Coupons don't always save you money

 How I Saved Fourteen Dollars in Calgary

After breakfast, Kristine & I needed to gas up the car for our trip back to Edmonton.   Ah hah, I thought, I would take advantage of the savings coupon for gas at Superstore that Tyler, my son, gave me Saturday night.

During breakfast I Googled for the nearest Superstore so we could partake of the benefits of the coupon.  The nearest location was the Superstore at Signal Hill on Sarcee Trail.  I put the i-phone in my pocket thinking I could remember the Google Map.  So off we went gaily talking, enjoying the weather and recounting the great time we had over the weekend.

We got to the top of the hill on Sarcee and remembering a right hand turn from the Google Map, I turned and began looking for a shopping center and the Superstore that would offer us with cost savings gas.  We drove around in circles for about 15 minutes – nothing.   Finally we asked a woman on her morning walk ‘where is the nearest Superstore?’   ‘It’s easy’ she said waving her hands ‘first you turn left, then right, then left and then straight, you can’t miss it.’ Famous last words.


So off we went thinking no problem, we’ll be there in a few minutes – not so.


Next we got back on to Sarcee south and soon again turned right after having travelled five more minutes.  We came across a shopping/commercial development, thinking we’d found the Superstore.  Again we drive around in circles for another 2o minutes – no Superstore.

Finally, I saw a London Drugs Store so I went in an asked for directions.  The first person encountered was willing to give directions, but I couldn’t understand a word she was saying.  Then I went to another clerk who gave me directions, to me they were totally incomprehensible.  I went back to the car to get a Calgary street map.  I went back in and talked to a third person who said there was a store right across the street that had everything that Superstore had.  I got a bit pissed.  So I went to the cashier.  She said she knew the way and could show me how to get to Superstore, but she forgot her glasses at home that day and couldn’t see the map.

Well that did it, now I was really pissed.  I went out to the car and tried to blame Kristine that we couldn’t find Superstore.  I didn’t get very far with that line of reasoning.  So I shut my mouth and angrily found my way back to Sarcee, this time I was going to go south to the end of Sarcee even if it took me to the US border.  Well five minutes later another shopping center appeared called Signal Hill and guess what, I found Superstore and Superstore gas bar.

I pulled up to the gas bar and went to the booth to check if the coupon was still valid.

In the back of my mind, since everything else was going wrong, it would be my luck that the coupon had expired.  Not so.  The guy in the booth, with a long black beard said no problem.  "Gas up, and come into the booth for a refund as per the coupon."  Without thinking I did as he said and received my fourteen dollar refund against my Visa.

Relieved, but still, a bit pissed off having wasted one and a half hours we drove without talking to my sister Agnes’ place for lunch.  With her and hubby Rick we had a great lunch and visit before we resumed our travels back home to Edmonton.


On your three hour trip back home, my mind drifted back to the coupon and fourteen dollar saving.  I asked Kristine to calculate from the bill how much per liter of gas we’d saved.  By the time we sorted out that we’d saved 25 cents per liter and we got into another argument after which we came to our senses and began to laugh about the comedy of errors.  But, we managed to conclude that coupon savings were not Norbert’s strength and vowed never to attempt redeeming any cost savings coupons ever again.  Kristine said she has a very successful system of coupon redemption.  I said I don’t want any lessons on that subject thank you very much. 


The moral of the story for me:

“If you couldn’t pay full price for something because don’t have the money, do without.”

That is how I saved fourteen dollars in Calgary 


How I Saved Fourteen Dollars in Calgary  PART 2

After we got back from our Calgary trip, we concluded that, despite the Coupon Saving of $14 episode, the whole trip was a delight.  By Wednesday the Coupon Saving incident was behind us (or I should say me) Kristine didn’t want credit for any part of this Wild Goose Chase.

Our mail delivery usually comes around noon.  We get the mail and often read it over lunch.   On Wednesday, this week, I received mail form The City of Calgary.  I thought that Calgary had a new policy of thanking visitors to their City.  How nice!


Not!  The mail from Calgary was as Photo Radar Ticket for $85 dollars going 93kmh in a 80kmh zone.  The photo ticket was taken on Sarcee Trail about 10:30am.  If you remember from Part 1, we had been off and on Sarcee Trail searching for Superstore to take advantage of the ‘coupon for savings at the gas pump.’


This is how the math stacks up:

Driving 35 miles @ 50c per mile           17.00

Cost of the speeding ticket                   85.00

Frustration                                           priceless

Aggravation                                         priceless

Wife saying ‘I told you so’                   priceless

Total cost                                             102.00

Total coupon saving                              14.00

Net benefit of coupon                          (88.00) + priceless X3


That is how I didn’t save fourteen dollars in Calgary.

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