Recently, I opted to try the free four week trial of The Grocery Game. It has been an experience to say the least! Some of it has been good, some, not so good. This entry is my assessment of the Game as a whole, the pros and the cons and some examples.
As a whole, the set up has saved me some money (see some cons though) and has many conveniences to bringing some savings to mind that I may have missed. About a year ago (way before our downsize adventure) I looked into the Grocery Game and found they did not have info for the store that was closest to us, when we were in the boonies. Since moving to our tiny spot in the suburbs, there are more store options.
Much of the 'work' of lining up sales with coupons is done for you - so that is a big draw to save even more if you are already a coupon clipper (which I've not been for years, but have started since moving and downsizing, more on the topic of coupon clipping in the cons list).
Another good thing about this is the chance to refer others for potential free weeks. At the cost (one store $10 for 8 weeks of coupons, cost of newspaper for coupons, etc.)
Coupons paired with items that are on sale in the automatic system = greater savings
Printable coupons at your fingertips
Price breakdowns (usually accurate but may vary from store to store location)
I've saved between $4-$12 a week the past four weeks. Yet, I'm not sure it's on items I'd normally use.....
Filing/dating coupon flyers for what looks like up to at least 6 months or more!
Having to leaf through the designated weeks to FIND items every time.
Not all coupons are available in the store or newspaper every time
Instructions. Acronyms. Steps.... Too confusing in the beginning. Still not sure I'm getting all I can get.
- The 'List' is long and often not items we actually need or regularly use.
It is not organized like my store isles (the way my own shopping list is). So I waste time retracing my steps in the store.
The 'List' from the Grocery Game is out (in our area) 4 days AFTER the weekly sales have begun which makes some items out of stock and less shopping days of the sale.
I would not call this a time-saver. If time is money, then it is a bit of a waster.
I've not been so 'tense' about shopping....ever before.
The temptation to buy a name brand because the savings seems so good, when a store brand is already cheaper.*
The temptation to buy/eat things that we normally would not eat, just because the date of sale + coupon is running out.*
*Frankly, these two 'cons' are my biggest beef with the Grocery Game. We don't eat processed foods, boxed meals, TV dinners or convenience foods. The temptation is though, to buy them: if you see a box of granola bars on sale for almost 90% off. It SOUNDS good right? But if I made them myself (which I do) the price doesn't just SOUND good, the FOOD IS GOOD FOR US comparatively! Brand named peanuts may be noted at 50 cents off on sale, plus a 50 cent coupon, but the store brand is already $1.25 cheaper...so why did I just waste time finding that coupon, clipping it out and then thinking about/debating which brand to buy in the store?
We really don't eat the Standard American Diet. Most foods with the better sales prices on the 'List' are however, typically a SAD item. Yes, I know, that is both an acronym AND a word...think about it....
My assessment as a whole is that The Grocery Game could be a useful tool. The jury is still out for me. We'll see if I can tackle and overcome some of the 'cons' mentioned above. I'm giving it a limit of 8 more weeks to see for sure if I think it's worth it ($10.00 is the total amount I am willing to invest to find out).
If you Google it and go to The Grocery Game after reading my review (even if it's just for the free trial - mark your calendar) please put in my personal email address ( dnurkle (at) yahoo (dot) com ) as your referral person - and you can refer others (which gives you free weeks)...just let them also read this blog to know what they may be getting into. (o:
I'll update the blog later with my final findings! I'd love to hear how you like it, or see it, or don't like it after you check it out. Please leave a comment.
Best (Grocery Shopping) Blessings!
It's much more than a game to me.....
The Millers own and operate Millers Grain House which offers Chemical Free and Organic Grains, Grain Mills, Bread Machines,Grain buckets, Bosch Mixers, the NutriMill, instructional tutorials, recipes and more.