores in my area. With small kids in tow, I find it more efficient to got o the store with the cheapest prices overall, and only hit the others when they have a deal that makes it worth the trip.

    Sip the gimmicks, and lower your prices!

    [Reply]

  7. Heather S. says:

    Hi! I use the Grocery Game, too, and love it. I can’t imagine going without my little stash of coupons anymore. I go to Ingles, and I always feel like there should be a blue light flashing at the register when I check out. Hehe. Just recently, they stopped taking the online coupons Terry posts on her website, though. I used to save a lot using them. Does HT accept them still?

    [Reply]

  8. I’ve never heard of the Grocery Game, but will go to check it out now. If I sign up, I’ll be sure to use you as a referral. Thanks for the tips!

    [Reply]

  9. The Estrogen Files says:

    I am SO impressed! I spend $100 a week on groceries for our family of 6. I’m going to see if I can use some of your method. Just zooming in from WFMW!

    [Reply]

  10. Ok…so I am truly amazed! I seriously might call you, Sarah, and get you to go through your plan in greater detail. I spend way to much money on groceries. I don’t know if I plan meals that are too expensive or if I am just not playing the game right. I will def. check that website out and give you the credit! Thanks for the info. Does that $50 include toiletries and such?

    [Reply]

  11. SingForHim @ Real Life says:

    Yes Heather! Toiletries, toothpaste, tooth brushes, shampoo, etc. Sometimes I get toothpaste and shampoo for free. Now, sometimes it might crawl up toward $60 or $70, but it is always around 50% off.

    [Reply]

  12. SingForHim @ Real Life says:

    The down-side is that you are sometimes limited as far as meal choices to stick with the list. On the other hand, I’ve started cooking things I never did before because it was on sale.

    Also, if you buy a lot of organic stuff, you’re kind of out of luck.

    [Reply]

  13. Rhen (yestheyareallmine) says:

    I am inspired!! Great tip. Thank you! 🙂

    [Reply]

  14. Deb - Mom of 3 Girls says:

    I’ve been curious about the grocery game, but nobody around here doubles coupons either, so it sounds like it might not work as well. I still might check it out anyway! 🙂

    [Reply]

  15. I’ll have to check out the grocery game, I’ve heard of it, but no one really explained it to me!

    [Reply]

  16. Love it!!!!

    I’ll have to check out the Grocery Game. But I too only buy sale items and use coupons. I have to -with a family of 6 and only 1 income (until today).

    I knew I liked you – you’re cheap…um, I mean frugal – just like me!

    [Reply]

  17. Laci Wargo says:

    Sarah! You are a wealth of knowledge! Maybe someone mentioned this, since they don’t have HT down here (sniff sniff), did you know if there is a BOGOfree item at Publix, you can buy one and its only half price!!! Also, Walmart will price match anything in another flyer. I have my handful of flyers & after the first one or two items the check out ladies just trust me on the rest.

    [Reply]

  18. Karen@FamilyBriefs says:

    I heard about the grocery game on a podcast I was listening to just today. I’m always hesitant to try new things. Do you know if Kroger is one of the stores she lists for? I love our local Kroger – the checkers know me and are so sweet with the kids! The double coupons too! Thanks for the tip!

    [Reply]

  19. I always shop at Harris Teeter and NEVER have coupons. I may try this though, it sounds awesome..thanks for the tip!!

    [Reply]

  20. This sounds like it would be a lot of fun! I wish I was able to do this where I live but the grocery game isn’t available for any of the local grocery stores and our Sunday paper doesn’t have much for coupon inserts. I still do what I can to save money at the grocery store though by shopping the ads and combining the few coupons that I do find.

    [Reply]

  21. first, awesome post, i totally feel you

    second, thanks for the offer of prayers, i totally appreciate them.

    by any chance, have you heard any of beth moores studies

    [Reply]

  22. Anonymous says:

    Do you mean save up 4 weeks of coupons before you go shopping? I really have been wanting to try this and get it down. I do clip coupons-but since I shop at Wal-Mart, it’s offten cheaper to get the off brand. But I’m going to try Harris Teeter-my husband is a manager there so I should be shopping there anyway!

    [Reply]

  23. SingForHim @ Real Life says:

    Yes, save up the coupons for four weeks, then subscribe to the GG for your free trial.

    If you don’t save up coupons first, you won’t have all the ones they use, and you won’t save as much.

    [Reply]

  24. Elizabeth F. says:

    I may save up my coupons and give this a try. I’m in limbo. I hate Walmart. I get over-stimulated, tired and cranky and spend too much. But, then I started shopping at HT and Food Lion. I check out their BOGO and sales and go get what I need. Problem is my bill has increased. I think I’m buying stuff b.c it’s on sale and not b.c we need it that week. Not sure how to do this differently.

    Then, second issue I do not have time to go to 3 places every week to shop. It’s just too much.

    I’m finding that I have to plan, plan, plan to stay on budget. It’s tiring and I’m not great at it. Quick question…if I’m trying to NOT buy packaged foods, cookies, etc… how do I save on groceries? If mostly what I buy is fresh fruit, dairy, meats, and veggies??? Got any ideas about that? B/C Most coupons are for packaged stuff right? I have a family of 5 and I spend at least $125 a week.

    [Reply]

  25. Jennifer says:

    I use the grocery game and shop at HT as well. I posted about it on my blog as well. I have saved ALOT!

    [Reply]

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