21 March 2013

Dollar General Couponing Venture

I think I talked before about my rock bottom price spreadsheet where I keep track of the lowest price I have paid for an item.  If our family is in need of an item and I can't find a good coupon deal for it, usually I will buy it at WalMart, Aldi, or the Dollar Tree, depending on what the item is.  For diapers, my go to is WalMart brand Parent's Choice.  With their diapers at regular price I spend .14/diaper.  If I find a deal that beats out WalMart, I know I need to get it.  Now with this Luvs deal, it actually ended up being the same price as WalMart.  The reason being I had to get one box of size 3 and one box of size 4.  You will notice there are more diapers in the size 3 box than in the size 4 box.  I wanted to get two boxes of size 3 to get optimum savings, but they only had 1 box left. I have never coupon shopped at Dollar General before.  It was  good experience, for the most part.  Here is the deal:

1 box Luvs size 4 diapers and 1 box Luvs size 3 diapers - 14.75/box (store sale price down from 15.75)
I used an online coupon I printed from the Dollar General website that was spend $30 get $5 off.
I also bought a peppermint patty (more on that later) for .75.  My total before coupons was 32.25.  Total after coupons was 25.25.  

Why the peppermint patty, you ask?  The coupon I had was "spend $30 get $5 off".  The blog where I saw this deal did not mention a sale (sales are usually regional), so here is where my plan had a small hitch.  When the cashier rang up the two boxes with the sale price of 14.75 each and not 15.75 each, the subtotal came to 29.50.  I was .50 short of spending the $30 to get the $5 off.  I didn't plan for this before I got to the register, so when I saw the subtotal I quickly looked around the register for something that was .50.  Of course the cheapest thing I could find was .75.  On a sidenote, why in the world at DOLLAR general are the gums/candies MORE expensive than at, say, WalMart or even Walgreens?  Silly, that's what that is.  So anyway, that is why I bought a .75 peppermint patty.  I essentially spent .75 to save 5.00 so I really saved 4.25 if you want to look at it that way.  :)

I also had a near run in with the cashier.  I say "near" because thankfully it was avoided.  When she first tried to scan my coupon, the register wouldn't take it (because my subtotal was 29.50 and not 30. but neither of us realized it at first).  Here's how the conversation went:

Cashier : "Okay, it won't take the coupon."
Me: "Oh really?  How come?"
Cashier (a little defensive) "I don't know, it just won't take it and I can't accept it if it won't take it."
Me: "Oh I know you can't override it, but I wonder why it's not accepting it?"
Cashier (very defensive)"I don't know, it doesn't tell me!"
Me: "I'm not trying to cause a problem I just want to figure it out."
Cashier: (a little less defensive)  "Oh I know it's just that a lot of these have come through here and they haven't been working."

This is when it clicked in my brain that with the store sale it might be preventing the subtotal from reaching $30.  I asked her what the subtotal was and she told me.  I told her that must be why and that's when I grabbed the Peppermint patty.  Then the coupon worked!  The cashier seemed relieved.  

I've had my fair share of run ins with cashiers.  Some are good, some not so good.  And I get it.  I am sure they have a million people who try to use a coupon the wrong way and get all mad and mean to them when it doesn't work, but please don't assume that I'm going to jump on you as soon as your register won't scan my coupon.  I simply want to find out the reason so that I can get better at couponing.  So that next time I can avoid this hiccup all together.  Usually if you as the customer are calm and keep your tone pleasant no matter the conversation, you can keep things from escalating to a bad experience.

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