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Ask DSM Readers: Do You Use The Grocery Game?

by Tara Kuczykowski on September 23, 2009 · 117 comments

The Grocery Game
I'm often asked what my opinion of The Grocery Game program is, and frankly, I haven't used it personally in about seven years. There are so many free resources for this information these days that I'm left wondering if there is a real value proposition in paying $10 or more ($10 for the first store and $5 for each additional store) every two months for access to coupon match-ups.

But maybe there's something I'm missing since it's been so long, so I'm putting the question out to all of my wonderful readers.

Do you use The Grocery Game currently? Do you feel it's a valuable resource in addition to blogs?

Or did you stop using The Grocery Game when you started reading blogs? Do you feel that you can get all of the information you need for free?

Of course there's no right or wrong answer, but I'm really looking forward to hearing your opinions, and I know there are many of you out there wondering this same thing.

{ 117 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Carrie September 23, 2009 at 11:55 am

i used it before i got into reading deal blogs. then i stopped for a while. but now i'm using it again because i'm in an especially high cost of living area (san francisco bay area) and prices and coupons vary regionally and can't get in on many of the deals bloggers in other areas of the country are posting. the grocery game is specific to my area. i only use it for safeway though, i tried their cvs list for a bit and it wasn't worth it.

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2 Nicole September 23, 2009 at 11:56 am

I tried the Grocery Game a few months ago, just the free trial though. I hated that they only had 1 of the grocery stores here & it was the closest one to my house that I visit several times a week. But they would use the ad for their Wal-Mart list... Which made no sense to me. I mean, if they can do the comparison shopping, then they can make a List for that store too! The other grocery store in my area was often wrong! Its an Albertson's but they are often not on the same sale week as the other Albie's in Texas, so I was always having problems there! So, yeah I canceled after the trial & have been using blogs & my ads to get my best deals.

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3 Debbie September 23, 2009 at 11:56 am

I stopped using the Grocery Game when I started reading more blogs and websites. I believe I get everything I need for free from the internet. In addition, I love the scenarios on blogs/websites for how to best combine all the deals for the best price. I didn't get that with GG.

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4 Charlene September 23, 2009 at 11:56 am

That is the website that started me using coupons and the internet to find deals. I only use it for my main grocery store. I think it's well worth the value. It saves me a ton of time for my everyday groceries, as well as stockpiling for leaner times (this economy is rough). The ability to print the list to use as your grocery list with the prices/coupons/sizes/etc already printed on it is such a convenience. That way I know to buy the right product/size/number to get the best value. Saved over $40 at Giant Eagle yesterday alone. I'm a fan. :)

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5 Jen September 23, 2009 at 11:59 am

I stopped using it when we started shopping at the military commissary and the commissary isn't listed on there. I can find the CVS deals on the blogs or even just by reading the flyer.

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6 Amy September 23, 2009 at 12:01 pm

I used it for a while, until I got the hang of doing it for myself and reading blogs. We live in a town with Wal Mart, HEB, CVS and Wags only so it's not too hard for me. If I lived in an area with more choices, I'd probably still use it just for the ease of someone doing it for me.

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7 Shannon September 23, 2009 at 12:03 pm

I used to use it, but find that all the information I need is available on blogs and usually, the blogs are quicker to provide it. I think at one point it was a very valuable resource, but is no longer relevant with all the other resources available.

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8 Michelle September 23, 2009 at 12:06 pm

I still use the GG but am tempted every week to stop.
1. They don't tell you anything about printable coupons and I think those make up most of my coupons.
2. It comes out on saturdays while most blogs post on thursday for my local grocery stores deals...if I always wait til sunday to shop alot of the great/free items are already gone.
However, I do find that SOMETIMES they will have deals that I don't find on any websites, just a few weeks ago I got a great deal on makeup for only a few pennies that no blog had info on. I like to compare blogs vs. GG every week to see if I'm at least making my $10 b ack but so far it doesn't look like it. As far as the drug store lists, I would just stick to blogs...there are plenty of them...and they're free!!!!

