I was at the grocery store the other day, and as usual, I had my coupons lined up with the relevant purchases to make it easier for the cashier (they’ve told me they prefer this rather than getting them at the end).
“Hmm,” she says to me, “you like coupons, don’t you?”
YES, THANKS. I don’t see any problem with saving a bit of money on my purchases, thanks very much lady. I am sorry this is such a hassle for you today. Anyway, we ran into a bit of a problem with a $10 coupon I had for a Gillette Fusion razor for Mark. It was on sale for $8.99 so I was expecting to get it free. She couldn’t get it to scan properly. She calls someone, and they tell her that I haven’t spent enough money to use it. I start protesting, as it’s a manufacturers coupon with no restrictions printed on it, so I end up at customer service, complaining – and they had no problem honouring it.
Mark needs razors – why not get him a free one? Coupons save me money on stuff I’d buy anyway (like diapers, or Yo Baby yogurts, or 30% off clothes at H&M or Children’s Place) or stuff I might like to try (companies often provide coupons to promote new products). I won’t buy something with a coupon if I don’t care about the name brand and the store brand/no name is cheaper (this applies to much of my shopping cart – but there are a few things where I do prefer the name brand). I don’t have much brand loyalty, so I can be flexible enough to make them work for me.
There’s a coupon book that is used as a fund raising tool – my mother’s school, where she works, sells them. So I have one that we got for Christmas. And we have used it a number of times – to discover local restaurants (we found a great Italian place, had a wonderful meal, and it was like half the price it would have been) or buy-one-get-one-free on Ben and Jerry’s ice cream cones or whatever.
As my mother’s summer off of work is coming to an end, I decided that yesterday I’d pack up the kids and head to my parents’ house in Oshawa to visit, and we’d go to the zoo there as a treat. Because I had a coupon.
Zoos are expensive. Well, at least the Toronto Zoo and Bowmanville Zoos are, on a normal day (you know, without a coupon or a discount of some kind!) So I was interested to see what it was like, and get my 50% off, thanks very much.
My review of the Oshawa Zoo – it sucked. Don’t waste your time or your money. Closer to our home, there’s a farm/petting zoo that Oliver loves. They have loads of different animals, exotic birds, they ask that you bring veggies and bread to feed them, there’s a hand washing station, and it’s FREE. Yes, FREE. They ask for donations, and they charge for pony rides.
The Oshawa Zoo had almost the same kinds of animals as the farm, but for a couple of lemurs and a monkey. They want you to feed their animals too, but don’t provide hand sanitizer or hand washing. They actually charged me for Callum’s entry – yes, a baby – which I was so surprised by I didn’t manage to argue about. So if I hadn’t had my coupon, it would have been a $26 visit. $13 was bad enough.
A lesson in coupons. I’m still clipping them, though. Times are tough, money’s short, blah blah blah…