A Dilly of a Pickle: The Coupon Dilemma

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Readers: Share your thoughts and experiences

As a “couponer”, I have had my fair share of experiences where a cashier refused to accept perfectly good coupons, hassling over the deals gotten with these coupons, and just downright nastiness…  I believe it is just par for the course in the world of coupons and couponers, and I have learned to accept this, and have taken proper measures to ensure that I can politely argue my case, when the situation arises.  



However, the other night, I found myself on a completely different end of couponing, and found the experience equally uncomfortable.  Hubs, tot, and I decided to indulge in one of our favorite places* for dinner, with coupons and a $5 giftcard in hand.  As I ordered, I asked if using more than one coupon (each good for a free large soda) was allowable.  (This place has always accepted multiple coupons in one order, but I find it’s always polite to ask.)  The gal said that it was permissible.  She saw that I had additional coupons for additional various items.  She indicated that I could use those coupons to bring down my total, even if I didn’t want said items.  In other words, she would take off the price of the drink ($1.65-ish), even if I didn’t intend to order the item indicated on the coupon.


That’s when it got uncomfortable…  The cheap-cheapie in me was quickly excited at the idea of getting our meal for even LESS out of pocket…  However, morally, I just didn’t feel that this was precisely how this particular franchise intended for their coupons to be used.  So, I compromised: I used one additional drink coupon (which took off $1.65ish), and held on to the other three coupons.  Thus, I came away with two chicken sandwiches, a waffle fry, and two large sodas for less than three dollars out of pocket, after using three coupons and a $5 giftcard.


I could have come away with a completely free meal and had some left over on the giftcard, but I just didn’t feel that was right.  This restaurant, this particular location, has been exceptionally wonderful to us, as I know it has to many of its other customers.  “Beating the system” by using the additional coupons simply didn’t feel right.  To be honest, I feel slightly bad for using a third coupon the way I did, but it was a decision quickly made in the moment, and I cannot undo it.


As a mother, I strive to teach my daughter to be an honest, responsible citizen.  I firmly believe the best way to teach this is to lead by example.  Therefore, I try to always be honest and responsible in the way I shop, even if it means passing on questionable deals.  In the past, I’ve gone all the way back in to the grocery store after loading up our (reusable) grocery bags, to pay for the soda I’d forgotten to pay for while initially checking out. 


…I digress.  I found myself in an unlikely situation the other night that I did not expect to be in. Further, I don’t think this kind of situation will arise very often.  I simply hope that I can, indeed take the morally high road, if for no other reason, than to serve as a good model for my children.  :o)


Readers: have you ever found yourself in a morally sticky situation while shopping?  How did you handle it?


*I will not mention the actual restaurant, but you can probably figure it out from the story…  


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Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

The Futility of (Me) Being Fashionable

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The Futility of (Me) Being Fashionable: A Tale of Why I Can't Quit the Clearance Racks

Anyone who’s known me for any length of time will easily testify to my simple, comfortable clothing style.  And I use the term “style” rather loosely.  I have never been a fashion queen, and was well in to my late teens before I even realized that fashions came in seasons.  In fact, until recent enlightenment, I thought Jimmy Choos was some kind of trendy restaurant
[Read more…]

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

Marking the Bittersweet End of a Decade

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My Thoughts on Turning 30

The end of August has always proven a little bittersweet for me.  A new school year begins at this time.  As a nerdy student, and later as a teacher, I greatly anticipated the excitement and wonder that a new school year held.  However, a new school year means summer is coming to a close.  Summer has always been my favorite time of the year, filled with whimsy and carefree wonder.

Also at the end of August is the beginning of a new college football season.  Okay, this is just plain sweet.  Nothing bitter about this, unless the Dawgs are off to a bad start.

As August winds down, there are more personal ramifications for me, as my birthday comes at this time of year.  Perhaps most of us still enjoy that childlike wonder and excitement in the idea of our birthday.  However, as we accumulate more and more birthdays, many  see them as just another slap-in-the-face reminder that we are getting older, and-infact- have more good years behind us than in front of us.  (I’m not saying I’m *there* yet….  Yet.)

And so, today, as I start  a new decade of my life, I lament on these last ten years, also known as My Twenties.  Yep, that’s right: I’m turning 30, y’all.Looking back, even from my early teens I began looking forward (counting down) to The Next Big Thing, whether it be getting a driver’s license, graduating high school, becoming an adult,  starting college, moving out on my own, being (legally) old enough to purchase and consume alcohol, finishing my undergrad, starting a “real” job, or getting married  ……just to name a few.  With each new milestone accrued, I felt perhaps a smidge bigger, then quickly proceeded to The Next Countdown.

This is a habit I happily spilled in to my twenties, and kept up for quite a while.And then one day, the countdowns ceased.  While pregnant with my first (and so far only) child and thinking aloud about how I only had only four more months to go, I got the best advise from a co-worker.  “Don’t wish your life away,” she said.   The realization I made at that moment was how I’ve spent the better part of a decade and a half anticipating The Next Big Thing, and not focusing so much on the wonderful present.

And then my daughter was born.

These last 17 months have proven that time both flies and crawls, all at once, and it certainly doesn’t STOP while you search for The Next Big Thing.  With her arrival, I saw how every little second, every little giggly, smooth-skinned, cuddly moment was valuable and rather fleeting.  With her, I have watched a little person transform from a little lump, desperately trying to clasp her hands together while she let out sweet little “waaaaahs”, to a walking (er, running!), chattery little girl, who has become her own person -both goofy and independent and rather intelligent, in such a short span of time!
So, I no longer look so hard for The Next Big Thing.  I know, at this point in my life, they are always lurking right around the corner.  I am trying to enjoy as much of The Now Things.  And all The Little Things.

