Friday, April 17, 2009

Krazy Coupon Guy: Chapter 4

**Attn KCL's, what KCG lacks in "shortwinded-ness" he makes up for in wit. Read to the bottom if you want a smile on your face the rest of the day. Not had the pleasure of meeting Krazy Coupon Guy yet? Click his tab under the header to catch up with all his shananigans. **

Dear Krazy Ladies,

Sorry for the absence. I have been working on my little shed in the back yard, finished my taxes yesterday, came to Eagle to be tortured by my dentist, and am trying to recover at Rembrandt's (fast free internet) while my left cheek tries to regain any feeling of normalcy while I try not to bite myself. I should probably get a little something to eat, but am afraid any actual chewing of food may stray to the side and include the inner cheek of which I am fond without bite marks.

My report this week will detail some less than stellar results. I violated two cardinal rules.

First, I didn't take my list of items that qualified for Albertson's "Buy $25 worth of stuff and get $10 off" sale and that also overlapped the Unilever "Buy $40 worth of stuff and get a $20 rebate for ham or turkey" sale. I didn't take the list because, frankly, I am a guy and I can remember everything. Everything except the list or what actually qualified for each sale promotion.

Second, I bought some items I should not have bought just because I had a coupon.

The second sin was really a spill-over from the first. I thought I needed a few items to round up my final tally. If I had looked at the list I did not have, I would have rearranged some purchases and escaped with less $OOP.

Perhaps I shall do some penance. Forgive me Mary (Joanie/Heather), for I have sinned. It has been many weeks since my last confession. My sins lately have included lusting after the coupons of another, gluttony, and sloth for not being more diligent in the pursuit of the holy coupon.

When I got home from Albertson's and started to assess my pitiful performance (maybe I suffered from performance anxiety or premature coupon redemption syndrome), I started to build a spreadsheet to help me track and analyze the optimal purchase scenario for me for the week. I'll share my hard learned lessons in a few days. Because, to be fair, I must take the good with the bad and be honest about both. Although, now that I think about it, I am sure Lex Luther was at Albertson's at the same time with some Kryponite! I will need to take my lead cape on the next outing.

In catching up on the last few days' worth of blog entries, I see Heather has written about some of my observations. So, rather than repeat what she has already mentioned, I will offer my perspectives on her main themes.

GO ORGANIZED/GO PREPARED
What I should be doing! I do try to take my notebook into the store with my coupons, make a loop around the store (still trying to get the lay of the land), and make notes about what is/is not on sale or available to match with my coupons. Then I find a quiet corner out of traffic to organize my coupons and do the math in my notebook to make sure I have the right combination of products to maximize coupons or in-store specials. I tried this last week, but didn't do as well as I would have liked. Will do better next time.

DON'T EXPECT SPECIAL TREATMENT
This I don’t have a problem with. I figure I am there to get the most for the least and it seems rude to be demanding too. Plus, since there are many judgment calls on the part of staff that could go with or against you if there is a question about a particular coupon and its application, it seems best to stay friendly. You might win the battle but lose the war. And, you will shop at the same store again and don’t want to gain a bad reputation that lingers after you leave the store.

TRY TO NOT BE A SHELF CLEARER
If it appears I may clear the shelf, I think I would find someone to see if they had extra in the back. If they have extra in back, they may thank you for letting them know you will deplete the visible stock. And at best, you will get points for checking and then not clearing if they don’t have overstock.

A nice thing for those of us taller than the average female (5’ 4”) is that I can see the very top shelf and actually reach to the back to get the items you little people either couldn’t see or couldn’t reach. Like Steve Martin, I can always get small to find the lower shelved items. It’s much harder for you diminutive types to get tall. Unless you have Alice's magic mushrooms to make you taller. Just remember to eat from the left-hand side... I wonder if Albertson's has coupons for magic mushrooms?