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9 Kathy Arma (katanna05) September 23, 2009 at 12:14 pm

Ok gals, help me here! I am a newbie (2 weeks into couponing seriously, and I just signed up for the free trial on the Grocery Game. I'm sure it will help me get started but now I'm interested in the remarks y'all have made about blogs - I haven't blogged yet (is this a blog?) and need to learn (I'm in my 50's but have been on the computer for several years, but no blogging. Got to get going on facebook! Isn't this stupid? I'm willing to learn, though.)

WHAT BLOGS are you talking about? How do I find them? I would appreciate any tips you can give me!

Thanks, Kathy

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10 Summer September 23, 2009 at 12:16 pm

I tried it out, but cancelled after the trial period. They don't tell me anything I don't already know from reading blogs! :)

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11 Jamie September 23, 2009 at 12:29 pm

This is so timely. I used it because it provided local information on our relatively small, regional grocery store, but recently found a blog from a large city within our grocer's region, and she does a great job giving match ups. So now I'm thinking about quitting GG. It's been a great money saver, so I'm a little nervous letting it go. Maybe I'll give it a couple of weeks and see how it goes. I especially like how GG formats the list into a table. Makes it so easy to read.

Kathy Arma: yes, this is a blog and it is a darn good one!

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12 Julia @ The Frugal Find September 23, 2009 at 12:34 pm

I tried it for a month, but was unimpressed. Blogs are amazing and my own coupon skills have improved that it was a waste of money for me. Too slow to update and the fact that printable coupons were not included was a downside for me too.

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13 Erica September 23, 2009 at 12:36 pm

I used it for the free trial period but I find that your website and other like it give me the same information for free! The Grocery Game was great at showing you the best time to use your coupons but I would find that alot of the really great deals seemed to be regional because I was not getting the same coupons that according to them I should have been receiving.

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14 Holly September 23, 2009 at 12:41 pm

I used it for over a year, but I found the lack of printable coupon links and the cost weren't worth it. With the "free" information from the blogs, why pay?

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15 amanda September 23, 2009 at 12:41 pm

I have NEVER used the grocery game. I started out reading moneysavingmom and branched out from there. I understand how that service could have been beneficial back before there were tens of thousands of blogs on this stuff, but I feel like paying for that service is a waste of resources in this day. If I ever need deals I don't find on my normal blogs, moneysavingmom.com, amyinorlando.blogspot.com, and this blog, i just google the names of the store and the word deals.

Very effective.. and free!

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16 Jamie September 23, 2009 at 12:42 pm

I think its easy to find the info for free online. I use couponmom.com mostly and I love this site.

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17 Julia September 23, 2009 at 12:48 pm

I have used the GG for years. I like having my "list" all in one place on a weekly basis. I use the blogs to see if there are any freebie deals I am missing from my GG list. To a previous poster, they have started including printables, coupons near product AND repeating coupons - the list is constantly improving.

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18 Ellie September 23, 2009 at 12:49 pm

I use it for one grocery store. I don't use it every week, so maybe I'm not using it to it's full potential. There is similar information available on the coupon mom website, too. so here's why I still use the grocery game...
The Grocery Game list prints in the order that the grocery store is laid out. It also includes only the "best" deals. So I can print out the list (excluding products that I don't want, using the grey out or whatever they call it), hand-write on the sides the additional things I need for the week, and hit the store.
I do also sometimes check the coupon mom site before heading out to the store to see if there are coupons for the additional items (including online ones).
OH! and also I don't clip coupons until I'm going to use them. so I have them in file folders, organized by the date they came out.
Anyway, having the list organized by the way the store is laid out is such a time saver. I really like it.
ALSO the lists (my way, anyway) are supposed to be updated on Fridays, not Saturday or Sunday, so as to take advantage of weekend deals. Another relatively new feature is that they keep the deals listed on the list as long as they are valid- they used to only keep it on there for one week. This way (for me) if I miss a week or the item is sold out, it is still listed. Good bonus.

