July 13, 2009

The Fine Print

I am super proud of my husband, who - after some initial resistance about his having to participate in my crazy scheme - has really jumped into the game of living off coupons feet first. He actually is responsible for locating the newest resource: CouponClipper.com

This website is fantastic. You type in what you're looking for (i.e. "restaurants," "gifts," "services") and your zip code, and it pops up a list of available coupons near you. The hubby says it's related to the "Coupon Clipper" magazines which I had not heard of, but which some of you may receive by mail. You do have to join the website to have access to the coupons, but it only asks for an email address and your name and zip code, plus you can uncheck the box to recieve updates and promotions so you are less likely to end up with a cluttered email inbox!

Using this website, my husband found and printed us several coupons so that we could eat out this weekend. Thank goodness; I was sick to death of eating random, weird, mostly vegetable free stuff that was in my kitchen! The first coupon we found was for a hot dog place we had been wanting to try out for at least a year now, but it is pretty far from our house and it's not somewhere we would drive by or be reminded of often. But with the coupon as incentive, we packed up the baby and headed over. It was so much fun! I couldn't believe we were able to try a new restaurant AND have it cost less than if we had just gone on our own.

There is a little bit of an honor system, though, as you are supposed to only print and use each coupon one time. I like to play by the rules, because I don't want to be the yo-yo who messes up the game for everyone when places start refusing coupons because someone else is committing fraud. But sometimes, even when you play by the rules, there can be a little bit of a snag...

See, last night, I didn't have anything defrosted from the freezer to cook for dinner, and I was not in the mood to eat another carbo-laden meal. We had a coupon for a local upscale steak house that we had printed from the Coupon Clipper website, and I was excited to go because they have really great salads. I also knew I could get a veggie side, thus fulfilling my need for greens! We headed on over for a semi-early dinner and we enjoyed it immensely. The steaks we got were perfectly cooked, the salad was it's usual awesome self, and my grilled asparagus really hit the spot. As it came time to pay our bill, however, I noticed that we had made a huge, huge mistake: We did not read the fine print on the coupon. You see, there are two locations of this eating establishment in town, and we had printed out a coupon for the other location further away from us.

I was crushed. I just knew that meant I was about to totally fail my experiment on only Day 5! When our server came by to ask if we would like our check, my husband explained our gaffe to her. She was so kind; She said that location also participated and would ask her manager if they could accept our coupon anyway. Luckily for us, he agreed and we were able to use our coupon and save my nerves! I think it didn't hurt us that we had a really cute baby with us, so the server was more inclined to help us. :-) So note to selves: If you decide to play fast and loose and not read the fine print, do make sure to always have a cute baby on hand if you need to beg for mercy!

I was really glad that everything worked out and the experiment stayed intact, but I will definitely be more careful the next time I get ready to head out and use a coupon!

Today is going to be a two-post day; stay tuned later tonight as I accept two of your challenges and introduce two of my own. If you can't think of a fun challenge, ask your friends and family if they have any ideas! I can be YOUR free entertainment!

1 comment:

Christine said...

Glad your experiment wasn't derailed! I have the WORST time with coupons and fine print. Darion makes fun of me, b/c I always get excited to have a coupon and most of the time it's expired or there's some other fine print thing that makes it invalid. Seriously, every time I grab a coupon to take to the store, he'll snatch it out of my hand and read the fine print. :)