As I sauntered into Target this afternoon, my oldest kid in tow, a sly smile spread across my face as I thought about how I was about to pull a fast one on Target. I clutched my coupons in my hand: 4 Target store coupons for $1.00 off Kellogg's cereal and a variety of manufacturer's coupons also for Kellogg's cereal. (I discovered links to these online coupons at Coupon Cravings.)
Target's deal was Buy 3 Kellogg's Cereals, Get 1 Free. I carefully selected 4 boxes of Kellogg's cereal:
Mini-Wheats for $3.24
Honey Smacks for $3.19
Rice Krispies for $2.54
Corn Flakes for $2.99
Total: $11.96. Certainly not what I would ever pay for 4 boxes of cereal, especially considering my children can go through a box or two in a sitting.
So deduct the cheapest box of cereal since the 4th is free, bringing the total to $9.42.
Then I started deducting my coupons, calculating in my head. Which isn't always the brightest idea. So minus the $4.00 of Target coupons brings the total down to $5.42. Then deduct the manufacturer's coupons: I had 1 $1.00 coupon and 3 $.75 coupons. Which would bring my total down to $2.17. OK, so I didn't arrive at this total in my head, but I knew my total was down pretty low. And that is good. Because if you're really math-savvy, you can divide that $2.17 by 4 boxes of cereal and arrive at a per box total of $.54. (Don't you like how I plan my math lessons while knocking out some discussions on frugality at the same time? Hey, I'm nothing if I'm not a super multi-tasker.)
I was about to get the deal of the week. That is until I got up to the register and the stupid Target coupons wouldn't work. They tried scanning them and keying them in, but finally told me that their policy is that if the printed coupons don't work, they don't take them. I suppose I could have made a big fuss about incompetence and what-not, but I did have my kid with me, and I'm always trying to be a good example, and there were a million other customers waiting behind me. So I just smiled and said, "Oh, just use the manufacturer's coupons. Don't worry about it." But inside I was seething because I didn't get to pull a fast one on Target.
I soothed myself by getting an Iced Grande Green Shaken Tea at the in-store Starbucks. And maybe some Petite Vanilla Scones. (Purchases which totally ate up any savings I procured. I am so good at this frugality stuff!)
But, hey, $1.54 ain't bad for a per box price either. Not as good as $.54, mind you, but not bad.
I guess the lesson to be learned is to use the real coupons from the paper. Of course, I forgot to get a paper this past Sunday. I have an excuse for my forgetfulness: I was visiting a new church.
But that is another story...