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How To Play the Grocery Game & Is It Worth It?

Updated on June 28, 2007

Have you ever heard of the Grocery Game? Started a few years ago by Teri Gault in California it is becoming a more and more popular way to save money on your grocery bill. But how do you play and is it worth it? Playing is easy, you have to decide if it is worth it.

Basically, the Grocery Game matches up the coupons in each Sunday's paper with the sales going on at the grocery store of your choice. The Grocery Game does all the work for you finding the best sales of the week. Not all sales are advertised in the weekly paper, and the grocery game does a great job of hunting down the extra bargains out there.

Did you know that all grocery store sales go in cycles? Some food items cycle on sale each month, some every 6 weeks and some every 12 weeks. As a consumer, it is hard to keep track of how often something goes on sale. Purchasing items when they are at their lowest sale is the best way to save money on your grocery bill. But don't just buy enough for that week. Stockpile food items when they are at their lowest prices, so that you have enough to get your through until the next sale comes. This way you will never have to pay full price for things.

So how do you know when something is at its lowest price? The Grocery Game will tell you. The list that comes out each week will tell you which items are at a good sale price (black) and which items are at their lowest price (blue) - which means now would be a good time to stock up. The list also frequently has free items on it and these are in green. If you have a store that doubles coupons, which I highly recommend if you are going to do the Grocery Game, it is pretty easy to get free items each week.

So is the Grocery Game worth the money? It costs $10 for an 8 week period for one store. Many people will participate in the Grocery Game at more than one store and additional stores are $5 per 8 week period. I participated in the Grocery Game in Colorado and loved it. It worked wonderfully and I always got great deals. It made my life so much easier not having to pour over my coupons and sale ads each week.

When I moved to Ohio I immediately joined the Grocery Game here too. I did not have as much success here though. I found that items listed in the sales ads were not listed on the Grocery Game list, that items listed on the Grocery Game list were not actually on sale at my list store, and also that some of the coupons the Grocery Game said I should have that week were not actually in my paper. I tried the Grocery Game here for about six months, but it was frustrating and didn't work very well for me here. So while I quit using it, I long for the days in CO when it worked so well.

The Grocery Game offers a 4 week trial membership for $1, which I highly recommend. Just based on my experience you never know if this is going to work out for you. Before ordering the trial membership though, I have some tips to help you make the most of it. Save your coupons for a few weeks before joining the Grocery Game. They use any coupon that has not expired on their lists each week. So they might have a coupon that is two months old on their list. Remember that the point of the game is to match up coupons to the lowest sale prices, so the coupons in this weeks paper are not all going to be used this week on the list. So save your coupon inserts for a few weeks to give you the most benefit when you try out the game.

Another tip is to not be brand specific. Don't just clip the few coupons that you think you might use. Save the whole insert and be willing to try different brands. If you can get an item for free why not try it? Also, if your regular brand is full price this week, but you can get another brand for $.20, it is definitely worth trying. Also consider purchasing extra Sunday papers in order to get more coupons. I don't always purchase an extra paper, but if it has really good inserts I will stop and pick up a couple of extra papers. Then when an item I use on a regular basis is at its lowest sale price and I have coupons, I can get several of the item instead of just one.

I think the Grocery Game makes shopping the sales a lot easier and can very much be worth the money. I did notice some glitches, but they aren't there for everyone. Join for the trial membership and see how it works for you. It is super easy to cancel at any time and even if you do cancel, you will still learn a lot about how the grocery sales work and ideas on getting the best deals. These things alone are worth the $1 trial membership fee.

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      Mark 2 years ago

      It seems a great post and worth reading.. The Grocery Game became more popular with the passage of time and a great source. Thanks

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      shark 2 years ago

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      Deon 4 years ago

      The Grocery Game is a good concept in coupons website. It not only offer just coupons; also provide you the information about ongoing local deals of your area. I really like this concept!

      http://www.riocoupon.com/

    • mvillecat profile image

      Catherine Dean 5 years ago from Milledgeville, Georgia

      Never heard of this but I am a person who matches up coupons with sales and stockpiles. Due to the extreme drought in the United States, we all should be doing it because food prices will keep going up.

    • roxygurl464 profile image

      roxygurl464 5 years ago from New Jersey

      I am a coupon DiVa and I had not hear of this site! This is soooooo interesting! I'm definitely plopping down on the sofa tonight with my laptop and checking it out! Thanks for the info, it sounds like it's going to save me tons of time and lots of money! Thumbs up & Shared!

