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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 Sandra September 23, 2009 at 3:09 pm

I joined a long time ago and quit when the trial was over. It only showed me the sales, nothing spactacular! No Coupon Deals, or anything you read about on this blog or any other blog.

I'd rather get my info for free! :)

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2 Beachy Mum September 23, 2009 at 3:15 pm

I use the Grocery Game...but it's been on and off.

It *was* by far the best means of gathering this information, but there are so, so many sources now (including this excellent blog) that I may not renew when my current subscription expires.

The *primary reason* I would leave is the very poor coverage in Florida. Florida is a very large state in terms of population density, and there is only one person who creates the Florida 'list' for my grocery stores...she is in Tampa (west coast) and I live on the east coast. At least 30% of the time, the deals DO NOT match up, because the coupon inserts/deals are different.

When I have written to customer service, the message is forwarded on to the Florida rep (the source of the problem) and I receive the same static reply (over and over and over...)....which seems to be what others have experienced.

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3 Beachy Mum September 23, 2009 at 3:19 pm

Oh, sorry....one more thing....

The other BIG complaint with Grocery Game is the list timing.

There are two major grocery stores in Florida...Publix, then Winn-Dixie.

W-D's sale starts on Wednesday + Publix's weekly sale starts on Thursday. The Grocery Game 'list' for these stores isn't available until Sunday..sometimes as late as mid-day!

That leaves two days to shop at W-D, and three at Publix...less than a week to benefit from the sales. Therefore, I pay full price for my subscription for a service that is available less than 50% of the time.

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4 Stefanie September 23, 2009 at 3:22 pm

I started couponing after a group of friends introduced me to the benefits. They all use the Grocery Game, but I could not justify spending money to save money. I even hate paying for newspapers just to get coupons. So I looked around to find something similar but that was FREE. I discovered Coupon Mom and have been using it for about a year. The site is updated every Sunday and even includes printable coupon match-ups now. I also use various blogs to discover hidden deals and match-up scenarios to further stretch my dollar.

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5 Julie September 23, 2009 at 4:04 pm

I have been using it since May of this year. I have to admit I'm thinking of dropping my drugstore and one of my grocery stores. I've become addicted to Michelle's blog at Wicked Cool Deals (and found yours from hers :) ) and have been using hers for the drug stores I didn't have a list on (and then linking from hers over to yours on some things).

I just feel overwhelmed by matching sale to coupon at my grocery store and then there are unadvertised deals, too. Of course, I do find my own deals sometimes - love clearance stuff!

I feel that the Grocery Game list for my grocery store is comprehensive and takes some of the burden off me. I think that's worth $10 - I figure I save WAY more than that using the list. I have not checked out any free blogs yet for my local grocery store so perhaps once I've done that I'll change my mind? I think probably not, though - I'm use to it now and it's just so darn easy to use!

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6 jennifer September 23, 2009 at 4:06 pm

I used The Grocery Game a long time ago and now think that their are too many sites that are free. I think $8.00 a store is crazy, and there are no coupons. I am spending way less for a lot more by following google reader and sites like couponers wanted.

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7 Donna Braswell September 23, 2009 at 4:37 pm

I've looked at GG, but always felt that it wasn't worth the money for something I can do easily myself. I love your blog Tara and many of the others that you link to. I consider myself a Bargain Diva (have been couponing over 15 years) but I continue to benefit from the efforts of others in finding a deal. Keep up the good work!

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8 nida September 23, 2009 at 4:38 pm

I started doing the coupon-ing thing about June of this year, and i started with coupon mom, found deal seeking mom, and stumbled upon hotcouponworld, and between these three, i dont need to pay any one for the deal matchups. And if you look at my house and stored 'goodies' you would know im not missing out on ANYTHING lol!

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9 Cheryl in AL September 23, 2009 at 4:39 pm

I looked at the website several times before I started really couponing. I could not justify $60 annually. Now that I have really gotten into it I find the information online very easily. I have had very good luck with Hot Coupon World's forums (divided by store) and Deal Seeking Mom for my drug store shopping.

