Monday, November 23, 2009
Inconsistent coupon policies.
Today while shopping, I had .55 coupons for Mento's gum. The gum was priced .99 so my Q's would have made my gum free. SCORE! BUT, I noticed the coupons didn't double. I know they had barcodes that started with a 5, which means they would automatically double when scanned, however they also had the words, DO NOT DOUBLE across the top. In the past, I have used coupons that said 'do not double,' but they still doubled them with no problem since the barcode did not prevent the computer from doubling. I also know that others have bought this very same gum this week and got it for free.
My guess is that the store decided not to double THIS Q. Which would be fine if they had it in their policy that they do not double coupons that cause overage...or that they will only double up to free...but that's not the case.
I stopped at customer service and asked why this didn't double today and she said they NEVER double coupons that say DO NOT DOUBLE. I guess what burned me up was that she gave an answer that I KNOW is not true! IF that is TRULY their policy, then the cashiers need to be a LOT more diligent to stop Q's from doubling when they shouldn't. I have been shopping many times in their store and my Q's always double.
So, here's my question(s): Who's pocket does the double come out of? Does the manufacturer reimburse the store 2x? Or do the stores 'eat' the 2nd amount as a loss leader, or way to drive business to their stores? If the STORES double as an incentive to bring in customers, then why does the manufacturer CARE if they double a Q or not? In essence, why print a coupon with a barcode that will double and then print DO NOT DOUBLE on the same coupon?! It's a mixed message!! Both to the savvy couponer and the stores who waffle from day to day on how to process those Q's.
I hope I didn't ruin it for the rest of you locals when I told her that their cashiers DO double Q's that are marked DO NOT DOUBLE and if that is their policy, they need to be more consistent. If not, they need to let couponers reap the benefits of being savvy shoppers. /end rant/
Other shoppers who hoard.
Listen. I know you love savings. I do too. Since you are shopping alone, I don't know if you are shopping for a family of 6 (like I am) or an empty nest. I do know sometimes the temptation is to overbuy and 'donate' to a local charity. The 'high' off the saving can be pretty compelling!!
I just ask that you be judicious in your choices. When you push your buggy past mine with 30 shave gels in it because they are free when you stack Q's the right way, you are not being philanthropic, you are being greedy. Pure and simple.
While matching the sales to the coupons, finding that our local area doesn't have the Q's for the products.
I'll be honest, I wouldn't know a 'good price' on a lot of items at the grocery store if they hit me between the eyes. My shopping strategy for many years has been to make a run in, throw whatever suited my fancy into the cart, and get out. When we ran out of money before we ran out of month, I knew something needed to change. I started subscribing to menu planning services so that my menu and my list would be planned at once, but that doesn't always work. the list is helpful , but I was still overspending since I was purchasing groceries at a premium price.
I learned about couponing, but was slow to warm to it. Eventually though, the saving won me over. However, I still don't have a price book. I rely on sites that do the matching for me. My frustration is that often, there will be a great sale that matches with a fantastic coupon and I will go to my stash to find that out local paper doesn't have that Q! I know many people would say that I could just order from coupon clippers or ebay, but here's the rub...that would require me to be organized and disciplined enough to check the blogs at the beginning of the sales cycle to have enough time to order and receive the coupons in the mail. I just don't have that much structure or discipline. Honestly, it drains me to do this at all. It is only when I get the receipt and the end of the day that I feel like it's really worth the effort.
So, I just end up missing those sales items, or paying more for them that the lucky gals who live in the right area.
Couponers, weigh in...I'd love to hear if you have any answers to those question or if you've had similar experiences.