Thursday, January 19, 2012

Couponing for Newbies--The Grocery Game

Now that you've done the pre-work in order to prepare yourself for the wonderful new world of being a coupon goddess, you are probably wondering where you can find the deals.  Right?  Yeah, there are alot of very different opinions on this topic.  I can only share with you mine.  And we all know that its worth my weight in gold.  You agree, right? Yeah, sure you do!  Anyyyyways, there are about a million  alot of ways that you can find the deals.  I prefer to start you all off rather slowly.  I want to try to keep you from getting overwhelmed.  So, I'm going to make this as basic as I possibly can and only share one resource with you today.  Don't worry. . .we'll build on it slowly!  It's no question that couponing and searching for the lowest prices on your everyday products is a time consuming effort, however I (and you!) only have so many hours in a day.  I simply don't have the time, nor the energy, to devote 8 hours a day to couponing or searching for deals.  I'm an extremely busy single mom who works full time and goes to school part time.  Anything extra that I do has to fit into the already limited time that I have in each day.  So, I choose the path of least resistance (read: I take the easy way out!)

Here is a resource that I love when sorting out my deals: 

The Grocery Game -- I LOVE this resource!  This site will actually match up the coupons that have come out in recent weeks to the sales that are currently being held at your local stores.  The site compiles the sales and coupons and puts it all together in a nice neat little list for you.  The list tells you what the item is, what coupon (including what insert to find it in!) to use, what the sales price is (for comparison shopping to ensure that you're getting the right size), what the final price is and what your percentage saved would be.  It's SO easy: all you have to do is print the list, pull your coupons, and shop!  Depending on your area, there are a number of different stores that you can receive the lists for.  For example, in my area, there are lists for Target, Walgreens, CVS, Food Lion and Kroger.  You can subscribe to just one list or you can subscribe to all that are in your area. 

Now, there is a cost for The Grocery Game but IT'S WORTH IT!!! (In my opinion. . which we've already established is important.  And gold in color.  And potentially heavy.)  For anyone starting out in the coupon/cost savings arena, the cost of subscribing to the lists are literally recouped in one trip to the store.  I promise.  The cost is $10 for one list each eight weeks.  If you want more than one list, each additional is $5 extra.  For example, if I subscribe only to Kroger, then I pay $10 every eight weeks.  If I choose to subscribe to Kroger and CVS, then my cost would be $15 every eight weeks.  If you get only one list, it breaks down to $1.25 a week.  I cannot stress enough: it's SO worth it!!!.  To get you started, you get a FREE four week trial membership to any one list of your choice (in your area, of course).  If you're at all cautious about the value of this service, I strongly urge you to try out the free four week trial.  If you cancel anytime during that four week trial, you won't be charged a single penny.  I actually stumbled across The Grocery Game before I ever started couponing and decided to give it a try.  I stuck with them for years.  The only reason I ever cancelled my membership was because they upgraded their internet browser and didn't support the one I was using any longer.  I printed the list from work (shh, don't tell my boss!) so I was no longer able to access nor print the list.  Therefore, I wasn't using the service so to save money, I cancelled it.  However, my dinosaur of a company has finally upgraded to a more current internet browser so I can start using Grocery Game again.  I'm signing back up pronto!   They just make it too darn easy not to use the service.  Seriously!  For a time strapped gal like myself, having someone else do the work is my kinda jam! 

In the six or so years that I've been part of the Coupon Goddess Club (Founder, CEO, Solitary Member), I've had other couponers who have scoffed at The Grocery Game because they say that they can match up the sales themselves and save the money of the membership fee (again, we're talking $10 for eight weeks).  This is so true.  They totally can. . .instead, they spend hours pouring over each store circular, then search through their coupon binders for every item in the circular to see if there is an active coupon out for that item.  I even know couponers who have a dedicated day set aside in their schedule to go to the store and peruse every aisle to see what is on sale.  Not to shop, but simply a "scouting mission".  An entire day.  Just to gather information so that they can go home, spend hours matching up sales and coupons, write out a list, and then go back another day and do their shopping.  I'm completely overjoyed if this method works for them, but I don't have that kind of time.  I'd pay someone $125 a week to do that work for me.  But I don't have to.  With The Grocery Game, I only have to pay them $1.25 for that kind of work.  See why I love them so much?  Another reason why I don't like the DIY strategy when it comes to matching up the sales and coupons is because the circulars don't list the unadvertised sales that happen in the stores.  That's why they're called "unadvertised"!  But, GG catches these.  And they share the secret with you!  Therefore, while those other couponers are spending every last minute they have scanning store circulars and nose deep in coupon binders looking for deals only to miss half of them, you're dashing through the store gathering your deals up, spending less money, and relaxing at home with your stockpile!  Worth $1.25 a week, isn't it?! 

*Disclaimer: I am in NO WAY affilliated with The Grocery Game or Teri Gault (founder of this fabulous service).  I have not, in any way, been compensated for the opinion that I have shared here.  I have not been offered free subscriptions, money, or even a pat on the back for sharing the word about this service or the website.  It is just that I like them that darn much! In fact, nobody at GG even knows who in the world I am!*

Come back next week and I'll share some more resources with you!  We're going to build a little bit at a time until you're a seasoned couponing pro! :-)

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