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10 Melissa September 23, 2009 at 4:45 pm

I have only been couponing about 5 months. So I still consider myself a newbie. I was already a couple of months in with couponing, getting my deals and matchups from various blogs/websites, before I ever heard of The Grocery Game. I signed up for the 4 week free trial to see what it was about & if it would prove beneficial to me. It definitely made the matchups easier since every every grocery and drug store in my region was listed in one place and all I had to do was select the items and print my list. However, the information comes too late. Store sales that began on Friday were usually available on Sunday and store sales that began on Sunday not until Tuesday. This leaves you less days to take advantage of the sales & some of those really great bargains are gone by the time you get to the store with your list. Therefore, I canceled before the actual subscription kicked in. Thanks to sites like yours and many others, I have managed to save $$, build a stockpile, and take advantage of the great deals without having to pay a subscription fee. Thanks for all your hard work!!

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11 Renae @ Madame Deals September 23, 2009 at 4:45 pm

I used the Grocery Game for the free trial period and that was it. Although I do think it is a valuable resource for newbies, I have found that there is plenty of free information out there. Also, the store lists that I needed were never up when I needed them. Having two-three days to shop just doesn't work for me.

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12 Wendy September 23, 2009 at 4:49 pm

I did it for about a year I think. I liked it because it was easy, but hated waiting so long in the day for the list to come out (Florida). I ended up cancelling it a couple months ago since there is so much free info out there. I think it would be good for people just starting out in couponing.

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13 Brenda September 23, 2009 at 4:55 pm

I, too, signed up for GG when I was first introduced to couponing about 6 months ago (what a blessing!) and I have become a little frustrated as well, Ashley! I have had so many errors on my list (I would say 20%) that I sent an email complaining but just got the rote response. Items not on sale, coupons not for the item specified, coupons not found in my inserts, etc. I also complained about the Food Lion list not coming out until Sunday and only leaving 3 days to shop and they said it was because we might miss out on some deals if they don't take that day's inserts into account. I checked the next Sunday and NONE of that day's coupons were used. I may cancel...

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14 Laura September 23, 2009 at 5:02 pm

I thought that I would eventually sign up for the GG when I started couponing, but them my mom told me about your wonderful blog. Like others, I hate the thought of paying for something to save money...besides, you have a loyal reader and I am not going anywhere else! Thanks for all of the great things that you do, Tara!!! You make saving money easy and fun.

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15 Jessica September 23, 2009 at 5:18 pm

I used the grocery game for 12 weeks. The ad for my stores come out Wednesday. They were not matched up until Sunday. It only left me 2 days to shop. Not practical when you have 4 kids! By that time I found that I had gotten all the great deals for free from the blogs. I would have considered continuing with them if they were not so expensive AND if they would do the match ups on the day the ad came out AND if the deals they did match up actually worked. Most of the time the prices were way off.

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16 Courtney September 23, 2009 at 5:24 pm

I have used GG for over 2 years and continue to use it. Yes, there are a lot of free blogs on the subject, but not necessarily for the stores in my area. Also, it's nice to have it all together and not have to spend time going through several different blogs. The blogs give me information about free samples, extra online coupons, etc, but GG gives me my grocery list. For me, these are different.

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17 winnie September 23, 2009 at 5:33 pm

I tried the Grocery game at a discount, & they did not do anything that I could not do myself. I certianly would not pay full price for it. I can look at blogs and find deals, along with looking at the store ads in newspapers or online. Some stores have there print ads on there websites too, like Publix. Now I do use the grocery game for coupons, which are free!

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18 Mary September 23, 2009 at 5:38 pm

I used it once a few years ago and when my trial was up, dropped it. I found the blogs and hotcouponworld give me better information since the members are "allowed" to share information on bargains they find. I also just can't agree with the idea of buying stuff just for the sake of it being free or nearly free, if it is something I don't and won't use. I do stockpile, but only items my family uses. I did not really find it worth the money. I often found sales at my stores that were not on the "lists", afterall, they can't do individual or area stores, they do by circular area.

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19 Daleene September 23, 2009 at 5:39 pm

No way, what a rip off! I get all the info I need reading blogs. 1 being yours! Thank you for that!

