Friday, March 20, 2015

Dumb Luck

A quick story...

A couple of years ago my local feed store gave me an envelope to collect Nutrena proofs of purchases (POPs).  I believe the deal is that if you purchase 12 bags of Nutrena Safe Choice products and bring in the proofs, you get one bag free.  I started carrying each empty bag from the barn to the house, searching for scissors, cutting out the proof, and then walking back outside to put the rest of the bag in the recycling bin.  That quickly became a pain in the butt.  It seems I always emptied a bag right when I was in the middle of three different chores.  So, I noticed that the tags sewn into the bottoms of the bags had the UPC on them also.  I could easily rip those off without having to search for a pair of scissors.

However, by the time I had several of those tags piled up, I realized they wouldn't fit into the envelope.  Then when I had 12 proofs, I noticed that the UPC on the tag did not match the UPC on the bag.  I figured the store or the company wouldn't accept them, but thought I'd ask anyway.  I wasn't planning on going to the feed store today, but I impulsively grabbed the envelope on my way out the door to another appointment, because it was in the same area as the feed store.  The appointment finished early, so I went to the feed store to ask about the tags.

The store clerk informed me that they were different, and I did have to cut the proofs of purchase off the backs of the bags.  However, there just happened to be a representative from Nutrena in the store.  The clerk told her of my situation, and she said, yes indeed, you have to take the time to cut out the POP on the back.  No tags.  So, the clerk threw my 9 tags in the trash and returned my 3 POPs back to me in the envelope with directions to bring it back when I have 9 more POPs.  Then she asked the Nutrena rep if she had any coupons she could give me since I made the effort.  She said she has some in her car.

She returned to me with three coupons for $3 off future purchases, and a handy dandy measuring cup so that I know exactly what the weight is of the amount of grain I am feeding the horses.  I usually just fill a coffee can or bucket and divide accordingly.  So, I didn't have to suffer a complete loss for being too busy to bother with the hassle.  She advised to me keep both the envelope and the pair of scissors in the same location where I store the bags, so it will be convenient and I won't forget.  She said that if she was going to get a free bag for cutting out POPs, she would make damn sure she did it.  For some of us, time is more valuable than money.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

I voiced my other concern, which was that there was no expiration date on the deal, and I didn't want to invest another year or two of my time cutting out POPs if the deal is no good by the time I return to the store with 12 POPs.  She said the deal is good forever.  She thanked me for buying their products and said I'm doing a good thing for my horses.

The thing that baffled me was that the store clerk said there was a sale on Safe Choice Senior today, but we got distracted before I could ask her the price difference.  Ultimately, it didn't matter, because I did plan to buy more bags anyway.  But I thought the total on my receipt was a bit too high, so I checked my records, and sure enough, the price for one bag was $16.99 a few months ago, then $17.99 with my last purchase, and now with the sale I saved a whopping 20 cents per bag at $17.79.  Now I'm kind of concerned that the regular price may have risen above $17.99 if $17.79 is considered a sale.  I'm unsure what causes the price of a product to be raised multiple times within such a short period of time, but it doesn't surprise me that the price of equine supplements would go up at a time of year when people in some parts of the country are running out of hay.  It is what it is.

So, would you take the time to cut out proofs of purchases over a period of months or years to save roughly eighteen bucks, especially with the price of most horse feeds going up?


Mrs Shoes said...

Our local Ag store has no loyalty program on the low starch pellets (Cool Commander) that I buy for the horses - but you've inspired me to at least ASK if they have such a deal on any comparable product. But, I also buy our dog & cat food there & it's buy 10 bags get the next one free on those & that is the chief reason that I have stuck with buying cat & dog food there.

achieve1dream said...

I think it would depend on how many I'm going through. If I'm not even using twelve a year I don't know if I would bother. If I'm using twelve every few months I might. I don't know. I'm really lazy about that kind of stuff. I'm horrible about not sending in rebates! I just forget!

Prices on feed do change a lot. It seems like every time we get a truck where I work they are changing the prices on us. It's really annoying.