I don’t know how many of you are still out there but I promised myself I would try and reach as many of you as I can. Time is short. Some have already fallen to exhaustion and will be woken with shrill cries, demands for tribute submerged in a haze of carbohydrates and sugars. The frenzy of wrappings, colours, people and conversation may make it impossible to think clearly. You are being conditioned my friends.
How do I know? Because last year that was me and I vowed to share my story so others do not have to make the same mistakes.
You can call me Deb because that is my actual name. It seems like only a year ago I was celebrating, unwrapping yet another low fat cookbook, which was starting to make me a little sensitive, and hitting the hot cocoa pretty hard. I was feeling no pain, except for the damage to my self esteem, and was relaxed. I was too relaxed. As I sat at the table, under the pile of newspapers I saw the edge of something glossy. Why was there no music in a minor chord to warn me of the danger? I’m always the one at a movie to notice the music when someone heads for the basement door or walks into the woods in high heels. No. There was no warning for me. I pulled the sheet towards me and there written in thick black oozing blood, I mean ink, were the numbers. It said 70% off everything (with the illegible writing saying that it did not apply to anything that you wanted, that you had to ask a clerk to help you find, non-toxic, non GMO, in your size or in style).
I started to shake and quickly check the time. It is only 20 hours until the Boxing Day sales started and I knew I needed to be in that line. Where was the sale? It didn’t matter. Did you not hear that it was 70% off? I’d never been to Hank’s House of Hinges but they were giving out free organic ragweed blend knitted scarves with every $200 purchase. How is that not a deal? I don’t remember that day well but if you come to my home you may notice that everything moves well. Too well.
It is too late for me to unplate the damage but it doesn’t have to happen to you. It doesn’t matter the discount. Defend yourself by making a list before you look at the flyers and if you do not have anything on the list get rid of the flyers without looking at them. Yes I know they compel you to look. In history there has been the dreaded three, the basilisk, Medusa and the Boxing Day flyers. The peril is too great. I have purged the house of these papers. The inbox. No. I must empty the inbox. Why do I hear music? Nooooo.
At the end of last summer i had an unexpected and hasty move. I ended up in a smaller place in a different part of town. It had good bones but the decor and damage were more grunge than glam. Most of my time was spent fixing and replacing rather than settling in. As I was nearing the end of the process I was walking though my complex and was greeted with a cheery hello from our local Welcome Wagon rep. Constance Zacharias. She asked if I’d had a visit since I moved in and I said no. I realized I was just now past the damage control phase and was ready to explore me neighbourhood. What I did not know was all of the great things that were in the basket. Besides the info. on bike paths, recycling schedules and the community centre there was a wealth of gifts. We ended up with tickets for the local events centre and my son and I took friends to see a local junior hockey game. We picked up a free cake at the co-op to entertain these same friends and I even picked up a free pillow for the guest room. There was everything from free key cutting, a free hair cut and style to a 4 litre of milk. I told my friend who’d also recently moved about the service, and we used our $10 local grill certificate to have a low cost lunch together. By my calculations this was about $100 in savings. I have yet to use my coupon for a free ad in the local paper or the several other discounts but you get the idea.
If you have recently moved do not hesitate to call Welcome Wagon and learn more about your community and enjoy some great gifts. I have to go now and pick up my free flaxseed oil.
I love most free stuff. I do not say all as viruses, spam and grey hairs are free but unwelcomed.
A couple of weeks ago I celebrated my birthday and that is when a number of companies offer discounts or freebies if your get on their email lists. IHOP offers a free stack of pancakes, Boston PIzza offers a dessert, Montanas has an appetizer and my favourite, Red Robin’s offers a burger.
My son’s birthday is exactly 2 weeks after mine. I signed him up for Red Robin’s birthday club as well. Here is the dilemma. The coupons are good for one week before your birthday and one week afterwards. That leaves Josh and I one day shy of being able to go out and both get free burgers.
I decided to phone the restaurant and ask if I could use my coupon even if it was a couple of days past due. They said yes! I pressed “print” from my iPad. Problem. The coupon only half printed out. I went with the email and coupon in hand and to my relief they accepted it. Big points for Red Robin’s. We saved $21 and I made sure I tipped on what would have been the total without the coupons. Two happy customers and a very happy server.
Next I needed a cake for Josh’s party. I’d received a Dairy Queen coupon in the mail for $7 off an ice cream cake but it was only good for a location 20 miles away. Since I have one 7 blocks away that didn’t work for me. I called the restaurant and the worker was not sure. She asked me to call the manager. The next day instead of calling I stopped in. The manager was happy to help and explained that though each location runs its own promotions they would honour the coupon. Hooray! Josh ended up with a cake that was over budget but right priced after the discount.
I saved $28 just for asking. Now that is a happy birthday.