Friday, December 16, 2011

Don't be Afraid to Ask Questions

Our grocery stores follow a Wednesday to Tuesday advertising week.  So even though it's only three days later, I'm already on my second week's store circular.  Most circulars here have special deals on weekends (Friday through Sunday) therefore I'm shopping on my second week's budget.  I'm hoping after I shop this weekend I won't go again until next weekend...or probably later considering it will be Christmas.  I'm afraid I might blow my budget on after-holiday sales.

But onto the point!  Don't be afraid to ask questions...just make sure you are polite and calm.  You catch more flies with honey than vinegar.  I still remember a woman screaming at an employee that she couldn't find any pumpkin spice and couldn't believe they were out.  I don't know about you, but I've never found myself wanting to help someone when I'm being yelled at.

I took a trip to Tom Thumb tonight to catch a couple deals I thought were pretty good.  Oreos were advertised as $1.99 for today only.  Now for a $10 budget, those Oreos are a luxury and I really don't need them...but I love Oreos.  In reality, I know I can afford it so got them anyways.  I may regret it later because I have no milk to dunk them in.  When they rang up I saw the retail price of $4.79 (almost $5 can you believe it!?!) with a $1.79 discount.  That makes them $3 - which is not the advertised price.  So I stopped and asked, "Isn't it supposed to be $1.99?" and showed the cashier the ad.  She pointed out another discount after other items had rung up for -$1.01 making it $1.99.  She wasn't angry and didn't roll her eyes.  It's was a valid question and I had every right to stop the transaction and make sure it was correct.  I still feel anxiety about doing this.  There are people in line behind me and I don't want to look stupid.  I just have to work on getting past it.

Now the second part; Sister Shubert rolls.  The circular advertised a special coupon for them for $1.99, limit 4.  I only bought two and handed over two $0.50 coupons.  In my area, Tom Thumb doubles up to 50 cents, so my understanding is that both should double.  I saw one double and figured the other one would too.  I made it out to my car and checked the receipt.  I had a nagging feeling it was too high, but I needed a moment to figure out the different discounts applied.  There it coupon hadn't doubled.  Now normally I would let it go.  I was already in my car and it was just 50 cents, but on a $10 budget that is 5% of my budget.  If you normally have a $100 a week budget, you'd probably go back if you noticed an extra $5 charge.  You'd probably pick up a $5 bill off the street...maybe even the 50 cents.  It adds up. $5 a week for 52 weeks...that's $260 a year.  You could take a weekend trip for that!

So where am I at?  Add:

  • Nabisco Oreos $1.99 per package after store savings
  • Sister Shubert Parkerhouse rolls 2 @ $0.99 each after store savings and coupons
Rolling total to date: $17.01

That gives me just under $3 left for the rest of my week 2 shopping.  So what did I do about the missed discount?  I went to customer service and politely pointed out it hadn't doubled.  The representative was excellent; checked my receipt and refunded my 50 cents.  Thank you, Tom Thumb.  :)

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