While I spent much of my teens and twenties wishing my life away, looking always ahead, and not truly soaking up the thrills of the here and now; I have learned in a short span -the last nugget of my twenties- to slow down, and enjoy the moments as they come.  The Big Things  will come and go.  It’s The Little Things that make your day-to-day life really worthwhile.

I do look at today as one of The Big Things.  After all, turning thirty is nothing to sneeze at, nor is it something over which to panic.  (…..right…..?)  As this August winds down, I DO still find myself enjoying and anticipating the Big Things, but also lapping up the sweet little day-to-day moments I have with my amazing daughter and fantastic husband.

Am I happy about turning thirty?  Honestly, no.  It feels like such a big leap.  Up until today, I could remark that, “well, at least I’m still in my twenties.”  Maybe I’ll try out a new one: at least I’m in my early, early, early thirties.  (Hmm, I’ll have to give it more thought…..)  I find myself kicking and screaming in protest of the demise of my twenties.  In any case, I am trying to make sense of it all, and embrace the change, and embrace this fantastic life.

So, while -for some- April is the cruelest month, August’s demise will always feel a little bittersweet to me.

And I leave you with this awesome meme, for no reason other than because I can: Turning 30 - Birthday Freebies - Its Sherbert Day

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Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

The Simpsons Channel

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Dear Matt Groening and/or Fox Studio executives (whoever has the most power),

I would like to propose something to help The Simpsons live on forever: create an entire T.V. channel especially for them.  I’m sure that you’ve had this idea pitched at you before, but just hear ME out.  My ideas are better than your run-of-the-mill Simpsons nut.

For starters, the show has been on the air for over 20 years.  Just looping through each episode would take up quite a bit of time, right?

You could even have theme days, or WEEKS, for that matter.  You could feature slightly obscure characters: Hans Moleman day, Disco Stu day, Comic Book guy day (and I love it that THAT is his name!), Milhouse day, Patti and/or Selma day, and even Lunch Lady Dorris.  Troy McClure, Lionel Hutz, and any other character played by Phil Hartman (God rest his witty soul!) could take up at least an entire day.  Hell, you could have Homer week!  Themes could be based around holidays, traveling (“The Simpsons are going to Delaware!”), episodes with Itchy and Scratchy cartoons, celebrity guest apppearances……

The possibilities are limitless, like the Cosby Mysteries!

Hell, you could even run that God-awful movie with the same name.

You recently had an hour-long special for the show’s 20th anniversary.  I’m sure there’s enough other media clips surrounding the show, the cast, and its characters, you could have time set aside for archived news-type clips.  …and I’m sure you could even develop themes around that!

This idea grows from my concern over my local T.V. networks taking The Simpsons out of their syndication lineup.  I only survive now on the occasional new episodes that air on Sundays.  Although I will not go in to much explanation here, I will simply say that these new episodes just aren’t the same.  I need seasons 1-15 to survive!  Seeing the show in its heyday would mean so much, not just to me, but to loyal fans everywhere!  Seriously, I’m going through withdrawals, and my memory is growing fuzzy of even my favorite episodes!

I was in the 4th grade when the show began, just like Bart.  I, however, have since gone on to graduate from high school, finish my undergraduate work, and then obtain my masters degree.  In fact, I looked in to majoring in The Simpsons while at the University of Georgia, but -similar to the fate of Homer’s beloved Skittlebrau- such a major does not exist.  (Don’t worry, I’m writing to them NEXT!)  In that time, I have remained a loyal fan to the show: as a child I had a variety of Simpson tees (including “Don’t Have a Cow”, the less-popular “Underachiever and Proud of it” from the Bart collection, and the coveted Homer’s “Doh!  Nuts!  Donuts” tee shirt); I have acquired all the episode guides (oh!  They’re like crack to a loyal fan!); and other figurines and books along the way.

But don’t worry, I’m not one of those nuts with a Simpson-themed house.  My husband won’t let me.

Now, I know you all are reading this and thinking, “how can we possibly make money off of having our own channel, especially compared to having our fans BUY the seasons on DVD?”  It’s simple: make the channel a premium channel, like Showtime or HBO.  YOUR FANS WOULD BUY IT!!!

In conclusion, I propose creating a premium cable channel devoted entirely to The Simpsons.  The channel can keep it’s variety by showing episodes in sequential order, by various themes of which their are infinite possibilities, media clips about the show, and -in a desperate pinch- that movie.  You have such a loyal fan base (I’ve heard rumors of bigger fans than myself out there?), that we would be willing to pay for such a channel.  Don’t let the networks showing The Simpsons in syndication control how your fans get their fix!  Take back control over this vast, glorious (money-making) empire.

Thank you for taking the time to explore my idea.  As I stated, I’m sure you’ve had this idea pitched to you before, but not by me.  Remember, I’m your biggest fan.

Thanks again, and I look forward to my complimentary subscription to The Simpsons: The Channel.

Devotedly yours,
Barbara Burns

P.S.  I would also gladly come and work for the Channel.  I already have a handful of theme ideas, as seen above.  I would gladly sit around and come up with more themes.  Just let me know!

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

Things No One Told Me About Motherhood

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Since joining The Club seven months ago, I have learned quite a few things that I simply could not learn through my vast experience with children nor through my veracious readings.  And, test, there are still plenty of things no one told me about motherhood:

  • Every day for the last seven plus months, I have sung. And I can’t even carry a tune. The things we do for our children.
  • No one told me the stretch marks and scar would stay red until I was done nursing. [Read more…]
Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

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