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20 Karen September 23, 2009 at 5:40 pm

I use the GG and agree with Courtney. The blogs are out there with coupon matches and such, but I often find that they don't match my local store. That alone makes the GG worth it for me. And seriously? I save WAYYYYY more than I pay in the end. Plus, if you can get others to try it out, you earn free weeks.

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21 debi September 23, 2009 at 6:02 pm

i did the trial of the coupon game and cancelled right away...nothing special and i hate to pay to save money (sams is offering a coupon deal where you pay a yearly fee and they give you specials on items you regularly buy..again i hate to pay to save!) your blog and coupon match ups are far better anyway.

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22 Idaho Jill September 23, 2009 at 6:14 pm

I have never used it, but I have a friend who does. I find pinchingyourpennies.com to be a great resource for printing out a list of what's on sale, what coupons to use, etc. (I use it for albertson's) It also stars items! As in, if it's a good deal, it gets 4 or 5 stars - so I know what weeks to buy what products. It's a GREAT site, and it's FREE. I also love this blog, moneysavingmom, and becentsable -with all of them combined, I know I save as much, or more than I would with the GG - and I get it all for free...

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23 Nina September 23, 2009 at 6:20 pm

Nope, why would I pay for something I get for free from your fantastic blog and many others!

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24 Robin September 23, 2009 at 6:27 pm

I used it until I got the hang of things. It also started going down hill as far as decrepencies of items prices not being the same and sometimes I would find things on sale w/coupons not even on the list! Too many free sites to pay now days!!

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25 caetie September 23, 2009 at 6:42 pm

I agree with everyone else, I used it to 'teach' me how the whole couponing things goes. I used it for about 3 months. It isn't really worth the $25 I was paying when the info is EVERYWHERE on the internet for free nowadays.

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26 Rachael Mercer September 23, 2009 at 6:55 pm

I began my major-couponing-saving odyssey last fall when I joined Grocery Game after seeing it on our local Atlanta news...I was stressed when the time came each month to see if the draft would clear. I quit one month after the trial was over b/c I felt I could do the same thing myself. Another couponer mentioned a site where the same information was free, and now we've taken it to a new level by using this site, too! Thank you for the FREE information you provide!

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27 CaroleG September 23, 2009 at 6:58 pm

I agree, I used GG to learn how to get started, but then just set up a blog roll of my own, and can get everything I need online.

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28 Christie @ Another Deal Another Dollar September 23, 2009 at 8:18 pm

I also used the Free Trial Period and cancelled. What good does it do if an ad comes out on Wednesday and you can't get any information until Sunday? and they want me to pay for this? No thanks. I first came across Southern Savers and found it taught me everything I needed to know on how to save at the drugstore and grocery store. I then came across your site and another and found all of the great deals and freebies you post. There really is no need to pay for something others are willing to share for free. thanks for what you do, it inspired me to help others in my region as well.

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29 Katie September 23, 2009 at 8:43 pm

I feel that if I have to pay for information that I can gather myself, then I am not really saving. That is a lot of money that I can use otherwise to find great deals, or buying extra newspapers.

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30 Kellee September 23, 2009 at 8:48 pm

I use the Grocery Game; I joined on April 2008! When I first joined I had three stores: Harris Teeter, CVS, and Wags. When my family and I moved to a different city, the neighborhood had a Lowes Foods at the corner so, I added that to the list. Then eventually, I added Bi-Lo's.

Since I've found this blog site (and others), I've dropped three stores from my list: CVS, Wags, and Bi-Lo's. I've kept Harris Teeter and Lowes Foods through the GG because to price match at grocery stores can be difficult.

I felt like it was a waste of money to pay when I could look on blog sites for free to see what's on sale at CVS for the week and which coupons to use! Not only that, but you give the heads up on upcoming sales and which coupons to stock up on!

Eventually, I'll drop them altogether because after finding Southern Savers and The Coupon Teacher, I can get my grocery list from there!

