Get a Free Grocery Scanner Through the Neilsen HomeScan Panel

The Nielsen HomeScan panel is a program I participated in a few years ago. The way it works is pretty simple — register yourself (you may be put on a waiting list) and then you receive a small, handheld scanner in the mail to use for scanning your grocery purchases. Every time you go shopping, simply use the scanner and scan your barcode as you put your products up. You’ll get points for each item you scan, and these points can be converted into merchandise that is available through the Nielsen HomeScan rewards catalog.

Is this free?

Yes, it’s totally free. The scanner doesn’t cost you a dime. The only catch is you do have to return it to them if you at any point decide you don’t want to participate any longer. But they’ll send you a prepaid shipping label for doing this, so it won’t cost you shipping to return it. You should also keep the original box the scanner comes in so you won’t have to find a box for it.

What are the rewards like?

When I did it, I saw a lot of things like stuff for the home, toys, and just extra little accessories you might use. There were some big things, like vacuum cleaners, but you had to have a whole lot of points to get those. Unfortunately, I did not participate long enough to get any of the larger items.

Is the Nielsen company legit?

Yes. They’ve been around for many years. They have been collecting consumer data for a very long time, and this is just one of their many programs.

My Experience With the Panel

For me, I didn’t do this that long because I just didn’t really have time to scan all my items after I got groceries. I was in a hurry to get things put up. At first it was fun though. I guess it’s goofy, but I kind of liked having my own little scanner to do this with and know that I could cash in and get cool little things just for scanning my grocery purchases. I didn’t keep it up, but I know there are many people who have continued with the program and like it. There are also some who, like me, just began to feel like it was more of a chore.

Want to give it a go? Sign up here.



  1. Katie Jones says

    I just received my scanner in the mail! I honestly don’t buy a lot of groceries, so I don’t know how much use it will be to me, but I think it’ll be fun to try for a while!

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