Product reviews are a great way for bloggers to share their opinions but there is not always a kick-back such as a free product.
Companies are always looking for ways to reach the customer so coming up with innovative ways to get our attention is something they strive to improve on every day.
Even with a giant social media splash it’s hard to motivate customers to buy unless there is something in it for them.
Most times for someone to try a new product a good starting point is putting it on sale aside from offering it free or tastings. You might see sample booths set up around your grocery store for this reason.
I’ve received a free book to review on Canadian Budget Binder and the offer of other products here and there (nothing I was interested in) but one thing is for sure there has to be incentive for me to go out of my way to talk about.
The pleasure is not always monetary either as I am a blogger but for the most part if there is money to be saved and I’m interested then I’m in.
Just last week I told you about Nielsen Homescan which I participated in back in the UK. They wanted a peek into my grocery basket and for that I got $$$ savings. Hey it was worth it to me even though it’s not necessarily product reviews it’s more them reviewing the products you buy.
Grocery savings used to be simple you’d get a weekly flyer and you’d plan your shops. Now you can save money with coupons which you can print, order, clip or find in-store or savings through coupon apps (online as well for those without a cell-phone or mobile device with apps).
Just when you thought they would think of everything to dish out coupons to the masses now there is another offer on the table…. product reviews for coupons!
We’re not really the type of people who use food coupons on new products unless the coupons are for a free product or we’ve tried the product.
Essentially though we are absorbing the risk of purchase when we buy foods that are new or that might tickle our taste bud interests.
Would the offer of a coupon motivate you to buy a product you wouldn’t normally buy?
PRODUCT REVIEWS CANADA
Just yesterday I received an email from Johnsonville Sausages Canada where the subject read
Write a Review and Get a $1 Coupon for Johnsonville Meatballs and Slices Products!
We’ve done food reviews in the past but they paid us cash plus we were given the product to sample which is a pretty nifty way of making extra money on the side for our opinion but it only happens if we qualify after an online screening.
At first I thought it would be a great idea until I read it a bit closer. The aim is to have the customer purchase the product first (ah they are smart see) then write a review. But there are always loop-holes. Once you’ve completed such product reviews then you get your $1.00 coupon. (I don’t know if it’s mailed or printable)
What’s the big deal?
Well, I’m purchasing a product I normally wouldn’t buy just to get a coupon. What if I don’t like the product? Do I get a free product coupon to pay me back the money I just spent to try and save a few bucks on my next purchase. Not likely as you see food purchases are just as big a risk as investing. OK, not as big but you never know what you’ll get.
If you are a hard-core Johnsonville fan (We don’t mind their products) and think you might like the product go ahead and take the risk after all everything in life is a risk. All you have to lose is the money you invested in the product.
I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t offer the FPC because I’m pretty certain coupon hoarders would come out to play. If all they have to do is say they weren’t satisfied to get a coupon for a free product, they’d do it.
Remind you of anything? Ya that McCain commercial where you can return the product if you are not satisfied for a full refund. The funny part is the customers are trying to return empty boxes of pizza saying they didn’t like it.
All the McCain customer has to do if fill out a form if they didn’t like the taste and they will get their money and postage paid back to them. McCain already knows a percentage of people will fill out that form just to get their money back yet they licked the box clean.
If you don’t love our pizza recipes, we’ll give you your money back**. In order to be eligible for your money back (a cheque for the amount you paid, excluding taxes, to a maximum retail value of $8.99 CAD) please send in a stamped envelope, with sufficient postage, all of the following items prior to December 31, 2014
Then again, upon review of the process for product reviews at Johnsonville you can simply lie that you bought the product (because they really won’t know if you did or not) just to get the coupon.
We all know people will do that because they are itching to get food coupons. That really doesn’t offer a proper reflection of the product to Johnsonville but I’m sure they already know this and have metrics in place when giving weight to the product reviews.
Trying to keep food costs down not only start with the consumer but the manufacturer so when they save we save. At least I hope the food costs trickle down to the consumer that way.
