Friday, May 22, 2009

From the KCL inbox. . .

Our wonderful reader Darlene wrote in:
Happy Friday!
So, I got up way early to get all my bargain/coupon shopping done. I totally scored on a couple of things and wanted to share. I had planned to use up some of my Kraft BBQ sauce this holiday weekend by making pulled pork BBQ sandwiches. Yum!

Fred Meyer:
I had to use a rain check for Kelloggs cereal (got it coming out my ears! I swear).
FMV hamburger buns 8 ct. for $0.39 (first two).
Freds always has good produce so I got some:
Bananas for $0.59 lb lettuce $0.79 per head (first two).
Corn sale – 10 ears for $4. I went so early they didn’t have the new batch out yet, so I only found five I really liked. I got a rain check to some more later. Sweet!

Winco – a couple of good deals there! Kelloggs cereal for $1.48 and $1.98 – this price was still in effect. Use the $1/1 coupons only for the Frosted Flakes, Apple Jacks & Corn Pops (meets the min. size).
C&H Brown sugar for $1.48 for 2 lbs – this price still in effect. Use the $0.35/1 coupon awhile ago, couldn’t find this one – OOP $1.13 which is the cheapest I’ve seen anywhere. BEST DEAL! Hormel pork roast I was able to use the $1/1 Hormel Always Tender $1 (exp. 7/12/09) we got on 5/17. I picked four packages with a $1 off instantly (exp. date on meat is tomorrow). Total OOP $10.45 for 12.47 lbs – means I paid $0.84 lb for the pork. Rock on! (As this coupon is good for awhile, this should allow for planning to get a great deal! The bigger pork roast packages had $2.00 instant off. I went with the smaller packages because they fit in my freezer better. The checker was reluctant to take the coupon because the picture was different. She did take it, but thought it might not be right. So, I called the Nampa customer service later in the morning to get the scoop. I got it verified the coupon will work on ANY Always Tender product and not just the pictured product.)

Target – check out the bargain / clearance hygiene stuff!
Visine AC (bonus 0.65 fl) for $3.64 – use the $3/1 Visine-A or Visine-A.C. (exp. 6/30/09) – OOP $0.64

Clearance Covergirl lipstick for $1.56 – use the $1/1 Cover Girl (exp. 5/30/09) – OOP $0.56
So, I’ve got all stuff I was missing for my holiday meal + some great deals. Happy hunting & have a good holiday! Darlene


The Barkers said...

I hate to complain. I need to vent though! I Went to two Albertsons the other day. I always have a little conversation with the checkers. This certain checker told me the story of a lady and her two children. The checker said she came with atleast six transactions in a row at a busy time and that doing that will most certainly make them inforce the three double coupons,per day, per family, rule! The lady said she had two kids and this was just easier. I kind of laughed thinking, I think that ALMOST ALL of us have children we take on these shoppping trips! To make it better,the lady behind her said she would never shop at Albertsons again that she has never had to wait that long and it was ridiculous. I made a stop at another Albies where I saw a lady at the self check out with ATLEAST 15 hefty bag boxes! (plus all the other items that she had picked up) Just a little frustrating because I make mulitple stops at different Albertsons so I am sure to leave enough for everyone! Plus,the lady that ran the self check out was very annoyed.Having to help her with every coupon transaction. I just don't understand why if you are buying that much,why you aren't having someone ring you up? You ladies always talk about being curteous coupon shoppers. I am starting to see that you can say it until you are blue in the face and some people will just continue to be selfish! Thanks for letting me vent! I really do feel better! I will just hope that there are enough of us great couponers,that it will make up for the not so great couponers!!! Thanks for letting me take up space!

Joanie Demer said...

Sorry for your frustrations! You make good points.
-Shop at off-peak hours
-When buying in large quantities call your stores to "pre-order" merchandise so you're not leaving an empty shelf, if possible!
-And self check-out. . . seriously?? Who uses that when they're doing a coupon transaction? I mean, maybe some of you do {I'd love to know why if you care to share}, but I sure don't. It seems to me that it would certainly be quicker and less hassle to go through a regular check out lane.

