I dislike coupons. I dislike coupons so much that one might say that I hate them. I dislike/hate coupons for one reason: Time. Coupons take time and organization and a general "like" of coupons.
As an aside, I wonder if you can "like" coupons in facebook? Please hold.... Nope, there isn't a group called "coupon" but there are all sorts of coupon groups with other words added to "like." I did not (nor will I ever) choose to "like" any group in the facebook with "coupon" in its sobriquet.
I also dislike grocery shopping. It's the reason I don't really cook any more. Shopping for food is time consuming, expensive, and laboriously boring. And as if grocery shopping isn't difficult enough, as if spending thousands of dollars on stuff -- that's only discharged -- isn't wasteful enough, as if the agony of ornery people and screaming kids is not annoying enough, the grocery store and grocery product people have to throw the coupon game into it.
I've always said poop-on-the-coupon and it's because of two scenarios. The first scenario, I like to call the Save-It-Til-It-Expires scenario, and it goes like this: I find a coupon worth using. I save it in the coupon folder for a while, and eventually forget about it. Then, when I'm out shopping, I remember the coupon, whip it out, and hand it to the cashier. The cashier returns the coupon to me with that "it's expired ma'am" pucker. I sheepishly purchase the product anyway because my pride keeps me from saying, "I don't want it if I hafta pay full price." Now I've just purchased something that perhaps I didn't intend to purchase, AND I paid full price for it.
The second scenario is the most frustrating. I like to call this one the No-Time-For-Your-Damn-Mistakes scenario, and it goes like this: I need something, and I'm in a hurry. Just this last time I needed a two-liter bottle for Yahoo #1's bottle rocket scout situation. We don't buy pop (insert my smug-high-horse-holier-than-thou-we-don't-buy-pop face), so I need to run to the store all quick-like for pop or something in a two-liter bottle. While looking about, I see a "Free Minute Maid Lemonade with Watermelon Purchase" coupon draped about a lemonade bottle -- it looked just like a large do-not-disturb sign, a total hind-sight-warning if you ask me. So I think, "Hey! I would love a watermelon today," put the lemonade in my basket and stroll on over to the watermelons. At check out, the lady is gabbing about whatever it is I'm cooking for dinner -- like they always do, why do they do that? -- and rings me up. Just as I picked up the bagged goods, I looked at the receipt, in the which I discover that I paid $1.18 (or something like that) for that "free" lemonade. Hey!" says I. "That lemonade should have been free." The lady then responds with "You'll have to go through customer service to get your money back." I'm in a hurry, and it's not worth that buck eighteen to stand in line for ten minutes. I walk out with lemonade and a watermelon, both of which I paid full price.
The coupon people hand out coupons because of people like me.
I really don't like coupons and I say poop on the coupons. But last weekend something magical happened. I was able to use and abuse this coupon system without it abusing me. Costco does this coupon mailer thing -- you know, where they send coupons in the mail -- and I noticed that there were about seven or eight items in that mailer that we use on a regular basis. So I clipped those coupons, headed to Costco and bought only items with coupons. I saved $25.50!
In coupon dollars, that's a lot of dollars.