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19 Becky September 23, 2009 at 12:55 pm

I've never used the Grocery Game, or a similar one called Savings Angel, though I signed up for the free Savings Angel e-mail that lists about a half dozen matchups for free. I've always found the same matchups in the blogs, though one time it pointed out a matchup that somehow I skimmed over when I originally read a blog. One local blog has the small local grocery chains I don't see listed on the paid sites- and since one of the locals doubles up to a dollar, that's good info to have!

I've found that the blogs here and one local to me post (or start posting) matchups as soon as the ads come in, so I have enough time to order coupons off e-bay and have them delivered so I can use them for the sale. I live in MI and can get in west coast coupons with several sale days to spare!

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20 Mae September 23, 2009 at 12:59 pm

I have used GG on and off for about 3 years now. I am currently off. I still go on there to check the message boards often to look for on-line deals. But I don't think I'll become a member again. It does have some good things about it; but I just didn't use it enough. It just did not work for me the way other people on the boards sound like it works for them. I'll stick to the free ideas and coupons I get from the internet.

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21 LaVonne September 23, 2009 at 1:06 pm

It was the website I used when I first started couponing. Once I got the hang of it, I couldn't "pay" for the service when I found that I could get the info for free. My friends who show some interest in couponing - I tell them to do the free 4 week trial and then I show them websites like HCW or SD so they can get the free info too.

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22 Mary Martin September 23, 2009 at 1:10 pm

I've been using The Grocery Game for almost two years now. Though I rely heavily on the blogs for my coupon deals, I continue to use The Grocery Game for my weekly Food Lion trips. The Grocery Game reports those sales which continue for more than a week whereas the blogs only report on the current sales. It's worth $1.25 a week to me to have ready access to a complete list of the deals and coupon matchups.

With regard to the lack of internet print coupons reported on The Grocery Game, I have a fairly good idea of what IPs I have so I just pull those additional IPs prior to heading to the store. All in all, my subscription to The Grocery Game has more than paid for itself over the past few years. I will continue to use it.

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23 Saving Our Way (Eleanor) September 23, 2009 at 1:14 pm

I just checked out the free trial & wasn't impressed. My main shopping trip for my week is on Sunday. That starts the week for me & my meal plan for the week also. My primary shopping trip for groceries is Kroger and the Grocery Game didn't post their ad until Monday & sometimes Tuesday!

It just didn't work with my schedule. Also - the CVS & Walgreens deals I find on the web for free!

:-)

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24 michelle September 23, 2009 at 1:20 pm

I read your blog. You're not going to start charging us are you? Are you asking to see if there is enough interest for you to do your own "game?" If you included printable coupons it'd probably be worth it! Love your blog.........

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25 anne September 23, 2009 at 1:24 pm

I, too, started using GG in the beginning. I've stopped though after reading variuous blogs. I hope I'm not missing much!

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26 christina September 23, 2009 at 1:25 pm

I think that the only real value in the grocery game is that they do grocery store matchups that are sometimes hard to find on the web. But, honestly, using afullcup.com you can do the matchups yourself pretty easily for the grocery stores and blogs are amazing for drug stores and big box stores.

Overall, simply not worth the money.

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27 Lessie September 23, 2009 at 1:26 pm

I used CouponSense. I tried the Grocery Game and found it expensive since you have to sign up and pay for individual stores. I posted more about couponsense on my blog.

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28 Stephanie T September 23, 2009 at 1:28 pm

I actually started couponing when I heard about The Grocery Game on the radio and did some research on it. I used it for awhile and felt that it taught me alot. However, I had some issues with the list not being completely accurate for my area (I live in KY). I also had to wait until Tuesday to get the list, which I did not really want to do. I had a friend email me information from a blog and could not believe all of the great free information out there. After I found this and other great blogs, I stopped paying for the information. I also felt that I started to do pretty well on my own comparing sales flyers and coupons. I am grateful for what I learned from The Grocery Game at the beginning and for introducing me to couponing. I don't regret spending a little bit of money; I have saved it many times over. By the way, great question!!!

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29 Amber September 23, 2009 at 1:40 pm

I did the free trial about 9 months ago. They only had 1 store in my area, which was very disappointing because there are several. And with all the coupon blogs, and trying to SAVE money, I would never pay for it. Not even worth it at all, for my area at least.