I couldn’t imagine producing a product solely based on product reviews unless they came from focus groups where free product was offered in return for an opinion.
After some thought about this I likely would not participate in this type of a marketing promotion. If Johnsonville offered free in-store product samples and then asked for product reviews of their new product lines then yes but I’m not willing to risk money in hopes I MIGHT like it nor am I going to lie that I tried it just to get a coupon.
Great idea with the product line but hey, I make my own meatballs and I love them!
Would you purchase a new product to review in order to get a coupon? Do you think people will simply lie to get a coupon?
December grocery game challenge posts
If you missed any grocery game posts for the month I will post the line-up for the month each week here in this section for you. Join in the Grocery Game Challenge fun and post your grocery shop in the comment section of each blog post… here are the GGC rules!
Note: I will be posting the 2015 Grocery Game schedule next week which resulted in a 5th week of shopping for December to start the 2015 year off on the right foot.
Next week will be the final GGC post for 2014 so get all your shops in on time to be considered for the monthly prize. The final post will share the schedule and our grocery budget year in review.
It would be great to see all of you put together a mini year in review for all of us to see how you did plus what your 2015 grocery goals will be.
- Types of Food Bank Donations: The Grocery Game Challenge #1 Dec 1-7, 2014
- Do you track money-back from rewards in your budget? – The Grocery Game Challenge #2 Dec 8-14, 2014
- Nielsen Homescan Canada: Shop, Scan and Get Rewarded: The Grocery Game Challenge #3 Dec 15-21,2014
Grocery Saving Tips
Click, Save and Print. It’s that easy!
NEW: Sign up today! >>> Homescan Canada! Now Accepting Applications from CBB fans!
Join the Nielsen Homescan consumer panel today!!
If chosen you will receive rewards by scanning the bar code on your grocery purchases and completing fun surveys with the scanner provided to you from Homescan Canada.
One registration per household. Once you sign up using the link above you will be put on a reserve waiting list and randomly selected households will be chosen. Sign up now…. it’s worth it!!
Free Money Saving Downloads are awesome lists that were created to get us on track to work towards reaching our budgeting goals and now we are sharing them with you.
I hope you take the time to get back on track and start the savings process in your grocery budget today.
Get organized with a FREE freezer inventory, meal plan, shopping list, price comparison list and much more all for FREE. CLICK HERE to download all the free lists and even our family budget spreadsheet for FREE.
NEW!! You can now download the FREE Canadian Budget Binder Budget Spreadsheet in Excel…Grab it while you can… It’s FREE! We use it to budget and in large part a reason we could pay our mortgage off in 5 years, check it out!
Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide
Everything you want to know about grocery shopping in Canada is below with new information added monthly. If you are new here and haven’t had a chance to read past posts grab yourself a beverage, sit down, relax and enjoy some educational reading material on ways to save money in your grocery budget.
If you missed a Grocery Game Challenge post some of the most popular posts are listed below or you can now find the posts listed on their own page called The Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide.
If you know a topic that should be discussed send me an email.
Grocery shop results
If you are a foodie like I am you will enjoy going through my Free Recipe Index where recipes from CBB Home Chef Nicola Don and myself are shared every Sunday on the blog. Check it out!
Shoppers Drug Mart
- 1 x 4L Milk $3.77
Total out-of-pocket $ 3.77
Check Out Our 2014 Grocery Budget
Yearly grocery budget for two 2014: $2820
(The above total does not include the stockpile budget of $240 per year or $20 per month.)
- Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $235.00 or $78.33 week with potentially one no-shop week per month or $58.75 for 4 weeks per month. (During the months with 5 weeks we just make it work)
- Total Budget for November $235.00 This months grocery shop leaves us $265.78 over budget!! Our November and December grocery budget total will be as follows $470-$265.78=$204.22 or $102.11 to spend each month to keep us on track for 2014.
