Thursday, May 04, 2006

Someone from the Grocery Guide, currently in Beta testing, contacted Like Merchant Ships for feedback. The request came in the middle of my Wednesday circular planning, the perfect time to test the computerized listmaker against my paper-and-pencil technique. Were it not for the limited number of grocery chains listed in my area, I could easily move my whole planning process online. (In response, the representative also added the Harris-Teeter feed and is checking why Publix isn't connected to the TN list.)

Notable features:
· The table distills the real sale ads from the ad filler (ie products which are not really on sale but are scattered throughout the typical paper circular.)
· Each offer is broken down to its unit price, allowing me to check my own pricebook records without leaving home. Is it the cheapest it ever goes on sale?
· A built-in coupon alert eliminates the need to cross-check a coupon website.
· Contrasting Wild Oats' and Kroger's current sales lets me see at a glance when an organic product is close to its non-organic counterpart. (I always try to choose the organic when affordable.)
· Likewise, contrasting the grocery vs. drugstore prices on toiletries and paper products is helpful, sincer there is often such a non-food markup at the grocery.
· The printable grocery list totals your expected purchase at each store. No fumbling with a baby, a calculator, and a circular!

I'm impressed with I'm always tickled when I find a new tool for budgeting, both for my family and yours. The representative assured me that the service will remain free.

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