There are services out there that will take the weekly sales flyers in your area and break them down to show you the percentage of savings, coupons to pair with the sales, and when to stock up on items at their rock bottom prices. Two such services are The Grocery Game, and SavingsAngel. I was approached by SavingsAngel to give their site a review in exchange for a month free trial with the service. As I am currently a grocery game subscriber, I figured that it would make things more interesting to compare the two and see which comes out ahead in accordance with what I personally am looking for in a grocery list service.
I Don’t Want a Service that Dictates When I Shop
One of the major downfalls of the Grocery Game in my eyes is that they do not post the new sales list until Sunday of each week. Grocery store flyers come out on Wednesday of each week, and so if I want to use the list, I have to wait until Sunday morning to go online, check out the lists, and get to the store. Personally, I don’t like grocery shopping on Sundays. I like to shop on Fridays when I am off work, or Saturday at the latest.
SavingsAngel.com posts the new list on the day that it comes into your mailbox, giving you the choice to shop that week’s sales whatever day you would like.
Score 1 for SavingsAngel
I Want Access to Lists for Each of the Stores that I Shop at
The Grocery Game is a pay-per-store service. You need to pay a certain amount per list per store. A membership at SavingsAngel allows you to use any of the lists in its database, and there are many to choose from.
Score 1 for SavingsAngel
I Don’t Want to Pay too Much for the Service
Playing grocery games can chop your grocery bill down to size. But you will save more money the more people that you are feeding. Since there are just two people in my household, I don’t want to pay a large cost to use the service because it eats up a larger percentage of my savings.
SavingsAngel charges $19.95 per month for its service, which is a bit steep. The representative said that the typical introductory offer provides the second month for free and a money-back guarantee on the first month. The Grocery Game charges $10 for one store’s list, and $5 per list for the other stores you choose, every other month. With the Grocery Game, you can choose just the stores that you shop for; however, if you shop at three different stores (I shop at Kroger’s, Randall’s, CVS, Target, etc.), then the cost can get rather prohibitive. Still, I can use blogs such as Money Saving Mom to provide me with free weekly CVS and Target deals and sale match-ups, so I only need to purchase two lists (Kroger’s and Randall’s).
Both give you free weeks per the number of referrals you bring them (SavingsAngel.com does this in the form of paying you for each referral, and then advertises that it will “pay” for your membership).
Score 1 for The Grocery Game
Easy User Interface
The Grocery Game has a color code so that you can immediately prioritize your purchases (products in black font are on sale, in blue font you should stock up price, and products in green font are free). The Grocery Game also tracks your personal savings, which is neat to see. SavingsAngel is a little more rudimentary, and can be a little overwhelming.
Score 1 for The Grocery Game
I Am Tolerant of Few Mistakes, if Any, on the Lists
It really stinks when you go through the lists, clip and gather your coupons and find the product in the store only to see that the list was incorrect. This happens sometimes on the quantity, price, or availability in your area. It’s a letdown every time.
For the December 12, 2010 lists, there were a few discrepancies from the published lists versus the reality in the store (I chose Kroger’s for comparison). The Grocery Game published the following prices: Alouette Cheese 3.5 oz. ($1.49), soft spreadable 6.5 oz. ($2.24), and crème de brie 5 oz. ($1.49). You would pair this sale with a coupon from the 11/7 Smart Source insert for $0.50, and get a dollar off of each price (assuming your store doubles coupons, which mine does). In the store that I shopped at, only one type of Alouette Cheese was on sale. For this same week, the Grocery Game published the sale on Pepperidge Farm Bread with a coupon that could be found in the 11/7 Smart Source. This sale was correct, and SavingsAngel did not have it published.
For January 9th, 2011, SavingsAngel posted a sale on select varieties of Kelloggs Cereal 11.4-19.5 oz. (which is correct), but posted the wrong coupon match-ups with this product. They stated that you could find a $1 off of 2 Kellogg’s in the 12/5 Red Plum coupon insert, but there was not one in my insert. They also said you could find a $1 off of 3 in the 1/9 Red Plum insert, but my coupon is for $1 off of 2 cereals.
While I haven’t listed the extensive list of mistakes here, I have found just as many on the Grocery Game’s lists in the last year or so.
Score to No One
With a tied score, who actually wins? To determine this, I have to figure out what my priorities are. In all honesty, I value being able to shop on any day of the week that I choose more so than the cost of the service. In fact, for many weeks while I was on the Grocery Game, I didn’t use it solely because I didn’t want to wait until Sunday to go to the store. That means that I was paying for a service but not taking advantage of it. In my eyes, SavingsAngel wins.
If you’d like to sign onto SavingsAngel, please my referral link if you do not mind—I will receive compensation.
Have you had experience with either of these services? Do you play the grocery game?
Other Articles You May Enjoy:
Cutting Down Your Grocery Bill by Playing the Grocery Game
The Couponing System I Personally Use
Saving Money in 2010: Grocery Shopping Every Other Week
Does Playing the Grocery Game Really Save You Money?
A Review of the Grocery Game
Featured on the Totally Money Blog Carnival #2.