Monday, January 6, 2014

It Pays to Be a Smart Shopper

I don't talk too often about the amazing deals that I score, but the one that I am about to share with you has been my "lottery" of all deals.  I have to tell you the story from the beginning... so grab some popcorn.

I have been using my Old Navy card for purchases lately to rack up on the reward points.  Seriously, I have used it for everything (but always pay it off immediately; I hate interest fees).  I received an email stating that I had a $50 reward credit that could be printed off on my account.  So I looked it up and I actually had the $50 plus 4 $15 rewards that I didn't even realize that I had on my account.

I decided to do a little free shopping and headed to my local Old Navy store (where I used to work part time- just a random fact about me).  Right beside the Old Navy is a Gap Outlet.  Which reminds me of another tidbit about me.  When I was younger I had a huge gap in my front teeth.  One day, on the school bus, a really snoody girl asked me if I shopped at the GAP and started cracking up at her cleaver wisecrack.  I swore the store off from that point forward.  Now, as an adult, my gap has been filled in and I have since learned to love the Gap.  Sorry, I will try to stay on track now.  See, I told you that you needed to grab some popcorn before you got started. ;)

Anyway, I checked my reward certificates and they stated that I could use them at GAP as well.  So I walked in and they were having amazing sales!  Their sweaters and jeans were half off and they had several other great deals as well.  I spent a long time perusing and after a couple of trips to the dressing room, I just could not narrow down my choices to the limit on my rewards certificates.  So I decided to do what I ALWAYS do before I check out, and looked up online coupons.  I found a coupon that was worth 25, 35, or 55% off of the purchase.  I thought to myself, sweet, I can get everything I want!  So I headed to the checkout line.

There was a lady in front of me who could not pull up her coupon on her email.  I politely told her that she could find it online and the cashier gave me a sideways glance and let me know curtly that the coupon that could be found on Retail Me Not would not work as it is a one-time use code.  Hmph.  I did not care for her tone in telling me that, but I don't give up so easily, so I kept searching.  I found another barcode just in case one didn't work, I may have a backup.

When it was my turn to check out I asked the lady if she would put in the coupon at the beginning of my purchase so that I could see if it worked.  If it did not, I was going to put a few things back.  So she tried it and motioned for her manager to come over.  She showed the original price of an item and then the price that was showing up.  She said, "that's 55%, right?"  JACKPOT!  I verified that I received the additional 55% off of the sale prices and then asked if I could run and grab a few more items.  I was throwing more jeans and earrings on the counter.  If I had known sooner, I probably would have wiped out the store!  I was only able to use 3 rewards coupons per transaction, so I used the $50 and two of my $15.  This is what all I ended up with:

I bought 4 pair of jeans, 4 sweaters, a pair of shoes, two pair of earrings, and a jacket (not pictured).  Guess how much I spent....



My entire purchase would have cost me under $10 if I was able to use all of my rewards certificates.  Still, I paid less than the cost of one sweater and saved $450.86.  Yes, over $450!

That NEVER happens to me.

So, what is my point of sharing this extra long story with you?  ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS look up coupons before making a purchase.  Always.  Did you get that?  Even if the mean ol' cashier tells you that it won't work, make her try it anyway.  That made it even better for me.  Not only was I able to use that coupon that she was so skeptical of, I scored big time on it.  Hehe.

So start looking up those coupons, ladies! ;)

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