It NEVER Hurts to Ask:
It NEVER (ever) hurts to ask. This means we do not care what the employee thinks; we are going to ask. As a family of five we travel all over together. We go on vacations, day trips, out to eat, and even tackle the art of grocery shopping. Practice makes perfect and our life of frugality has developed by years and years of practice. We have found other ways to push the issue of frugality.
As you read this blog you will realize we don’t travel without a discount coupon or some sort of deal. So, with that in mind, we carry coupon books and gift cards with us everywhere we go. We want to have the winning mentality, and often we win twice! Yes, I said twice! What does this mean? It means we use a coupon on top of an already great deal, or coupon. The other day, we went to franchise pizza place and bought a gift card that gave an additional $5 gift card. So, a free $5. When including the free $5 gift card, we fed the family of five for $2! Yes, $2, and my nice year old daughter understood how it worked and bragged it up all the way home.
Now, sometimes these additional gift cards or “bucks” come with fine print. They often share that they cannot combine this offer with another offer. I take that comment as a challenge, and as a discussion topic with the employee. I will always ask first when using two coupons that are not supposed to be combined. The employee will usually just make it happen or ask a manager. Let me share a scenario.
My wife and I went out to eat at a pretty nice restaurant a few weeks ago. We had a “buy a $25 gift card, get a $25 coupon to use. It clearly states we could not use this with daily specials, or other promotions. Well, we wanted the special (fish fry) and just confirmed we could get the special and use the coupon. The waiter asked the manager and it was shared we could use it this one time. Yeah! We just won, twice! Double-victory!
Please remember this works for clothing stores as well. Usually the employee needs to check to see if the computer will even accept the two offers together. When the computer does allow it the employee just lets it happen.
Now, my wife used to be embarrassed by this situation. She would say we couldn’t use both, or don’t ask out of embarrassment. Her mindset changed once I kept asking and she realized it worked. We were saving money! Through time, this has become just what we do, and there is no embarrassment. We developed the mentality of “who cares what the employee thinks of us.”
One of the core values of our frugal family is to have loyalty to our family. Our loyalty is to our family and maximizing our life by stretching the dollar. Do I care if the waiter thinks I’m crazy for asking? Do I care what the manager thinks when she has to come over and tell me no? I think you get my point.
When will I see these people again? We live in a city of roughly 60,000 people, so it is rare we see the same people twice.
Let me give you another quick example. There was a grand opening of a gas station and they were offering coupons all week. My kids and I went there, asked about the $2 off on meat, and used the $2 off to buy the already on sale $1.98/Ib meat. No other coupons could be used. Yeah right! The three of us went through the line so our three separate transactions provided us with 3Ibs of free meat! Triple Victory!
So, next time you are in a restaurant, shopping, or on a trip, please check the ego at the door, realize you shouldn’t care what the employee thinks and ask away. More often than not, you will get what you are asking. Double (or even triple) Victory! It NEVER hurts to ask!