Monday, February 22, 2010

smart shopper cards

Have I mentioned that we live in a small town? Well we do. One of the drawbacks to this little town is the grocery shopping. We do have an IGA in town and it is open 24 hours a day (at least that's what is posted, but I have been there when it was locked and I was very confused).

They have these little things called "smart shopper coupons" and you get one coupon for every five dollars that you spend in the store. You lick the back (or if you are me you DON'T lick the back and you collect millions of them and store them in a baggie) but theoretically you lick the back and put ten on a card and then you can use them in the store for savings, like coupons.

I HATE licking them. They are disgusting. The other day I overheard someone in the store talking about using a glue stick on them and I realized my dreams had come true - an alternative to licking!

So I sat down yesterday afternoon with all the glue sticks I could find in the house and I went to work on smart shopper cards. I will admit I ran out of glue sticks long before I ran out of coupons, but I made a beautiful stack of cards we can now use.

It took a while to do and as I was sitting there gluing away I was calculating how much money we had spent to get that many coupons and what the were worth. You know - they really are not worth much in the great scheme of things. Each card represents 50 dollars spent in the store. most of the things you can redeem them for use at least three cards. Some things (like milk) are worth more to us as a family because we use a lot of it and it is dang expensive. But other things - like eggs - you can usually get a dozen eggs for three cards. So the store gives you a dozen eggs, a value of about three dollars - for every $150.00 you spend there. That's REALLY cheap. The store has to make a PACK of money and to give back the equivalent of three bucks to everyone who spends a hundred and fifty seems laughable. Especially when you think of how many people DON'T use the cards. I am certain I am not the only one who hates to lick them (and who never thought of glue sticks before).

I remember shopping with my grandmother and aunt in Southern California when I was a teenager. I know that was a long time ago and groceries in So Cal are STILL ridiculously cheaper than they are up here, but back then you could go through the paper and get coupons and clip the coupons. Some grocery stores would take the coupons of any other store and some stores would give you "double coupons" credit. There were some seriously good deals available by coupon back then. Not so much now and DEFINITELY not so much at IGA.
Thankfully now we have a huge stack of cards and we will absolutely use them. For as much as they "aren't" worth it is still a savings and we can use all the savings we can get shopping in town. Unfortunately for me I have never seen glue sticks available with smart shopper cards.

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