Who Would Win in a Fight: SavingsAngel.com or the Grocery Game?

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.

two kangaroos boxing3

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

Who Wins?

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.

23 comments… add one

  • Thanks for the reviews! I’m currently not subscribed to either, but have been very curious about these sites. Thanks again!
    LifeAndMyFinances recently posted..A Nerd and His Money- Soon Separated

  • Michelle

    Amanda, I have a couple of follow up questions.

    How much in the end do you actually save once you factor in the costs of the services? Do you find that you buy more groceries than you need or items you wont use just because the deal is too good to pass up?
    I would assume for you the monthly service fee is worth it, in terms of life/time energy. Otherwise, you could just do this youself when the flyers and coupons came out.

    • Hello Michelle! Great questions.

      I usually save $40-$50 everytime we go grocery shopping. In the first year that I played these games, I definitely got too much. I donated the excess, and realized that I could use my energy elsewhere. So now I am more focused and get more of just what I need to stock me up for a few months on certain products.

      These services are definitely worth the monthly fee–to do this on your own would take a significant amount of time and effort (and mental energy!).

      Hope this helps–let me know if you have any other questions.

  • To be honest I was looking for car related sites for well whatever …

    It catch my eye , I am not subscribed to any of these , actually I just go out and buy whatever I want from any store that is open at that moment but as you may have noticed it’s eating you money :P

    So would you be kind and leme know what are the benefits of using these subscriber lists and sites ?
    Maria recently posted..Porsche 911

  • Thanks so much for sharing my link! I didn’t have much success with The Grocery Game, but I know it saves some people a ton of money!
    Mrs. Money recently posted..I’m Thinking About Quitting my Job

  • Val

    How are these sites better than just using couponmom.com ‘s database for free? Is it really worth it if all my stores are in that list?

    • FruGal

      Hello Val!

      These sites list a lot of unadvertised sales (from my experience). Couponmom is a great site to work with as well, but my savings at least doubled from these sites.

  • Linda

    I did watch the show extreme couponing. I put it into the category of the next show over, extreme addictions. To me 2 of them had and excessive addiction problem to couponing, and shopping. I think the the man on the program did what the couponing was supposed to do, help with debt elimination. I read somewhere that he donated much of what he got ie: the cereal to his church food bank. The program did not want to show that. At least 3 of these people were very out of balance.

    • FruGal

      Addiction is a good word to use. Thanks for your thoughts!

  • That was a great review, stating their pros and cons and I can say that you are fair in your review. Well I guess, you are the winner? lol! being able to use both sites to save some. Its always great to have a choice, isn’t it? :-)

  • Great review! I didn’t even know about SavingsAngel.com!

    Regarding The Grocery Game, in my area, the store doesn’t put out the weekly ads until Sunday (sales are good through the following Saturday) and I don’t subscribe to the weekly paper, so the benefit of when the list is published really depends upon when the flyer comes out in your area. My list maker usually has the list published by Monday night or early Tuesday. Since I usually shop on Wednesdays for the Double Daze for coupons, this works fine for me.

    Also, since coupon inserts (Smart Source, Red plum, etc) vary wildly (even from city to city in the same state,) your list maker (in another city) could be getting different coupons and even seeing different sales flyers. For example, when everyone else seemed to get a Yoplait coupon $1/10 in the last GM insert, my small town insert only had coupons for 40¢/6 and 50¢/8. From what I can tell, my list maker is in a larger city and got a different insert. So, it’s nearly impossible for a list maker to know what coupon will be available in all areas. Hopefully, The Grocery Game will eventually expand it’s list maker areas and be able to be more accurate locally.

    But you are right – there can be accuracy issues, so I find that I still seem to put in a lot of the research I did before I joined. (Last week I got a deal on Shout that was in the ad but my list didn’t even have it at all.) Now that I blog about deals, I’m considering cancelling my subscription, because I’m doing a lot of work. I wonder if The Grocery Game is looking for list makers in my area?? LOL! :)
    Kristin recently posted..Coupon Myth: You can’t use more than one coupon per item

  • Bethany

    Here is a question: Nobody in my small city doubles coupons. One store used to but they are a monopoly and I guess they realized they didn’t have to even try. So is a service like either of these two worth the money they’re asking for?

    Thanks!

    • FruGal

      Hi Bethany!

      The store that I used to shop at stopped doubling and tripling coupons about 8 months ago (so sad!), so I feel your pain. How many grocery stores do you have in your area? It sounds like not a lot. If you do not have a lot, then you can probably keep up with price cycles on your own instead of paying for a service. If there are still many stores, then I would definitely give it a try.

      Hope that helps!

  • Cathy Rogers

    I did not read all the reply’s so if someone already said this, sorry for repeating. You can get the same service for FREE with Couponmom.com

    • FruGal

      Hi Cathy!

      Thank you for your information. I have definitely used CouponMom before (and her site is specifically helpful for trying to find specific coupons from months past).

      For whatever reason I saved a lot more trying out these paid services. My friend Helen (also quite frugal) tried out these services with me, and she had the same results…though we’re still trying to figure out why. She particularly liked being able to click on what she wanted and having the list ready to print out each week (I do not have a printer at home, so did not find this as helpful).

  • Great informative and fair reviews! Will have to check it out. Did you ever research the money you save versus the time and mental energy you use to play these grocery games? Sounds like you enjoy it so it could actually help with entertainment!
    Buck Inspire recently posted..529 College Savings Plan at Fidelity

    • FruGal

      I think these services give you bang for your buck. If you coupon on your own (which I used to do), I would spend more time getting much less savings. Plus I wasn’t informed of unadvertised sales.

      But I haven’t done an actual calculation!

      Thanks for the comment and questions Buck.

  • A Brown

    Since I live in SC I use the website Southern Savers for coupon matchup and also sales for all stores. And you can print out your shopping list.

    • FruGal

      Thank you for sharing your resource!

  • Transplanted Southerner

    This is the second Sunday in a row I have logged onto GG, where I have been a member for 8 years, and the site is down. That lead to a search. Which lead me to your comparison.

    First, thank you for the information on another valuable site. I also did not know that Savings Angel existed and I am going to try it. I am really excited that I don’t have to wait till Sunday for the Winn Dixie list!

    Second, I have found since moving to Louisiana from Seattle five years ago, that the GG has a LOT of list mistakes. Some weeks, just one or two, but some weeks, up to six or seven. Frustrating and disappointing is a bit of an understatement.

    Wish me luck with Savings Angel and thanks again!

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