OVERAGE (I wonder if this a reference to me... over age)

COMPLIMENT and RAVE (at my age, I don't to the Rave thing)
I did notice this on one of my last trips to Albertson’s. When I made my loop around the store, I also watched the cashiers to see who was stressed, rushed, absent-minded, rude, nice, etc. When it was my time to check out, I went to one of the nicer ones who had the fewest people in line. I also looked behind me (checked the rear-view mirror) and allowed a shopper with one item to go ahead of me.

I think this did two things. The first meant the guy behind me (it was a guy) was not going to be increasingly upset while he waited to buy one thing with cash while I shuffled coupons and Catalinas. The other more important thing it did was to let the cashier see I was aware of the situation beyond my own cart and my own purchase. I tried to joke with the cashier without being distracting and asked her about her day. Cashiers are people too.

I like the idea of telling CS of any good things that happened during the shopping trip. Not everything is bad, people aren’t out to stop me from using coupons, and it is only right and fair to tell the store when things are going well so they can focus on that and do more of it.


----INTERMISSION----
Just did a “self-exam” of the left side of my face: upper jaw is almost back to normal; lower jaw still numb. Should be able to eat (drink) something in about an hour without endangering myself. I wonder if it would be considered cannibalism if ingested part of my inner cheek? Probably depends on how much I enjoyed it, how often I did it, and what sides I served with the protein course?

Good news is there were no lumps, unexplained masses, or strange spots with irregular edges! I’ll keep checking, though, because early detection is the key.
----INTERMISSION----


I’ll close for now with a quote from Heather who mentioned her favorite cashier. Following is a sentence or two from her recent entry:

“My favorite checker at my Albertsons is a young guy who doesn't work too many hours each week, so when I luck out and see him, I get excited. One night I told him that he was my favorite checker, and he perked up. He said ‘Well I would love more hours, do you mind filling out this form, and telling my boss how much you like me??’”

Without going into the not-so-subtle romantic overtones, or the fact that the age difference could probably be measured in weeks – or months – not years, or the dated reference to Mrs. Robinson, I wonder if Heather was wearing her “special shopping ensemble”? I wonder if Heather goes on “extra” shopping trips to see if her young guy is working at odd hours? I wonder if the young guy’s parents will need to get an NCO against Heather??

Time to end this email. I have included a few photos of interest to me: my shed which is almost finished; a recent receipt from Albertson’s; and my dismembered and vacuum-sealed “free ham” in Rick-size portions. The receipt in the photo is actually a successful excursion. The "bad" one I don't have saved on this computer.

More this weekend when I am home.

Rick

7 comments:

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Amber said...

Dear KCG (and other KCLs):

First, in full disclosure, this is actually Amber's husband writing (Damian).

Now . . .

I am deeply offended. What kind of guy admits to a bunch of ladies (sorry girls) that he possibly suffers from PCRS or performance anxiety?!? I'm not entirely sure that coupons are the only thing you're lusting for (you're obviously trying to impress the ladies :-) ), but in this particular area, reverse psychology is not going to work. (Believe me I know. Thankfully I stopped talking about it before I met Amber, and was thus able to impress her with my spending habits!)

I suggest as therapy that you find a good charity (or food bank) to whom you can donate the items you purchased--that you really shouldn't have-- simply because you had the coupons. This will help you appear magnanimous instead of dysfunctional. :-)

Thus, no need for pennance and (whispering so only KCG can hear me:) the ladies will love you.

They may even recognize you as Super without the cape and KCG across your chest!


To the ladies: You have turned my life into a living (beep). My wife is all consumed with saving me millions of dollars. This would be fine, but I tell her I don't even have pennies to spend.

I will say this much. We went to Walgreen's the other night. She explained what she wanted and then sent me in to do what is clearly woman's work--or Superman's (read KCG's)-- while she nursed the baby in the car. Must say, after spending an eternity (code for 2 hours) in a WALGREEN'S(!!!!) I managed to get it through my thick head that not all of the Edge shaving creams were valid for the Register Rewards!!!

