A majority of my purchases can be rationalized with the phrase, “It was on sale and I had a coupon.”
Every. Single. Time
I love Sundays because the new grocery ad and coupon books arrive in the paper, (and because I don’t work and usually don’t wash my hair or do much of anything productive, which is why I usually don’t wash my hair. That would be productive.)
But seeing as I do the grocery shopping for my mom and uncle as well, I clip the coupons and organize them in my little coupon keeper. Every Sunday I weed out the old and add in the new, but sometimes an old one gets missed.
This is where I run into a minor coupon conundrum.
Most likely the old coupon will be the one I want to use on the grocery trip one day after it expired. Seeing as this wasn’t discovered until I’m already in the checkout line, I’m forced to make a decision—try and sneak it through or throw it away? Unless I know the cashier is a badass who’ll bust me, who are we kidding? Of course I’ll try and still use it.
In fact, I should try my hand at high stakes poker because of how good I am at keeping a straight face when knowingly using an expired coupon.
I usually make sure to sandwich the expired one in between two “valid” ones, if those are also being used. In my demented way of thinking, I believe the cashier is going to think, “She’s using two good coupons, so this probably slipped in by mistake! Of course I’ll give her 50 cents off of this cereal! She’s practically a saint, for god’s sake!”
When passing over the expired offender, I also try and busy myself with the rest of my bags and coupons while she tries to scan it in.
Some don’t care and figure the machine is just being funny. Others immediately get all CSI: Coupon and check the expiration date that I forgot to “accidentally” clip off with the scissors.
Again, I assume the internal dialogue of the cashier is running along the lines of, “This coupon is expired, but she looks really busy rearranging the bags I just filled with her stuff—pulling things out to examine them before glancing back up and then rearranging the bags yet again. She needs to save $1 on two cans of chickpeas.”
Of course the situation occasionally arises when I am busted, at which point I put on an Oscar-worthy performance of feigned ignorance about what the date is.
To be fair, I usually don’t ever know what date is, so it’s really not much of a stretch.
But I act surprised, tell her to toss it—as if she’s going to keep it for her own collection or something if I don’t—and after paying, raise my head high and push the squeaky-wheeled grocery cart out to the car.
You can’t put a price on pride, my friends, but I wouldn’t pass up on that coupon.
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