Yesterday a learned some very valuable lessons that I want to share with everyone. As you might of seen I had an awesome day shopping with my daughter yesterday at Shopper’s Drug Mart. If you missed my blog post you can check it out HERE.
What should have been a very quick shopping trip soon turned out to quite the fiasco. As an avid Canadian couponer I pride myself on being very organized.
Each week I go through the current flyers and circle the items I wish to buy and pull out all the appropriate coupons. I just love the new coupon match-up we have here on Canadian Free Stuff and always scroll through them before printing off my final shopping list. You can view the Canadian coupon match-ups HERE. (this is a fabulous tool for any couponer)
Feeling very well prepared we headed over to the store. We quickly found the items we were looking for and even found some other unadvertised sales that we had coupons for.
I decided that I would also pick up some Aveeno daily moisture lotion since it was only $5.99 and I still had a $3.00 off coupon that was slowly burning a hole in my binder. Why not I thought? I love Aveeno hand cream and I would hate to see the coupon go to waste.
I also noticed that the Airwick Freshmatic starter kit was on sale. The sign on the shelf said Regular $6.99 on sale for $5.49. I could hardly believe it. I have seen this item elsewhere for over $10.00. I quickly asked my daughter to go through the coupon binder (which I always take with me just in case we find a super deal) and see if we still had the $5.00 off coupon that we received from doing the Shopper’s Voice survey. Yup, sure enough we still did. I looked at the shelf again and realized that it would only be .49¢.
Can’t beat that, so we threw it in the cart. We took one last lap around the store to see if there was any other deals. My daughter wanted to check out the baby isle and see if there was anything we could get for my new Grandson that is due to arrive this week. While she was hopping up and down the isle like a two year old (even though she is 20) She noticed a five-dollar bill just sitting on the floor. She quickly scooped it up. The funny thing is her father earlier this week had done the same thing. Well he wasn’t skipping down the store isle but he did find $5.00 that someone left in the change tray at the self check out at our local grocery store. I had to laugh, they had both found $5.00 this week. So when is my turn I asked? I want to find $5.00 too. L
One final stop. We headed over the clearance bin to grab three facial masks. Reg. $1.99 / Sale .50¢ each. Great Deal.
I was originally planning of just picking up a few frozen pizzas and some Gain Laundry Detergent but now found myself with a full shopping cart. One lesson I learned long ago is always count how many coupons you are going to be using and what the total value of those coupons are. For example yesterday I was using 10 coupons with a total value of $21.79. I do this because it makes it easier at the check out to quickly check my receipt.
Just scroll through your receipt count up 10 coupons coming off and quickly add them together and you are good to go.
Or I used to think so. More often than not lately I have been going though my receipts with a fine tooth comb. I am constantly finding errors after I get home and put my groceries away. This is so frustrating. Yesterday I decided I was going nowhere until I thoroughly checked my receipt. I only counted 9 coupons and my total seemed way to high. I knew I should be around $30.00 before taxes and my receipt was over $41.00 before taxes.
Something was not right. I figured out that the missing coupon was the very first one I had given the cashier. It was for the Aveeno hand lotion. The $3.00 had not come off. I turned back to the cashier I had just used and she was gone. I motioned to the neighbouring cashier that I had a problem. She came over and I explained that the Aveeno coupon had not come off my receipt. She very nicely went to the back and retrieved the original cashier. I described to her what the coupon looked like and she pulled it out of her till. She called the manager over and while they were discussing how to correct the problem I noticed yet another issue.
Under the Aveeno purchase there was another item named “Gala”. I looked at my daughter and asked what did we buy named Gala?? Nothing- I went thought all my shopping bags and everything was accounted for. I showed the manager the item in question and she told me this was a mistake also. Instead of ringing in my coupon the cashier accidentally hit a key that produced the “gala” and charged me $2.00. Now I was out a total of $5.00 ($3.00 for the coupon and $2.00 charged in error) The manager quickly apologised and refunded me the $5.00.
Huh, I exclaimed I got my FIVE BUCKS!
By now it was pushing 2:30 pm and it was time to head home. I had tons to get done and this shopping trip had already taken longer than expected. I got home and unpacked all the goodies we had purchased. Since I planned on blogging about my shopping deals I lined everything up on my dining room table and asked my daughter to take a picture. I looked at everything and still had the feeling that something wasn’t quite right. I grabbed the receipt and went through it again item by item.
OMG!! Another mistake. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Remember that Airwick Freshmatic starter kit that I was so excited about. Well guess what? I got charged $10.99. So instead of paying .49¢ after my $5.00 off coupon I actually paid $5.99. I can’t explain how hopping mad I was. I quickly grabbed the Airwick, my receipt and my wallet and walked back to Shopper’s Drug Mart.
I walked straight to the back of the store and low and behold there was still a Freshmatic on the shelf and the same sign I had seen before Reg. $6.99 Sale $5.49. I found an employee that was working stocking shelves in the area and asked him to please explain to me what item was actually on sale. He had no idea at first and I explained my situation. I told him that the only reason I purchased this item was because the sign clearly states on sale for $5.49! We told me he could give me refund if I wished. I said great, but I also want my $5.00 off coupon back. He made a funny face and told me he didn’t want to get into looking through coupons to get me this one back. I repeated that I would of never even put it in my cart had I not seen that it was on sale. He told me to come up front to the cash and he would honour the price that was on the sign since it was right under the item. He did, as my original cashier stared at me in wonderment.
I think both me and my daughter were feeling a little embarrassed at first but then we thought “who cares” all of these errors were their fault not ours. If they wanted to call me a crazy couponer behind my back, go right ahead. I accomplished getting $98.32 worth on merchandise and groceries for just $30.69 before taxes.
As a reward for all our hard work my daughter spent the $5.00 she found on the floor and treated us to a couple on nice cold ice cream cones. YUM!
The lessons learned
1. Count the quantity of coupon you are going to use
2. Calculate the total dollar value of those coupons
3. Know what items you are purchasing and look for anything extra that doesn’t belong on your receipt
4. Know your pricing- make sure that the items you are buying ring up at the correct price
5. Have a good idea of much your receipt should be. Makes it easier to identify errors
6. Check your receipt item by item and if you don’t want to make a trip back to the store do it before you leave the premises
Remember that even a seasoned couponer can refine their skills.
I will never again leave a store before checking every single item on my receipt.
Happy Couponing Everyone!
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