At any rate, sorry for your trouble and hope you enjoy the rest of your long weekend!

Jenn said...

I'll tell you why I use the self-checkout. It's just easier not to have to deal with impatient annoying checkers and customers who want to get in, get out, and get on with it. :) I can take my time and not feel like I'm holding anyone up. Just little old me. :)

Crissie said...

I'll help you out on the Albertson's vent... Maybe consider the possibility that the checkers are sometimes just irritated with the extra work that accompanies ringing up the double coupons and are therefore more likely to complain about anyone with the audacity to use them. I took a few sets of doublers earlier in the week (obtained from papers I pay to have delivered or from neighbors who save them for me) and I've never had a problem before at my Albertson's using more than 3 per family, per day. It's just not something that they enforce and every other checker I've ever encountered has been really encouraging about using them for some great bargains. In my opinion, these coupons are obviously a part of Albertson's marketing/business strategy, otherwise I'm sure they wouldn't just keep printing them out and going to the expense of distributing them through the newspapers. It obviously gets us into their stores and they're being reimbursed on the back by the manufacturers at a PROFIT.

In my case, I had my items seperated into 2 transactions and just before we were set to check out, another customer got into line behind us. I obviously invited her to go ahead of me. As soon as it was our turn (with absolutely no one behind us in line at 1:30 in the afternoon), the checker asked how many transactions I had, rolled her eyes at the answer and then barked that I would have to get back in line if another customer got behind me. I told her of course I would and explained to her that we had let the last customer ahead of us in line. She proceeded to talk to another cashier over top of my head the entire 3 minutes it took her to ring up my purchases, taunting her with "Just wait - you'll get yours.". Wonder what she was referring to? When I read your post, I could totally envision her ranting to another customer about me later in the day because her attitude was off the charts.

As to the self check-out question, I agree with you that it is in bad taste to use the self check-out if you have coupons that need to be handled by a cashier (such as those that need to have a value written in). I know that I will often times use the self check-out option if I have straight forward coupons just to be able to watch everything ring up correctly without the pressure of having people behind me irritated when I whip out 62 coupons.

I can't believe the bad feelings these darn doubler coupons seem to bring out in people... It almost ruins the thrill of getting them.

mrsmorris said...

I firmly believe in letting the management know when I've received terrible service. I also believe in letting them know when someone has gone above and beyond for me.

I am always polite, have my coupons perfectly organized before I even get to the checkstand, and I make sure I am familiar with the particular deal I am taking advantage of - because you know most times the checkers have no clue.

After a particularly rude encounter at Safeway, with a checker who rolled her eyes and sighed and challenged the validity of every coupon I had, I had a little chat with the manager to let him know how completely unwelcome I felt in his store. He said the store offered the coupons to encourage business and that he would have a talk with the offending checker.

I think the next time I am being checked out by someone who was weaned on a lemon, I shall simply call them on their bad mood, and see what happens!

Nicole said...

I LOVE Albertsons. I have never had any poor or rude customer service. Even the vendors are so friendly as they are stocking shelves asking if I need help. Albertsons will continue to get my business, not just for the coupon-friendly policy, but simply for customer service. I frequent the store on Cole & Fairview.

Joanie Demer said...

I like all your comments. Jenn, thanks for the low down on self-check! I really didn't know! I have used it once before {when I was sinning and shopping during a busy time with coupons. I wasn't doing a big promo, I just was grabbing a couple items I needed for dinner and using coupons} The lines were so long, I decided to use self check- big mistake. i was way more hassle to the store than if I'd just gone through a regular lane. I seriously always mess up those self-checks- "Please place the item in the bagging area". . . I have to shotput my bananas into the bag so the scale registers. . . "Please wait for assistance". . . ah crap, what'd I do now? I'm afraid of those machines.

I love the idea of providing feedback to our stores! Positive and Negative! Besides making sure we're being polite and playing by the rules, this is the BEST option, in my mind. Do it, do it, do it!

