Coupon redemption is giving me a headache
By Carol Radice
Ok, so I know the New Year is supposed to be all about being more positive about what’s to come, but I just have to say pshaw to that. Like many consumers today, retailers have trained me to only buy stock up items on sale and never purchase an item you don’t have a coupon for. How many times have we not followed this only to find a new coupon in the mail a few days for the very item we just purchased? As you can tell this is really a pet peeve of mine and while nowhere near the OCD state of those featured on TLC’s Extreme Couponing, I hate to buy things I don’t get a deal on. It’s just that simple. So flash forward to this weekend when I am squeezing in a last minute trip to BJs. Now typically they send me one or two coupon books in a given month and I go through them carefully to find coupons for things we need or are about to need, make my list, clip my coupons and off I go. This weekend I quickly looked through the book and since the majority of the coupons were good through early February I focused only on the things we needed for the next few weeks. Since we shop there frequently I knew I’d have another chance at redeeming more coupons another time. I guess I had about 5 or 6 coupons that I handed to the check out gal only to find out from her after all the items were rung that one coupon had expired and two began mid month. I asked her if all of the coupons came from the same book why did they have varying expiration dates? But to no one’s surprise the clerk just looked at me blankly. In an attempt to make me feel better, however, she did admit several other shoppers that day made the same mistake. Well it didn’t make me feel better, just stupid that I had misjudged the dates, looked like a semi-thief for “trying” to get away with something and held up the line of folks who just-wanted-to-get-home. Plus the real burn was that I had already mentally calculated the amount I thought I was saving -- $15 versus the $7 it ended up being. In my eyes, I was well on my way treating myself to a “free” lunch at Panera, but thanks to this snafu only all I had funds for was the Hebrew National hot dog at the food stand in BJs. But guess what? Come to find out they no longer offered the hot dog, drink and chip combo! Some days you just can’t win. Quick side note – while I am petrified my state will become one of those for which Amazon is allowed to charge tax for online purchases, I absolutely love how easy it is to use my Discover Cashback Bonus when buying things through Amazon. During checkout I am asked if I want to apply my Cashback to the purchase and of course always say yes. It automatically deducts this from my total and brings that “not needed but wanted” pair of ski goggles down from $120 to $32. Woo hoo.