Lately I’ve been clipping, saving, and using coupons in order to stretch our household dollar. I use a plastic coupon wallet which is carefully divided into different types of grocery store products, and it’s populated with coupons (of course) and a darling little coupon trimmer made by Franklin (which gives you a good idea how old it is, Franklin is now Franklin-Covey), a nicely-functional pen and of course coupons.
I misplace my coupon wallet occasionally, which is really frustrating but understandable because it’s too large to fit into my purse. So at the end of a shopping trip I usually toss it in on top of the groceries in one of the sacks for the trek into the house. Sometimes, though, the wallet falls out of the sack inside the car and ends up underneath the seat, or I leave it in the cart…well, THAT only happened ONCE and I realized it before I even got in the car. Whew. That was close.
The last time I truly misplaced it, I actually lost out on a free sweatshirt from Quik–I had saved all but one proof of purchase to mail in for a free Nestlé Quik hoodie, and I lost the damned coupon wallet. Couldn’t find it anywhere. I actually went to Target and Kroger, the two stores which I frequent, to ask if anyone had found it in a cart and turned it in to lost & found. Nothing.
I harassed my sister Mary up in Michigan, because she’d been visiting us around the time I misplaced the wallet, and I hoped that she’d remember the last time I had the wallet. I must have asked her about it at least 50 times, trying to jog her memory to see if she recalled its last sighting.
I tore the damned house apart, all the while visualizing that hoodie fading away from me like a foggy vision torn apart by the breeze. Grrrr. I HATE losing out on a deal, especially one I’d worked so hard for! I bought those bottles of Quik with coupons, and it took quite a while to collect enough coupons to buy all the necessary bottles at a discount. So there was quite a lot of time and energy that had already been invested into this hoodie.
I went through my entire car and trunk multiple times, stopping short at pulling up the carpeting, because let’s face it–it would show if it had worked its way underneath the carpet and I just didn’t see any telltale lumps.
After a few weeks I bit the bullet and bought a new coupon wallet, exactly like the first one–except this one was cobalt blue and clear, not pink and clear. I began repopulating my new wallet with coupons, and it took a little while but I finally got my coupon stash back to its usual population.
And then for some reason I was in my hubby’s truck and poking around in the armrest/console storage thingie, and THERE WAS MY COUPON WALLET. With my coupon trimmer, my nice, smooth-writing pen, all those Quik proofs-o-purchase, and my shopping list from five weeks ago. I was so happy! And then I was so angry! Because guess what the date was! It was THREE DAYS PAST THE DEADLINE TO MAIL IN THE DAMNED QUIK SWEATSHIRT OFFER.
Mary said “Go ahead and mail it in anyway–it’s not that far past the deadline. I’ll bet they honor it!” So I wrote out the check for postage and handling and tucked it in the mail. I wasn’t very optimistic, but it was a very cool sweatshirt, and Rick really likes Quik.
Six weeks passed and I was starting to feel kind of optimistic about the sweatshirt, because how long would it take them to tell me to “Stuff it! You’re past the deadline, lady! No sweatshirt for YOU!” So they MUST be packaging up my X-Lg Sweatshirt and mailing it out to me!
The next day, I got back my original envelope, marked “Return to Sender–No such address.” So they must have rented that post office box just until the offer’s deadline. But WHY did it take the USPS so long to return my envelope, then?
*Sigh* Yes, I really need to find a hobby.
Getting back to my original topic, which is losing my coupon wallet. I’ve done it again, lost the wallet, can’t find it in any of the expected places. There wasn’t anything as time-critical in there as the Quik proofs of purchase this time, but I did have some Ball Park Frank coupons for the Black Angus dogs, which are NOT to be missed! These things are the Cadillac of hot dogs! Mmmm…black angus…
So after a couple weeks of pissing and moaning, I got out the old pink and clear plastic backup wallet and prepared to start building up my coupon library again. But I didn’t count on it being Christmas season. Apparently retailers think that consumers are so busy buying Christmas gifts that they STOP USING things like shampoo and toilet paper and dishwasher detergent until after New Year’s Day.
I’m here to tell ya that ain’t so. The coupon pickings have been mighty slim over the past few weeks, and I’m feeling like I’m missing a limb when I comb through the sales papers on Sunday. I try not to buy something until it’s on sale AND I have a coupon for it, which means that my grocery list is composed with careful timing. I try to have a backup toothpaste or antiperspirant before we run out, but I have to make sure that I’ve purchased that backup as frugally as possible.
Anyway. If you’re a shopper in the Knoxville area, and you’ve come across a cobalt blue and clear plastic coupon wallet in the basket of your cart, treat it with love. You’ll need to sort through the coupons to get rid of those that have already expired, and the coupon trimmer is pretty much worn out by now–I’ve just kept it as a mement0, really. Enjoy, and may it fill your Sundays with coupon obsession just like it did mine.