    • monicamelendez profile image

      monicamelendez 5 years ago from Salt Lake City

      Very interesting. I had never heard of the Grocery Game. Is this something that you use now?

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      Chantele Cross-Jones 5 years ago from Cardiff

      I have been watching extreme couponing in the UK and am gutted we don't have any type of coupons over here, rarely get more than a few pence off or a store voucher. I would definitely be a couponer if i lived in the US

    • tipstoretireearly profile image

      tipstoretireearly 5 years ago from New York

      Interesting hub! I haven't heard of the Grocery Game before, but it seems worth trying. Trying to match up coupons with sales is too time consuming, and probably results in too many missed opportunities.

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      The information in this article has been very interesting! I will be returning to read through future threads and have bookmarked this site. Keep up the good work!

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      theeciggy 5 years ago

      Great Share! Thank you!

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      Thanks for wonderful posting!!!

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      scfinder 6 years ago

      Awesome. thanks for the info

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      JammieFoxx 6 years ago

      I heard of the grocery game and played it before but really don't like it all that much. Doesn't teach you anything

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      Alice 6 years ago

      This is what I have been searching in many websites and I finally found it here. Amazing article. I am so impressed. Could never think of such a thing is possible with it...I think you have a great knowledge especially while dealings with such subjects.

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      Derlierprossy 6 years ago

      I would like in order to thank you for the efforts you have made in composing this article.

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      susannah42 6 years ago from Florida

      This sounds great, but do I have the energy to do it?

    • shannajs profile image

      shannajs 6 years ago from Bear Lake, Utah

      Thank you for this hub. It was very useful. I am starting to love couponing thanks to my sister (who now averages 80% savings when she shops). Another website that is really useful is the obsessive shopper. It is similar to The Grocery Game but it's free. The only down side is that it is only availabe in some states. A friend and I print out a sale list for each store in the city we shop at (we have to travel over an hour just to find a grocery store) and then go through our coupons and sales lists together to find the best sales for each item. I might have to try to the grocery game out though.

    • profile image

      EMT Training 6 years ago

      I have house staff to manage grocery shopping, but one thing I do know is that quality is always preferred over price in my home. It's great to find a sale on a quality item, but a sale on garbage is not a deal.

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      get your ex back 6 years ago

      Really great tip, I am looking over the website right now! Thanks!!!

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      direction cards 6 years ago

      It is so lucky to read your blog,it is full of useful message.I wish we both can do better in the future.

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      Get Skinny Fast 6 years ago

      I live in Canada, a shame that something similar is not here.

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      how to copy games 6 years ago

      have used the Grocery Game for almost four years now. It is well worth the money to me since I do not track prices myself and I only shop at one store that doubles coupons. I know that I would not bother doing research myself (I have better things to do) and I typically save about 75% off my total bill so $10 every eight weeks is a bargain for me.

    • hazelbrown profile image

      hazelbrown 6 years ago from Central PA

      I haven't heard of the grocery game, but I live in CO and I LOVE using coupons! I can't believe I didn't know about them until a few months ago. I could have saved some serious money! Nice hub.

    • profile image

      Brad 6 years ago

      The only real information i received from reading all of this was the post about the lady who spend lots of money and saved very little using coupons. Paying for a company to tell you how to save money. That makes no logical sense. If a company has no number listed then something is asmiss. All the extreme coupon shows and such on tv has sense come out and said the stories are staged and set up with the stores for nothing more then advertising purposes. Most stores don't allow double coupons. As for getting things for free this is very hard to believe other then bogo sales.

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      air max shoes 6 years ago

      GOOD GAME

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      Vision Without Glasses 6 years ago

      Looks like the grocery game is a smart way to save money. But I've never tried before. Have you?

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      Grants for college 6 years ago

      Yes it is absolutely worth it to play the Grocery game, I save money every month doing this.

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      Emt Training 6 years ago

      I've always been a huge fan of the grocery game.

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      money earn online 6 years ago

      great stuff

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      assam 6 years ago

      I’ve truly enjoyed reading your blog posts. You obviously know your stuff. I also really like it that your website is very simple to navigate. I have bookmarked it in my favorites and will for sure be back for more.

