Changes to the Weekly Grocery Deals

On December 27th, 2008, I published the very first weekly grocery deals post on Springs Bargains and closed with this:

Well, there you have it.  I chose my highlights based on the highly-technical price book I keep in my head, so they may or may not be great prices to you! :)  If I didn’t mention something that’s in the ad it’s probably because I’ve seen it for a lower price.  I’ll try to keep explaining more of my strategy as time goes on.

Well, time did go on, and over the past 7+ years, I’ve published over 1,500 posts with weekly grocery deals, coupon matchups, and “how good of a deal is it?” ratings.

So many of you have been right here since almost the beginning (well, almost the beginning – that first post was seen by about two people!).  We cheered when Sunflower Market (now Sprouts) came to town, dreaded the effects of the Extreme Couponing TV show, watched Rancho Liborio close and Albertsons changed ownership, and most of us stocked up on quite a bit of free toothpaste and $0.49 pasta.

Truth be told, doing the weekly grocery deals and coupon matchups has been a struggle for me for several years, even when I had people helping me with them.  (To give you a taste, when I had a couple of people helping me for awhile, when they started they both expressed something to the effect of, “Wow!  That was a lot more involved than I realized!”)

I’ve continued doing them because you all have been faithful to let me know that you appreciate them – thank you for your encouragement!

But as of this week, Springs Bargains will continue as it’s been, but without the weekly grocery deals.

I’ve continued doing the weekly grocery deals for several years because I did not have peace about phasing them out, because I know many of you find them helpful.  But, I’m ready to focus that energy on other things.

While I’ll no longer be doing the weekly deals, coupon matchups, and ratings, I’ve put all of that data (that I formerly mostly kept into my head!) into the Grocery Price Reference that you can access for free here on Springs Bargains.

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When you login to the Grocery Price Reference, you’ll have access to price ratings for hundreds of items.  You’ll be able to see what a “standard” sale price is, a “good price”, and a “great price”.

Man items will also tell you where you can expect to find the lowest sale price, what time of year you’ll likely find the lowest sale price, and whether or not you’ll need to use a coupon to get the lowest sale price.

I know that some of you may not like the Grocery Price Reference and might decide not to use it at all, and that’s fine.  It’s definitely not a replacement for the weekly grocery deal posts, but it’s something that I can give you as a resource if you’re used to depending on the price ratings here on Springs Bargains.

Starting this week, I’ll publish a post with links to the grocery ad previews, the Price Reference, coupon policies, etc. If you have questions about the week’s deals, you can leave a comment on that post and I’ll be happy to check out your specific question and answer.  And of course, I’d love for you to comment with deals that you’ve found, too!

I’ll also be publishing a series of posts with tips on how to decode your grocery ads, showing you the clues that I looked for as I did the weekly grocery deals.

A couple of questions you might be thinking:

Are other areas of Springs Bargains going to change?

Nope!  I have no plans to otherwise change the types of things I share on Springs Bargains; only the weekly grocery deals will change.

I do have a new site design in the works and hope to launch it very soon, but the type of deals I share will stay the same.  (And psst!  The new design might just include that Egg Price Tracker that many of you have requested!)

Will I have to pay for the Grocery Price Reference?

Nope!  The reason that you’ll have to login to access the Price Reference is to prevent unauthorized use.  (It’s for your personal use only, and the info shouldn’t be shared or used on other sites.)  But it is free!

I hope that you’ll find the new resources useful, and would love to help with any questions you have.  Thank you for reading Springs Bargains!

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Comments

  1. Ok, you made me almost cry. I have been following your site since close to the beginning. I had a feeling that the time was coming where you weren’t going to do the grocery deals any more. Your site is amazing, and I know it will still be amazing.

    As much as I love the grocery deals part of the site, over the years I feel that you have equipped me to find the deals on my own. The last few times that you have taken the week off from the grocery deals and I looked through the ads on my own, I felt proud of myself that I was able to find good deals all on my own – well, with your coupon database. :) I owe that all to you.

