Sunday, July 19, 2009

A review and a review request

Wanted to update on the Roomba! I'm loving it! I've been running it every morning and the floor is SOOOOO much cleaner. We have not set up the lighthouses yet (that direct it to finish one room before moving onto the next) just because we didn't have batteries for them, so it's not super efficient at the moment, but it gets the job done. The only slight frustration we've had was concerning dumping the trash bin and cleaning the brushes. Word of do need to read the directions carefully and follow them. Each time you empty the trash bin, you have to take the brushes out and clean them and also take off three little pieces connected to the brushes. At first, this seemed like a serious hassle, but then I came to my senses---it takes all of 2 minutes (maybe) once a day, which is WAY less time that it took me to vacuum. The first 3 days or so, I wasn't cleaning the brushes because I was so excited to see the roomba in action, I didn't read all the directions. Sierra and I both have long, curly hair and the parts I didn't clean got completely bound up with hair and wouldn't turn. Easy to fix once I realized what the problem was and from here on out, I'll maintain it properly. They do make a roomba for pet households, but the dog hair hasn't been a problem (we don't have any carpeting though, maybe the pet one would be better on carpet). The only other thing I've had to be careful of is the power cord for the computer. The roomba does a pretty good job of disentangling itself, but I still don't let it run when I'm not around because I don't want to risk it pulling my computer off the counter top. Over all, I'm very happy with it. I feel like the house is cleaner AND I have less to do---not a combination that comes around too often!!

And now I need a review from you......anyone ever tried The Grocery Game? I found out about it years and years ago. I never signed up because it costs money and I shop using the exact same principles they use, so I figured I was doing a pretty good job on my own. I spend anywhere from $150-$200/month to feed a family of four (now that Sedona's eating full servings of food). I recently discovered they do a free trial now though, so I'm considering it. If I could spend the same amount, but get more food, that would be great. My main questions are does it really save money (if you already matched coupons with sales and stocked up at sale prices) and do they do a lot of matching store and manufacturer coupons (which my local stores won't let you do). Also, you pay $10/8 weeks for the first store you pick and $5 extra if you want to add on other stores. I tend to do most of my shopping at HEB because they're cheaper, but Kroger does the better rock bottom sale deals (when you combine good sales with triple coupons, etc...). I can't decide if I'd want to do Kroger, HEB, or both. I'm almost certain I'll do the free trial when we get back from a vacation we have planned, but I'm always skeptical about spending money to save money. Any insight?


Brandy said...

I've always been curious on the grocery game too. Let me know what you find out or figure out. I'm a skeptic too.

As for the Roomba...not sure your computer scenario, but you can easily set up something to 'block' the Roomba. For instance, at our house, I didn't trust it around the computer cords either, so I strategically placed our small office trashcan in front of the cords. So it doesn't get to them. Surely you have something?

Also, another tip. We never clean ours, till it tells us too anyway or unless we just feel like doing it for some strange reason. But, we also bought (for an extra $35) an extra set of brushes. Its more like a little 'kit'. It comes with a set of brushes (both of them)and 3 extra filters (yea, you gotta clean those occassionally too!) and an extra cleaner (the little red brush cleaner you shoulda got with it. Anyway, it was worth it. Now, when it tells us to 'clean Roomba's brushes', we can just swap them out, let it keep going, and clean the used ones later when we get a chance. But of course, I think I told you, ours gets filled up waaaaay more quicker than it used to with the new dog and all the hair that goes with him.

Oh, and I have yet to figure out how to get it to do the whole house..even with the lighthouses. I mainly set it to the living rm on a schedule (3x/week)and use the units as virtual walls, only doing the back bedrms when they need it...and then I just lock the roomba up in the rooms for a while. Hehe..


The Hills said...

Yeah, I was waiting for it to tell me to clean the brushes, but by then it was already having issues (i.e. one of the brush caps got warped from getting so hot because it was being pushed against the inside edge). I was very annoyed until I picked up the handy instruction booklet and realized I should've been pulling off the bearing on the end every time......I'm not joking, I pulled off about 1/4 cup worth of my hair wrapped around that peg and shoved in that teeny tiny place. Yikes! I think specifically because of Sierra and I having the long, curly hair it gets wrapped up easier.

TennZen said...

Hmmmm, maybe Santy Claus will bring me a Roomba! I'll have to start dropping hints to Mr. Zen! :)

The grocery game? To me it wasn't worth it. It didn't give me any better results than I already got by doing my own homework... AND I actually LOST money by paying for the service!

It just saves you a step or two in matching coupons to flyers and in organization. And it tells you how to take advantage of stuff like CVS extra coupon bucks.

Go to Stephanie's blog at and you can get all the same info... for free.

I guess it might be worth it to somebody who is just too lazy to check flyers and diligently keep up with their coupons.

But, to me, that isn't truly being frugal. True frugality, at least to me, is doing the work yourself. Why pay for something that you can get for free.

Veronica said...

Maybe I should get the pet version, especially since we all have allergy issues. I would love to have cleaner carpets and floors without having to vacuum daily. Does it go from hard floor to carpet? I'm going to have to look into that!!

The Hills said...

Thanks for the link TennZen---there was a lot of stuff there not applicable to my area stores, but I found a link to another place that shows the sales (and explains the crazy complicated coupon policy) for my local grocery store!

V---yup, it goes between carpet/tile/hardwood without a problem. You don't have to reset anything, it just does it on its own. I just set it in that little side room off the living room last night and it did a good job of pulling the dog hair out of the carpet. Our floor is infinitely cleaner than when I vacuumed (or, rather, didn't) by hand.

One Acre Homestead said...

I'm going to have to check out the Roomba! We have tons of tile flooring in our house and it is seriously hard to keep clean...always hair and dirt tracked in, etc. TennZenn...maybe I should ask Santa as well!! LOL!

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