November 17, 2009

The Free Turkey


My grocery store runs a special promotion every November. If you spend $300 in qualifying purchases, you get a certificate for a free turkey that feeds 4-6 people.

To my horror, I realized at 11:15pm on the last day of the promotion that I was short of the target by $60.

"Please tell me you are not going to the grocery store right now," said my husband. He said this in a way that made my midnight shopping trip seem ridiculous and even unnecessary.

The truth of the matter was that I wouldn't have been able to sleep that night or live with myself the next day if I knowingly let the opportunity pass me by.

I filled my shopping cart with dry cereal.

"That sure is a lot of Honeycomb," observed the man standing in line behind me.

Despite cleaning out the store's stock of generic brand Cheerios, I still found myself $5.64 short at check-out.

A wave of panic rushed over me. Thankfully, the cashier was moved to mercy.

"I'll just give you the certificate for the turkey," the woman whispered. "You're close enough."

With the voucher in my hand, I felt redeemed.

"Thank you," I whispered back.

The woman smiled and looked at her watch, which was fast approaching the time of the store's closing. "Clearly it's important to you," she replied.

As I loaded the sixteen boxes of cereal into my trunk, my heart swelled with happiness and joy. I couldn't help but feel cheered by the discovery of a kindred spirit, another person who seemed to understand the logic of expending great sums of money and time to get an object for "free" that can be purchased for less than $20.

***
Any more kindred spirits out there?

41 comments

Moonlight Dancer said...

HAHA! The whole time I was reading your post I was thinking to myself, she does realize how cheap buying a turkey itself is right? Then I got to your last line. HA! Always out for a bargain.

Karen said...

My dad once bought 50 pounds of potatoes because they were on sale for the same price as a 10 pound bag. He then proceeded to give 40 pounds of the potatoes to my sister.

Anonymous said...

TANSTAAFL. :)

vanilla said...

Not a "kindred spirit" but the wife is. (Comment was going to be similar to Moonlight Dancer's, she beat me to it.)

Too Many Hats said...

LOL - that is so funny. The things we will do for free stuff.

Sarah said...

My husband has done the exact same thing. More than once. But I support him anyway.

Heidi G said...

But it was free!!! I am so like you it isn't funny.

Jenny said...

You should try coupon shopping! I can buy a box of cereal for almost free or under 30 cents! Yes. not the crappy cereal but name brand, mini frosted wheat and such. You save much more money that way.... and yesterday I was at smith's I used coupons and supposedly spent $25 and qualified for a $6 (14#) turkey!!

i'm all for great deals and sales ..but just some thoughts about coupon shopping that may help you!

Jenny said...

yesterday I was at smith's I used coupons and supposedly spent $25

meaning... my bill was $25 but then i lowered it even more by giving the cashier coupons and making sure i get catalinas after... it was really about $10 came out of my pocket!

Nate and Stacia said...

I thought it was totally normal to go grocery shopping at 11 o'clock at night. Ok, I didn't until I had my second baby and found I no longer have time to do ANYTHING. So I'm the only one that does that huh?

Sarah said...

I regularly shop between 11 and midnight. But Honeycomb...really? eww. (not my fave) Anyways, I probably would have purchased dry cereal, bottled water, or large bags of sugar of flour....or a massive amount of chocolate chips. Baking items add up fast and its that time of year.

Peace.Love. Lipgloss. said...

Too funny! I was imagining you as Cinderella as the clock strikes 12 with your cereal! I buy loads of useless stuff all the time to get a Clinique or Lancome gift with purchase!

Anonymous said...

I completely understand!! It's nice to know there are more of us out there!! :)

Carmen said...

So funny you posted this today... my best friend in another state was just complaining that her mom is "making" her shop at a store she doesn't like with her mother's store card for the next couple weeks so her mother can build up enough credit to get a free turkey for thanksgiving. The store is more expensive than the store my friend normally shops at and its in an inconvenient location. I explained to my friend that she's probably spending more at this store, and in gas traveling there, than the $15 turkey is worth. She acknowledged this but her mom babysits her kids, so what's she going to do? I told her to just buy her mom a turkey:)


Are you also a crazy Black Friday shopper? My friend and her mom get up at 4am to shop b/c her mother gets off on all the sales.

Tracey in Calgary said...

That is me, to a T. My husband always says, 'Ah, I see you were out spending money to save money again!' ;-) I can't resist a 'deal'.....it's a sickness ;-)

Emz said...