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30 Erin September 23, 2009 at 1:40 pm

I used it for a while as well, but haven't since I find a whole bunch of free blogs. To be honest it wasn't worth it. I could see it for someone who needs something for their specific area, but I've found that I'm saving more now.

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31 Diane C September 23, 2009 at 1:43 pm

Used it a few years back. Now use pinchingyourpennies.com forums. I live in Utah so the shopping list and coupons suggestions are wonderful and absolutely free.

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32 Amy September 23, 2009 at 1:43 pm

I stopped using it because I like to shop on Wednesday or Thursday (right when the new sales start at my store), but GG doesn't update until the weekend. I was having to wait until Saturday or Sunday to do my shopping and I don't like to shop then.

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33 Teresa September 23, 2009 at 1:46 pm

I use the grocery game. It's worth the couple of bucks a week for the convenience of having the printable list in grocery store order. While I do surf the blogs and coupon sites, I don't always have the time to do a lot of research on the matchups working full time from home with a 3 year old! The grocery game makes it so much easier to save. Unless a comparable free site (and if there are any...please let me know!) comes along, I'll continue using them.

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34 Julie Curry September 23, 2009 at 1:46 pm

I had a few people rave about the GG and encourage me to sign up for it! I was hesitant because the whole point is to SAVE money, not spend extra. So I thought...I will to find what I can find on my own before I will pay someone to do it! I found THIS website which has seriously changed my life! If you don't have it, you have a link to it! I link coupons, other blogs, and get great advice and lots of cheapies and freebies of great name-brand stuff! You have changed my way of thinking, and all you ask is that I just keep READING! :)

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35 Kristin T. September 23, 2009 at 1:50 pm

I did the trial run for my blog so I could learn more about it and it's value; I found that most, if not all, of the information could be found on various blogs by visiting Be Centsable's Grocery Gathering. Especially if you live in a rural area like me, the service isn't worth paying for. For someone who lives in an urban area with lots of larger grocery stores, the service might help but I couldn't justify paying so much for it.

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36 Mandy September 23, 2009 at 1:51 pm

I also used GG before I started reading the blogs. I find enough deals via the blogs that I don't feel like I need to spend $10 every 2 months. I would use it if it was FREE, though!!! :)

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37 Samina September 23, 2009 at 1:59 pm

I've never used it. I'd never even heard about it until I started reading your blog & a couple of other savings blogs. I've been satisfied with the info I've found on the blogs I read, so I'm not interested in spending money for GG.

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38 Ann September 23, 2009 at 2:04 pm

I thought GG was a great way to start "learning the ropes" of matching sales and coupons. I used it for several months until I got the hang of using other websites and blogs that are free - and I usually find more deals this way than just using Grocery Game.

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39 Melody James September 23, 2009 at 2:08 pm

I have never heard of the Grocery Game, but it sounds very much like what I used to use here in Michigan called SavingsAngel. I paid $19.95 a month for the service and it matched me up w/ all the local grocery and drug stores in my area. It was a LIFESAVER when I first started couponing back in February, but now that I've found all these blogs (for free!) and I've learned all the tricks of the trade I no longer use it for feel it's necessary to waste $19.95 a month so I cancelled my subscription in June. I've been saving as much or more ever since!

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40 Amber September 23, 2009 at 2:10 pm

Kathy Arma --- Yes, this is a blog :) I have just started following these things myself and I mainly use this one dealseekingmom.com, and southernsavers.....if you look at this lists of deals that dealseekingmom.com posts for different stores, she tells you which blog she got her information from and you can go to those sites (also blogs) to get more complete lists for different stores.

As far as the Grocery Game....I did check it out. I did not sign up for the free 4 week trial but to me it didn't seem like the cost was worth it, especially since things are really tight for me and my family right now. I usually only have about $30 or less to spend on grocery's a week so I look for the best deals that get me the best prices for cheap and get what I need to get. So I search the different blogs for the best deals, which works for me.

