It is time to come clean.
No, not using a hose on my gardening shoes or rinsing out my composting bucket. I’m talking about something you may have already guessed about me, but which I don’t think I have ever really said to you all out loud. It involves my handy zip-up binder with a handle that I take with me every time I go grocery shopping. It is my coupon binder. Yes, folks, I am a couponer. Not as extreme as those you see on t.v., but I sure do love to see the amount I have to pay go down just by handing over those small pieces of paper.
If you were to take a look at my binder right now you will find a lot of empty spaces. A few years back it was so full I ran out of room. The difference? We moved, the inserts are not as good here, and the papers cost more. In other words, I don’t buy papers for inserts.
I didn’t come from a family of coupon users, though my dad really like to use them and is just plain frugal in general. So how did I learn? About 8 years ago I heard a radio announcer mention something called The Grocery Game (The Grocery Game, Inc). She was using their service at the time and loved it so much she was passing it along to others who may have wanted to find out more about it. While shopping at a store this week, I was reminded of how I also used to use The Grocery Game, Inc at this particular store. It helped me out during a particular season in my life and thought I would pass it along in case it is also something you might be interested in.
The Grocery Game, Inc puts together a shopping list each week for stores in your specific area. The list matches coupons to sales, both in the ad and unadvertised. A 4 week free trial is available to see if you like the service. I told myself that if I did not save more than the monthly subscription fee every month then I would cancel. For 3 or 4 years I used The Grocery Game, Inc to help me decide when was the best time to buy particular items and when to wait, which coupons to use with which sales and where to find the coupons. In short, I learned how to use coupons and shop with them well.
After we moved, I found out that not every area has as good of a choice of stores as other areas. Also your list is put together by someone from your area, not 10 states away. This can be a great thing, as it means the lists are more accurate for the stores you do use them for. If the person putting the list together for your area doesn’t do a good job, then your list may not be as thorough as somewhere else. Every area also has a different amount of choices as the stores are different and it varies as to whether there is a list available for the stores near you. This is where the 4 week trial offer comes in handy. It gives you time to evaluate the lists for your area and stores.
While writing this post, I looked again at which stores are available for my area. There are no longer options for major grocery stores near me, though Walgreens and Dollar General shopping lists were available. While these can still be very useful (both have some great deals), other places I have lived have offered lists to major grocery stores. You can still benefit from lists to stores such as these, it may just be less than a larger grocery store as the stores are smaller to begin with.
I don’t use The Grocery Game, Inc like I used to. Life has changed. I had to change with it or drive myself crazy with unrealistic expectations. Namely, spending 40 minutes one way driving to stores with better coupon policies and a list from The Grocery Game rather than the one 5 minutes away without a list just so I could keep doing what I “had always done”. Now I print off the majority of my coupons from Inboxdollars, earning $.10 for every coupon I redeem, and use very few insert coupons.
I still have habits learned during those earlier years, such as keeping track of prices and waiting to pair a coupon with a sale. It was very much worth it for me to learn how to coupon and to save time doing so. Instead of spending hours trying to match things up by myself, Teri’s List had already done it for me.
If we ever move to an area with a grocery store nearby that has a list available I would very much use this service again. It was a huge time saver.
If you are looking to learn how to coupon, save time, or to find help knowing when you should buy something and when you should wait I would suggest looking into The Grocery Game, Inc.
This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are honest and my own.