The Grocery Game - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

ConsumerWatch

The Grocery Game

Leigh and Dan Kosobucki spend more than $100 a week feeding their family of five.

"Anywhere between $100 and $150," says Leigh Kosobucki.

On this night...their oldest son is already out the door for basketball practice.

With three growing boys...it's tough to even keep certain items in the house.

"I probably go to the grocery store once a week, and we always need milk and bread, peanut butter and jelly and cheese," says Kosobucki.

That's until we introduce Leigh to Teri Gault.

The undisputed... coupon clipping, sale searching, grocery aisle guru.

"I love to save money, in fact I won't pay full price for anything."

She's the founder of the Grocery Game.com a web based program that allows its clients to save money on weekly grocery bills.

"Well, the average savings for our members are $482 a month for a family of four, that's a lot of money to save," says Gault.

Playing the game is simple...members log in to see a weekly copy of Teri's list.

It features items that are marked down and let's members know if there are any additional savings.

"I realized you can use a coupon with a sale...that's almost like double dipping," says Gault.

The object of the game...for everyone to win, by spending less.

Players begin the game each week in the grocery store...with a stack of coupons clipped online and from their Sunday paper.

Then there's Teri's color coded list.

"If they're black that means buy it only if you need it, if it's a blue item, you buy it whether you need it or not," says Gault.

And there are a few other strategies Gault says can help members maximize their savings.

As odd as it sounds, throw out your traditional grocery list.

"You don't want to shop each week for only what you need...whenever, we're buying produce each week, we want to buy that's featured in the sales and we'll plan our menus that week according to what's on sale," says Gault.

The next tip...stock up.

"The key is to stockpile, now I'm not talking about buying in bulk, I'm talking about buying even small items before you need them, because you want to buy them while they're on sale and when you have a coupon," says Gault.

And then there are BOGOS...that's grocery lingo for Buy One Get One Free.

"Because we're using coupons with BOGOs we're going to grab one, two, three, four," says Gault.

Which...brings us to Gault's next piece of advice.  Larger, discount stores don't always offer the best deals.

"Now Wal-Mart says they'll match those sales, no, no, no, no they won't match the BOGO which are buy one get one free and they won't match the unadvertised sales," says Gault.

She says the grocery game also debunks another shopping myth...bigger isn't always better.

"So when you use a coupon, it, with a sale, the smaller packages are better, you're no longer buying the big giant things anymore, because this is three times as much per ounce."

In less than 30 minutes, Leigh has everything in her cart from fresh and frozen veggies, to dairy products, breakfast foods, soup and snacks.

Now it's time to check out.  Her grand total....$51.56.  And the savings...a whopping $92.00.

"That's pretty typical, we typically save about 67%, this was about 65% so it's right in the normal range for playing the grocery game," says Gault.

"I'm gonna give this a try and see if we can work this in, and I don't know if my first time through we'll be able to fly through the grocery store like we did, but it's definitely worth doing," says Leigh.

*Click here to play the Grocery Game!  After filling out the information, enter the letters WTVM in the line for the Promotional Code.

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