    Without you and SpringsBargains.com, I wouldn’t be eating as healthy, I would be buying much more expensive food, and my grocery budget would be substantially higher. And I wouldn’t cringe every time I was with someone who spent $4 on a box of cereal. :)

    In the last couple months, my 11 year old started eating about twice what he used to (can you say growth spurt!), and I was getting frustrated that I keep going over my grocery budget. I came across a grocery budget calculator based on the number, gender and ages of people in the household and how frequently you eat out, and my budget is still about $200 less than what it calculated for me. That made me feel a bit better.

    I’m looking forward to checking out the grocery price reference.

    Thank you for all you do. I can’t even express how you have improved our lives through your site. In a way I feel like you are my grocery shopping mother. Everything I know about shopping sales and using coupons, I learned from you, and it will impact me for the rest of my life. Thank you.

    • Yes! All that. Thanks, Carrie, for the work you have done. I will miss this feature of your blog.

    • Carrie, I add my two cents worth. This blog has helped me so much since we came to the Springs. But I do know how much life changes with additional babies. We are happy that you plan to continue alerting us to sales and special events. Thank you.

      • Thank you, Carole! It’s crazy to think that when I started, I was nine months pregnant with baby number three – and then added two after that!

    • “Cringe every time someone buys a $4 box of cereal”-I love that line!

    • Sarah, thank you! You encouraged me so much with your comment. I am thankful that you took the time to share, because it means a lot to hear your story!

  2. Carrie,

    I started following your blog when I moved to the Springs in 2009. You saved me so much time and money with your grocery deals! More importantly, you gave me tools to evaluate grocery ads for myself. Thank you for blessing my family!

  3. So truly sad as this has been such a resource to me!

    • Thanks, Tresa! That is definitely the reason I have kept doing it for several years after it became a struggle! I hope I can continue being a help in some way – please don’t hesitate to let me know if you have any questions.

  4. Carrie,

    I almost hate to comment as I don’t think I can adequately say what I want to. You and your site have been such a HUGE blessing to my family and I. I have benefited greatly from many aspects of it, including, of course, the weekly grocery store deals. I understand and respect your moving away from doing them. I agree with others who have said you’ve taught me so much that I can definitely navigate the ads better than I could prior to coming across your site. I also really appreciate you allowing us access to the Grocery Price Reference. From time to time I think about how prior to being married, my husband only shopped at Walmart and the price he paid for Milk and OJ, he’d never pay today. He’d rather run out completely and wait for the next weeks sales, than pay those prices anymore!!! That’s because of what I’ve learned from your site.

    I’m wayyyy excited about the possibility of an egg price tracker!

    Thanks again.

    • Thank you so much, Sharon! It is exciting to me to know that the work that went into those weekly posts had an impact and that it also enabled you to find deals on your own!

      I’m excited about the egg price tracker, too! I hope to finish up the new site design in a few weeks and that’s when the egg price tracker will appear. :)

  5. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Carrie, for all you have done for those of us who read your blog. I am sure we can’t even begin to imagine the amount of time you have invested, and I deeply appreciate every minute you’ve given.

    When I look back on the past 5 years since I discovered this blog, I can immediately identify many financial skills and strategies you’ve taught me. When I found this blog, our family had just lost our house to foreclosure, my husband was in the middle of 2.5 years of unemployment, and we were drowning in debt. Thanks to your grocery lists, I was able to continue putting food on the table for my family in that very dark time. With the money we saved, we began the slow journey out of debt and to the much more financially stable place we are in now.

    Thank you, thank you for teaching me how to feed my family during that time. I pray that as you lay down this responsibility that you and your family are blessed with peace in knowing you are saying yes to what God has for you in this season. You are amazing!

    • Liz, thank you for sharing your story! I am encouraged that God was able to use my small, often grumbling efforts to help you through a difficult time!

  6. I’m a newcomer who only started reading a few months ago, but what a few months it has been! Thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom. I truly appreciate your help as I learn to feed my family well for less. I will continue to enjoy your other tips!

  7. Thanks for your tireless effort to enlighten and help families and their finances. It was a shock – but all good things must come to an end. It was very noble of you all these months. If I come across some future great monster buys is there a place to post and share with others on your website? Maybe a “look what I found” or bargain finders column or blog? It not, thanks anyway. It was well appreciated!! Good luck with your new endeavors.

