Last week, I opened the mailbox to find an entire envelope of coupons, just for me. Apparently, these select merchandisers were giving discounts to their favorite customers. I opened the coupons as fast as I could while thinking, “Finally, all my years of loyalty to Corn Flakes, Old Spice and Fruit-of-the-Loom were being recognized!”
I flipped through the coupons: commemorative coins, car wax and sugar-free Jell-O. Wow! Cancel my plans. Let the weekend begin.
Coupons have always been a great marketing technique to lure people into a place of business. However, sometimes coupons shouldn’t be redeemed right away – or even used at all. For instance, just because you had a coupon doesn’t mean you should take a “first date” to the Golden Corral.
Always wait until the second or even third date to use such a luxury, just to make sure your new love is worthy. My uncle won some 50-percent-off coupons in a raffle at the hardware store and used them to surprise my aunt with a couple’s day at the spa. He had a coupon for “his and hers” back hair removal.
She left the spa early, then sliced all four of the tires on his truck. However, she did leave a coupon under his windshield wiper for “buy three, get the fourth one free” on tires.
We all love a good deal, but some people take this coupon thing to extreme. Hence, the show Extreme Couponing. My sister is one of these people. She drives thousands of miles every Sunday to scarf up every coupon section of every newspaper in three counties.
She has even gone so far as to remove all the pictures from her family photo album in order to convert it into a coupon organizer.
Last year at Christmas, she gave everyone in our family an entire case of mustard. Not a case for the family to share – a case per person. She has storage racks in every room of her home. In the guest bathroom, she has cases of toilet paper stacked floor to ceiling. Six different brands to boot.
So, while I was in there, I did my own independent double-triple blind study; let’s just say I found my favorite brand. If you ask me, this extreme couponing is turning to an episode of Hoarders.
My sister has now started dragging my 86-year-old aunt out on these excursions. Lord help the store manager that won’t take my aunt’s S&H Green Stamps!
In an old box, my aunt found a coupon with no expiration date, which led to the police charges for threatening a young stock boy after he couldn’t find any “Jean Nate” – bath splash for which she had a $1-off coupon.
Now, just like my sister, my aunt has products piled door to door in her house. In her living room, she has 5,000 pounds of kitty litter in 2-gallon containers. I said to my aunt, “You don’t own a cat. You don’t even like cats!” She replied, “It’s ok; I had a coupon.”
Tim is a Florida dairy farmer and comedian. Visit him at Tim the Dairy Farmer.