Cent Saving Saturday: Know Your Stores’ Savings Policies Better Than the Employees (And Print Them Out, Too!)

Cent Saving Saturday(Edited for clarity, not for content:  After rereading this post, I realized that there were several grammatical mistakes/word omissions, etc.)

I haven’t written in over a week.  School began again, and this is always a huge schedule adjustment.  Just when I think I have it all straightened out, something new (or that I’ve forgotten) gets thrown into the mix.  My home laptop (the laptop I am presently using to write this post) has spent as many hours at work this week as I have.  It has become my main classroom computer as the “under construction” phase of my classroom continues.  Hopefully, all will be set and ready soon.

In the meantime, school and life goes on without allowances for adapted (not adaptive) technology in my classroom/changes in district technology/snafus that affect the beginning of the school year, etc.  One of my favorite coworkers reminded me (in a voice best used for calming an insane person off of a several-stories-up building ledge) that this happens every year at the start of school.  And it does.  Without fail.  For those people who think that teaching involves simply corralling students and teaching (and is a 9-month position with no work after hours), think again.  One of my coworkers went home “early” one night this week at 6:00.  (Our school lets out before 3:00 daily.)

In the nature of under-preparation and thinking that I magically would not be exhausted after each day, I did not pre-make the week’s meals.  Mealtime did not go as smoothly.  I hope to not make that mistake again.

But y’all didn’t come here for my chaotic start to the school year.  Y’all came here for deals.  And how to save money.

I’ll start with the latter.  I am actually writing this post after shopping today, and shopping today gave me my motivation for the title of the post.

I went to Walmart today.  I’ll pause while the groans and moans go on.  I not only went to Walmart, but I went to a Walmart where I suffered a horrible experience on my most recent previous visit (involving Muffin’s haircut).

Let me just say (as the title pontificates):  Know your store’s savings policies (price matches, rain checks, and coupons) better than the store employees.  And.  Print.  Them.  Out.

So that you don’t become screeching and growling Walmart customer lady with the four-year-old in the cart.

In that, everything that happened was my fault.  I didn’t have the policy printed out and with me (or, as I said later on the phone to Josh and my mom, stapled to my forehead with the applicable part highlighted in pink).

However…

If you are responsible for schooling employees in policy, read very, very closely:  School your employees in corporate policy.  Walmart is known for their price (“ad”) match policy.  And, for months, their print and TV ads crowed with pride that you no longer needed the print copy of the ad that you were using to price match items.  I really do not see how you could not be aware of it and be 1) a frequent Walmart customer or 2) an employee of Walmart unless 3) you were living under a rock.  (Yes, I’m still angry about what happened today.)

Kroger was my main grocery stop this week.  Albertson’s only had two items that piqued my fancy; Super 1 only had two, as well.  Since Josh is working this weekend (on call), there was no way (NO WAY!) that I was going to travel to Kroger…and Albertson’s…and Super 1…and Walmart (because I would still have to go there) by myself with Muffin.  Nope.  Not happening.  So, I chose to price match the Albertson’s and Super 1 items at Walmart.

I knew I was in trouble when the checkout employee took longer to check out the two customers in front of me than the other checker in the other line took with five customers (that had more items each than the two in front of me).  My one saving grace:  I had no coupons today.  I may have im/exploded if she told me I couldn’t use coupons.  (I’ve had an employee at our local Target tell me that you can’t use coupons on sale items.)

So, as she (finally) finished checking out the people in front of me, I told her that I had a few (four different items…multiples of a few…but four different ring-ups) items to price match.  “Do you have the ad?” was her response.

“Nope.” My response.

“Well, I can’t price match them without the ad.”  At which point my blood pressure kicked up a few points, I’m sure.  “My supervisor will get angry with me.”

“She will get angry with you for following the corporate policy…the policy for the whole company?”  I may have enunciated the end of that a bit more than necessary.

A confused look from her.  “But we don’t do that here.”

At this point, I gave up trying not to sound frustrated.  Yes.  It was childish of me.  But, I am tired of having to teach employees of a multi-national corporation their own corporate policy.  “This location does not follow the corporate policy?” (I should note that in Canada, Ontario, at least, the old price-match policy prevails–the one where you have to have the hard copy of the ad.)

“I’ve never heard of that being the policy.”

Now, I’m looking around desperately for someone with a straight jacket.  At this point, I don’t care if the straight jacket is for her…or for me.  A supervisor.  A manager.  Anyone.  I try to access the site on my phone to show her.  (I really need a new phone…it failed me)  She says, “I will do this, but just this once because I don’t want my supervisor angry with me.  We price match things the other stores don’t like eggs that are another store’s store brand.”

At which point I kindly point out that doing so is a violation of the corporate policy.

I took my receipt, thanked her, and stomped over to customer service where I dialed Josh (It only took two attempts of dialing for my phone to actually dial his number) and had him look up the price match policy on his phone.  During which the conversation went like this:

(I’m sure I growled something unintelligible about employees not knowing their policies)  “Could you look up Walmart’s price match policy?”

“Okay, but why?”

“To see if you can price match without the ad.”  I said this while staring daggers at the “supervisors” the checkout employee was so frightened of in a heightened voice.

“Uhm.  You know you can.”  Josh recognizing that voice coming from me.

“Yes, but obviously they don’t,” through clenched teeth.

He read it off, including the part where the ad is not necessary to price match.  So, (yes, again childishly) I walked over to the supervisor kiosk (or cubicle) to inform the individual there that there are employees who don’t seem to know the store’s policies.

From the corporate office.  In Bentonville.

She icily informed me that all of the employees did.  At which point I snarled, “Well, whoever checked me out didn’t.”  I waved my receipt in her face for her to figure out which employee it was.

Now, the moral of the story is not about me being a cheapskate so that I could save a few dollars (closer to ten just on this trip).  The moral of the story is:  it is not my job to teach Walmart employees (or any retail employees) the corporate policies of their career.  But, if it takes me printing out the policies of the stores I frequent so that I may hand them over to the employees who seem to have never heard of the most well-known of the corporate policies, I will do so.

Here is the address of Walmart’s corporate ad match guarantee:  http://corporate.walmart.com/ad-match-guarantee.  I have it pretty much memorized, including the part that this Walmart location did totally incorrectly (matching another store brand’s items with their store brand’s items for the sale price).

Here’s the deals I did get:

Kroger

Dr. Pepper 2 L 79 cents limit of 8

Eggs 99 cents/dozen

Bartlett pears 99 cents/pound

Eddy smoked sausage 2/$5

Hormel Natural Choice lunch meat 2/$6

Paper Mate Write Bros. pens, 10 pack 3/$1

Kroger sour cream 4/$5

Idahoan boxed potatoes 87 cents

Albertson’s (price matched with Walmart…after the ordeal)

large cantaloupe 99 cents ($1.50 Walmart price)

Nestle, Wonka, Sweettarts, Spree singles 3/99 cents (limit 6) (74 cents Walmart price–I bought 6 Butterfingers–the only item that met the sale)

Super 1 (price matched with Walmart…after the ordeal)

Oscar Mayer shaved lunchmeat, the “one pounder” $1.97 (nearly $4 at Walmart)

Little Debbie snacks $1.27 ($1.78 at Walmart–I bought 2)

What deals did you find this week?  Have you ever had a problem with any companies following their corporate policies?

 

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