    • Ron, I’d love if you shared deals! If there’s already a relevant post, you could comment on it; or send me an email here if there’s not already a post or you have a photo to share. I know it takes a little bit of effort to share a deal that you found and I am always super grateful for those that take the time to do so!

    • Elizabeth Finfgeld says:

      I’d be more than happy to share my bargains with your readers, as well. I have a feeling that there are many of us who would be delighted to pass along our weekly deal hunting ‘scores’ to other savvy shoppers. This ‘look what I found’ column could easily take on a life of its own…

  8. Carrie, there aren’t enough ways to say thank you to you and your family for the work you put into this site! I so appreciate that you have thoughtfully considered how to make things work for your life, yet still have a wonderful tool. I’ve been a reader through a few life stages and different incomes. There is always wonderful information here. I don’t think our family would get quite so many home cooked meals without the encouragement from the posts you would share with family recipes and your meal plans, etc. Thank you!

  9. Learned alot from your site. thanks Carrie.

  10. I’m trying to register for the price list and haven’t received my registration email after several hours….how long should I wait before trying again?

    • Dixie Moore says:

      Me, too. I had the same question!

    • Me too! I also don’t get emails with comments when I subscribe to a post. I have checked junk email and it’s not there.

    • I think Hotmail and MSN are having problems with receiving the emails. I’m working on it and hope to have some sort of fix soon. If you can remember the username and password that you registered with, you should be able to login even without receiving a confirmation email, I believe.

      (By the way, MSN and Hotmail have become notorious for blacklisting legitimate emails so while I hope to find a fix, it might be something to consider researching because you may be missing out on other email because of the way their spam detectors work.)

      • Oops, sorry! I guess you can’t login until you’ve been able to set your password with the registration email. I’m going to email you directly with a password. Sorry for the trouble!

  11. I want to say thanks for your blog, too. I may have been in either the first or second class you did at the library years ago. Lots of grocery tips through the years but even all the events you covered help me get good deals on outings or even notified me of fun things to do with my family. Now we have moved to another state and I still get your emails. Most of it doesn’t apply, but I can see what’s going on in the Springs and feel a little connected.
    May God bless you in what He has next for you.

    • Thank you, Renee! Out of curiosity, I just checked and you were totally at the very first one I did! Thanks for being such a faithful reader and sticking around all these years!

  12. A BIG thanks Carrie for all the work you’ve done with the grocery deals! You’ve definitely made my life easier over the past few years:) I will miss the grocery match-ups , but celebrate your new freedom and time for other endeavors! Thank-you for posting the grocery price reference. I wish you and your family the best!

  13. Blessings to you and your sweet family, Carrie! You have been a huge help for years!

  14. I’m really sorry to hear this. I come to your site every Tuesday specifically for the ad matchups and have directed many others here. Good luck with everything. :)

  15. A big thank you from me as well, Carrie. It is so great to read that taking this off of your plate has left you feeling refreshed and re-inspired! Praise God for that! I have learned so much from you and I am really just thankful for you and your gift in helping others. I look forward to seeing how God uses you in the future with your refreshed inspiration.

  16. I want to join the choir here, Thank You for the years you did the ads for us!!! It was truly a help to me as I learned to shop economically!

    One q here….I have registered, and in trying to download the new grocery guide, it keeps asking me to register, then I’m logged in, and when I hit it again, it asks me to log in. Vicious cycle. Any ideas?

    Thank you again!
    Mary

    • Thank you, Mary! I’m so glad it’s been a help to you!

      I had a reader with a similar problem and we figured out that she just needed to scroll down past the login box to see the info once logged in. That might be the solution for you as well? I may move the login box to the top of the page but wanted to make sure that people had an idea of what they were creating a login for, so that’s way it’s midway down the page.

  17. For almost 6 years I’ve been referencing your posts every week before I make my grocery list. I’m very sad to read this, but thankful for 6 years of great help!

