Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Live Long and Coupon!

By Amy Platon

I was strolling the isles of my grocery store, enjoying my child-free existence and taking my time, reading the labels, searching the deals, when “What do you think of that dog food?” pierced my thoughts.

I turned around. “My dog has lots of allergies and organic food is just too expensive. I was thinking of trying that one too. Have you used it?”

I looked down at what I was holding. It was the Rachael Ray Beefy-something-or-other Bits . “Oh,” I said, “My dog has allergies too so I just give him beef based food, no chicken. He likes this one pretty good. I’m really buying it because I have a $2.00 off coupon for it.” I said as I gestured at my accordion coupon-file.

The lady nodded and then referenced her coupons.

I couldn’t help but admire her system. This, I thought, was a professional. I knew they existed, but I had not seen one in the wild.

My eyes widened as she flipped through her photo album right to her dog food coupon section. Her system was flawless. Everything was displayed and easily accessible. I was in awe. “Wow!” I said. “That’s quite a system you got there!”

She raised her head, “Oh this, yeah, well I have a family of five so I don’t have a choice. I get them from the paper, Internet, and I buy them.” Appropriate, I thought, coupons feel like family to me too. I should get them an album.

Wait, what? “You buy coupons?”

“Yeah. If it’s a product I’ll use, then I’ll buy twenty of the coupons for like four bucks.” Huh, I thought. I always wondered where the really “good ones” got all their coupons.

So, since I was in the presence of a complete expert, I couldn’t help myself but ask, “Do you ever have any problems using two coupons for the BOGO deals here?”

“Oh no.” She said, “If I do, I march right to Marc (the manager) or whoever’s on, Gary, Ross, whoever, and I tell them they need to get their cashiers trained right. I’ve been doing this since this store opened and I know how it goes. Just, that some of the cashiers are new.”

I nodded my head. “My favorite is when they give me the reason why they won’t accept it. Like it’s a new rule or something.”

(I’m referring to what Tracey and I call the rogue cashier. The one who enforces her perceptions on how couponing should go, not what the store endorses. Rogue. I can say it to my guru and she knows just what I mean.)

“Well,” she said, “You get a manager.” It was just the pat on the back-support I needed. It was the pep talk that the coupon sites can’t give. I was so happy to have another couponer in my own grocery store.

Then it occurred to me, what if we had a symbol, a graphic that would signal to others we’re around. You know like when you waive to other boaters, or other Jeep owners, or other red hat ladies; I mean I guess those ladies waive to one another. Right? Or why would they get all dressed up like that? So anyway, I think I have just the symbol! And until my husband can design it for us, I thought we could have a hand signal in the meantime: Spock’s sticky V fingers…Live Long and Coupon!

The question is, should it be the *real* Spock fingers or the one pictured above? Leave your comments!

Related Articles:
Coupon Anxiety
Guru Unleashed
Coupon Mania
Confessions of a Housewife
Cracked (Grocery Run)


  1. I looooooooooove it!!! The hand symbol and all! That would be soooooooooooo great - just eyeing another shopper silently, coupons in the front of her card, giving each other the "signal". I can see it now!!! I have caught myself closely watching others with lists, envelopes full of coupons, wondering how do "they" do it?....:)

  2. Cool, we're doin' it! Folks come back here in about three weeks and I'll be giving away the stickers. Only to my followers though, so if you want one when they're ready, you need to sign up!!!!!

  3. That's great Amy! My sister-in-law is a "coupon queen". She spends no more then $65 a week. I spend more then double that and my fridge and cabinets are still empty. She too, has her coupons in an album. Way to keep it real organized.
    Love the spock fingers!

  4. I don't buy many coupons, but I collect them from lots of places! I am going to enjoy my new binder, I hope! Thanks for visiting my site today!