The other day I was in Rite-Aid purchasing some sale items listed in the weekly circular. While I was in the cereal isle I noticed a woman pulling each box of Special K off the shelf, looking at the front of the box, flipping the box to look at the back, and then placing the box back on the shelf. She didn’t just do this for the first box… she did it for just about every box on the shelf.
At first, I wasn’t really paying attention to what she was doing. I thought she might have been looking for a box containing a particular toy or game. Sometimes cereal manufacturer’s give away toys when you mail in the original sales receipt and UPC symbols. Last summer Kellogg’s gave away DVDs with the purchase of Raisin Bran cereal. My dad ordered three movies, which meant my mom ate a heck of a lot of Raisin Bran last year.
I don’t like to be nosy so I grabbed my two boxes of cereal and walked on to the next isle. I spent the next few minutes shopping for other sale items in the store. The last item took me back past the cereal isle. As I passed through I noticed the woman was still in the store, still in the cereal isle, and still looking at the front and back of each box. But this time as she was pulling the cereal boxes off the shelf I noticed she had a stack of red coupons in her left hand. Apparently, Kellogg’s had sealed a coupon to the front of certain boxes of Special K cereal. The woman was browsing through the cereal boxes in search of those coupons. When she found one she peeled it right off the front of the box. I can only assume she was gathering the coupons for use at some future point in time: Special K cereal was not on sale that day.
This reminded me of the time a couple came over to visit my mom and dad. While my parent’s were talking in the living room, my mom’s friend went into the kitchen, pulled a pair of scissors from her purse and proceeded to cut coupons out of cereal boxes in my mom’s pantry. My mom found holes in the cereal boxes at breakfast the next morning. My mom, (in truest form), wasn’t upset that her friend had cut out the coupons. In fact, had her friend asked permission my mom would have been happy to give them to her. It was the fact, that her friend came into the kitchen, opened the pantry, and clipped coupons without asking. My mom later asked, is my friendship worth less, then a couple of coupons?
10 thoughts on “Would You Do This… To Save Money?”
That is truly bizarre behavior on the part of your mom’s friend. Some people never cease to amaze, I guess.
My grandmother totally would have taken the coupons off the boxes in the store, but not really just to save money — more because obsessive coupon-clipping and refunding was her hobby. She could go to the grocery store and buy $300 worth of groceries and they’d owe her money when she left. I’m not even kidding! I saw her do it many times.
The problem is that this is basically stealing. The coupons on the cereal boxes that are “glued” there are usually to be used on said box of cereal. That woman was stealing coupons ment for other people, people who would be buying those boxes.
I completely agree with the anonymous commenter. To me… peeling coupons off a cereal box that you do not intend to buy is the equivalent of stealing. As is cutting coupons from cereal boxes in someone else’s home.
To me the activity crosses over frugality and into immorality.
I also agree with anonymous. But this scenario makes me wonder if I am being a hypocrite.
Brand X has a coupon on one of its boxes of sugar cookies for any of it products of a certain ounce. I take the coupon off and use it for Brand X chocolate chip although it wasn’t originally on the package.
What do you think?
Anonymous — I totally feel your pain on this one. The plain box of Special K sits on the shelf with a coupon, but the Special K with strawberries doesn’t have one. I think the issue at hand is the same. Technically the coupon is for the regular box and if I want to buy the box with strawberries I shouldn’t steal the coupon. This certainly isn’t as bad as stealing the coupons off all of the cereal boxes, but it’s a great question!
OOooo, this always irritates me. I hate when I go to buy an item and I can see that it once had a coupon on it, but someone has taken it, but not bought the item. I think the coupons should be for the people who are buying the item with it on it.
I agree with anonymous – the coupons are supposed to be for the purchasers of the cereal boxes!
Anonymous 5:14 – do you mean that the coupon was on a box of cookies but good for any Brand X product? If so, not a problem at all – they put it on the coupon, maybe to get you to try different Brand X products. 🙂 If they truly cared whether you bought cookies or chips, believe me, they would’ve put it on there!
I’ve taken the coupon off a tin of Tetley Fruit tea to buy a tin of Tetley Chai. The coupon wasn’t specific to the fruit teas, so I think it’s OK. On the other hand, I might snag two or three coupons from the automatic coupon dispensers for later use, e.g. last week there were $1 off two boxes of cheerios, and this week cheerios were on sale “Buy four, and they’re $1.88/box” so I used two of those coupons I’d snagged, and got my cheerios for $1.38/14 oz box. If I hadn’t used them, there is a case to be made that I took the coupons away from people who would have used them.
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