Thursday, December 9, 2010

Grocery Shopping & Review of Coupon Organizer v3.1

It's official, I hate Organizer 3.1.  It's just too big and bulky to easily use while shopping.  It's easy enough to find things in it when I'm home and planning ahead, but pretty much impossible when I'm at the store.  It's too small to sit on top of the cart seat without falling in, and once it's sitting in it, it's too big to page through and find a coupon easily.  Add to that, that it's just bulky in general, which makes it hard to pick up.

Overall, my most recent grocery trip did not go well.  Between trying to find coupons for items that were unadvertised and then getting to the register to have the cashier debate with me over my coupon usage.  It just sucked the fun out of couponing and made me dread using this organizer again.

So what happened with the cashier?  I had 2 different coupons for Kraft Homestyle Mac & Cheese (the new stuff in the blue bag).  One was for $2/2 and the other was a BOGO coupon.  I'd done this exact scenario last week, purchasing 3 bags and using both coupons without an issue.  It just made logical sense to me that I would need to purchase 3 bags.  Coupon 1 ($2/2) would attach to the first 2 bags.  Then in buying those two bags I would be able to use coupon 2 (BOGO) to get the third bag for free.  This cashier didn't see it that way, telling me I had to buy 4 to use both coupons.  I explained to her why I didn't and eventually she relented with the old "well I'll do it this time" line.  Then another woman came up to help bag, so the cashier decided to get a second opinion.  The new lady agreed with the cashier that I needed to buy 4.  I should have just put the original 3 back and tried the scenario again later with one of the more agreeable cashiers (the guys in this particular store), but I was already frustrated at that point, so I told them to grab me another bag.  I think I'm going to take that 4th bag back, since the woman who grabbed it grabbed the wrong one anyway.

From now on I will stick to my usual Friday shopping at Publix and look for my guys.

Another thing I noticed that she did, which kind of annoyed me (and seemed to slow things down A LOT) was when I handed her the coupons (with the BOGO on top, because that's what one of the guys had told me to do), she went through separating them all and laying them out, ringing each matching coupon immediately after she rang the item it went with.  For some reason I feel like in doing this she likely forgot a few coupons.

Overall, I was disappointed with my savings on this trip.  Granted I bought A LOT, and I bought quite a few items that weren't on sale because I wanted to make a specific dish.  In the end, my savings were only about 50% (having spent $80 and saved just under that amount).  That said, there were quite a few items on the BOGO sale this week that were good deals.  My hubby was still proud of the savings (he helped me unload the groceries so he saw just how much I got for that amount).

I told him about the new organizer and how much I disliked it and showed him the My Coupon Keeper that I was considering as my next organizer. He pointed out the one failure it has, which I have to agree with and feel like it will be the failing that will keep me from liking it as well... the lack of a handle.  I think I'm going to end up just making my own (again), thinking I have a better chance of getting something that will work for me if I do that.

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