  18. Thank you so much for all of the work you put into the grocery deals the past couple of years! You have saved our family hundreds of dollars, maybe thousands.
    I actually stopped grocery couponing about 4 years ago and am STILL going through toothpaste! I think I am down to 2 tubes!
    I look forward to reading what’s to come on your blog :-)

  19. Thank you, Carrie for all you have done to help me become a better informed shopper! I cut my grocery bill in half when I started following you 5 years ago! I too have learned so much about couponing and bargain shopping from you! You have always been so helpful and kind when I have had questions. Thank you for offering the Grocery Price Reference for free! You have put so much time and effort in helping so many families. You are a blessing!

  20. I just wanted to add my “THANK YOU!!!” to the rest. I first moved to the Colorado Springs area in 2008 and was so excited to find your site. I’ve since moved a few times and am now on the Western Slope. I still reference your site at least once a week. You’re incredible! Thank you for all the time and energy you’ve spent helping all of us readers! I really appreciate it!

    • Thank you, Brooke! I’m so glad you are able to find some helpful things even on the other side of the state! :)

  21. Christine G says:

    Thank you Carrie for what you have done with Springsbargains and what you continue to do with the Grocery Price reference (so excited about that). I applaud you stepping down from the weekly grocery lists….honestly, I always wondered how you managed to sleep with all it takes to do the site, help with your husband’s business and raise a family! Thanks for giving us all the skills to shop smarter.

  22. I see a lot of people are disappointed to hear this, as am I, but I completely understand too. Is it ok to mention on here that there is another resource they can use, another blog that highlights the weekly Colorado grocery deals, Bargain Blessings? For years I have used both your site and hers for planning my weekly grocery shopping trips.

  23. Thank you for all the years of working so hard on those weekly grocery store deals. I can’t even imagine the hours you’ve put in. Your site has helped me become much more mindful of prices, even though I gave up couponing a few years ago with a bigger and busier family. May God bless you and your family in all the things He has called you to in this season.

    • Thank you, Rachel! I’ve been on a similar path, with couponing less as my family’s gotten bigger, but those principles still stick with you, huh?

  24. Carrie,
    I’m late to the party as usual, but I do want to say thank you! You have helped my family for many many years. We are so much better off because of you and all that you and your family have sacrificed for us. I hate to even ask, because I can’t imagine what it takes for you to do the deals each week, but is there a way you could take up a fund from us and pay someone to help you? And/Or possibly just do the 5’s from each store? We understand you needing to walk away, we will just miss the valuable resource you provided for us!
    Have a great day,
    Misty

    • Thank you, Misty! I wish I could just hire someone and keep it going, but I tried that for awhile and it was still a lot of work to keep up my part of it even with other people working behind the scenes.

  25. Sarah Z says:

    Sad to see the weekly ratings end, but I echo the sentiments others shared. Your work has been a blessing to our family for the last 4-5 years since I found you. I definitely learned a lot and am empowered now to know what good prices are. Not to mention learning about the Black Forest parade which my kids look forward to every year, and last but not least, R & R! So glad to have found them through you. Our family are loyal customers there because of you! Many, many thanks for all you’ve done. We are blessed.

  26. cbrandsma says:

    I tried to find the grocery price reference and created a Login, but I’m not very tech savvy and didn’t find it. Can someone help me navigate this? I click the link in this post and it takes me to the login screen, so I log in and it takes me to a dashboard, and then I go back to this site for the link and I have to log in again.

    Thanks to anyone that can help!

    • The Grocery Price Reference will appear below the login form once you’ve logged in – just scroll down a bit. :)

  27. Sorry Carrie, cbrandsma and others are right.
    All 3 Links to the Grocery Price Reference go to
    “SpringsBargains.com/join”.
    I’ve joined, logged in, heck I’ve BEEN logged in when I go there, once there, “Log In”, or “Joining” are my only options.

    Either way, once I (RE)Login I go to my Dashboard.
    At no time is scrolling even possible, let alone reveals the Price Reference.
    Hope you can fix it.
    Eric R.

  28. Carrie –

    I am super late in reading this, but I agree with many of the other comments. Your site has changed the way I shop. I have been following you since about 2009 – – I remember when Sunflower opened and I got some great deals at Rancho, all because of your site!

    To everything there is a time and you have been so faithful during the grocery deal season. I wish you the best!

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