The companies who produce coupons are counting on you to buy things you don’t need by luring you in with a discount. But you can substantially reduce your grocery bill if you step up your extreme couponing skills, and learn how to match coupons to sales on items that you use most often. But since this can take up a lot of your valuable time, is it worth all the effort?
This is where a great service called The Grocery Game comes into handy. Let’s check it out:
How it Works
The Grocery Game is a website that gets price lists from major grocery chains such as Kroger, Meijer, Giant Eagle, Target, Walmart, and Whole Foods. It then matches those items to coupons in the Sunday newspaper circulars and tells you how much of a discount you can get. The Grocery Game will notify of you of great sales that can be matched up with coupons, as well as significant discount items that may not have accompanying coupons. The pre-sale price is compared with the price after the sale and coupon to show you how much of a discount you’re getting.
Items are also color-coded to signify how good of a deal it is: green means free, blue means the best deal you’ll see anytime soon, and white means buy it if you need it, but there might be a lower price later. You pick which items you want to buy, and then pull out the coupons from the recommended source. Each item lists which coupon you need, whether there are any online or printable coupons, how many you have to buy to get the discount, if there are any multi-item discounts, and what your final price and percentage savings will be. You can then print off your list and go shopping! All of these features make The Grocery Game one of the best online coupon sites.
Can You Really Get Good Deals?
Yes! Becoming a super couponer – matching coupons to sales and hitting multiple stores – can save you serious cash, but can also eat up a fair amount of time. Using the Grocery Game is much faster than doing it yourself. You also will end up with brands you might not have considered before because of the costs involved, but if you have the right coupons matched with a great sale, you can get items heavily discounted or even for free!
How Much Money Can You Save?
How much you save depends on what you want to eat, and how much you’re willing to shop around. For the best savings, you need to be flexible about the brands you will buy and what you’re willing to have for dinner. You can subscribe to up to eight stores on The Grocery Game, but most people don’t have the time or inclination to shop multiple stores. I find that I do pretty well shopping at my regular grocery store and one additional nearby chain.
How Much Does It Cost?
Right now, you can try out the Grocery Game for four weeks for free. After the free trial, you’re charged $10 every eight weeks for the first store subscription and $5 for each additional subscription. For example, I have subscriptions for three grocery chains, so I pay $20 every eight weeks. If I’m diligent, that $130 per year pays for itself in a matter of weeks. You can also refer friends and get extra weeks for free. It’s easy to drop or add subscriptions if you decide you want to shop somewhere else.
How Do I Get Started?
Many of the coupons in your local paper’s Sunday circulars are good for months, so a lot of the deals on the Grocery Game are for coupons that were in the paper quite some time ago. I would recommend getting started by going through your Sunday paper as soon as possible and begin stocking up on discount store coupons. The Grocery Game organizes coupons by circular and date, so that’s the best way to organize them yourself.
I’ve got a stack of labeled envelopes where I’ve put my clipped coupons and it’s been fairly easy to locate the coupons I need. For example, the SmartSource circular from 11/21 is labeled “11/21 SS” since that is how the Grocery Game will tell you how to find the coupon. If you know you have a coupon somewhere for an item you need, use the Grocery Game’s Coupon Tracker program to search for it. This is a great tool if you’re just getting started and usually make lists to grocery shop. The Grocery Game list also allows several custom filters, including restricting the deals shown to the date when you started saving coupons. So be sure to note the date of the first Sunday circular you clip from to avoid being inundated with deals using coupons you don’t have.
If you’re new, you may also want to supplement your coupon stash by purchasing them from the Coupon Clippers, a great site that allows you to buy coupons at a significant discount to their face value. This is a great way to get coupons for items you’d buy whether they were on sale or not. It’s also a great way to get a hold of that coupon you may not have clipped. In fact, you could even use these two services in conjunction with each other to get the best deals and the most convenience.
Are you ready to save some money? Grab your Sunday paper and start playing The Grocery Game!
If any of you have any experience with the Grocery Game, I’d love to hear your feedback on the service!