Thursday, March 18, 2010

My pet peeve with blog deals

One of my favorites snacks is the Planters Fruit and Nut trail mix.  I discovered it at a rest stop while on a road trip, when I was looking for something healthy to nosh on.  It's yummy and fairly healthy, though it does have added sugar and sulfites... but compared to a lot of snacks, it's pretty good for you.

So I was really excited to see a deal on a blog that described how to get two free trail mix packages at Walgreens.  The idea was to combine a sale at Walgreens, two coupons from Facebook along with a coupon from a savings book available at the store.

The problem is, the coupon in the savings book was a manufacturer's coupons, not a store coupon.  And you can't use two manufacturer's coupons on one item.  So this deal didn't work for me.

Now, I don't mean to pick on any particular blogger.  I appreciate the hard work they do to bring us amazing deals.  I couldn't save nearly as much money as I do without them.

But, it seems that many times deals are figured out in theory, but they don't work in reality.  Some of the problems I've encountered are:

Mismatch of product size.  For instance, the sale is only on the 12 oz size of the product, but the coupon specifically says 16 oz or larger.  It can't be used for the sale.

Mismatch of product variety.   As a made-up example, the sale is on the chocolate variety of Cheerios, but the coupon specifically says it's for the original Cheerios variety.

The product isn't available at that store.  Some stores only carry a limited selection of an item - they don't carry all the possible flavors and varieties.  They may have a sale on say, all varieties of Cheerios, but they don't happen to carry the chocolate kind, for instance. So you can't use a coupon for the chocolate variety of Cheerios at this sale, since you can't buy the product there.

The coupon expires before the end of the sale.  This is okay if the blogger specifically mentions that the coupon will expire on such-and-such a date; then I know I have to get that deal before the expiration date, and if not, it's my fault.  But sometimes expiration dates are forgotten, and the deal only works for the first day or two of the sale. 

A deal mistakes a manufacturer's coupon for a store coupon, and vice versa.  As I showed in my example above.

Part of the problem is that a single blogger's mistake (and we all make mistakes, of course!) is compounded by dozens of other bloggers copying the same deals.  So, as a blogger myself, I try not to post deals unless I've confirmed that they really work.  The downside is that I may not report on a deal early enough for readers to take advantage of the deal for themselves.

I guess the moral of the story is to check out all deals yourself before trying them at the store!  If you think there's a problem, there probably is.

And the trail mix?  Even though I didn't get it for free, I was still able to use the two coupons from Facebook and get them for 49¢ each.  Still a good deal!

Read more pet peeves at Friday Fails and Friday Frustrations.
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Margie Widgeon March 18, 2010 at 1:32 PM  

Im right there with you. Which is why the majority of deals I post are AFTER I have already done them. My posts are pictures of the actual items that I purchased...I do appreciate all the blogs out there that share the deals, but the non specifics can sometimes lead to frustration for sure....

Kim,  March 18, 2010 at 10:51 PM  

The monthly walgreens coupon booklets are Walgreens coupons, not manufacturer. I have never had a problem combining a coupon out of the booklets with a manufacturers. In fact, I just did the Planter's Trail Mix deal earlier today with no problems.
Yes, it would be nice if bloggers were able to try deals before posting them, but how would they ever have the time. And, they don't have all the stores in their areas, but still post deals for them for the rest of us. You just have to be okay with not always getting a deal.

Anonymous,  March 19, 2010 at 7:14 AM  

I think the biggest cause of the problem is that some of these coupons and sales are regional. The best example is that I can find the coupon the blogger mentions in the Smartsource from my newspaper, but my coupon will only be for 50 cents off instead of the $1 off that other areas of the country are getting.

Cheryl Pitt March 19, 2010 at 11:46 AM  

I've wondered the same thing. And a lot of times it see,s like too much time to save a buck.

Margie Widgeon March 19, 2010 at 12:20 PM  

Another one bites the dust....the $10/$20 kmart coupon is not working for many. There are MANY deal scenairo's posted all over blogesphere for the use of this coupon. I myself tried it today and the register simply would not take it. A message popped up saying "reward not valid".I was told by CS (and they were nice) that the coupon was "attached" to a kmart rewards card and could only be used with that card. I wonder how much stuff will be put back @ kmart today...just the way it goes sometimes..

Kimberly March 19, 2010 at 4:27 PM  

Oh my goodness, I totally know what you mean. That's funny, because I was going to try that one, but hadn't gotten around to it yet. :) I TRY not to post deals until after I actually do them myself too and I write for my local folk! Don't you just hate it when you get to the store and it doesn't work out for you?! Sometimes I wonder if people posting the deals even do them? Glad to find your site!

Alyssa @ KeepingTheKingdomFirst March 19, 2010 at 6:49 PM  

Kim is correct. The monthly IVC Coupons in the Walgreens books are not manufacturer coupons, they are Walgeens coupons. If you look at the numbers on the coupons, it is a 4 digit code, indicating a store coupon. You can indeed stack them with another coupon per Walgreens policy. I post Walgreens scenarios on my blog every week as a $5 Challenge for newbies.

Money4ThisNot4That March 19, 2010 at 6:54 PM  

I agree with you and others, I only post deals that I have done and show how I got them.
And I also agree I couldn't do half of what I do without them. I have tried to take a step back to get the stuff I know I want and not try too hard to chase down every deal, because that was killing me when I couldn't get all my stars to align.

Unknown March 19, 2010 at 7:49 PM  

I have some more commentary about the Walgreens coupon book coupons here:

As for posting only deals that have been successfully tried, that's probably impossible, given the vast numbers of deals and possible coupons out there. I just think that all bloggers - including myself - have to take a look at deals before posting and make sure that they will really work. If there's a question that something might not be accepted, that concern should be noted.

I really love the creativity and out-of-the-box thinking that bloggers have in finding deals, and I wouldn't want to stop that creativity.

Myra @ My Blessed Life March 25, 2010 at 11:10 PM  

Girl, I feel your pain. I have been frustrated more than once about a deal that didn't work.

Thanks for linking up to Friday Fails! :)

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