High-tech coupon clipping: Playing the Grocery Game

I have an on-again/off-again relationship with couponing. I save the coupon inserts that come in my Sunday paper, but clipping and sorting them is a chore that keeps getting bumped to the bottom of my to-do list. Expiry dates come and go, and I wind up paying full price for items I had coupons for.

From time to time, I've been inspired by someone's testimony to step it up a notch. By strategically matching promotional sales with manufacturer and store coupons, many savvy shoppers say they save hugely. I don't dispute it, but whenever I've attempted to do the same, it took me so much time to get all my couponing ducks in a row, the hourly rate was hardly worth it.

Enter the Grocery Game, an online subscription service that is supposed to do all the thinking for you. For $4.95, I signed up for a four-week trial subscription, which gives me access to a weekly couponing plan of attack. The service matches local sales to locally circulated coupons. Lists vary from state to state. As an Arkansas subscriber, I can choose from one or both of the major supermarket and drugstore chains. I chose both.