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31 smurfycoupon September 23, 2009 at 9:22 pm

I LOVE the Grocerygame.com The reason I love it and still use it daily/weekly is the "list" takes all the guess work out of figuring out what store has what deal with what coupon. I just log on, print my list and pull my q's--then off to the store I go. I TRUST the list it has never failed me. I refer people all the time, and for doing so , I continue to get free weeks for myself.
I think I will probably always use the GG to take the guess work out of regular shopping, and continue to use blogs and other forums for great deals that everyone else finds....
HTH

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32 The Leonards September 23, 2009 at 9:54 pm

Up until this month, I have used The Grocery Game since January. I had Krogers and Publix and sunday was my typical shopping day because of the penny item at Publix. Although I use other free resources such as Coupon mom, the Grocery Games seemed to list a few other deals I did not find anywhere else. I discontinued because of income loss and I could save $15 every two months. Other than that, it was a great resource to have.

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33 E Simpson September 23, 2009 at 10:03 pm

I still use TheGroceryGame every week and have for over a year now. I just still haven't found one place with free information that's as well organized and easy to use. I'm an avid reader of the blogs, but blog info is supplemental. If I had more time, I might use various resources to compile my own list, but probably not. My time is more valuable to me.

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34 Heather September 23, 2009 at 10:43 pm

I also think GG's too much money for not enough benefit. It's great for matchups, but I can get them for free so many other places, it's not worth it.

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35 M September 23, 2009 at 11:02 pm

I love it. I like the great deals I find on sites like this. However, I love the look at the exact sales matched up with available coupons. There are many that I find on the Grocery Game that aren't listed on here.

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36 Ann September 23, 2009 at 11:17 pm

I used GG when I first started couponing. That was when we heard that my husbands job was going to be lost because they shut down his plant. It DID help me. Then I found the free sites and cut my subscription down to one store, Bilo. We live in a small town in SC and the only grocery stores we have are Food Lion, Bilo and IGA. Bilo is the only one of the three who doubles coupons. Most of the free sites don't offer Bilo for some reason. But then I found Southern Savers who does and there went my GG subscription. It is a good site but I can't see having to pay for something that I find free elsewhere. I love your site, Coupon Mom and Southern Savers. Thank you all for what you do. I was able to stockpile quite a bit before my husband was laid off in April and although the stockpile is slowly depleting, I don't know what we would have done had we not had that to fall back on. I still get to the stores at least once a month and use what I find on these sites which makes our grocery bill much cheaper. Thank you again.

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37 leah in NC September 23, 2009 at 11:57 pm

I never started using the grocery game. I tried it for the free trial period to see if it would help but I didn't find much that I couldn't find on my own for free - at least not enough to justify the price of the subscription.
In Raleigh, NC, there is a newspaper writer for our paper that has a blog on the newspaper website and she lists all the coupons from the paper every Sunday and does weekly matchups - she also has an online pricebook where all users can enter in prices and build up a database of information that is helpful.
Of course, she doesn't count in other coupons (like all you, and special mail-outs from companies, this information I have to get from other blogs - like yours.)

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38 Tiffany September 24, 2009 at 12:06 am

I used The Grocery Game for about 2 years and loved it. But then I discovered Grocery Smarts for my area and quit TGG. It didn't make sense for me to be spending money on something that I could get free every week.
I also became frustrated with TGG because they didn't update my grocery stores (Albertson's & Smith's) until Sunday afternoon because they waited until the Sunday coupons came out. So I'd have to wait until Sunday evening to go shopping with my match ups and many times all of the good deals were gone by then since the sales change on Wednesdays.
I'm more than happy with my free resources now! =]

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39 Kimberly September 24, 2009 at 7:54 am

I started off using GG on a trail basis. And before I found out there were other free websites out there, I stop paying the fee. We are looking for bargains right? LOL... I didn't think it was a bargain at all, that's why I let it go.

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40 Tammy September 24, 2009 at 8:12 am

I had the worst customer service from them. I made a mistake joining and e-mailed right away and they wouldnt fix the mistake but charged me to resubscribe. I will NEVER use the service now on principle, I will not pay to be treated rudely. I told them that I considered the service poor and they didn't care so now I get much better deals from online resourses and it is free.

