This story isn’t mine. It is my sister’s. My sister with the 11 kids who SHOULD have a blog, because her life is amazingly funny, but how would she keep up with it? She has 11 kids!?
This week cereal is on sale at Smith’s for $1 a box. When you have a large family, you stock up on cereal when you can buy them for $1 a box. I bought 30 boxes and I had a couple of coupons, so I was thinking I was pretty clever getting those 30 boxes of oatmeal, Life and Captain Crunch for $27. Oh, how wrong I was.
My sister called me and told me how I could get that same cereal for 40 cents a box. Yes, you have to be sneaky, and yes, it takes more work, but 40 cents a box? While Smith’s is having their sale making the cereal $1 a box (after the instant rebate at the checkout, yada, yada.) Macey’s, Dan’s, and Harmon’s are also having a sale on Quaker cereal, but they use an in-ad coupon to get $3 off when you buy 5 boxes. Their deal isn’t as good as the Smith’s deal, though, so I had thrown those ads away. My brother-in-law, Tom, was cleverer than I. He took the coupons from the other ads, and used them at Smiths. First, he cut out all the coupons from the ads he had, and asked the neighbors for their ads, as well. Then, to get more ads, he went to his local Associated Foods stores and took a few ads from each store. He didn’t want to clean them out of their ads, so he said he wasn’t taking more than 10 from each. Then, using the competing store’s coupons along with the Smith’s sale price, it brings the total down to 40 cents each for a box of cereal.
When she called me to apprise me of the deal, she said he had already gotten over 100 boxes of cereal, and was going back out for more. “So I don’t look so creepy, I’ll take one of the little kids with me,” he said. Because the last thing you want when grocery shopping for large amounts of cereal is to look creepy.
I had already bought one round of cereal (and peanut butter, which was also on a good case lot sale), but I’m up for a great deal, so I tried it. First I looked through our box of newspapers for the ads. I found one ad from Kohlers, our local associated foods store. I cute out the $3 coupon. Then I stopped at Kohler’s to pick up some ads. Oh, and cake mix! Because they had cake mix on sale, and I didn’t want to just run in to grab the ads. I took my 6 ads out to the car, and WHAT?! Someone had already cut out the $3 coupon! Foiled! Oh,well. I’ll try the one coupon I have, and I can at least get $3 off of 5 boxes. I went over to Smith’s, put 10 boxes into the cart and went to check out. “Oh, we’re not accepting that coupon,” said the checker, “I guess we lost a lot of money on those coupons yesterday as we’re not getting paid for them.” She showed me on her little printed paper that they were allowed to accept the coupons from one store that don’t say “good for use ONLY at Associated food stores” in tiny print. Mine had the tiny print, so she was not accepting it. Probably because of Tom and people like Tom. Foiled again!
After my day of working at the school and then cutting out endless skirts for kindergarteners, I called my sister back and told her how I had been foiled twice in my attempt to beat the system. “Oh, really?” she said, “Tom just came back from the store and he’s bought 500 boxes. Nobody told him he couldn’t use the coupon.” Erg. Tom had been to stores all over the Salt Lake Valley, from Draper to West Valley City in his quest for both coupons, and cereal. He couldn’t just go to ONE Smith’s store and clean out all their cereal, so he was making the rounds. He was only back to cut out and organize, then he was going back out again. It seems that 500 boxes is all that the Excursion will hold.
As he was purchasing several cases of cereal, one lady said to him, “There’s no way you can go through that much cereal before it expires.” Are you kidding me? Having 11 kids, Tom is used to obnoxious comments and questions from strangers. He didn’t HAVE to justify his purchase to her, but he did say, “I have 11 kids. We go through at least two boxes of cereal a day. You really don’t think we can eat these 40 boxes of cereal?” If it had been me, I might have just laughed in their face. Do you need to give an explanation besides “Teenagers”? If I let my kids have free reign over the cereal, they would eat it morning, noon and night. A bowl of cereal is often the chosen afternoon snack at our house, providing we have milk to go with it.
When I last spoke with my sister, she said that they hadn’t quite reached their goal of 1,000 boxes, but they were at 800! 800 boxes at 40 cents each– that’s $320 on cereal, but they’ve saved at least $2 per box off the regular price, so I’m going to congratulate them on their MAJOR cereal score.
And if I run out, I know I can always go over to her house, as long as I bring my own gallon of milk.