I dreaded the day would come. It has happened. I have coupon conflict. Or perhaps known as coupon fatigue. I love them but I am not in love with the hassle. I am not ready to throw in the towel yet and say I don’t want to use coupons anymore but…
There are several levels of issues happening. First and most frequently, my coupons are not being accepted. Could it be, the backlash of the ‘extreme coupon‘ show? Say it isn’t so. It doesn’t matter how much I ready myself, the stores have cracked down. This stinks for me as I would consider myself an average coupon user. I generally save 30-50% off. I never walk out with carts of free groceries during a shopping haul. My schedule won’t accommodate dedicating hours to clipping and sorting stacks of inserts.
During a recent trip to Vons, I braved a late night ice cream run with 3 teens in tow and a handful of coupons. A free coupon amongst other printables. Why not, right? At checkout, I handed over about 7 coupons. Unfortunately, 2 would not scan. She tried manually punching it in. Nada. Then conferred with the manager. No go. Meanwhile the teens are restless and starting to babble and pace. Final say, ‘sorry it is a new policy, if it doesn’t scan, we cannot take them’.
So I pay the $2 I wanted to save + $4 for the product I wouldn’t have purchased without the coupon. I know I can put it back and walk out. Remember, I have 3 sets of eyes burning holes in my head not to mention the cashier and a line of people behind me, p-r-e-s-s-u-r-e.
I signed the contract and drove off with a new car I paid with a half-grin. And this is one of the most trouble free coupon transactions I have had as of late. Meaning some dialog has felt like I was talking to a clerk at the DMV. Really, I would rather pay .30 than bicker over the validity of an online printable. And that is typically what happens.
This has been going on for months. Not just Vons. Albertsons too. Some shopping trips, I send the item back. Others, I eat on banana splits. I will push on and stick to a list complimented by coupons rather than the other way around. I know others have good luck with their shopping trips and I am happy for them. I feel for me, this doesn’t work well.
Perhaps the stores might consider hiring a few seasoned couponers to train employees or even work as cashiers, good idea right. Otherwise the answer to a check-out free of drama might be what The Thrifty Mama suggested.
Oh yes and thank you Ralphs for making the last few months not so complicated.
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