Skip to comments.The Coupon Whisperer: Family Dollar Surreal Coupon Experience
Posted on 01/22/2012 5:30:43 AM PST by PJ-Comix
The Family Dollar stores have a DESERVED reputation for being hostile towards coupons. Some of the stores accept coupons with no problems but others act like they absolutely HATE coupons...and couponers. One Family Dollar store in Broward County, at the corner of Broward Blvd. and State Road 7, is especially notable for their hostility towards coupons and I normally avoid it like the plague. However, on Friday, I was looking for some easy laughs so I went to that particular store more for entertainment purposes than to get the product, Scrubbing Bubbles Toilet Kits. Yes, I did get my comedic entertainment but at the same time I also entered a surreal Twilight Zone.
I came up to the cashier with four Scrubbing Bubbles Toilet Kits and this is what happened after the cashier stared at my coupons as if they were radioactive objects from an alien planet:
(Excerpt) Read more at couponwhisperer.blogspot.com ...
Oh, I see. I somehow FORCED the first manager to misread the coupon expiration date despite all the hints I kept giving him. Then I put a gun to the head of the second manager and forced her to waste time double checking on a computer and calling HQ for a coupon check. If somehow word of this incident gets back to FD, perhaps they will have a little "talk" with the managers of that store so in the future they won't waste all that time on coupon paranoia. And therefore this whole exercise would have a POSITIVE outcome for the customers.
“They are cheaper than buying the refills that are $3.97 each. These are the kits PLUS the refills. A refill lasts about a month. We have 3 toilets so I got about a 3 month supply.”
I have a $2 brush that I run around the bowl once in a while. It must be 10-12 years old by now. Of course, I didn’t have a coupon when I bought the brush, so I lost money there.
I haven't had the operation performed yet so I am still a HE.
Good to see you again!
Just for the record, I’ll tell you a little story. In the ‘70’s and ‘80’s, I had little money so I clipped coupons. At the end of every month, after paying bills, charitable contributions, and having fun (inexpensively, of course), I saved the leftover money until I had the minimum contribution to a municipal bond mutual fund. Same thing in the ‘90’s, only into a higher risk equity fund. Redeemed them both to purchase a motor home. Used the remainder for appliances, etc., for retirement home and other things.
I fully expected to get disabled at my job secondary to physical injury. Fortunately, I only had to retire three years earlier than planned.
The coupon clipping was definitely worth it for me. If it doesn’t fit in with someone else’s lifestyle, so be it.
That's not a good neighborhood. Why don't you just shoplift like the local fauna?
Waiting for a coupon or hesitant to put it on the chopping block? :)
“I dont think our Lord went to the cross to atone for the sin of couponing.” You are a very wise person!
Good story! The comedy was priceless, and using coupons - particularly the ones that can be had for a few minutes’ effort - is worth the while for all but the wealthy, and that determination really is a matter of figuring out how much one’s time is worth in dollars and cents. A $35/hour effective rate is a really good return on the investment of your time in most places in the country. Certainly there are people who earn a lot more than that per hour when they’re at work, but then again, many of those high-paying jobs come with very little personal time off from work (been there, done that, got really tired of being a highly-paid slave), so the extra money earned must be spent buying without regard to coupons or discounts because there is already so little time left to spend with friends and family.
Keep up the good writing, and the good couponing!
That’s a great idea — they should set up special registers for couponers, so people who don’t like their time wasted can “pick another checkout lane”.
Because otherwise, that’s just a stupid comment, how would you know which lane didn’t have someone who was going to wait until the cashier finished checking them out, and then pull out a pile of coupons?
I live near Randall's, HEB, Kroger & Walmart. I used to avoid Randall's as their prices were so high. They've now come around, though. Much improved, excellent produce, Lucerne dairy products...that we like, and their in-store coupons for things we DO use, make it worth the trip.
The Dollar Store story was rather humorous. I got a kick out of it. Keep up the great work.
