Guest post from The Bargain Jargon!

This post is from The Bargain Jargon. I am still crying and my sides hurt from laughing soooo hard! I just read it out loud to my husband who was also rolling on the floor laughing! The Bargain Jargon sends her husband to the store, and this is his experience!



Several months ago, I promised my wife that I would participate in a “coupon laden shopping trip” as part of a feature on her blog. (I know, even the phrase sounds abhorrent doesn’t it?) In hindsight, I have come to believe that I was somehow manipulated into agreeing to this ridiculous idea. Perhaps she put some sort of “coupon ecstasy”drug in my meals to lower my defenses and weaken my resistance to her fanatical, shopping lunacy, because I find it hard to believe that I ever cogently agreed to such a thing.


When my wife reminded me that I still needed to go on my “shopping trip” I reasoned that since we had just moved it was probably better to wait until everything was settled. To my surprise she agreed and internally I congratulated myself on a wonderful deflection. My sentence of death by coupons had been delayed. With any luck, she would forget about the idea and I would live out my life in blissful, coupon-free liberty…unfortunately, Albertson’s ruined my plans!


Two days after my wife granted me a coupon reprieve, Albertson’s came out with some sort of double coupon/rebate special, and my wife immediately revoked her concession to suspend my “coupon trip” with an urgent and almost irrational explanation that this deal was TOO good, and her coupon collection was perfectly matched to maximize some SERIOUS savings and score some SWEET deals. What’s more, she gave me no time to prepare. “Get your shoes on. We need to go today because my coupons are expiring and I have enough coupons for two people.”


I tried to protest. “You can’t just demand that I immediately go shopping with coupons! I need time to mentally prepare, to build up my courage and enact a game plan. You act like you are going through coupon menopause, hungrily hoping for a final bargain baby; how about if I go next weekend?”

“You have 30 minutes to get ready while I prepare your shopping list.” She walked off with a giddy giggle quietly reviewing complex calculations under her breath. I felt like a kid that had been told he could go to the store to get ice cream only to be taken to the dentist for a root canal. Shortly my wife returned with a shopping list and a serious look. “Okay, now I know this is for the blog, but don’t screw it up on purpose thinking you will be funny—you won’t. You have to pay attention to what you are doing or else you will waste all my coupons.” She handed me the shopping list attached to a thin store circular with a collage of various products that were on sale and could be combined in groups to qualify for rebate savings. “I know you think you are bright, but seriously, you better do this right, or else.”


I laughed off her threat trying to convince myself that my wife was being playful, but inside I began to experience pangs of real fear, ”…you better do this right, or else…” echoed through my mind, or else what, I wondered? I looked down at my list thinking this shouldn’t be too tough, after all, the store ad had pictures of the stuff I was supposed to buy. It would be like a simple treasure hunt. Match the picture to the product and put it in my cart. Resolved and bolstering my courage I took a deep breath and started to leave. “Wait, don’t forget your coupons.”


I stared down in disbelief at the exhaustive quantity of coupons that my wife was handing me. Her reluctant grip lingered on the coupons before she finally released them with the consternation of an overly protective parent who was leaving their only child with an incompetent babysitter. Why on earth would I ever need such an obese collection of coupons? Confused, I looked up, “My shopping list is not that long. Why do I need so many coupons?” She looked at me disdainfully as if I had asked, “Why do we need to breathe?”

“First, this is a double coupon shopping trip, two coupons for each item. Second, the store might not have exactly everything on the list. You might need to substitute something to make sure your total purchase amount, before coupons, achieves the qualifying amount. In that case, use one of the different coupons, but make sure the item is one of the advertised items, and if there is a double coupon, use both of them, and make sure that you get to the total dollar amount I wrote on your list, but don’t go too far over. You want to be just over $30, to get the 15 dollar rebate, so don’t purchase any extra items, if you can get to exactly $30, even better.”


