Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Visa Ergo Sum


Our local grocery store has a scam going called Gas Buddy.

Buy certain products, and earn a certain amount of cents off on your next gas purchase at their gas station. On the surface, this sounds great, but as a savvy shopper, I was able to see through the sham pretty quick. Anything that had a Gas Buddy sticker was no bargain. In fact, it was frequently up-priced.

So I end up floating about the store with my cell phone in hand (set to calculator function) trying to figure out if I'm really getting anything off on gas. I'm not. Anyhoo.... since this store has the cheapest gas station for 30 miles associated with it, I'm going to pop into the grocery and take a little look-see every week anyways.

Last week I bought some generic toilet paper that turned out to not be such a good deal. Walgreen's advertised the name brand this week for the same price, so whatever few pennies were saved on gas didn't amount to much if the generic doesn't last us as long (although I did make sure it was the same ply and square footage, I'm not sure it will be as good).

This week, I won. In fact, if I have a few more weeks like this, the store should go bankrupt. I wouldn't miss Gas Buddy, or the wilty produce, but I sure would miss the gas station.

Here's what I bought:

Two Pantene Shampoos. A premium brand, I can't get this at the Wal of China for under $3. Frequently I see it for $3.49. Their super-duper price was 2 for $5 with Store Coupon. (I had said coupon.) I think they were looking to discontinue the line or something. Who buys shampoo at the grocery store anyways? Bachelors? They don't have hair most of the time. But buying groceries at the shampoo store is fine, I do it all the time at Wal of China. They added groceries later. Grocery store toiletries are too expensive as a rule.

A Pantene Hair Spray. $4.19 - sounds high, but this is a grocery store as mentioned.

Skim Milk. Store coupon 2 for $5. I put one in the cart, hoping I don't have to buy two. Great price, milk is now as high as gas.

Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix. 69 cents. This is outrageous. Last time I bought this, a mere decade ago, it was 44 cents a box. However, it is good for two cents off each gallon of gas up to 15 gallons. OK, Gas Buddy, you got me.

Eggs. Store coupon for 99 cents. This is how much eggs should be! I should not need a coupon. Cluck you, high prices.

Saltines. $1.00. Oh, sure, I could buy Al Premiums, but if you've ever seen him use the whole sleeve of crackers in one bowl of soup, you'd seek out the dollar shelf too. In restaurants, the waitresses ask if he wants some soup with those crackers. It's that bad.

Silverware. $1.00. Couldn't help myself. Little roll of four spoons looked handy for dishing out pet food or taking to lunch with my soup. Anyplace you don't want the fine silver going. Impulse buy. So shoot me.

Soooo.... I get up to the check out and start waving coupons like a madwoman. Checkout girl says one milk is fine.

Now...for the coup de grace...I whip out two manufacturer's coupons for Pantene - one says, buy one conditioner and one shampoo, get any styling product FREE and the other says $2.00 off Pantene Select.

A) I bought two shampoos
B)They don't even carry the Select

But you know what? Cute little check girl said she'd take BOTH of them!! And... wait for it.... I got an additional five cents off for "Plastic Bag Refund"!!! I didn't even know there was such a thing! I just bring a cloth bag because I'm trying to do something nice for the environment! Grand total, with tax (Drum roll, please) $9.69.

I've been redeemed!!!!

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