Agreed. Couponing only saves a lot if you have lots of time to burn.
Wow. I thought it was just this one HEB.
Haven’t had Lucerne for the past 35 years. Back then a half gallon of Lucerne milk was .49.
I thought the exchange began unnecessarily hostile- the couponer was a jerk, imo.
I have a $2 brush that I run around the bowl once in a while. It must be 10-12 years old by now. Of course, I didnt have a coupon when I bought the brush, so I lost money there.
Your brush doesn’t contain chlorine or other harsh chemicals that destroy the flapper and other soft rubber and plastic parts inside the tank... you’re missing out on all the fun.
I feel bad for you and also the cashier. I used to work part time at a major toy and baby retailer, Ill call them We Be Toys and Babies We Be.
Sometimes the computerized register would disallow coupons that I knew full well were good. Sometimes sale items didnt ring up at the sales price either. Unfortunately I couldnt do anything about it, had not override code and would have to call for a manager. Some of the managers were good and some were, IMO complete idiots. Often rules were interpreted differently by different managers. I felt bad for the customer and for the customers waiting in line.
This retailer has a rewards program that we were forced to push and sends out a lot of coupons in the mail and electronically via email. Unfortunately some the coupons cant be combined in the same transaction or dont apply to certain items or sale items although that wasnt always clearly printed or even apparent to us working there. So I would try to help the customer figure out how to best ring up their purchases in separate orders to best take advantage of all their coupons if possible.
I know sometimes customers would be annoyed with me but it wasnt my fault or theirs. However as long as I tried to do the right thing, most customers were very understanding and I never felt like they were wasting my time. I would expect the same as customer. I always tried to put myself in their place and when a customer I always try to put myself in the cashiers place. Unless the cashier is rude and totally incompetent that is.
My problem wasn’t really with the cashiers. It was with the two managers. First manager merely amused me by misreading the expiration date on the coupon. The second manager simply wasted a lot of time checking, double checking, and triple checking on the coupons. I mean calling the FD HEADQUARTERS for coupon confirmation? How bizarre is that? I could almost understand if it was an internet coupon printout but this was a multicolored coupon printed on both sides of cardboard. It would take a supersized effort to forge that. And we are talking about just a $3 coupon. Manager should have used her common sense. However, the long delay did amuse the hell out of me.
I figure that we get about one week of free groceries, every month. Time Spent? 10, maybe 15 minutes clipping the Sunday Circulars, and another 10, maybe 15 minutes, putting together a shopping list. IMHO, that's a pretty good return on investment.
Now - these "extreme couponers" who get 100 "Ban" Roll-Ons for 3c each .... well, that's fine, but that ain't my style. But trading an hour or two (or less) a month, for a free week's worth of groceries, IMHO, is worth it.
Happy couponing, PJ! And pay no need to the naysayers on this thread that choose to waste money instead of a few minutes of time.
I am on an extremely tight budget and if it wasn’t for the ONE HOUR a week that I spend researching store specials and coupons, I wouldn’t have the money to fill my pantry like I do now.
As for me, I believe the Lord commands us to be good stewards of the money we are given. I consider stretching each dollar to its max as obedience to that command. Spending $100 on items that could have cost me $50 is, in my mind, a slap in the face to the gift I’ve been given.
But that’s just me. :-)
I do moderate stockpiling. For example, when I can get Ken's Marinade either cheap or free, I stockpile about a 6 month supply which doesn't really take up that much room. Same for coffee, etc.. A year's supply of BO sticks hardly take up any room. Same for toothpaste. Paper towels take up more room so only about a 3 month stockpile.
Another factor is convenience...and here is where you actually SAVE time by couponing. By stockpiling (moderately) these items, means that many FEWER items you have to buy on shopping trips which...saves time.