My head was already spinning. This was going to be more complicated than I had imagined. I started to silently pray that the store would have everything on the list as I grabbed my keys and headed to the car, distractedly considering whether I could just keep driving and head to some coupon free nation that did not have extradition agreements with the United States. Does such a paradise even exist?


We arrived at Albertson’s and I grabbed a cart trying to project an air of confidence, a man in control, a shopping Samurai with no fear. My wife took her cart in one direction and I went in the exact opposite. After all, a guy needs some space to summon his mojo. I decided to start with something easy, Chex Mix. I looked at the picture on the ad and saw the familiar “Chex Mix” logo. But my inexperience became immediately apparent. While I could clearly see that Chex Mix was advertised, I couldn’t tell if it was regular Chex Mix, Cheddar Chex Mix, or Bold Chex Mix. Would it matter what kind of Chex Mix I bought? My former optimism and confidence withered as I struggled with this first decision. “Don’t mess up…or else” rang through my head.


Breathe. I can do this. Surely they would all qualify right? I decided that it was a symbolic sign, a foreshadowing of my coupon expedition. I grabbed the Chex Mix Bold. “Go Bold or Go Home”, I whispered to myself, trying to regain my confidence. I placed the Chex Mix in my cart, double, and then triple checked my list, the circular, the coupons and the product. Everything looked to be in order, on to the next item.


I actually picked up the next several items with relative ease. The pictures on the store ad matched exactly with the coupons that I had and the product on the shelves. I was starting to build some steam. I just might survive. Then I came to Pillsbury cookies. I scanned the cookie aisle 3 times, then 4 times. There were lots of cookies but none matched the picture from the ad. I couldn’t find any cookies made by Pillsbury. How could something so yummy, like a cookie, be producing such panic and discomfort. Surely I couldn’t screw up on cookies… but what was I missing?


On the corner of the aisle I noticed a stack of maps of the store that showed each aisle and what the main items were. I grabbed a map thinking that maybe there was some special Pillsbury cookie aisle. I began to walk up and down the store turning my map every which way trying to orient it to the various aisles. I looked like a foreign tourist searching for Elvis landmarks. To my dismay, there was no aisle marked, “Pillsbury Cookie Aisle”. As I began to sink into despair, I suddenly noticed a lady with a stack of coupons and a shopping cart that was half full. She had just placed an item into her cart and with a practiced precision she deftly folded a coupon into her front pocket, apparently the place she transferred her coupons once she had added the coupon item to her cart. Nice technique. She had a sort of James Dean coupon coolness the way her thumb maneuvered the coupons succinctly into her pocket, no wasted motion. She must definitely be a coupon veteran.


I slowly pushed my cart in her direction hoping that perhaps she would recognize a fellow coupon shopper and offer some assistance. Was there a special wave that coupon shoppers used? I have often seen motor cycle riders pass each other on the freeway giving a fraternal wave that seems to be nothing more than the bikers pointing downward as they pass one of their two-wheeled colleagues. Given her cool James Dean coupon flair, I decided to offer a motorcycle-type wave, pointing downward as I neared her cart and gesturing with what I considered to be a frugal wave. She briefly glanced down, not recognizing my “coupon-club” wave, and then veered her cart around the area where I had previously pointed (waved). Clearly I had not correctly delivered an appropriate coupon wave as she took my gesticulation to be some kind of warning to avoid an unseen danger on the floor.


As she continued down the aisle, I found myself once again surrounded by cookies of all variety but nothing resembling the Pillsbury picture. I would like to tell you that the Pillsbury Dough Boy appeared to me in a dream and revealed to me that the Pillsbury cookies were actually cookie dough stocked in the refrigerated section. Unfortunately, the revelation of the Pillsbury cookies came from my wife, who seemed to have sensed that somehow her precious coupons were in jeopardy. As she walked by at the end of the aisle and noticed me gazing numbly at rows of cookies, she immediately recognized my problem and without wasting any words simply uttered, “Pillsbury dough is refrigerated…” as she disappeared from view with her cart already piled three times higher than mine. I marveled at how she was able to surmise the situation, offer an expeditious remedy and continue on with her shopping without even breaking stride. Refrigerated cookie dough—of course! It seemed so obvious after my wife pointed it out. I trudged down the aisle trying to persuade myself that I would have figured it out eventually.


