Coupon Complications

Recently I watched a television program in which two women paid six dollars per month for groceries. These Stingy Sisters clung to their grandmother’s credo: “No coupon? No purchase.”

Afterward, viewers lay awake, calculating not only how many thousand dollars they personally lost, but how they could have lowered the national debt if they hadn’t let their cake mix coupons expire.

I refer to women viewers. Most males who paused remotes on this program discovered they were hungry and emptied their kitchens.

Meanwhile, I, along with other contrite insomniacs, mended my ways. Having googled the word “coupon” and slashed through stacks of circulars, I sallied forth. Armed with a coupon for 552.5 feet of Smiley Face Tooth Floss, I discovered a brimming bin — on sale! However, every single one held only 550 feet. My first sad experience with the Almost-But-Not-Quite coupon.

I did cash in on a Buy-This-Get-Something-Irrelevant-Free coupon. Having purchased four cans of green beans, I received a congressional ice scraper.

Rebates proved more complicated. At today’s meat prices, a roast isn’t a meal; it’s an investment. Later, I would send off my roast’s package label, the grocery receipt and the cow’s birth certificate, only to learn I neglected to use black-and-white cow stamps honoring Bill Gates.

No rebate. (Sigh.)

Unaware of my impending beef bust, I optimistically approached condiment displays with my three-figure — $1.00 off — mayonnaise coupon. Unfortunately, both jars had been purchased.

Several coupons involved more legal dictates than Donald Trump’s pre-nups. One promoted cheese — “your choice” — at a reduced price. However, microscopic print declared mozzarella, cheddar, Colby, Munster, provolone, Havarti, yogurt, Monterey Jack, jalapeño, Swiss — and definitely American — off-limits. The eligible teal-colored cheese had to originate in Malaysia, purchasable only on Tuesdays. Before noon.

 Enough, already!

 My cart NASCARed through the store, then dashed for the nearest checkout full of couponless items.

A friendly lady whipped through my purchases until the cash register screeched a warning.

“I’m sorry, but your cage-free eggs do not match this coupon’s brand.”

“But it says—”

“The pictures are different.” She held the coupon against the package.

Chickens wearing sunbonnets didn’t match those wearing prison jumpsuits, escaping barbed-wire fences?

No store ever refused the Stingy Sisters’ coupons. On TV, coupons are always valid, and lovers never have colds.

Still, I not only gained the congressional ice scraper, but saved two dollars on broccoli-flavored Pringles, marshmallow tofu and 100 pounds of pomegranate squirrel food.

I’d tell the Stingy Sisters to eat their hearts out, but they probably possess a tripled no-expiration-date coupon for that, too.


What’s your best coupon deal ever?





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