Saturday, April 4, 2009

Coupon Anxiety

by Amy Platon

I had my first coupon anxiety dream last night. It was bound to happen, I do treat it like another job. You kind of have to if you want to maximize your deals.

My usual anxiety dreams as they relate to my real job go like this: I arrive at work and my bar is filling up with people and I can’t help them because I have forgotten my shoes. Then in my dream I begin to think that I could go ahead and help them so I don’t get weeded (that’s what we call busy). Yeah I’m willing to serve them anyway, I’m a go-getter that way. Then as I begin to approach the guests I get so self-conscious about not having my shoes, I can’t do it.

So last night, I made a last minute run to the grocery store, and pulled out a BOGO deal from a competitor grocery store. Hubby was with me and so were the kids. I was a little excited because my husband actually could witness how I work. The girl scans the groceries and then tells me “Uh, ma’am.” My eyes meet hers as I realize that I am the Ma’am she is speaking to. “You can’t use this coupon here, we don’t carry this product.”

Now, I’ve used this very coupon at this grocery store in the past, so I know they can do it. And I have a choice. I could argue my point, which my thoroughly embarrassed husband would be mortified over, or I can just suck it up and leave. I chose to leave. And because I didn’t get it out, I was boiling mad over it. I figure, I’ll go to the grocery store that actually placed the ad, after all they deserve the business, they spent the money to run it. Why should I risk my dignity for some teenage checkout girl who is going rogue? (Remember, I’m boiling mad.)

The inconsistencies were pissing me off, because this has happened once before. And then I learned that my neighbor was able to get the deal that they told me couldn’t be done. Ahhhhhh!

I thought about the incident all night. I thought about all the things I would have said if I were alone. I would have gone to the service desk, I would have talked to a manager, but I decide I will write the manager and possibly corporate.

So later on that night I somehow calm myself down, and fall asleep. But it was one of those nights where I was waking up with every turn. You would think I would have been continuing to reel over my grocery store event, but instead, I was in CVS compiling my coupons and going over the addition in my head. I was panicking because I thought my coupons had expired and I didn’t know what date it was. My watch didn’t have the date on it (which it does in real life). But the good news was that I was fully dressed and had my shoes on. Each time I handed the cashier my coupon I panicked that she would tell me I couldn’t use it. Ahhhhhh!

All I can say is that hardcore couponing, isn’t for everyone. You have to be ready to fight, you have to know all the rules (and print them out and keep them on hand) if you want to win. It’s rough (and sometimes embarrassing if you’re holding up the line). It takes dedication and perseverance because the stores are playing it tough cause more people are doing it. But in coupons, I’ve learned that only the strong survive. I’ve been knocked down (twice now) and I’m not too sure I like it.

Maybe I just need a little more training, perhaps a pep talk? What’cha got?


  1. Oh man, I love to get $20 off my grocery bill each week. Lately, it's been under $10. But there is something gratifying to know that you've saved enough to put somewhere else (gas, more food, etc.). And yes, even though I had the item and the coupon, I've been told that the coupon didn't scan so I couldn't use it. Holding up the line filled with angry people is not a good thing. I've had to bite a few and pay full price.

  2. I am sending this link to Pam! Keep strong my sista'!!! I used to have the same server anxiety dreams: can't see the computer through the "fog", can't find my tables, forget I had food in the window, etc. Teacher anxiety dreams too: show up an hour late to a room full of kids, not have the room ready for the first day of school, etc. It sucks!

  3. Ha ha ha! I used to wait tables and know what you mean about the no-shoes dream. I just dreamed that I forgot that I had been seated and those poor people were just sitting at the table for forever.

    I'm not a couponer- not that organized or at least all my organization capacity has already been spoken for.


  4. Too funny! I use to dream that I forgot an entire table that I was serving. My coupon nightmares also include the cashier not taking my coupons and then my totals are all screwed up and then I spend way more out of pocket then I intended. It was fun talking to you at the park the other day with Tracey.

  5. I have but one dream that haunts me....


    I know why this dream came about. Several years ago I had a check filing box crammed full of tons of coupons (all sorted). A co-worker of my husband's walked up to my grocery cart and grabbed it and said, "what if I just dump this???".

    I was so pissed that he even touched it much less said that. Here he is a grown man in his mid-fifties threatening to dump my coupons? He was serious. I looked him in the eyes and said just as seriously...

    "Trust me, you'll be singing soprano while you are on your hands and knees like the dog you seem to be if you even tip the box!"

    To him it was stupid. To me it was my job. I was saving in excess of $80 a week at the time and we ate like kings.

    I am still terrorized in my dreams by that incident. Unless you have ever clipped, sorted and filed hundreds of coupons you can't know the torment it would be to have even the threat of a box dumped on purpose.

    I saved $93 my last shop at Target (my fave store and what I blog about). The cashier screeched...YOU SAVED $93 BUCKS! Heads spun around and the woman behind me pushed on my arm and said..."shut did not!" to which I waved the receipt as proof.

    Both women wanted to know how. I handed them my business cards. Seeing is believing is all I can say. SUCH a good feeling to pay with coupons.

    I'll see you at Target!


  6. I will dwell on things too! I just did the Colgate deal at WAGS and after very careful and strategic planning the cashier pointed out my coupon had expired. I was so irritated at myself! My husband had to remind me it was only .75.

    Thanks for stopping by! Charlene @ My Frugal Adventures

  7. Thanks ladies. Somehow it helps to know I'm not alone! You're the best.

  8. that happens to me except I can't sleep cause I am going thru different scenarios for WAGS and CVS.I should use my ECBs for sleeping pills