Finishing with my shopping list, I began to carefully review each item. Like a S.W.A.T team bomb technician cautiously referencing schematics to deactivate an explosive device, I vigilantly examined each item and ensured that I had the appropriate coupons. The time had come to check out and be judged. Had I done everything properly to qualify for the rebate that was supposed to print out at the end of the transaction? With the reluctance of a death row inmate, I slowly headed to the check stands. As I approached, I tried to assess each cashier, looking for one I thought was the most susceptible to bribery. If something went wrong, I was prepared to pay $100 for them to somehow produce a receipt that showed gobs of savings and qualified for the rebate. They could even charge me full price for the items so long as the receipt looked like I had redeemed all the coupons and received the special rebate. Sadly, I did not see a cashier that appeared to be shady, so I went to the closest register.


As the cashier dispassionately began to ring up each item, the beeping of the scanner seemed like the echoes from an electrocardiogram, “beep, beep”. At any moment I almost expected the tone to change to a constant drawn out “beeeeeeeeep”, indicating that I had flat-lined. I imagined the cashier transforming into some sort of bargain doctor, “Time of coupon death, 3:15pm. Bag boy, please inform the next of kin that this shopper didn’t make it.”


Numbly waking from my reverie, I realized the cashier had finished ringing up the items and was now scanning all of the coupons. Finishing with the last one, he pressed the total button and time seemed to stop. The amount owed was incredulously insignificant, which seemed impossible considering all the stuff I had just bought, but despite this amazing result, I was fixated on the printer that was somehow supposed to magically print out the rebates. If I did not bring back the rebates I would clearly have failed. Time seemed to move in slow motion as I stared at the printer…but it remained silent. PRINT you infernal machine PRINT!


I suddenly longed for a robbery. Maybe if I was shot during a grocery store hold-up all would be forgotten. I could theorize that the rebates were lost in the mayhem of the shooting. Why didn’t I move my family to a more disreputable and dangerous town?!


Then, without fanfare, the printer timidly began to print and out came the cherished slips of paper. Could it be? The cashier handed me the rebates and I gingerly cupped them in my hands as though cradling the original manuscripts of some Shakespearian classic. It had worked! I had used the coupons. I had qualified for the rebates, and the anguishing nightmare was over. I looked up to see my wife standing a few yards away, like the proud coach of a young athlete who had just won his first competition. I raced over and anxiously handed her the rebates and the receipt. “It worked. Your crazy plan actually worked.”

With a knowing smile she proudly responded, “See that wasn’t so bad. It was kind of fun wasn’t it?” Begrudgingly, I admitted that it was exhilarating in a strange sort of way. It almost seemed like a sporting conquest that produced a certain sense of euphoria, or was that ecstasy?


-Steve

Oh My Goodness, that was funny!

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7 Responses to “Guest post from The Bargain Jargon!”

  1. Suzanne Says:

    That is couponing ecstasy!!!

  2. beth Says:

    LOOOOOOOVED it!

  3. Tracy Says:

    I have to read this to my husband as well. He hates to shop and almost agreed to go to Target with me tonight. Maybe this will give him a big boost.

  4. jenn Says:

    This is great! I need to share this with my hubby too!

  5. Christy Says:

    Thanks for sharing the link to my husband's post. You might also enjoy 2 previous post he wrote for me too:Note to other spouses from my husband:http://www.thebargainjargon.com/2009/05/note-for-others-from-my-husband.htmlKFC Dare Devil:http://www.thebargainjargon.com/2009/05/kfc-dare-devil.htmlHave a great week!

  6. jenj22 Says:

    That was great!! I need to share the couponing experience with my husband. I'll let you know how it turns out.

  7. jenj22 Says:

    That was great!! I need to share the couponing experience with my husband. I'll let you know how it turns out.

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