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      Rejuv 6 years ago

      I've been thinking about this exact same thing over the last few days, so it's weird that you posted on it. You definitely did a much nicer job writing about it than I could have though.

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      Filagra super 6 years ago

      I have not personally tried the GG however there are many many blogs, and forums now that will basically tell you what deals are going on where, and where to find the coupons all for free. I am going to try out the free trial just to see if they offer anything worth paying for, about the only thing that could be helpful is store comps and possible the lowest price

    • profile image

      Suhagra 6 years ago

      I appreciate your comments "Some food items cycle on sale each month, some every 6 weeks and some every 12 weeks". I wrote a Hub on grocery store coupons and would appreciate your feedback if you have time. I love your Hubs!

    • jamiesweeney profile image

      jamiesweeney 6 years ago from Philadelphia, PA

      This is interesting hub. Thanks for the information.

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      We really appreciate ur effort. Keep up the good work. . . .I have the luxury of time to consider using the benefits these site can offer.....

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      MarloByDesign 6 years ago from United States

      Jennifer, is there a "specific" game or somewhere I can learn more? Also, I appreciate your comments "Some food items cycle on sale each month, some every 6 weeks and some every 12 weeks". I wrote a Hub on grocery store coupons and would appreciate your feedback if you have time. I love your Hubs! You are a great mentor.

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      Notranja Vrata 6 years ago

      I have not personally tried the GG however there are many many blogs, and forums now that will basically tell you what deals are going on where, and where to find the coupons all for free. I am going to try out the free trial just to see if they offer anything worth paying for, about the only thing that could be helpful is store comps and possible the lowest price, but I know for my area we really only have one major grocery store that gets covered anywhere, and i know of a site that tells me all of the above free, so just letting ya know ya don't gotta pay to save money.

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      grocery girl 6 years ago

      Has anyone else found that while on the site, it freezes the whole time to the point that I cant even use it. Also, my weeks wont update even after I tried her suggestions to delete the cache on my computer. What good do expired ads do for me? I am really disappointed! Any suggestions?

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      CostReductionGuru 6 years ago

      The grocery game uses a local person to input the sales and coupon information. It could be that the person in Colorado was on top of their "grocery game" and the the person in Ohio was not or the territory was not structured correctly.

      I am aware of this because I considered a territory at one time.

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      This really is an awesome post, I'm happy I recently found. I have been trying to find guest writers for my blog so if you ever decide that's something you are interested in please feel free to contact me. I will be back to look at out more of your articles later

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      Grocery Game 6 years ago

      Get your money savings coupons on groceries at http://www.GroceryCouponsFree.net to start cutting your food bills.

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      Jason 6 years ago

      The articles is great.

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      P90X 6 years ago

      don't have time to go back to the store, so it might not work for me. I can get rainchecks at Publix that are good forever, so that works out well, because I can wait for the next time I shop. Winn Dixie is another story. The only one in my area is a small store, and they don't give rain checks, so I'm just out of luck if I miss the sale, as they don't often restock again before the sale is out.

    • profile image

      Justin 6 years ago

      Thanks for the great post! I've been thinking about this exact same thing over the last few days, so it's weird that you posted on it. You definitely did a much nicer job writing about it than I could have though.

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      topwords 6 years ago

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      Kelly K 6 years ago

      I have not personally tried the GG however there are many many blogs, and forums now that will basically tell you what deals are going on where, and where to find the coupons all for free. I am going to try out the free trial just to see if they offer anything worth paying for, about the only thing that could be helpful is store comps and possible the lowest price, but I know for my area we really only have one major grocery store that gets covered anywhere, and i know of a site that tells me all of the above free, so just letting ya know ya don't gotta pay to save money.

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      Lindell Welch 6 years ago

      I would like to try the grocery game. It seems it does only help you enjoy but also help you cut down on your grocery expenses. Thanks for your explanation of the game.

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      When you talked about this in your intro at the bloggers Meetup I was intrigued because I've spent so much time in photoshop. Just reading this first post is very interesting. I can see see how this could be useful. Can't wait to explore this blog more.

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      wow quest helper 6 years ago

      Never had any experience on this so-called grocery games. I just saw some on TV. I guess the I would love to be one someday.

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      I would take a look around. Like what I see so now I'm following you. Look forward to reading your some of your posts again.

