“Not any one store at any one time has all of the best deals out there,” Peterson said of his website, MyGrocerySpy.com. “I thought that if I could build a model where people could find where the lowest prices were for groceries they needed and find them conveniently and easily, it would be easier on them before they shopped because they could know where the best deals were.”
Peterson said members can sign up for $8.50 a month — though the first month costs only a penny — for access to the website, which is updated every Thursday and Sunday. Members can type in the groceries they need and their shopping areas, then either print out a tailored shopping list or have it sent to their cellphones.
Peterson, who came up with the idea after working for several years in advertising, said he has hired eight laid-off teachers to visit four of the most common grocery stores in Fulton, DeKalb, Cobb, Forsyth and Gwinnett counties: Kroger, Ingles, Publix and Walmart.
About 2,700 people have signed up for the website in its first six months, Peterson said.
Peterson said he already has seen certain trends emerge from the research. For example, Kroger is becoming much more competitive with Walmart, which, contrary to what some might believe, is not always the cheapest for groceries, especially meats and produce, Peterson said.
“From what we’ve been told by our members, they’re saving about 30 percent by shopping at a minimum of two stores,” Peterson said. “By the research, the average family of four in the greater Atlanta area spends about $1,100 a month on groceries. So if they can save 30 percent on their bill every month … that becomes significant.”
Follow Katy Ruth Camp on Twitter at twitter.com/KatyRuthC.