Other than that, sometimes we all get a cranky checker. I might even say something silly like, "it doesn't seem like you want to ring me up, is there something I can do differently? Another lane that could be open? Another time of day I should shop at?" Say, "if I want to shop here with coupons, when and how can I do that so that I'm not feeling like a burden to your store!" If at this point they're not apologizing profusely, then rinse and repeat and tell it all to a manager. If that doesn't work. . . you must be at Walmart. . . (Ah! sorry, but it's true!)

The Barkers said...

First,the cashier that told me the story was one of the nicest I have ever had. I asked her how the coupon day was going and she said, she only got one bad apple... then told the story. I was not sticking up for the rude cashiers. I think if they are rude oh well. As long as I didn't give them a reason to be rude. If they are out of hand, a manager is made aware of it. Simple. If a lady came up yelling to me about how she was never going to come back,I would be a little irritated too. As far as self check out. I know the rule is 3 doubles,3 back to back transactions is the most they want you doing. When I saw atleast 15 hefty bags not including the other items, I know that rule is clearly being broken. I was not trying to offend anyone who uses the self check out, I just don't think you should use it to hide the fact that you are breaking the rules. I apologize if I came across rude. I was just hoping to remind everyone to play nice. Not debate or justify rude cashiers or wether self check out is right or wrong. I also love Albertsons. Sorry again if I offended anyone.

Joanie Demer said...

The Barkers,
Don't be silly! You were NOT being offensive! I'm glad you got to let off steam and have your rant! This rule doesn't apply universally, but the Barkers are always welcome to rant on KCL! You must have been a welcome site to your checker after a bad experience! Now, stop stressing and go enjoy your weekend!

The Barkers said...

Thanks Joanie! Your are the best in SO MANY WAYS! I think I will get off the computer,load up my kids and do something fun! Finish my doubles maybe?:) I know if I let my son drive the truck that is attatched to the cart I would be the coolest mom in the world to him! Settled.... off to enjoy my weekend! You have a great weendend also! As well as all of you ladies!

Crissie said...

Oh my gosh - of course you're not offensive!!! It was totally a valid point. I just had visions of that SO being the gal who checked me out... It brought to my mind the way I was treated that afternoon.

All in all, I LOVE Albertson's. Most everyone there is wonderful and this was the very first bad experience I've ever had! I had a Grocery Manager chase me out to the car one day to offer up a case of Kraft Pasta Salad with the last doublers. I have very little to complain about. :)

There are always a few bad apples and couponers aren't excluded from that. Let's face it - they are obviously excusing their own behavior and probably not listening to our admonishments anyhow. The rest of us know how to play nice and follow the rules and I'm sure that we're respected for it.


Ashley said...

Thanks for posting all of this... I, too, spread my transactions out between stores to play nice. (Luckily I have three Albies near my house) Even though the cashiers always seem kind about the doublers, the customers in line don't! For this reason I have never done more than one transaction in a visit until last night... at 11:30 when there were two people in the store. That made it a bit more bearable for me. I hate to feel like a burden. FYI - The Albies on Glenwood/State will no longer take coupons with doublers in self check as of yesterday... I only had a handful of items and the self check lady saw me standing in line and offered to run me through the self check... when I told her I had coupons she gave me the news.

Ashley said...

Also... I had read a post ( I think last week) that said WinCo wasn't taking internet printables again... I'm assuming that this isn't true since the cereal was an IP...right?

Jennifer said...

Thanks for the GREAT pork deal at winco! I had a few Kelloggs coupons that were about to expire so I used those too. I was at the winco on state and had no problems with my IP coupons.

andrea.roche said...

Though this isn't directed at "The Barkers", I have to say, I am SOOO sick of people complaining and getting nasty. Who cares if someone clears the shelf or uses "too many" (free) doublers? To each his/her own. We have no idea what someones situation is. Maybe they don't READ KCL or any blog stating "coupon etiquette" or maybe they are new and don't know. HELLO.
I love how every has "decided on" a rule of conduct regarding the use of coupons and expects everyone else to follow it. Please remember, these are just guidelines. There is no LAW stating anyone has to follow it. They might seem like good ideas to many of us, but maybe some don't agree. Who cares. Worry about yourself. Or maybe, the woman I saw with 2 basketfuls of SCOTT toilet paper has a lot of kids who poop a lot. Maybe she NEEDS it. I could care less. I'm glad she's stocking up!

