Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Just the usual 15 minute delay at the cash register - Tale of a couponing shopping trip

I usually go the store really early or really late, never ever during their busy time because using coupons means always a delay at the cash register. I feel sorry for people having to wait behind me and let me use this opportunity to apologize to anyone who ever had to wait behind me at the register. Believe me, short of memorizing the prices and explaining to the cashier that management needs to overwrite most high value coupons, there is really nothing I can do to speed up the process. I am always handing the coupons early on to the cashier, make it clear that it have coupons for free product and recommend that after the first coupon does not scan it would be a good idea to the manager for overwrite. Plus I usually have the prices for the products memorized and help the cashier identify the prices for each product as he or she scrolls through the list of products purchased and rung up.

Nevertheless, tonight was no different. At my neighborhood Harris Teeter I was waiting again for my coupons to be triple inspected, the manager to finally be called and then the individual overwrites to occur. I do not buy huge amounts of food, but it seems that using a coupon for free product is posing significant strategic problems to local grocery stores.

So what did I buy? Harris Teeter had an eVic special on Yoplait, with 15 yogurts for $6. I purchased 15 because I love to freeze the whips and enjoy them as mousse once solidly frozen. The chocolate one in particular is awesome as a frozen treat.

Then I had free coupons for a Wholly product (I purchased the spicy Guacamole), a free 2l bottle of any Pepsi product (I purchased the new flavor Mountain Dew Voltage with Raspberry and Ginseng - weird as I may sound I love funky soda flavors) and then used a free coupon left over from my Moms Meet sampling for a free Uncle Matt's Organic Orange Juice. I also lucked out and had a Harris Teeter Store coupon for a free frozen Yoplait product, which this week was on sale BOGO (buy one, get one free) and so I ended up getting two for free - Can't beat that price! I also had one more coupon for a Sambazon smoothie from another Moms Meet sampling event and so I treated myself to my favorite flavor of chocolate, almond and coconut - Yummy!

After everything was rung up, the total was a little bit over $31 and then the coupon wait started. Anyway, after taking off for all the free products, I ended up paying a little bit more than $7 and hauled two paper bags of groceries home from the store.

Not a bad haul for a weeknight trip and I got a lot of really tasty stuff and items that I would consider treats, starting with the Yoplait that will now carefully be rationed. Since all Yoplait items are good for another 4 weeks, I can enjoy one frozen treat almost ever working day over the next month. I am also happy to have one more Sambazon smoothie. This beverage may just be my favorite drink right now - it really tastes so good and it is organic, loaded with Acai berries and nonGMO. The orange juice from Uncle Matt's is another such treat. That juice really tastes like freshly squeezed and has not added sugar, just using the natural sweetness of the oranges.

Anyway, in the end the wait at the cash register tonight was worth it. The people waiting were not impatient - thank god for smartphones and the magazine racks near the cash registers. I felt that I had a really good shopping trip since both the cashier and the manager were not rude, but accommodating - thanks for the late shift at Harris Teeter and now my fridge looks a lot fuller and with all the healthy items, I can be sure to not catch any cold, so my sneezing will be solely due to allergies.

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