To save money on groceries, I often use dollars-off coupons - coupons that say you get $X dollars off on a purchase of $XX or more. These are often listed as $X off $XX or $X/$XX in couponese. For instance, at Publix I use the $5 off $50 Doris Italian Market Recyclebank coupons to save each week. (Doris is considered a competitor to my Publix store.)
At Penn-Dutch, I've been using the $2 off $10 purchase coupons that have been appearing in the Community Marketplace section of the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel each week. There's a coupon in today's (August 31st) paper, good through Wednesday, September 5th. (There may be different versions of the Community Marketplace section based on your area; not all sections may have the Penn-Dutch ad.) Unfortunately my Publix does not take Penn-Dutch coupons as a competitor, so I've been heading to Penn-Dutch to get on-sale produce deals each week.
So if you're using a dollars-off coupon, you need to make sure that your total is above the minimum. It is the pre-coupon total that counts, not the total after coupons are used. I go through the store with a calculator, adding the prices of items as I put them in my cart. That way I know I've reached the minimum.
But what if you get to the cashier and find out you didn't reach the minimum? This could happen because an item was actually priced lower than what was listed on the shelf. Most people would find that to be a happy thing, but if you can't use your dollars-off coupon, the price cut actually costs you money.
Another way this could happen is that if you bought items sold by the pound and weighed them yourself on the produce scales, but the scale at the register shows a lower weight.
That's what happened to me at Penn-Dutch this week. I weighed my items and figured my bill would be $10.50 before the $2/$10 coupon. But when I got to the register, it was only $9.93.
Ack, what to do? I checked the impulse items near the register, but there was nothing under $1.00 to get. In the past when this has happened at other stores, I've bought a pack of gum that cost 39¢. But no help this time.
But the cashier had an idea: she took one of my tomatoes out of the bag and weighed it again, taking the total over $10. Then, after the transaction was completed, she sent me back to the produce section to pick up one more tomato.
This way, she didn't hold up the line of people behind me for me to get one more item from the aisles, and I got another fairly cheap item that I can use anyway.
Here's what I got on that trip:
25 ct foam plates @ 69¢
1 cantaloupe @ $1.29
3 cucumbers @ 25¢ = 75¢
1 iceberg lettuce @ 79¢
2.66 lb bananas @ 59¢/lb = $1.57
2.00 lb red bell peppers @ 99¢/lb = $1.98
2.84 lb tomatoes @ 99¢/lb = $2.81
0.35 lb tomato @ 99¢/lb = 35¢ (reweighed item)
- $2 off $10 Penn-Dutch coupon
Total spent: $8.28
Total saved compared to Penn-Dutch full prices: $6.06
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