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41 kyleigh September 23, 2009 at 2:13 pm

NO!!!! Coupon mom does the same exact thing, and it is FREE!!!! cutouthunger.org

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42 Emily September 23, 2009 at 2:15 pm

I used to use the grocery game, but haven't for nearly a year. I think it was crucial for me in the early stages of learning to use coupons - it took a lot of the time out of the process and taught me the basics. However, I never liked the fact that I had to wait until Sunday afternoon to shop - it is much better for my family if we can do the grocery shopping on Saturday. And honestly, once I got the hang of it I think I can do just as good a job myself (from reading blogs, having a good sense of pricing, and paying attention to my own stockpile) without paying for it.

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43 denyse September 23, 2009 at 2:17 pm

did it for the free trial. I, too, do my weekly grocery shopping on Sunday, it didn't give the info I needed until the middle of the week. Not worth the money for me, I get all the help I need from blogs!!

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44 Cyndi September 23, 2009 at 2:22 pm

I have recently started it again. It does help for somethings. My frustration is that they post the list on Sundays when my stores change out on Wednesday - then I have to cram my coupon hunting and shopping into Sunday-Tuesday. Not convenient for me. Also, I am in a small town and a lot of times I don't get the coupons they refer to or my local stores don't have those particular products on sale. I may keep it around for another cycle and see if I really use it.

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45 Kim September 23, 2009 at 2:23 pm

I used to play the Coupon Game. And I loved how it simplified my life. Then I decided to stop already. I figured I could muddle through effectively enough.

Then, after following blogs and links and adding more blogs, I discovered the Utah Deal Diva http://www.utahdealdiva.com/ and she lead me to Grocery Smarts http://grocerysmarts.com/utah/lists/splashg84cjw.php which has all the same information that the Grocery Game used to give me, but more stores and for FREE! Bonus!

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46 Tara Kuczykowski September 23, 2009 at 2:37 pm

Thanks, everyone! I'm loving all the input so far.

Just wanted to say that, no, I'm not looking to start my own grocery game. The Grocery Grab is about all I can handle at this time, and I really like being able to feature other blogs that do a fabulous job with the store match-ups.

And someone asked if I was planning to start charging for my site. That's a resounding NO!!! I started this site as a free resource to teach people how to save money and stretch their budgets, and I have absolutely no intentions of ever charging for this information.

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47 Sheri September 23, 2009 at 2:42 pm

I have used GG for about a year and a half and I still will continue to use it. I find that they post deals there that I don't find on blogs, AND they give rock bottom times on when to buy. Sometimes a blog will say to buy a certain item as it's a good deal, but GG will say it's not.

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48 chelsea September 23, 2009 at 2:57 pm

Well, I just joined to see what all of the fuss was about and I have to say, I am not impressed.

For me, it only shows me what's on sale. I don't see anything I can get free and it doesn't show me printable coupons. I can get sale flyers by email. As someone else mentioned, you can get sales and coupon matchups from couponmom.com as well as through the blogs.

I wouldn't recommend the resources on the grocerygame.com to my visitors at Free Mania, but it sounds like it's useful for some people.

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49 Rachel @ Surviving The Stores September 23, 2009 at 3:07 pm

The Grocery Game was really helpful when I first started couponing. But now that I do my own coupon matchups, or go to other blogs that do matchups for my area, I find that I don't need it any more.

When I was using GG, they didn't post all of the printable coupons (I don't know if they have changed that) and those are a HUGE part of my savings.

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50 Ashley September 23, 2009 at 3:08 pm

I have been doing the Grocery Game for about 5 months. I am beginning to be frustrated by it, so I am not sure how much longer I will do it. The only grocery store here other than Target and Walmart is HEB so that is why I signed up (I can't find weekly deals on blogs like I can for the other stores). Problems: The list is long and time consuming to go thru, I also have noticed that sometimes the items it claims are on sale aren't always at my particular store, printables aren't mentioned, and I have Sunday-Tuesday to shop before the ad changes. If I could find a good blog for HEB deals, then I would stop. Suggestions anyone?

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