Monday, August 1, 2011

When Saving Money Actually Sucks...

I'm in the center.  Obvs.

I first want to establish that I love grocery shopping.  I credit this to being extremely picky as a kid and living off of cereal and spaghetti-o's.  Now that I am less picky, I love grocery shopping because I love seeing what kind of food I can make and force Jack to eat.  I love going through each and every aisle and looking at everything and taking it all in.  In the beginning of my grocery shopping life (when I was only buying for myself), I would buy whatever I wanted (regardless of price).  I always had the yummiest food in the house, even if it was just Milano Cookies and chocolate milk.  Once I was buying for Jack and I, I started being more mindful of the price of things.  Jack will seriously eat everything in the house in one sitting if you let him.  I have seen him eat an entire large bag of chips in one afternoon.  I started buying the store brands of things because it cost less (and we had to buy double the quantity).  We also invested in a Sam's Club membership for some of the things that go extremely quickly (NOT for the price, simply for the quantity).  Once Adam started eating people food (jarred baby food is NOT people food), I knew I had to wise up fast because he is exactly like his father.  About a year ago, I started clipping coupons.  I feel the need to establish the difference between clipping coupons and couponing.  Those who clip coupons do it more casually and typically don't save as much money as those who coupon.  Couponers can walk out of a store and pay $2.72 for $60 of groceries.  HOWEVER: couponing takes a hell of a lot of time and energy, not to mention organizational skills that I do not have.  I know several people who coupon and they have to shop the ads and keep track of their coupons, etc. etc.  I preferred the lazier way that still saves me $1.00 off just for clipping the coupon out of the paper.  I often talk about my envy of those who coupon and save tons of money and have walls and walls of stockpiled goods.  I have been following an incredible couponer ( who explains her methods and even offers How-To's on her site---all while raising her young kids.  Super jealous.  Anyway, inspired by all of the great deals she mentions, I decided that I was going to shop the ads with my months supply of coupons I had been saving from the Sunday paper.  It took me over and hour just to line up (and write out my game plan) for one store.  My plan was golden.  I was going to get over $20 worth of things for $4.39---a first for me.  I drove to this store and was delighted that there were hardly any cars there.  I walk into this store and over to the first aisle and EVERYTHING on my list was sold out...empty shelves.  I go to the next aisle, same story.  I am fuming at this point because part of my exceptional deals relied on receiving those rewards that print out at the register for future purchases.  I am so angry that I could cry, and to make matters worse, this shithole of a store doesn't hire employees to work in the store aside from ONE cashier.  I walk up to ask the cashier about checking the stock of the items and she informs me she is the only one working at the time and cannot leave the register.  Showing poor manners, I storm out of the store with ZERO items.  (A similar event happened at a location of this store by where I went to college.  A bag of something rang up for $4 more expensive than the tag and the employee couldn't go check the price so she told me she'd have to charge me what it rang up for...).  I need to find some of my extreme couponing friends and ask them about what the appropriate thing to do is in this situation.  Until then, I am going back to my style of lackadaisical couponing.  Sure, I don't get really cool deals or save any money, but it's a hell of a lot less stressful.

1 comment:

  1. Cool blog, Sam... the appropriate thing to do is to write to that stores' corporate address (pen and ink, baby! no emails!) and complain. The day before Jewel stopped accepting 6 month expired coupons, I went in (around 10-1030, ready to use them and I shopped too long and WHAM midnight-we-don't-accept-6-months-expired-coupons-anymore. So I just left my completely packed cart there and cried (outside), because I had just wasted 3 hours of my life with nothing to show for it. I wrote to Jewel corporate, advising them of the situation and enclosing the $45 worth of expired coupons and they sent me (very quickly, I might add) a gift card for $50. And that was for something stupid on my part... As for your store, it's TOTALLY their fault for not hiring enough people to help you, so if they want you to continue to be their customer, you are due compensation.