May 1, 2009 by admncc
This evening my daughter and I stopped at Babies “R” Us because we needed to pick up a gift for my nephew. We did our shopping and went to checkout. It was about 7:30 p.m. Of course, as is my usual luck, there was only one lane open.
Anyway, I was second in line. I noticed that the guy in front of me had two carts full of items. He says to the cashier, “I have a few coupons that I’d like to use.” This guy proceeds to pull out a thick stack of coupons. He then says, “I want to maximize my savings so I’ll be doing a few separate transactions.” The cashier says, “How many transactions, sir?” He responds, “I’m not sure.” So of course I jump in and say, “What’s the coupon for?” He says, “It’s good for $5 off of any $25 purchase.”
It very quickly occurred to me what this guy was doing. He was going to systematically go through his cart and pull out items that together totaled around $25, and then he’d present one coupon at a time to get $5 off. This was by far the most ridiculous example of over-board coupon use that I’d ever seen. And this guy was serious about his savings. For example, he pulled out and item that cost $21.99, and then he bought two bottles of baby powder from the side-aisle to make sure his bill was $25, just so he could get $5 off. Actually, several times, he spent $3 to save $5. LOL. I did the only thing I could do – stood there, rolled my eyes and sighed.
On any other day, I would have walked right out of the store. I have been known to make a scene, but never when my daughter is present. Plus, we needed this gift tonight, so I stood there while this guy rang up 14 separate transactions on his credit card. He used a $5 off coupon every single time… The funny thing is that the guy was very nice, apologized and even offered me one of his $5 off coupons, which I gladly accepted. But that doesn’t mean I had to enjoy standing there for 20 minutes while he shuffled receipts, pulled out coupons and confused the cashier.
I’m glad I saw this though, because it really made me think. Oh yeah, I was angry, but in hindsight, this situation leaves several unanswered questions. Was this guy a coupon freak who would rather ring up 14 credit card transactions to save $70 as opposed to thinking he missed a great deal? Was this guy laid off and needing to save every dime he has in the bank? Did this guy even realize that he would probably end up paying more in the long run because he paid with his credit card, as opposed to using his debt card, etc.
Don’t get me wrong. I’ve heard and read stories about people really making a difference with their cost savings by using coupons. In fact, I applaud that. More power to them… Frankly, I’m jealous that I can’t be more dedicated to carrying out the process. But I just think in the grand scheme of things that I’d rather end up spending a few extra dollars, if it meant being in the store for less time. That’s probably shortsighted, but I just can’t help but think what a colossal waste of time this was tonight for all parties involved.
BTW, I was surprised that this guy’s credit card company didn’t call the store based on the repeated transactions. And I can’t believe the store let him do it either…