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41 Valerie September 24, 2009 at 9:00 am

I am currently using the Grocery Game's free sign-up period and I am not impressed. I tried it because I have heard so many good things about it. The ads in this area come out on Thursdays and the sales start on Fridays or Sundays. The lists don't get updated until Sunday afternoon, if you are lucky, or Tuesday. The don't cover Acme (Albertson's) which is a major market in my area. I live outside a major East Coast city and I drive past an Acme, SuperFresh, Walmart, Shoprite, CVS and Walgreen's to get Wegman's which is 10 minutes away. 2 minutes up the road is a Target. That is only traveling in one direction. The fact that they don't include Walmart or Target is a hinderance since, after reading this fantastic blog (thank you!!!), I started food shopping at both Walmart and Target and saving tons of money. Also, I have found more unadvertised deals from several blogs that are free along with any changes in deals that are constantly being updated. Incorrect information, which I have found at TGG along with the list only being updated once a week is just not for me. The Grocery Game may be great for some users who don't mind paying for someone else's time it takes to compile a list and coupons but I like the up-to-date info you can find on free sites and blogs and I don't spend spending the little extra time to get the best deals myself.

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42 Stacey September 24, 2009 at 9:12 am

This topic was discussed previously in a forum over at HCW. One poster there said it best "The first rule of couponing is never pay for something you can get for free!".

I've never used the service myself, but I have a friend who does and she loves it. I have used coupons for years, but just started REALLY getting the deals this year by following blogs (Thanks Tara!) and using Hot Coupon World's forums.

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43 Lauren September 24, 2009 at 11:03 am

I just wrote a whole blog post in response to this question! :)

http://savingslist.blogspot.com/2009/09/why-ive-gone-back-to-grocery-game.html

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44 Beth in Dublin, OH September 24, 2009 at 12:29 pm

When I first started out with couponing seriously, I signed up for the free GG trial. I couldn't afford to maintain it after the trial, but then slowly started seeing free blogs & websites devoted to couponing & finding deals/steals like here on Deal Seeking Mom. I get everything I need by subscribing to tons of emails so I always know where the best deals are to be found!

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45 Jessica September 24, 2009 at 4:57 pm

The idea of paying in order to save doesn't make much sense to me, so I never even tried it. I've subscribed to the blogs that list the deals at the stores I shop at, and I also go through the ads myself, and I've done just fine!

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46 Graciela September 24, 2009 at 8:49 pm

I never tried their website but I bought the book she has out when I first started couponing earlier this year. I found her book to be insightful but then I found all these great couponing sites and didn't see the need to try the website.

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47 Aleks Stewart September 24, 2009 at 11:57 pm

Many of you have mentioned the 'con' to blogs being specific to whatever regional area their writers are from. Does anyone know some good blogs that post deals that would be applicable in the Dallas area? Usually, Target/CVS/Walgreens seem to be consistent but the grocery stores don't... Would love your feedback...

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48 Kristen September 25, 2009 at 8:19 am

I have never used the grocery game personally. I always matched up coupons myself and then when I discovered blogs I let them do it for me. I can't imagine paying for a service that is free elsewhere. Plus I have heard that it is not worth the money.

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49 Margaret September 26, 2009 at 6:54 pm

I used five store lists on the grocerygame for about two years. I learned a lot from the site, however, there are too, too many free sites to get the same or better information from. My biggest problem with the lists was the fact that there were many, many price differences and sales. It was frustrating to get my lists together, go to the store and then find the lists did not match my stores. I had spent the money for the lists and wasted my precious time getting everything together. The free sites have been 99.9% correct all the time. That is a big difference.

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50 karen October 3, 2009 at 8:46 pm

I have used the grocery game since March 2009 and just canceled my subscription the first of October 2009. My biggest complaint about the site is the timing of the list. The sales circulars come out on Wednesday and the list is not ready until late Saturday night (I live in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area) That only gives me Sunday, Mon and Tues to shop but in reality I only have two days (Mon and Tues) because Sunday is busy with Church, dinner and family time. Even though I have found free sites to get info on deals I would probably still pay for the grocery game if the list came out when the sale circulrs did, that way I could shop on Friday, which is my preferred shopping day.

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