Coupons Giveth and Taketh Away

I won’t bore you with a detailed list of this past weekend’s incredible feats of couponing, and will instead go straight to the highlights and lowlights (?) of my adventures…

Rite Aid in NJ: Piece of cake, quickly in and out. The burbs are such a treat sometimes.

ShopRite: No screw-ups, no lousy cashiers, minimal problems. I loved getting 8 jars of my favorite tomato sauce (Classico) for a net cost of 55 cents a jar. Ah, the breakfast Lean Pockets for 49 cents a box, the feminine products for free, the Knorr’s pasta sides (TBD, D = Donated) for 4 cents each. Oh wait, I did screw up. I bought some things that qualified for some sort of special offer or rebate, and then lost one of the receipts – AND realized that two items for different promotions were on one receipt. Of course, all manufacturers understandably want an original receipt. Sigh.

CVS:  Extremely good experience. I had $14 in expired ECBs and as soon as I entered the store, I approached the assistant manager to see if they’d accept them. He was perfectly agreeble – phew! And then everything went smoothly – lots of Glade products for free that qualify for the SC Johnson $5 rebate.

Walgreens in NJ:  The manager was next to my cashier and kind of passive-aggressively informed him (in front of me) that they only accept internet printed coupons in color – I was holding one in my outstretched hand. I piped up that some of us don’t have color printers, and the things to look for to make sure it’s not a photocopy was a faint watermark if it was from one of the main coupon sites as well as the verification number that is different on every coupon printed. Turns out the manager used to be an avid couponer herself at one point (I reckon back when internet coupons were easily tampered with), and appreciated the info I gave her as well as my understanding of the # coupons cannot exceed # of items rule. She told me about people cutting off expiration dates and photocopying coupons from the newspaper inserts, and told me how her store had had a lot of problems with rejected reimbursement lately. I said that IPs could be traced to the computer that printed them, and no way was I going to get hauled off to prison over a $1.50 coupon. I suspect that they got hurt by that $5 Huggies IP last spring that inspired quasi-criminal madness amongst diaper-buyers. I had some recently expired Register Rewards that she said couldn’t be used because they were manufacturers’ coupons and they won’t get the money back, but I then told her what I knew about how all that worked and she let me use them up “just this once” (I wouldn’t have pushed it). I’ll be more careful. I really appreciate that she didn’t let her past bad experiences with coupons close her off to my explanations.

Target:  Pulled off using a manufacturer’s BOGO coupon and a store BOGO coupon to yield free Fancy Feast cat treats for The Best Cat Ever Because He Saved My Little Sister’s Life. I actually had my mom do the first round because I wasn’t done shopping, and she was feeling bold. I also had some fun getting free things from their travel-size section with coupons that don’t exclude them – free Clean & Clear face scrub, All and Tide laundry detergent, Dove cleansing cloths, Degree deodorant, Oxy acne pads. On the downside, I picked up a purple hoodie for $19 that went on sale the next day for $15. Grr.

Walgreens NYC:  Oh boy did I screw up and end up the better for it. You generally can’t use a Register Reward earned from a specific product to pay for the same product and then get another RR. I accidentally did that and tried to undo it with the assistant manager. Somehow, I ended up not getting the $8RR but ended up with $15 cash from a return, and yet still got the items. I knew it wasn’t supposed to happen that way and gave the guy my name and number in case the register totals were really screwed up and they wanted the money back. I do not want this very nice manager to get in trouble over frikkin’ Theraflu. Despite doing everything right this time, the $8RR didn’t print. The manager asked me to please come back tomorrow and torture someone else with this. I laughed and called it a night.

In rebate news … I submitted for the Kellogg’s $10 Fuel for School rebates on behalf of me, my mother and my best friend. It looks like mine has been processed and is on its way, but my friend just got hers returned for insufficient postage (.20 short). Damn food scale said it was 3/4oz. Guess what I’ll be replacing asap – not going to let it screw up my dieting as badly as it screwed up my rebate! The postmark deadline was 9/30 and the receiving deadline was 10/9 — I mailed it around Sept 20 and it took the post office A WHOLE MONTH to return it. Probably S.O.L. with this, but I emailed Kelloggs anyway. On the plus side, I only paid $4.90 for the 10 boxes of Eggo waffles that were supposed to earn me this rebate – 4 for me, 6 donated. I looked up the status of my mother’s rebate and saw no note of it … hm, I think I mailed it the same time I sent mine.

Rite Aid NYC:  Just noticed that this week’s circular is 8 pages – excellent! It used to be 12 pages like everyone else, then a few months ago, they shortened Manhattan to 4 pages of deals that rarely included their rebate specials. I stopped shopping at Manhattan stores. But after reading their recently-issued corporate coupon policy – which is 100% awesome for us coupon crazies – I checked the sales on their website and found that NYC is no long out of favor. Sweet. I’ve got my morning cut out for me tomorrow.


7 Responses

  1. I thought I was nuts when I noticed Rite Aid went to a 4 page circular. I decided maybe I was looking at the wrong one all along. (My zip code is new and not often properly recognized by many online websites.) This week I just figured was a mistake in the website.

    I don’t understand why Manhattan gets the short end of the stick with national store circulars? I know the stores are smaller, carry less stock, and it’s a pain to leave the island so we’re all pretty much stuck, but at the same time it’s also easier to walk down the street and shop around at Duane Reade, CVS, and Walgreens than it is to get in a car and drive to multiple spots.

    • I thought maybe it was a mistake too, but then I checked a zip code in Astoria – theirs is the normal 12-page ad while Manhattan is 8. So they’re still different, just not AS different.

  2. You can get a refund of the difference at Target if you have the receipt still. They do price adjustments for up to two weeks after you buy it.

  3. I think your addicted.

    (but great job!) 😉

  4. Yeah, I would take the hoodie back to Target and get that $4 back.

    Unrelated…you were featured on a Top 100 List!

    • Oh, that can’t possibly be a ranked list if I’m #37 and Squawkfox is only #80! All the same, I’m ticked about that 🙂

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