Just Because It’s Free, Doesn’t Mean It’s For ME.

So, I’m sitting here, sifting through my email when another deal pops up in KouponKenny580@gmail.com, my special email account. I had signed up for so many restaurant E-Clubs and birthday clubs that I found it necessary to give them their own spot. Mostly because I had been getting birthday rewards and deals and needed to move them to a separate folder.

Don’t get me wrong, it made life simpler because as I mentioned in a previous blog, taking the time to sign up for these ensured that I did not go hungry from a range of two weeks prior to my birthday, all the way until the week after. Some restaurants told me I could take advantage of that coupon/deal at any point during my birthday MONTH (but only once). Some gave me as much as 21 days beyond my birthday. If you want to know how to load up on birthday meals, click here for more details.

Anyway, another perk is that I receive deals throughout the year. Some for BOGO (Buy One – Get One Free) deals, while others allow for me to accumulate points for multiple visits or during certain promo times. Now that’s cool.

Then again, it’s not.

What I found (which we all know) is that I was making trips to various fast-food joints just because they told me that if I bought two gorillas, I could get one free. But did I really need those gorillas to begin with? Ok, maybe that’s a crazy example, but I’m hoping you’re seeing my point: What was it about the offer that really necessitated my getting dressed, jumping in the car and driving on the icy roads and wasting gas? In fairness, I wasn’t aware that the roads had iced over from freezing rain, but I was already dressed, sooo…

The deal I’m currently debating tells me that if I make two visits to one of my favorite and more healthful places, I’d earn $5 towards my next visit. After brief thought, I’m realizing that in the end, it’s really not worth it. I don’t want you to think that I’m penny-pinching. It’s just that I need to follow the same logic I used to share with my wife. She is an excellent coupon cutter, forcing stores to give HER back money after shopping for miscellaneous items. I’ve seen her get articles of clothing (worth upwards of $100) for less than $10 and sometimes FREE.

The problem with that is that she tries to apply her tips and tricks in all things.

How is that a problem? Well, if we’ve just shopped for $75-$100 in groceries, I don’t see the need to drive to a different store, halfway across town to get one or two items, just because she’s saving $2 or $3.

It’s led to some heated discussions at times, but more often than not, I win out.

To me, every trek is an obstacle course with arguably the worst drivers in the country. The use of gas and chances of accident, to me, just aren’t worth the trip. I’d just as soon GIVE her the few dollars she’s saving so I can get back home. And yes, time is the other factor. I’m missing my game!

The final and most important point is what I mentioned earlier: the purchase, itself. Whether or not the item is healthy, is it really worth the mission? Do I really need to make two trips to Charley’s (oops, I named it) to get a Philly Chicken sub, JUST to get $5 off later? Chances are, I’m going to get a medium or large ($10-$12) which results in a total of $20+ in purchases, just to get a coupon for $5. And here’s the kicker: I have to make a third trip to redeem it!

After all is said and done, I’ve spent money that I really don’t need to spend, especially considering the fact that photography is my only gig right now. And that income hasn’t been so great since I had the car accident, inhibiting my ability to shoot outdoors. And let’s not forget the gigs I lost at Christmas time when my family all tested positive for COVID-19 and my house had to be wrapped under one big freezer bag for quarantine.

Let’s face it. Times are hard for everyone, and it will be some time before I can pay off my debts and enjoy life. There is nothing I want and need that really justifies my making non-essential purchases. I love my subs and other fast-food items, but in the end, it ain’t the wisest financial decision.

So no, just because it’s free, doesn’t mean it’s right for me.

Let me go downstairs and put some of these ingredients together that I picked up while grocery shopping, including that tub of soft butter my wife insisted that I drive further out to get.

I never said I win them all…

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