I’m going to go ahead and warn you before you get too far into this post, that it is more than likely going to turn into a rant. You have been warned!
What is the hardest part of couponing for you? Is it finding coupons, organizing coupons, making your lists, planning your trips or is it finding the time to do it all? For me there is a bit of challenge in each of those, but none of them are as hard or as frustrating as going to the store after spending all that time planning, and finding that the items you want to buy are all gone. It’s no better when you find out the item(s) you had planned on getting as a back up are apparently not even carried by that store! This is exactly what happened with us last night, and it frustrated me to the point of almost totally giving up on shopping at Kroger.
As some of you might have seen, I happened to find some coupons yesterday that would enable me to get a really good deal on a few things. I had four $.75 off coupons for Mom’s Best Cereal, four $1 off coupons for Boulder Canyon Chips, four $1 off coupons for Best Oats Oatmeal, and two $1 off coupons for Kim & Scott’s Gourmet Pretzels. Now that I know you have to actually get 10 items to get the mega sale price at Kroger, I planned on getting 4 bags of chips (free after coupons), 4 boxes of cereal ($.24 after coupons) and two packs of oatmeal (Free after coupons). This would have totalled up to just under $2 after tax (you still pay tax on all of it). The Pretzels were my backup in case I needed the two extra slots, or I could even get up to four of the oatmeal if needed. The Pretzels would have brought the total up, but it still would have been below $3. So with coupons in hand, we headed first to Kroger on Dean.
We found the cereal with no problem, and picked out the four boxes we wanted, then headed to find the chips. We got there and they were all gone. Picked clean. It was apparent that the chips were a very hot item, and either there are a lot more people in Auburn who are seriously into couponing than it seems, or there are a few who simply buy way more than necessary when they find a sale like this. I’ll talk more about those people in a minute. Anyway, since they were out of the chips, and I didn’t see the oatmeal at all, we decided to drive down to TigerTown and check the kroger there.
At TigerTown we once again found the cereal, and there was plenty to choose from. We got our four boxes and once again found where the chips should have been. This time though, we managed to scrounge up the last three bags, which left us needing only 3 more items. Our trip was actually looking more hopeful. I figured I could just get three things of oatmeal and we would be set. Then I realized that our Krogers apparently do not carry that brand of oatmeal (either that or I am completely blind). We looked in the organic section, and the breakfast section. We even went over to chips to see if there were any more Boulder Canyon over there, but there were not. So I went into backup mode, and decided to go look for the pretzels, which I had seen just the night before in the frozen food section at Walmart. We looked in every frozen food case in Kroger, and found zero pretzels. Since we didn’t even see a tag for them, we figured that they did not carry this product either, and therefore did not want us to save any money. We left Kroger extremely unhappy (especially after having wasted all the gas to get there). I was ready to never walk into a Kroger again, but after half a good night’s sleep, I may be willing to give them one more chance.
Now, about the people I mentioned above. The ones who buy way more than they need. I do not agree with what they do, and when I see or hear about them doing that, it angers me. I haven’t actually sat down and watched Extreme Couponing (mainly because we don’t have cable), but from what I have heard about it, I’m sure I would be very frustrated at some of those people. I mean, why in the world would you need 40 years worth of toilet paper? Everything goes on sale in a 6 week cycle, so just get enough to last 6 (or maybe 10) weeks and leave some for the rest of us. You may say that a lot of people who do this will donate most of what they get to charities and such. That is good, but just because you can get 50 cans of beans for free doesn’t mean you should. If anyone has a high chance of becoming a hoarder, it would be me, but I REFUSE to stockpile more than I need. I won’t take all of an item I can get for free because I know that someone else might actually need that item as well, and I want them to feel the satisfaction of getting it free. If you are one of those people who buys way too much, please stop. Not only will your fellow couponers thank you, but the rest of the world won’t think you’re crazy anymore either.