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      technology update 6 years ago

      I've been using the Grocery Game for almost 3 years now. It was extremely helpful when my kids were living at home with me. Always saved a ton. Several families lost everything. We donated about 30 grocery bags of food and non-perishables.

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      Fantastic strategy! I like a lot, vouchers can save a mint at the shops :-)

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      How to lose stomach fat 6 years ago

      never heard of that game, but cleaver. Who would of thought saving money could be so fun?

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      Calypso Bay 6 years ago

      The grocery game sounds awesome. Hopefully it will make it to Australi!

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      French Legal Translation 6 years ago

      Haven't heard of it... But Grocery Game sounds interesting! ;)

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      I think Grocery Game is funny,but we need more details

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      Great tip, I'm looking over the website right now! Thanks!!!

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      I enjoyed this post Abhishek. It was certainly creative and not what I was expecting when I clicked on the title – a title I might add, which is quite good. I know I had to find out what ways ‘guaranteed’ I could grow my list.

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      mesothelioma disease 6 years ago

      First time i hear about a grocery game. Guess it has become kind of usual in the States. Nice reading though.

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      rita 6 years ago

      Good info I'm looking over the website right now! Thanks for the information.

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      Great information. I got lucky and found your site from a random Google search. Fortunately for me, this topic just happens to be something that I've been trying to find more info on for research purpose. Keep us the great and thanks a lot.

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      skin tag removal 6 years ago

      I think the best way to save money is to spend it wisely. I think that is the way to manage our time money and other investments in life. These days we have so many things that attract us by just looking in the advertisements. We should buy what we need not what we want... Although I am glad with your idea and tips I found them very useful to me.

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      autodetailing 6 years ago

      Haha, thank you for sharing this information. This is what i'm looking for.

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      Shannon T. 6 years ago

      I am currently using the GG here in Ohio. I have 4 days left of my FREE 4 week trial. I most assuredly will be signing up for GG. I am going to be using Kroger (love love love using GG here), Walgreens, and CVS. Our first trip ever we went to Kroger and spent $67 and saved $79. We saved more than we spent! I know that it's only going to get better the larger my coupon base grows. I highly recommend the GG, especially with the free trial. You've got nothing to lose. Well, except money off the total of your grocery bill.

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      snow 6 years ago

      Thank

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      erwin 7 years ago

      ye great hub nice work!

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      Rachael Ray Cookware 7 years ago

      Yep i agree aswell the grocery game seems pretty good

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      Vince Delmonte 7 years ago

      Wow Grocery game seems quite interesting.

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      Just wanted to let you know that its not showing up properly on the BlackBerry Browser. Anyway, Im now on the RSS feed on my laptop, so thanks!

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      Grocery Game is very interesting. I just want to try this. thanks.

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      Grocery Game is awesome and the post too:)

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      london call center 7 years ago

      Awesome! Thank you very much, Luke!

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      Jason Phimosis 7 years ago

      The Grocery Games saves money but it takes up some time. Also, the people in the grocery store get annoyed when you have 10 coupons to give.

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      katy 7 years ago

      The GG has made me switch grocery stores from Lucky's to Safeway (they don't do Lucky's). I had no idea I was paying a lot more at Lucky's. Also, I am now reading the sale ad for Safeway, which I didn't pay much attention to before. I would say the biggest plus is that Terri causes you to "stockpile" those items which are at their cheapest point. So far my grocery bill savings average around 50%, and previous to GG, I would save about 20% by just buying things on sale with no coupons. But I enjoy doing this, which is probably something in my favor versus people who have to do it or just see it as a chore. I see it as a game. It's fun for me.

    • profile image

      stretch mark removal 7 years ago

      I haven't heard of it. I am intrigued in this so called "Grocery Game" you mentioned here. I do want to know more on this issue. Do we get to have an advantage on it? Or we get to make our money spent more on this?

    • profile image

      อบรมสัมมนา 7 years ago

      i also bake more when i don't do the GG, which cuts out processed junk (not even considered FOOD) and costs less. plus you can get everyone involved which can be fun. i also make my own cleaners now which is incredibly cheap and house is free of bad chemicals.

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      Watch Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Movie 7 years ago

      I am listing about this game first time. Can you something tell me about this game and how do it play..

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      vps hosting 7 years ago

      Great info, you really put some work in it, just wanted to say thanks. It was pleasure reading it.