Monday, April 11, 2011

MISadventures in Couponing

Since beginning this new hobby, I have learned valuable lessons:
1. It's okay to bring your binder with you. You never know when something is on clearance that wasn't on a matchup printout, and if you start looking around, you'll see other binder-ladies (phew).
2. Learn the names and faces of NICE cashiers and the not-so-nice ones.
3. Most of those nice cashiers work at Publix.
4. Don't rely too heavily on your printout from the coupon sites. Sometimes, they are wrong.
5. Go alone, on Saturdays, during naptime. 

Lessons I learned in the past two days (These will make sense later):
1. Buy a sturdy binder.
2. Check your receipt at Kroger (ALWAYS).
3. Don't be afraid to stand in line at Customer Service.
4. Don't be afraid to correct the person helping you at Customer Service.
6. My favorite--Don't forget your Kroger Plus Card.

So, as you can see, I pretty much learned more in the past 24 hours than I have in a month of couponing. What an exciting experience I have had! This began as a vent-post. However, I have since dried off (rain), taken a breath, and calmed down. I'm taking it as a lesson from God on patience and not panicking when things don't go as planned. So, I will refrain from posting in bold and all caps as I had planned...

On Saturday, I had a super-wonderful-amazing trip to Publix. I went alone while Aiden napped which saved me from feeling rushed. I had a nice chat with one of the clerks about the wonders of couponing and even picked up some pointers! I spent $52 and saved $98. I picked up enough for two weeks of meals, so I was extremely pleased!
Yesterday, I was able to hit the drugstores and got all of the items below for $6.50! The best trip to CVS yet. I got 14 candy bars for free and even got paid $1 at Walgreens. I bought six travel deodorants, two travel toothpastes, three dental flosses, and two bags of Skittles for 90 cents at Target! So, you could say I was surfing the wave of savings until...
I gathered my coupons, shopping list, and binder to head to Kroger yesterday evening. As soon as I walked through the doors, I was not feeling the calmness I had earlier. I don't know if it was the fact that I was tired or the fact that there were more people around. But I continued. This was the first day of the ad, so many of the items I went for were gone. I was okay with coming back, but it was still a bummer. I was sulkily pushing my cart down the aisle to the checkout lane when SPLAT! I look down, and there are all of my super-slippery plastic pages in a huge sad pile on the tile floor. I tried to pick them up but drop them in the process which makes them get all out of order and even more screwed up. I finally took a breath and reminded myself it was just a notebook. Not important in the grand scheme of life. But again, it still was a bummer. So I stacked them up in the buggy and continued on to checkout. I, of course, chose the guy who would rather watch paint dry than smile and have a conversation with me. His expression is unchanging as I tell him about my notebook exploding onto the floor and numbly hands me my requested extra bag to place it in. Yay. 

I'm ready to see my amazing savings, looking eagerly at the screen when he gives me this look and says, "Do you have a Kroger card?" *Well of course I have a Kroger card, but this is my first time shopping without Jamie (who has the Kroger card)* I just looked at him, rolled my eyes, smiled, told him my husband had it, and asked if there was anything else I could do. Of course there isn't. Awesome.

I got home, put the groceries on the counter, and walked straight upstairs to take a shower and cry. After getting my guts up, I got in the car (Kroger card in hand) and drove back to fix it. Which they did. Except they didn't give me my $5 gift card. The girl told me I bought the wrong cereal, but that I could return the boxes to swap out for the right ones. Double Awesome.

So this brings us to today. I go in after work (and a looooong faculty meeting about TCAP) with minutes before the rain hits. I take my cereal to Customer Service, get the same lecture about it being the wrong kind of cereal, go to the lane with the correct cereal, see that my cereal is the correct cereal, and march back up to Customer Service. They fix it. phew! I take my gift card to buy my items that were sold out yesterday. And, again, I don't get my gift card. I am taken to Customer Service to be shown that my granola bars are not part of the deal, when duuuhhhh...there they are in the ad! Sweet success. I get my Kroger gift card and a sincere apology. Apparently it's a new thing, and they have a few kinks. I walk out into the pouring down rain, but it's okay.

I feel more confident now, not as shy to prove that I am right, and I like that I accomplished something! I also learned that I will only go to Kroger late on Friday night, and only if it's a really good deal.



Laura said...

I know you just told me all this in person, but it was fun to read again!

Ruth Witmer said...

Enjoyed reading your post! Keep it up! I couponed heavily when my kids were little and sent in all the rebates. I logged them all in a notebook and enjoyed visiting the mailbox daily! The money I set aside in a seperate bank account and we used the money I got to put down on a downpayment of our second home!

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