Important Note: Please be advised that the Shopping Nanny website is no longer maintained. For a similar service, check out our Savings Angel Review.
Making a grocery list and sticking to it can save you money every time you shop at the grocery store. When you have a list, you always come home with everything you need, and the list helps you stick to a budget. Getting the best deals on the grocery items you need involves a lot of comparison shopping and coupon organizing.
Once you’ve mastered the art of the grocery list, you can step up your savings by using Shopping Nanny, a service that helps you find the best prices for items on your grocery list at local stores. Shopping Nanny also helps you find available coupons for the items on your grocery list.
What Is Shopping Nanny?
The Shopping Nanny website helps you find deals on the items you want to buy this week. You start by making a list of the items that you need from the grocery store on the website. You can create a specific grocery list or a generic list, and you can also save your list for later use.
Shopping Nanny searches its database of stores to find the best prices for every item on your list. Pick which sale items you want to put on your shopping list to ensure you find the best prices for each item. For example, if you put cheese on your list, the website finds all the store specials in your area for cheese, and applicable coupons you can use to save even more money.
Make sure to spell product names correctly and double-check the items you select from the website’s suggestions to ensure you have sale prices and coupons for the prices you need. Shopping Nanny uses a simple keyword match to find the items on your list. Putting “cheese” on your list might result in 11 related items, including Kraft singles and cheese puffs.
Where Can I Use Shopping Nanny?
Shopping Nanny offers deals throughout the United States. When you sign up, you enter your zip code to ensure you see deals for stores in your area. The website searches multiple stores’ listings simultaneously, and includes results from stores like Albertsons, Aldi, K-Mart, Safeway, and Target.
In addition, the website displays coupons for the items on your list. The coupon database is limited, but it includes printable coupons for your convenience. Also, if your local grocery store accepts digital coupons, Shopping Nanny can load digital coupons onto your loyalty rewards card.
The Shopping Nanny website offers a number of features for members:
- Ability to Save and Reuse Lists. If you shop for the same items frequently, you can save your list and reuse the list each time you go to the store. You can update your shopping list as needed to find the best deals each week. You can also save lists of ingredients for favorite meals to make sure you remember to buy all of them.
- Pre-made Lists for Recipes. Interested in trying new dishes? The Shopping Nanny forum showcases new recipes each week, and you can use the website’s pre-made lists to shop for the ingredients in the recipes. The website also provides other lists for inspiration, including lists for brown bag lunch ideas or side dishes. New members can also download a free cookbook from the California Department of Public Health’s Network for a Healthy California.
- Find Deals Function. The website has a Find Deals function, which showcases good deals at the stores in Shopping Nanny’s database. The website has a forum where you can ask for help from members, get advice from a dietitian, or peruse old recipes. The website also has a live chat feature, to allow customers to chat with a “nanny” during regular business hours.
Membership fees include deals from all the stores in their database, coupon listings specific to your region, printable coupons, and digital coupons. The website has an ongoing promotion allowing new customers to try using the service for one month for free. Shopping Nanny offers a few different membership packages:
- Shopping Nanny costs $5.95 when you join using a month-to-month membership.
- You can sign up for a three-month trial for $11.95.
- A 12-month membership on Shopping Nanny offers the greatest discount and costs $59.95.
Shopping Nanny guarantees that shoppers who typically spend at least $100 each week on groceries will receive a $40 monthly savings. If you don’t receive $40 in monthly savings, the website waives the next month’s membership fees.
While you may find a number of options online to save money at your local grocery stores, Shopping Nanny offers several unique features not found on other coupon websites. Advantages of signing up for a Shopping Nanny membership include:
- List-based Format Is Easy to Use. Shopping Nanny can help you get more out of your shopping list. You can see where to buy items you need to save the most money.
- Easy to Use. It’s easy to sign up for a membership or for a free trial and begin using the website.
- All-Inclusive Price. The membership fees include all the data they have for stores in your region. Other coupon savings websites charge additional fees for customers who want to see deals from more than one store in their area.
- More Than Just Groceries. Shopping Nanny includes deals for non-grocery items and has deals from a wider variety of stores than other sites.
Shopping Nanny has some downsides when compared to other coupon websites. Some of the disadvantages of using Shopping Nanny include:
- Website Terms. The Shopping Nanny website does not offer refunds, but the website reserves the right to change its fees at any time. If the stores where you shop the most have a change in policy that nullifies the savings found on Shopping Nanny, you have to switch grocery stores in order to continue to use the service.
- Doesn’t Suggest Deals. Shopping Nanny has a few featured items, but doesn’t display a comprehensive list of items on sale unless you search for specific items. Other savings websites like The Grocery Game or Savings Angel display good deals, but don’t narrow them down to what you need.
- Not Fully Comprehensive. The website doesn’t list all the grocery stores in your region. In addition, the website doesn’t have a comprehensive list of coupons or sales. The website did not have coupons that I found elsewhere, and didn’t include store sales I found in the circular for my local grocery store.
- Difficult to Know When to Stock Up. If you want to save money by stocking up on discounted items, you may miss some good deals unless you search for them every week. The website doesn’t offer any insights as to whether an item has reached its lowest price, or if you should wait to stockpile the item.
- Website Issues. During our test of the free trial, we found that the “Chat with the Nanny 9-5″ and the “Browse Grocery Coupons” functions didn’t work. In addition, when we signed up we found that the website requires a promo code, even for a free trial. We did not find any promo codes online for the site, so entered “trial” in the promo code field and gained admittance to the site. The forums seem largely inactive, with many unanswered questions from new members.
Shopping Nanny brings a unique approach to the world of extreme couponing, and can offer benefits to the occasional couponer.
If you want to get started quickly, buy items this week, and don’t want to have to plan ahead or stock up on items you may not use, Shopping Nanny can help you save money at the grocery store. On the other hand, if you want to find the best deals, or if you only buy some items with coupons, you may find the list-making process cumbersome.
The Shopping Nanny website seems to have some growing pains. We hope to find more active forums, a working chat function, and more information about coupons and store-specific sales on the website in the future. Shopping Nanny does offer some advantages to members, and the free trial is a great way to get a feel for using the tool.
How do you organize your coupons and search for the best grocery deals? Have you had any experience using Shopping Nanny?
(photo credit: Shutterstock)