- Total Coupons Used this Week : $0
- Total Coupons Used to date: $74.19
- Total Discounts this Week: $0
- Total Discounts Used to date: $74.23
- Total Gift Cards Used to date: $33.18
- Total Rewards Points Used: $0
- Total Rewards Points Used to date: $40.00
- Stockpile Budget ($20.00): $20.64
- Stockpile Budget Used to Date: $20.00+$19.08+$17.94+ $2.06+$20.00+$15.10 + $20.00 (June)+ $22.44 (July) + (August) $8.00+ (September) $0 + October $19.92+November $0+Dec $20.64
- Snap Groupon to date: $2.00 (cashed out $23.xx this week)
- Zweet to date: $4.00
- Cart Smart to date: $0
- Checkout51 to date: $12.75
- Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP) $2.99
- Total Spent This Week: $3.77
- Total Spent So Far December $73.73+$5.96=$79.69 (we have $89.72 to spend for the month)
- Total Over/Under spend this shop: over $0.19
- Total Over/Under spend for the month: over $0.19
- Total Left to Spend for the Month: $15.99-$5.96=$10.03-$6.45= $3.58
- Total to Carry Over Next Month: -$0.19
- Total Spent To Date This Year: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $242.66+ Feb $191.74+ March $255.82+April $235.07+May $223.62+June $275.37+ July $203.36+ August $228.26+ Sept $272.80+ Oct $451.48+Nov $114.50+ Dec $89.91
Weekly Overview: We only needed milk as we are away for 10 days and won’t be needing anything until we get back.
Did you find any coupons? If so share the details in the comment section of this post where you found it and what the coupon is for with expiry.
I managed to pick up one decent coupon this week when I made a mad dash into Zehrs with my wife to go to the bank. It’s buy any three of the products listed and save $2.00. This is a great coupon!
- International Delight
- Armstrong Cheese
- Neilson >>>> Can we all say BUTTER!
- Heluva Good Dip!
Frequently Asked Questions
- Grocery Game Challenge RULES: Read the rules first and if you have any questions email me or comment on this post with your question and someone will answer you as soon as possible.
- Do I have to be Canadian to post my Grocery Shop?: No, you don’t have to be Canadian to post your shops only to win a monthly prize. We have fans who post their grocery shop who live all over the world.
- When does the Grocery Game close each month?: The Grocery Game Challenge closes at midnight of the last Sunday of the last post for the month. You can post your shops all month-long.
- Does your Grocery Budget include health and beauty and laundry products?: Yes our Grocery Budget includes such items as shampoo, conditioner, laundry soap, fabric softener, dish soap etc. We don’t mind stockpiling items that won’t be affected by expiry dates or have long expiry dates but not so much food any more. It’s just one way to help cut your budget to save money.
- Where can I find Canadian Coupons?: Here are your latest Coupon Match-ups of the week and your weekly Checkout 51 offers from 25 Newspaper Inserts around Canada compliments of Save Big Live Better that you can use to help you save money in the Grocery Game Challenge.
- What is an FPC?: An FPC is a free product coupon which means you can get a free product as described on the coupon.
- How Do I Know what stores accept coupons? : You can find all your store coupon policies here. If you are not sure it’s always best to call the store and ask.
- How Do I Grocery Shop?: I can tell you about grocery shopping and what we do in terms of shopping to save money and how it works for us. There are no wrong or right answers, just smart choices.
Over time you will gradually learn where you should and shouldn’t go in the grocery store or at least how to say no, I’m on a budget I need to buy this or that. You may also substitute items in order to stick to your grocery budget to make it work. Nobody is perfect, heck we struggle with this part of our budget like many people do.
This is why the grocery game challenge was created to not only show you that we are like everyone else but to bring us all together to work as a team to get our budgets on track. If you have just joined The Grocery Game Challenge 2014 get ready to dive deep into your grocery budget and learn just where you are spending, how much you are spending and what you are saving.
Feel free to read all the above posts that I linked to above which I feel are relevant to learning about the grocery budget and grocery shopping in general. You’ve made a wise decision to take control of your grocery budget now show me your shops and let’s get saving!
There will be one more grocery game challenge post to end off the 2014 year next week! Get your posts in to be considered for the monthly coupon prize!
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