Sunday, November 28, 2010

Shop 'Til We Drop

Let me be the first to admit that bargain shopping takes some effort. I don't mean things like clicking on a link to a hot deal or being at the right place at the right time for a good markdown. I mean things like serious couponing and configuring and calculating.

On that note, the very patient night manager at a nearby Walgreens, who goes by the name of Brian, gets my vote for Deal Helper of the Year. You see, my friend and fellow couponer Jamie and I hit the 24 hour Walgreens at midnight on Thanksgiving (so, Wednesday into Thursday) and were ready to shop.

And we did.

But not without snags.

First, the deals did not kick in, so they were not producing the required Register Rewards (store money) to make the deals work. The prices were also not reflecting the Thanksgiving Day sale, so they would have to be manually overridden.

Poor Brian! He tried everything he could think of to get us our deals and get us out the door and back to our cozy beds. Finally at 2:30am, a mere 2.5 hours after our arrival, the register rewards started kicking out. WHEW!

But wait! The prices still were wrong! So the ever understanding Brian had to type most of them in by hand.

"So?" you say. "Big deal."

But you misunderstand. Because Jamie and I were not buying a few things. We were buying with a vengeance. Couponers on a mission, if you will. It was our goal to get enough stuff to send off a great box of goods to the troops overseas AND a local woman's shelter.

What do you think? Think we managed all right?

Oh, it's time for that En Vogue style breakdown:

24 tubes of toothpaste
10 bottles of women's body spray
10 bottles body wash
10 toothbrushes
10 heat wraps
10 bottles of men's body spray
12 bottles of shampoo and conditioner
6 bottles of hairspray
16 containers of men's shaving creme
10 packs of GUM dental flossers
10 packs of ponytail bands
10 boxes of candy (4 not pictured)
2 bags of candy (1 not pictured. I ate it.)
2 sodas (the small ones. We drank them while shopping and wearing poor Brian out. Jamie saved
her bottle for the picture. I did not)
2 Reese's chocolate things (Jamie's fuel, not pictured)
18 (2 liter) bottles of soda (6 not pictured)
1 Robitussin
10 Nivea face washes
10 boxes of Advil PM
40 holiday pencils
5 Pillow Pets (not pictured)

All in all we spent $107 and most of that was tax. In California we get charged tax BEFORE coupons are taken off.

The five Pillow Pets alone would have run me $100 plus tax without bargain shopping.

We saved $497.02.

We left Walgreens at 4:30 in the morning, running on the fumes of the caffeine and candy we had consumed. I'm pretty sure, as patient and helpful as he was, that Brian was glad to see us go because, you see, each transaction has to be rung up separately. You can't ring all this stuff up at once. So we're talking 20 transactions here, at least. And remember, he had to manually punch in the majority of the prices.

Yes, serious couponing takes a lot of effort and not just from the couponers. So cheers to Brian, the Walgreens store night manager. This Thanksgiving, in the wee small hours of the morning, I was very thankful for him. I am also thankful that I have the know how to bargain shop my way into a great contribution for those protecting our country and for those less fortunate than myself. And I was (and always am) thankful to my partner in crime, er, shopping, Miss Jamie. We had a blast. Next year, we will do it again.

Brian already said he'd be taking the night off.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! Maybe I need to go shopping with you and Jamie!