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Bill Kalmar

Customer Care

Do You Have a Coupon?

My life is about discounts and coupons and anything free

Published: Thursday, April 23, 2020 - 12:02

Have you noticed that coupons have become a major part of our lives? There are always coupons for restaurants or stores in most of the newspapers these days. And it seems that every day, we receive an email about a deal at a local store, but it requires a coupon.

Last month was my birthday month, and I received a multitude of coupons from restaurants. During the first week alone, I received coupons for a free lunch or dinner at five restaurants—including one of my favorites, Red Robin. My birthday wasn’t until the 30th of March, but that didn’t stop the coupons from appearing like magic.

There are also coupons or discounts if you are a AAA member or a member of AARP. But trying to remember all the discounts and the expiration dates can sometimes become crazy. We have a pack of coupons in our car, and I have placed expiration dates on the coupons. Does that sound anal? Well, I guess it is!

Now when it comes to using a coupon, one must remember to follow the rules. Some restaurant coupons are not valid on Saturday or Sunday. Some require that you buy a beverage. For me, I drink water at our meals, and that counts as a beverage in some cases, which means there is a about a $3 charge for the H2O.

What’s interesting about coupons is that many stores have discounts for senior citizens, but you have to ask because few stores will volunteer the information. And of course there are always limitations on the use of the coupon. For instance, it may exclude “lunch specials,” and sometimes it can only be used after 3 p.m. Recently, we had a coupon for a $3.99 burger at a restaurant that normally charges $7.99 for it. When we ordered the burger we discovered that it did not come with French fries, which cost $2.79. So the lunch tab came $6.78—a dollar off the normal order. Some deal, huh?

Here’s a discount for you to ponder: Our monthly healthcare just went up about $12 a month for each of us. When I called the company to inquire about the increase we were told that there was a 5-percent decrease in the premium if both of us had the same coverage and lived in the same house. So of course we signed up! But frankly, what kind of discount is that? Don’t most people, particularly senior citizens, live in the same home?

And finally, here is a discount that I fail to understand. If you fill a prescription and ask for the pharmacist to use GoodRx, there is a tremendous discount. In fact, it is better than our own prescription coverage. And there is no fee to use GoodRx, so it baffles me.

Yes, our life is about discounts and coupons and anything free. Just noticed that Biggby Coffee is celebrating 25 years in business and offering coffee for $.99 at all of its stores! Biggby has 234 stores in 10 states. And the best part? No coupon needed.


About The Author

Bill Kalmar’s picture

Bill Kalmar

William J. Kalmar has extensive business experience, including service with a Fortune 500 bank and the Michigan Quality Council, of which he served as director from 1993 through 2003. He served on the Board of Overseers of the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program and has been a Baldrige examiner. He was also named quality professional of the year by the ASQ Detroit chapter. Now semi-retired, Kalmar does freelance writing for several publications. He is a member of the USA Today Vacation Panel, a mystery shopper for several companies, and a frequent presenter and lecturer.