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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

That's How They Get Ya

Photo: dmdonahoo
I’m not a coupon person.

I’m not anti-coupon, I just hate the hassle. When I do plan to use them, I forget them or can’t find them or they’ve expired or the clerk will tell me the item isn’t exactly like the one in the manufacturer’s coupon so she has to call a manager or, in order to get the discount, I have to buy a gallon of milk, a block of cheese, and two other items of the same brand just to save fifty cents.

The whole process gives me a headache. I’d rather just buy the store brand without a coupon and save fifty cents that way.

There are exceptions. Just not many.

I know and love coupon people. You might be one of them. Take no offense when I say this, but sometimes coupon people are paranoid. They’ll talk about how a store has a limit on the number of items you can purchase with a coupon, limiting the amount you can save, knowing that once you get into the store, you’ll buy more things at full price.

“That’s how they get ya,” they say.

Well, okay, but I might actually be out of milk and if I buy the store brand, I can often find it on sale. Like last night. I bought a gallon for $1.98. No coupon. So, I don’t really think they suckered me into anything. But I was faced with a dilemma during my shopping experience.

The store had Healthy Choice Roasted Beef Merlot Café Steamers for $1.68 – with a coupon and with the purchase of 10 items. Knowing they normally cost around $3.00 without a coupon, I piled three entrees into my cart and went hunting for a stinking coupon at the front of the store.

I found one and as I checked out, the coupon wouldn’t register when the clerk scanned it.

“Didn’t you buy 10 Café Steamers?” she said.

Who in the world is going to buy Café Steamers at once? And the store only had three of the Roasted Beef Merlot entrees and I bought all three. I certainly wasn’t going to buy seven entrees I don't like just to “save” a couple of bucks.

“The sign said you have to buy 10 items,” I said. “I’m pretty sure it doesn’t say Café Steamers.”

“No, it has to be Café Steamers.”

That’s how they get ya. They make the sign obscure. So, I became a paranoid coupon user. 

“Okay. Just charge me the normal price.” Stupid coupons.

When I got home, I looked at the receipt. The clerk charged me $1.98 per entrée – far less than normal price. I don’t know why. Maybe she could see I was just posing as a coupon user and I needed a break.

Yeah, I doubt it too.


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