Super Doubles Are Back at Kmart
Kmart is doubling coupons again this week, reportedly for the last time in 2009. Every time they do "Super Doubles," it kicks off an internal argument for me:
Me 1: Hey, you could get free hand soap! We need hand soap!
Me 2: But I haaate going to Kmart. You know what Rainman said, Kmart sucks!
Me 1: Free stuff! Cheap stuff!
Me 2: But, I always end up spending like 3 hours digging through my coupons before I go. And then half the stuff I'm looking for, they're either out of or my local store doesn't carry it at all.
This week, I'm going through the same internal struggle. Sure, Super Doubles have paid off for me, but at what cost in time and hassle? And I'm not the only bargain shopper who has had major problems with Kmart Super Doubles.
Here are some of the problems I've had with Super Doubles:
1. Cashier error -- failing to scan some coupons, attaching the coupons to the wrong items resulting in a higher total.
2. Register problems -- coupons that won't scan for no reason, prices ringing up wrong.
3. Equipment problems -- Catalina machines that are out of paper or don't work.
4. Lack of manager backup -- Service desks unstaffed.
5. Inventory -- Lots of items I brought coupons for have been out of stock or just not carried at all. Others are hard to find, often in the wrong place.
Despite all those problems, I'm STILL tempted to hit my local Kmart for Super Doubles this week. Here's my advice if you are similarly tempted:
2. Find the biggest, best Kmart you can. Usually I don't like to drive out of my way to get a deal. But if you are investing the time to gather up your best coupons, it'll be a lot less frustrating if you drive to a Kmart that is likely to have the things you want in stock, process your coupons properly, and give you good customer service if problems arise. Does such a Kmart exist? I dunno.
3. Call your chosen Kmart before heading out to make sure they're participating. Use the store locator to get their number.
4. Avoid Catalina deals. Not everyone will agree on this one. Indeed, on my first Super Doubles attempt, there was a Catalina deal that printed $2 coupons that would double to $4, allowing me to get all kinds of merchandise for free. It worked like a charm. HOWEVER, the next time I tried a Catalina deal at Kmart, none of the registers I approached had working printers and I had to send away for my coupons. I'm still waiting 6 weeks later and don't know if I'll ever get them. And if I do, I'll have to go BACK to Kmart to spend them.
5. Sweeten the deal (non-doubling) high value coupons. Use the $5/$50 coupon from the back of today's flyer, or sign up online for similar coupons, print the free item coupons (thanks Money Saving Mom), and combine store coupons with manufacturers coupons on toys, as Abundant Food Savings explains (scroll down in this post to the Toys section).