Yesterday was kind of a bummer when I did my shopping at my local Winn Dixie Grocery Store. This store is absolutely my favorite for getting groceries because of the friendly staff and great sales. Overall, they have been very accepting of my couponing ways, employees on the floor always happy to go in the back to check for more stock, & cashiers that are patient with the couponing process, putting up with the occasional multiple transactions, and my stacks of coupons. I cannot complain about how yesterday went down, I guess I just didn’t see it coming.
Winn Dixie has notoriously great BOGO deals in their weekly flyer. As I’ve said in the past, one of the best ways to stack coupons can be with a BOGO sale because you can legitimately use two coupons even though you’re only paying for one. It’s a good rule of thumb to double check your stores coupon policy before trying this stack to make sure it’s allowed. In last weeks sale flyer there was a BOGO sale on Mr. Clean Magic Erasers, regular priced at $3.49 a piece. I had 13 $1.50 off a twin pack of Magic Erasers coupons. Using 2 coupons for every BOGO pair I would only pay $0.25 for each box of 2 Magic Erasers, which is a 92% savings. Holy savings, right?!?
I should probably mention that we are a big Magic Eraser using family. I use them on dishes, countertops, the stovetop, cleaning the fridge, and a bunch of cleaning in the bathroom but the biggest use I’ve had for them has been cleaning up the artwork my youngest has decided to contribute to our house in the form of crayon and marker on my walls. It doesn’t matter how much I attempt to control writing instruments in my house, or how much I attempt to supervise my son every second of every day…somehow he figures out a way to express his creativity on my walls. It totally blows my mind how many times he’s gotten in trouble for this, and it hasn’t made an ounce of difference, so needless to say, Magic Erasers are the best way to remove that stuff from a wall, provided your walls aren’t painted with flat paint. If they are, the Magic Eraser will just remove the paint with the drawing, but if you have flat paint and children, then you made a bad decision from the get go. So, anyway, the moral of the story is we go through these alot.
So, I when I saw this sale I immediately went onto Ebay and ordered 40 more of those $1.50 off coupons for about $6. Even if you figure in the cost of the purchased coupons, I’m still saving 88%. So it was definitely a good deal, either way. My next stop was to Winn Dixie to buy 13 erasers with the coupons I already had. When I go there I was kind of disappointed with the number that they had on the shelf. Usually Winn Dixie is fantastic at ordering enough of their sale items to meet demand. Although its not good couponing etiquette to “clear a shelf” there was only a handful to begin with so, special ordering more seemed like a good plan.
I found the grocery manager and special ordered 40 Magic Erasers. That was at the beginning of the sale. Well, when I went back to buy them, the manager had ordered the kind that wasn’t on sale, so I was out of luck. So, I tracked down the store manager to ask them to order them for me again and headed to the front of the store to get a raincheck for the 40. Surprise! I was turned down! I guess there’s a policy that they only write a raincheck for up to 10 items. The manager that just placed the order for me was called to the front and I was able to explain more about the mistake with the order. I was able to negotiate with him a little and got him to write me 2 rainchecks for 10 each, although he really didn’t want to bend on it. So I walked away disappointed about missing out on the remaining items, but thankful that the manager was willing to bend a little.
Something that has surprised me about couponing is the disappointment I feel when I miss out on a deal, or when I have to throw out an expired coupon that I never got to use. I know how silly it sounds, but there is such a rush you get after spending the time to find the coupons, clip and sort them, plan the shopping trip down to the penny, then go to the register to wait in heart pounding anticipation as they ring up your order….and BINGO! You saved $X! It reminds me of when someone plays slot machines, they put in their quarter and pull the handle, then wait in anticipation to see if they will win. Well, as a couponer, I stand at the checkout waiting to see if my calculations were right. There is also a fear of embarrassment that you made a huge mistake in figuring out the numbers and the total will be more money than you have to spend. So, like anything else that involves a little risk, coming out on the other end still in one piece has a way of giving you a high. So, when you see that you’re going to miss out on that, it can be a little disappointing. The good thing is, all sales will come back around and you’ll get another chance to save a ton of money.
So…with all that said…I missed out on buying 20 Magic Erasers, but it’s ok. I talked to the manager about a way to prevent this from happening in the future, so now I know a better way to plan ahead. Ok…enough blogging…I have a wall to scrub!