I just don’t get it. I thought I had finally done it right, but I was wrong again. So, I’m in Target – my home away from home – the Sunday afternoon before CMS starts (seriously bad move). I’ve got all four kids and a shopping cart full of everything from fish sticks to a pair of Hanky Panky knock-offs. It’s finally my turn at the check out line. The nice cashier scans all my items, tells me to pay the equivalent of a car payment, and bids me farewell.
Wait, wait, wait. I bought two boxes of Gain detergent. I should get a $5 Target gift card. Wasn’t that the promo I saw? I swear that’s what the little white ticket said. Why else would I buy two boxes of detergent I don’t normally buy? Surely I read the fine print – I mean, I did have four children screaming at me at once but I can read. I swear I should get a $5 Target gift card. Give. Me. My. Gift. Card.
No, she says, my machine did not prompt me for that. No $5 Target gift card this time, ma’am.
Seriously? SERIOUSLY? Then what was the promo? Did I need to buy one Gain detergent and one pair of real Hanky Pankies somewhere else? Or was it that I needed to buy one Gain detergent and do a tumbling series down the aisles including (but not limited to) a round off, back handspring, back tuck? Because these days I swear that’s what companies want us to do to get 25 cents off of a $12 item.
Don’t worry – I didn’t yell at the woman. I cursed myself for being so stupid as to not read the fine print and went home to do some laundry. Yes, I could’ve returned the Gain detergent, but you have NO IDEA what Target was like that day and I really, really needed detergent. And, did I mention I had 4 impatient children with me?
But now I’m just mad.
Have you looked through the coupon circulars lately? Want $1.00 off of Pampers? Oh, you need to buy 1 JUMBO box of Pampers PLUS a 400-count package of wipes. So I need to spend about $35 to get one dollar off? Do you want 25 cents off of some Pillsbury Crescent Rolls? Buy 4 and you’ll save a quarter.
Where’s the logic?
I know that couponing can save hundreds – no thousands. I know there are awesome deals out there. But I swear companies are making me jump through more and more hoops when all I’m trying to do is buy their products – shouldn’t they be making it easier?
I tried my hand at couponing – of course after watching an Extreme Couponing marathon on TLC. I did save money – after I spent hours, and hours, and HOURS going through coupons. I’d then spend an entire Sunday going from store to store to store to get specific items – it would take me over an hour to get through the grocery store trying to figure out the requirements for each coupon.
I’m not knocking couponing AT ALL – I know some women are pros at it, and I bow down to them. I just want companies to think about what they’re asking of us. Those of us who don’t love extreme couponing should be able to save some money, too.
I want to know: who’s making these coupon and promotion decisions in the big companies? Are they women? Because surely P&G or Kraft or wherever has some moms in high-powered positions that know what it’s like. Do they feel a tiny bit guilty when they come up with these crazy coupon restrictions? Aren’t these women also those lunatic moms in the aisle with a bunch of screaming kids who just want to get out of the grocery store alive, with the basics, and a little money leftover?
Or are they all a bunch of old men sitting in a boardroom? That still wouldn’t make sense – don’t they have wives and kids? Grandkids? Don’t they know how hard it is for us to get to the grocery store, let alone know every requirement needed to save 25 cents on a can of soup?
I have this strange feeling they might be laughing at us in their boardroom meetings.
It’d be so great if grocery stores, Target, and Wal-Mart would just put things on sale like clothing and shoe stores do:
All General Mills cereal 50% off. Got it.
Get 50 cents off one box of Goldfish (any size). Check.
All Gain detergent 25% off. Makes sense.
Don’t make me buy 5 to get the deal. Don’t make me buy one Bounty Basics (not regular) 6-pack of paper towels AND one 125-count (not 50-count) of napkins to get a $5 Target gift card. Just give me the gift card for buying ANY Bounty product. Trust me – I’m spending more than enough at your store to deserve that “free” $5.
I’d be so much happier and feel so much smarter.
I’d be so happy and so smart that I might just pop over to the women’s jewelry aisle and spend that $5 gift card on a $30 necklace I don’t need. It’s a win-win for all of us.
I know it’s all about money. But, big companies: please find a tiny place in your hearts for us moms who are seriously going insane.
(Sorry girls – it was worth a try.)
Amen, sista! I gave up on couponing when I gave birth to #’s 3 & 4. Actually, I’m totally lying. I suck at couponing. My hubby would worship me if one day, I figured it all out and landed the back tuck.
I do know one little trick. Buy one get one (BOGO) means what it says. But when it says buy one get one 50% off – that means, you can really just buy one. Or at least at the Teeter. Target may have invested in some serious software that makes you buy a zillion. I fell into the trap recently when I bought 3 12-packs of Diet Dr Pepper and got 2 free. I’ve tried to give that toxic substance up every Lent. And every time, just a few months later they run this promotion. Because they know it’s like crack for us DDP drinkers…
I don’t do coupons either. It is too stressful and to save meaningful money, you have to invest some serious time. It’s the old “opportunity cost” equation and you have to ask yourself – is the time invested worth it? After all, time is money, people!
Wait – I still don’t understand why you didn’t get your $5 gift card? I admit, I coupon, and I admit, I get kinda pissy when HT doesn’t give me the doubled 25 cents off that they promised. Its guilt. Don’t get sucked in because once you start using coupons its hard to stop (because then you turn into that cheap lady like me who wants to speak to a manager over 25 cents :))
I coupon, but only through the Sunday paper and the online ones from HT. I can save around $4 a week if I plan. What I have a love/hate relationship with are the advertised deals like you described here. But I have learned to read the fine Print and I raise all sorts of hell when they don’t give me my perk. Not to the cashier – I hit customer service. And to their credit, the Blakeney stores where I do my shopping are great to deal with on these “issues”. Especially with rain checks – highly recommend taking advantage of those!
Check out BankAmeriaDeals from Bank of America. It provides you offers based on your debit and credit spending. All you need to do is select the ones you want in online or mobile banking and use any Bank of America credit or debit card. You get cash back on the deal later in the month. For example I activated an offer for 20 percent off at mcdonalds and later his monh the savings will go into my bank account ( or applied to my credit card balance or put into a savings account). I have already accumulated $60 in the past couple of months. I can’t deal wih coupon stress but this program makes it so much easier. It applies to the spend not what you buy from the retailer. Check it out
I cut coupons. I usually only shop at HT and CVS so I always check their circulars before I make my grocery list and just match up the coupons I have with anything that is on sale that week. Sometimes I save a lot and sometimes I don’t, but that is my easy system. But I always save a little so it is worth a few extra minutes.