We budget conscious shoppers who think seriously about affordability (and by affordability, I mean our ability and willingness to pay for products we want), plan before we shop. We browse websites. We are on store mailing lists receiving word of current promotions. We sign up for discount programs and print coupons when necessary. We read the fine print on offers to ensure that our expectations of savings are realistic.
Despite all our planning and well researched coupons, we occasionally hear the words, “you can’t get that offer,” or “my manager says I can’t accept that discount anymore,” or “our computers are currently down, so I can’t verify that you can use that coupon right now.” If you are like me, you initially become a bit annoyed, but maintain composure, and calmly explain your understanding of your expected savings to the cashier who either gets it or does not.
Par example. On a few recent trips to my local Loft, I have been told that I cannot use my teacher discount in combination with in-store special offers like an extra 30% off all clearance. Strange, right? Every time I have been told that, I have politely challenged the claim, and have always gotten to use my discount. Doing so has translated into accumulated savings in the hundreds of dollars. Makes you wonder how much money these corporations make off the folks who do not speak up when store workers do not honor advertised savings.
So, what’s the point? The more information we have, the more money we can save. We will occasionally face obstacles to paying the price we want. But, we always have choice—the choice to fight for the price that was advertised or to take our money elsewhere.