I feel bad for the lady with two kids. Obviously she was just trying to do what we all are doing with an impatient lady behind her and a seemingly rude cashier. I think we are all quick to judge. Instead of helping her, people get mad.

Maybe I'm a little more laid back than most but I refuse to let coupon-ing induce high blood pressure or bad feelings. I'm not going to freak over something as little as a box of Post cereal or a can of skintimate shave gel.
call me krazy, but I have more important things in my life.

I am grateful for this blogs' ability to educate many and save us all so much money. Thanks go to you Joanie and Heather.

Oh PS Joanie. I use the self check lines a lot because there are usually less people in them and at our Albies you can only do one transaction at a time in the main lines. So you do one, and have to get at the end of the line each time.

andrea.roche said...

oh and I have a confession. I took 10 ads with doublers from the front of a store and got RIPPED apart by some women for doing it. I guess the manager all day was telling people some lady came in and took the whole stack of ads. Maybe he was talking about me? Maybe not. haha. I really don't care what people say bc I didn't realize this was faux pas. When some women confronted me, I went back into the store and returned 8 of the ads.

Live and Learn. Don't judge.

sarasmommy said...

Well, there is no LAW against being selfish. But it does seem rather inconsiderate for someone to take so many ads and expect others to wait while you do several transactions in a row.
The doublers say 3 per visit, oh, I guess because it is not against the law though, we should just ignore it and expect the store and others to let us break the rule, even if it inconveniences them. "Worry about yourself" is right!

Sarah R said...

Amen andrea.roche!

andrea.roche said...

SarasMommy -
I didn't say we shouldn't follow the guidelines. I think we SHOULD. I fully believe in keeping the "etiquette" of coupon shopping (now that I THINK I finally understand it!) ; however, some people are not aware of it(remember, not every couponer reads this blog). Maybe, to them, they are not being selfish. Maybe, they are just shopping for their family. You have to remember, as a mom yourself, some people are in situations in which they are fending for their kids. ESP. in this economy. We DO NOT know someones situation. That is my point. If someone really needs something, who am I to call them selfish?

I'm sorry if my comment was misunderstood. And in defense of myself, I only do 3 transactions at a time.

Joanie Demer said...

I'm afraid to weigh in too heavily on this subject because I'm not looking for a bunch of hate mail AND more importantly, I have NO desire to tell any of you what to do! I want KCL to tell you what the rules are to the best of our abilities. You all can make your own choices!
Girl Power: Women rock, but sometimes we get so caught up in little things (I know I do!). We are often so quick to judge other women and we feel competitive on some level. I’m grateful that my life is so blessed that the things I have to complain about are so trivial.
Focus on what you can control. Doing anything else will drive you nuts. Play by the rules and coupon as you feel is ethical -don't worry about what everybody else is doing. Continue to share your opinions on KCL, because many readers are getting an education on ethics by reading them.
My biggest complaint about some reader comments is this: Don't go in to a store on the last day of the sale and expect the shelf to be full because it was everyone else's responsibility to leave some for you. DON’T PLAY VICTIM!! If I go in on the second day, or even the afternoon of the first day and see an empty shelf, I NEVER think “It’s someone else’s fault that the items are sold out”. It’s MY FAULT for not getting up early and taking the initiative to go out and shop! Or it’s MY FAULT for not calling ahead or pre-ordering. Take some responsibility! Sheesh!
You can’t and I can’t control how others will coupon. At KCL, we post store previews the day before or first day of the sale, so you can be on top of the shopping and we remind you to pre-order if you’re buying large quantities of coupons online.
As women, we can still help each other out, but we don’t have to be responsible for each other. There have been a few occasions where I’ve held someone’s {even stranger’s} crying baby while they checked out with multiple transactions. If someone else is in the aisle with me, I often share coupons or help explain a deal and if I was going to clear a shelf, I would offer some product to the other person in the aisle with me at the time. I’m not telling anyone what they should do, that’s what I do.
Now I’m off my soapbox- don’t make me climb back on! I really enjoy these ethical discussions (especially when they’re not directed at an individual, i.e. ME) Keep em coming, I really think they’re helping teach some others about the decisions they’ll have to make as they coupon. Just keep your comments generalized as much as possible, please.

andrea.roche said...


