Friday, November 7, 2008

Getting All This Free Food Is Exhausting

Just got back from a post-bedtime Jewel run. Very frustrating, although in the end I came back with another $65 worth of free food. I feel like I'm Ma Ingalls coming back from town with a winter's worth of provisions.

For transaction 1, I gathered up my this and that and checked out at the self-checkout. It needed "cashier assistance" for several coupons and although that meant a few minutes waiting, they all went through fine.

I used the technique advised on HotCouponWorld: First scan all your items, and BEFORE scanning your card or coupons, make sure the total is $30. The reason for this is that more often than you'd think, the register price is LESS THAN the shelf price. For example, the Cheerios* I bought tonight were $3.99 on the shelf but $3.50 on the register. That managed to take my deal just below $30, so I had to run and get a cake mix to make sure it was over.

After all that, my stoopid Catalinas did not print out! Also, I again failed to get the $2 off for each Pyramid tea. Sounds like the same exact thing happened to Annie (in the comments from the last post). I brought my receipt up to the register, getting tired of this drill but expecting to have $19 immediately refunded to me.

Instead, this assistant manager first tried to tell me the deal was expired, then that I didn't understande the Avenu deals, then tried to say they were only good for one use, then -- when I pointed out both the 11/12 expiration date and the line that it says "2 per visit," she claimed that you could only use them once a day. I doubt that is true or it would say so on the sheet, but anyway, she would not refund me the $4.

Then she took my stuff over to a checkout and rerang it all, got all my coupons out of the self-checkout box (thank god I hadn't used any illegal Internet ones!) and rescanned all the coupons. She told me that I had been allowed to use 2 or 3 coupons too many -- the CRTs that I had combined with manufacturers' qs actually say "manufacturer's coupon" on them. What? That sucks.

But anyway, she then said the reason that I didn't get the $15 cats was that I hadn't spent "anywhere near" $30. So, just like Annie, I argued (nicely) about that for awhile. I said that I knew it was the pre-card price, that it had been confirmed with corporate, that managers had gotten an email explaining it. She said there was nothing she could do, I said she should have an email with a barcode that would make the qs print out.

Then she tried to prove that you needed $30 in sale prices by ringing one item over and over until the "with card" total reached $30. Nothing happened, so she voided it back down. Then, I don't know what she did, but the cats printed out. She actually apologized and said she had no idea why it hadn't worked on the self check-out.

After all that I probably would have called it a night, but I had promised the hubs some ice cream. So I quickly grabbed a bunch more promo stuff, including the $3.33 Breyer's, and went to a regular check-out this time. Fortunately I had regular coupons for these items. This time, thank you thank you thank you, the $15 cats printed out no problem.

So my first transaction cost me just $13.87 ($9.87 if I manage to get my $4 in Avenu savings taken off when I go back tomorrow) and yielded $15 in cats. In other words, just over $1 profit but it should have been $5. Second transaction cost just about $15 and yielded $15 in cats, i.e. totally free.

I'm not much looking forward to trying to work this deal again tomorrow, but I really wanted to get some Chex Mix and salad dressing. I don't suppose I'll try buying any more of that dang tea, though.

* The Cheerios have $1.50 Pampers coupons on them!


Annie's Antics :-) said...

LOL! The things we do for free food!

I'm going back tomorrow - I hope the Pyramid tea is back on my Avenu list because we enjoyed some of the Black Tea tonight and it was de-lish!

I wonder if there's a copy of that email from Jewel corporate out there??

Melissa said...

just woke up and for some reason.. jewel is calling.. I'm putting together a couple small deals to just run in there and grab... so far I'm at

4 Skippys
4 Ragus
2 teas

I think the skippy/ragu will put me over the $30 but I'm not sure. I do have extra Lipton coupons so if those don't put me over I'll grab 2 of those and add those.

I have been told by cashiers during $1.99 milk days that when people try to buy 6 and do 3 transactions it doesn't work. They say the card remembers so you have to wait 30 minutes between for it to reset. I guess some of those ladies started coming in once in the morning, once at night just to get as many milks as possible.

Becky said...

Dang, I wish we had Jewel here! Great reading anyway.