I swear I do this every WEEK. If I have to spend $30 to get $3 off my purchase - I always manage to turn up at the register with a balance of $26-27. Now I know how all that "extra minty-fresh" gum is ending up in my purse! ;) That makes the gum "free" at least - right?

Amanda said...

Hmmm.. Maybe I saw you the other night at Giant. I was the nut buying up fruit snacks, Pepsi and campbells soup to get my free turkey coupon. I am the WORST about getting freebies. Always buying crap I don't need to get a free gift (that I don't need)!

Colleen ~~ Hockey Mom said...

I used to love the free turkey back when I could easily spend $300 at the food store. I've cut back on spending and I'm finding that the "free" turkey really ends up costing me $300 and countless calories!!!! Now, I'm thinking of just buying my turkey OR, even better, for $45 ordering the already cooked by someone else turkey dinner!!!!!

Confessions of a Mother, Lawyer & Crazy Woman said...

You and muy husband are kindred spirits.

Brittony said...

I've done that more times than I can even count. I'm not even discriminating about the things I am trying to earn.... if it's free, I'm all over it. It's a real problem. I feel like I need a support group.

Jo's girl said...

oh this situation is so familiar accept the cashier wouldn't have been moved to mercy or I would have run out of money. and we would have blown our shot at getting the turkey.
My husband is always suckering me into getting stuff cause there is a mail in rebate that will never get mailed in, or he forgets the coupons at home yet we get the stuff that we normally wouldn't get anyway with promises of going back to the store to get the refund. something my pride just will not allow me to do. either way it's the story of my life.

Nicole said...

the principle is worth more than 20 bucks...lol
u can always use cereal

Priscilla said...

I completely understand. Completely!

The things I've done for free stuff.

Andrea Betty said...

I love it... thank God for kindred spirits!

Cindy said...

It's the principle of the thing! I have a ton of frequent shopper stamp-type cards that I'm sure I'll never come close to filling. But just in case...

Audra said...

I buy the more expensive diapers just to get the rewards codes. When they add up I get to pick a present for my child, it would have been cheaper and faster just to buy generic diapers and the toy in the first place. But her triangle markers came in the mail today and she can have them on Christmas!

Train Wreck said...

What? Isn't that how it's done? lol My husband doesn't like turkey, so we eat the inexpensive prime rib...gah! Maybe I can get a small left at the bottom of the bin turkey? lol Congrats on the super shopping;)

Justbeingamum said...

You are a classic, I love it.

KB said...

It's always worth a little more when it is free! Good work and enjoy the Honeycombs! :-)

The Cranes said...

I'd say it's not a problem if you're really going to eat all the Honeycombs (or donate them to the food pantry...)

Lisa said...

You know I am all about getting free stuff. I would have been right there with you!!!

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

Um, yes.

And will buy something I didn't really need in bulk because of an awesome limited-time sale. What? We'll use it ... eventually.

mo said...

You only have to spend $150 at my neighborhood store to get your free bird! But I forgot which is ok because I don't even think I can fit a turkey in my tiny oven. I do so hate to let a good bargain go un-used though. And you always need cereal...

Rocket Ma'am said...

I switched gyms, joining the 2nd before my last month at the 1st was up. There was a promotion that waived the joining fee, which was only slightly more than a month's membership. So in essence I saved about $5, and I belong to 2 gyms for the next 25 days. Does that count?

Erin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Erin said...

First comment for me. I couldn't help but think of what my Dad would always say when we would tell him about all the things we didn't really need but bought anyway because they were "such great deals": "Oh, what will we do with the money we saved?"

Momfever said...

That is so sweet! The kindness of strangers: it can really make your day.

Melody said...

I would have gone back to the store also - free is free even if you end up spending 3 times the amount for the "free" item - its the principle of the matter!! Today at the store near me they had a deal where if you buy a spiral sliced ham you get a free turkey up to 14 lbs. We're not even going to be home for Thanksgiving this year but I couldn't pass it up. I came home and my husband just can't understand it.

Twinmomwv said...

YES! I do believe I would have done the same.

amieandmichael said...

Haha oh my goodness. I have been reading your blog for almost a year now and it brings me a lot of joy! I realllllly loved this one post in particular. I shared it with my husband and we had a really good laugh together.

I could see myself doing the same thing!

Angela Noelle said...

Guilty. I do this sort of thing all. the. time. I figure if I bulk buy stuff I WILL eventually use, it's no sin.