Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Speaking of Cleaning Up. . .

Over the past year or so, I've been reading blogs of some very frugal women. It's been a real education in how to stretch a dollar and get the best deals when grocery shopping. I'm no where near the expert that some of the ladies I read are, but I'm practicing. It's like a game, and I really get a thrill when I score a great deal. This weekend's shopping trip, although eventful for other reasons, was also good for some of those thrills.

Meijer had Chex Mix on sale 10/$10. I had coupons for $.50 off. Meijer doubles coupons up to $.50. We got 3 bags of Chex Mix, original price $2.59 each, our price: Free.

64 oz. Welches Grape Juice, Original price $4.09, on sale for $2.50, minus $2.00 coupon, our price: $.50

Perfectly good Romaine lettuce, reduced to $.08. Didn't even need a coupon for that one!

Grands Biscuits, original price $1.50, on sale for $1.00, $.50 off 2, double coupons, final price $.50.

Ok, I know I'm sounding like a tight-wad right now, but I really find this fun!

I've also been honing my CVS skills, though I've got a long way to go until I'm as good as Crystal. Apparently this lady never pays for any toiletries. She manages to get them all free. I had $7.50 in CVS Extra Bucks that expired on Sunday. I needed some makeup, so I headed over to redeem them. J really wanted to go along, and since I was sure this was going to be a quick trip, I decided it was ok. He hadn't thrown up in almost 7 hours, after all. When we arrived, I found that they had a special on Revlon: buy $20 and get $10 in Extra Bucks back. Sounded good to me. I had $4 in Revlon coupons, plus my $7.50 in Extra Bucks, so I'd be spending $8.50 and getting $10 back. Not a bad deal.

The girl at the register rang me up, and I happily handed her my Extra Bucks. She informed me that they now have a policy that you can only redeem one Extra Buck per transaction. (This is where I start to look really cheap.) I wasn't planning to come back and shop again before the end of the day, and I wasn't about to waste free money by letting it expire, so I asked if she would cancel that transaction and ring the stuff up separately. She rolled her eyes and said, "If you must." I told her that, yes, I felt I must. Especially after that comment.

Four transactions later, she handed me my receipts, but no Extra Bucks. I inquired as to where my $10 was. She shrugged and looked at the receipt. It said I needed to spend $8 more to get the reward. I pointed out that this was puzzling, since I had clearly just spent $20 (they count it pre-coupons) and had the receipts (all 4 of them) to prove it. She shrugged again and offered to call a manager.

The manager came up, looked over the receipts, and agreed that this was puzzling. She didn't, however, have any suggestion as to how to correct the problem. I think they were both hoping I'd just give up and go away at this point. I think J was hoping the same thing. He had clearly lost all interest in shopping for makeup long ago, and was whining loudly that he didn't feel well and wanted to go home. (I know you all think you know where this is going, but it's really not going there.) Little did they know my resolve and determination to get the bargain I was owed.

Apparently even managers at CVS have managers, because the first one proceeded to call her manager up. Again, we went through all the receipts. Again, he agreed that I had spent $20. Again, he was puzzled as to why the computer didn't credit me for it.

"Mommy, this is taking a really long time," J observed.

"Yes, dear, it is," I agreed out loud.

By now, they started debating the pros and cons of giving me the money on a gift card. Pro: the annoying lady will leave the store. Surely that's worth at least $10. Con: She can then come back later this week, spend $8 more on Revlon, and get the 10 Extra Bucks again. The manager's manager explained to me his concern. I explained to him that it wasn't really my problem. They advertised spend 20, get 10. I had spent 20. I wanted my 10! I felt like the kid in Better Off Dead: I WANT MY TEN DOLLARS! (I promise, I really did remain sweet and polite throughout the whole ordeal. I was only screaming in my head.)

He finally coughed up the gift card, and I left, feeling triumphant.

And slightly disappointed that J hadn't vomited on the display at the check out. I think it would have been a fitting end to the scene.


Jenny said...

That's funny. You sound like my mom. I'm not so good at fighting those battles (though I am cheap by necessity). Congrats on your success. I wonder sometimes where they find the people who work at these places. The most incompetent I've encountered are at Rite Aid.

Lois Ragsdale said...

You go girl!! There's nothing wrong with being frugal and absolutely nothing wrong with wanting what is advertised! Congrats on doing it with a nice spirit...

Lacy H. said...

Wow...I am seriously inspired. I watched an Oprah the other day about, of all things, "fregans" which are people who are ADAMANT about consuming less.

I seriously was inspired by them...and now et tu!

Lori said...

LOL!! This was really funny! I think I enjoyed your paragraph the most. Still chuckling.