Amen. I aspire to be like you. And there is no sarcasm whatever in my blog comment tone. :)


Joanie Demer said...

That's ridiculous. I've never been closer to deleting a blog comment.

You and I do see pretty eye-to-eye on coupon ethics, it would seem. Aspire to be like someone else, but keep visiting and commenting on KCL. We would miss you desperately if you ever left us!

The Barkers said...

I don't judge. What I see is what I see though. I have two kids. Two and eight months. So Maybe there needs to be a rule. IF you have kids you get special treatment. Yeah...I'm not being serious when I say that. I mind my business for the most part. I said nothing about shelf clearing. There are hundreds of people who do this. To think that things won't be out of stock is ridiculous. It is just a part of life. I think some people are feeling like this is towards them. Guilty maybe. I won't go through life being selfish, but others will. That is just life and I have come to terms with that. I guess those of us who think of others will just have to be even nicer to make up for those who justify doing wrong.

Joanie Demer said...

The Barkers,
We're not disagreeing are we? I hope not! I'm happy that you can vent here. Everyone has strong feelings about this stuff- hence all these comments- look what you started! :)

The point is, I really don't know what to do or how to do it. When there are rules, then let's play by them and ask management how we can keep them happy. I shared what I do and that I don't want to dictate or really even be advising on the matter. I just like sharing the deals. I'm the one who brought up shelf clearing. That's the hot button issue for lots of coupon ladies. And the stigma that goes with it is a pet peeve of mine. I could say it til I'm blue in the face, I'll do everything in my power not to clear a shelf- I mean everything! But if after doing that I get to the store with 4 coupons and there are 4 products left, I'll buy them.
Anyhow, I appreciate the Barkers and all your contributions on KCL.

The Barkers said...

So I think Joanie is one of the only people who actually took my comment the way I wanted it to be taken. I don't know everyones story. You are right. When stores are slowly making it so you can't use doubles at the self check out,that probably means some people are taking advantage or it is just a hastle. I agree when you have a few things self check out is easier. I wasn't saying anything about it not, or shelf clearing. If you make ten trips back to the store for the same item, fine, when you do thirty items all at once. Seems a little ridiculous. My comments weren't suppose to be taken as rude. Just maybe as a message that maybe we can be a little nicer. I'm not trying to change the world. Just was hoping that people would see that we are lucky to have come across couponing especially the, "krazy lady coupon way" and we should show some appreciation. I know I will. Once again, I am sorry if I offended anyone.

The Barkers said...

We are not disagreeing! I think maybe things can be taken the wrong way by some.That is why I apologized and tried to explain. Guess it didn't work. I wasn't trying to be rude. I was just a little frustrated. I wasn't calling these people bad people. I had a friend who used a coupon wrong and I said something about it. I feel if we know someone who is doing wrong we should maybe politely say something. Word of mouth. Cause not everyone is a reader of this particular blog,I know. That is all. I know,look at what I started! I promise I'm not that crouchy person! I just thought I would voice some things. Note to self.... vent to my husband!

andrea.roche said...

"The Barkers" I was TOTALLY not directing my comments at you. That's what I prefaced everything by saying just that. I think your points are completely valid and I think you share a lot of ladies' feelings. I appreciate your thoughts because it will make me a much more aware couponer. I just wanted to approach the issue witha completely different line of vision. I didn't for a minute think you were being rude I think, in every issue, there are two sides of it and we have to be aware of both. You are sweet for apologizing, but please know, nothing you said was offensive.

PS It's extremely difficult to convey tone/opinions on a blog....
PSS My husband thinks I am a loser for commenting so many times.