Hi! I see you no longer live in Florida. However, they do have Publix in South Carolina and I think that is a state that DOUBLES coupons, right? BTW, couponing actually REDUCES the time I spend on my regular shopping visits. Why? Because when I moderately stockpile on a bunch of items that is one less visit to the paper towel row, one less visit to the coffee section, one less visit to the body wash section, etc... Often all I need to do on supermarket visits is just get some meat, eggs, and produce. END of story and it is a rather quick visit.
Does it keep a total of the time it took up of the people in line behind you and what their time was worth?
Here is a HOT tip for you. Starting this Thursday, Publix will have A-1 Steak sauce on sale $3.25 BOGO. Yesterday the SmartSource had $1 A-1 coupons. Soooo...apply one coupon to each A-1 and you get both for just $1.25 total or about 62 cents each. I’ll probably stockpile a couple dozen since I use that sauce on my steaks.
We were both looking for a certain kind of Granola Bar (we both had coupons :-) ) and the store's stock was cleaned out. She said, approximately, "I hate the extreme couponers who pull this crap." I agreed.
Then, she told me about her sister-in-law that had just cleaned out the entire store supply of "Reach" toothbrushes. She had bought 87 of them, for about nothing. Barring donations, etc (which was not the case here) Sez me, why would anyone want a 20-year supply of toothbrushes? Maybe I could have used a free toothbrush, too, but this vulture swooped in and cleaned out the lot.
IMHO, it's one thing to "extreme coupon" for stuff that you'll use. A year's worth of deodorant (what's that 3-4 sticks?) .. sure, makes sense, occasionally, I'll do the same type thing. But when I see people on TV that have entire rooms dedicated to the "Free" Toilet Paper that they've "couponed" for ... Man, I just think that it's a sickness.
Yup it does.
Oh, it gets worse, MUCH WORSE when you have ‘clubs’ of theses people who try to outdo one another. And they do sell a lot of it at garage sales.
Now, if anyone wonders why stores ‘hate coupons’ I would say it is not the coupons they hate. It’s the nuts who invade the stores, clean the shelves and DEMAND they take whatever coupon they shove in their face while holding up paying customers who just want to get what they need and get the hell out.
Some people even BUY coupons on EBAY and other sites so don’t let them fool you that they are all getting them for FREE by just clipping them.
You use steak sauce too.... uuuhhggggg, i held out some respect until i saw that ;)
LOL well played Wbill... :)
Hi PJ! Thanks for the tip on A1. That’s an excellent price! :-)
All of the supermarkets here double the coupons. Publix does it everyday for coupons up to $0.50. And Bi-Lo, my other favorite, has awesome specials and they double ALL coupons. Bi-Lo also has the FuelPerks program where you save up to $0.50 off per gallon of gas.
I filled up my minivan yesterday for less than $50 - $2.94 a gallon - thanks to FuelPerks taking $0.25 off per gallon. We have Ingles Supermarkets here too, which have great specials on meats. I never pay more than $0.99 per pound on chicken drums and thighs. And they had bone-in chicken breasts for $0.99 per pound last week! SCORE!
Tonight I’m making fried cube steak, mashed potatoes, biscuits and veggies for 7 people. Total cost? $10.00 - maybe even less. Try feeding 7 people for $10 at McDonalds - not gonna happen. And this is a home-cooked meal with all the fixins! :-)
That said, there is a line between stocking up and hoarding. I have 4 bottles of BBQ sauce in my pantry - not 40. And I also agree that the less visits you make to the supermarket, the more money you save, since everyone knows you always buy more than what you intended with each visit.
Too bad I wasn’t in touch with you a few weeks ago on these coupon deals. Publix had a deal where, in combination with the store coupon plus manufacturer’s coupon, you could have gotten Alka Seltzer Plus Cold medicine for FREE. I picked up a two year supply of the stuff and have already used it a couple of times and my colds were nipped in the bud when I took the Alka Seltzer Plus Nightime Cold tablets. I find that stuff to be the absolute BEST for knocking out colds just as they start.
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