So, a few weeks ago, I received the best coupon ever in the mail. Normally one gets coupons for a dollar off, or buy one get one free, or something of that ilk. But this particular triad of coupons was for a free rotisserie chicken, a free apple pie, and 10% off of any shopping trip.
Free! Totally free food with no strings attached! I was stunned. I can only presume that this local shoppery has a list of new homeowners in the area and gladly will give away a few dollars to get them habituated to shopping there. In my case, there was no way it was going to happen, because their store isn't in walking distance and the Big Y is.
But that certainly didn't stop me from taking advantage of the coupons. With only days left before they expired, I decided to invite Tom over for a chicken* dinner. We went to the supermarket, and approached the deli counter only to be told it was closing. I asked if they had any rotisserie chicken left, and the woman at the counter pointed behind me and said, "We put them out there, they're on sale."
I looked where she had gestured (or where I thought she had-- it took me a few seconds), and saw a plastic case with a sad-looking little chicken inside. Normally $3.99, apparently these chickens weren't flying off the shelves, so they had been discounted a dollar. And me with my free coupon.
Onward I went to obtain my free pie, which as luck would have it, was also discounted a dollar. I decided to pick up some day-old bread, and while attempting to decide what would compliment the chicken, Tom convinced me that his culinary skill with mushrooms was not to be missed.
We got some mushrooms, and with these four items and three coupons, I went to check out. Three registers were lit, and four staff were milling among the lanes, but nobody seemed to be at a register. I went down the lit aisle near where they were congregating, and an older lady stepped up to be the cashier. I handed her my coupons, and she said, "Oh, I'm sorry, you can't use these until 1/25."
I quickly replied, "Yes, but it is February..."
"Oh, you're right," she apologized. She rang up my chicken, pie, bread, and mushrooms. She ran the free chicken coupon, and money was deducted from my total. She ran the free pie coupon (after a few tries), and money was deducted from my total again. She attempted to run the ten percent off coupon, but it didn't seem to be working. She began calling over a manager to help her as I protested that I didn't really need the ten percent off-- I figured I'd save no more than a few dimes, and wanted to get going.
Well, as the manager came over, the cashier said, "Oh, your total is only twenty-four cents anyway, you should save this [coupon]!" I looked at the register, and to my complete shock, it indeed read $.24. I knew right then that something had gone awry in my favor, so I quickly and cheerfully paid her the twenty-four cents, picked up my two bags of food, and left.
Tom tells me that he heard the manager muttering, "Twenty-four cents!" as we left, no doubt disgusted by both the ridiculously low price and the fact that I was about to use a 10% off coupon to save two cents. What happened, as far as I can figure, is that after I paid the discounted price for the chicken and pie, the full prices of both were deducted from my total, which means that if Tom hadn't convinced me to buy mushrooms, it would have gone negative, produced an error message, and tipped someone off. Regardless, how the woman failed to notice that something was amiss was beyond me, especially since I had earlier loudly said, "I'll just use this ten percent off coupon on my dollar loaf of bread."
We returned to my house and enjoyed a delightful dinner of chicken, mushrooms, and bread, with apple pie for dessert. All in all, the best twenty-four cents that I've ever spent.