In frustration, I finally went to the register with the following:

3 boxes of Special K and several bags of Hershey candy left over from Easter. (12.25 received $3 RR)
1 Edge Shaving Cream (I still don't know which one) and a chocolate bunny (because the cream was only $2.99 and, of course, the purchase HAAAAAD to be more than the RR) ($.44 after RR received $3 RR)
Colgate toothbrush ($.49 after RR received $3.50 RR)
8-pk toothbrush and non-sale Hairbands scrunchieess ($1.79 after RR)

Go out to car. Wife says something about amount of time. I respond with something loving like, "I hate this couponing thing!" Wife then questions why I didn't get the hairband scrunchy thig-a-ma-bobs that were on sale so I could get the $2 RR. (I will confess to you ladies--as long as you will not tell my wife--that I purposely got the ones I got because I think she looks cuter in them then in the rubber bands! However,) I respond to her something like, "You know what? Next time I'll stay home! I only came out tonight so I could spend some time with you and pick up condoms!" Of course, I forgot the condoms, which meant my whole night was shot.

I must say, we did get a year supply of cereal last week at Albertson's. I guess I'm not all thaaat mad that my wife discovered your site.

Talk to you soon.

Damian

Joanna said...

Damian,

I'm Joanna's husband and I'm with you man. I have spent more time in (beep) Walgreens in the last month than I have doing anything else. Why can't they come out with a coupon book for a real store like Home Depot or something. I am so sick of buying toothbrushes, rice cakes, scrunchies, and shaving gel. I feel like we are planning for the end of the world but while I'm hiding in my cave, I will be eating rice cakes, brushing my teeth (without toothpaste because there's not a coupon yet), doing my hair, and shaving myself for the next 3 years. Those are the only supplies I have!

See you at Walgreens (I will be standing around with my coupon scenario paperwork),

Lance

Joanie Demer said...

LOL!
I wish my hubby wasn't gone so he could chime in. Do we need to start a support group for all you macho men? It could be called H.A.K.C., Husbands Against Krazy Couponing. Maybe you'd change your tune if we hosted a giveaway for a tool belt? Power tool? I can hook you up with some feminine cut deep v-neck tees. . .

Amber said...

So, I don't know that I'm AGAINST Krazy Couponing. I would just like to be able to take the savings and go to Home Depot with Lance instead of using it to BUY MORE TOOTHBRUSHES!

I don't know about the v-neck tee, but I wouldn't mind a straight jacket that said something like "Got this after my wife discovered KCL blog site." What do you think Lance? And could we get it in Home Depot orange with white lettering?

Damian

Joanna said...

I am not against it either. My wife brought 8 bags of stuff home today and spent less than I did at Lowes and I brought home 3 things in a sad sorry little sack. Pretty bad when we compared receipts. My 3 items and 4 inch receipt vs. her 45 items and receipt that looks like a yard stick after they have scanned all the coupons. What's worse, my wife gave me a $10 savings card with $50 purchase for Lowes and all I had to do was hang on to it. I went there today, spent over $50 and for the life of me, could not find my (beep) COUPON!!!

I bet we could get a couple of aprons and sew them together to make that straight jacket........

Debbie Budge said...

This is Damian's mother-in-law, Debbie. Amber (my daughter), got me started on KCL a couple of weeks ago and yes.......I, too, have a very large supply of cereal and enough milk coupons for the entire month of April! LOL! I went to Walgreen's before they did, made all the mistakes they probably would have - first - and then called Amber to tell her what NOT to do! I found a very nice cashier named Karen at the Fairview and Milwaukee Walgreens (across from WinCo) who knew all about KCL and was very helpful. If you look for her when you go, she will help you get the most out of your coupons. She works in the cosmetics section. Lance and Damian....you both gave me the best laugh I've had all week!!!