My Grocery Store Knows Me Better Than My Husband Does

Money can't buy happiness, but with a coupon it's 20% off.

My grocery store knows more about me than my husband does.

It was exactly 10 years ago this past weekend that I signed up for one of their preferred savings cards.  I was nervous about it.  I don’t like the idea of the cash register collecting information about my buying habits.  But if you want to get Dannon yogurt at 20 for $10.00 (that’s how my store always shows the specials, so dumb people buy 20 of everything) you have to give your name, address, and answer all sorts of impertinent questions about yourself.

Now the cash register knows when I shop, and exactly what I buy.  

It spits out coupons specifically for me.  I bought a 20-gallon box of cheap Gallo wine once.  Once!  But the register remembers.  It thinks I’m a lush.  Every time they’re running a special on wine or beer, out comes a coupon.   The guy in front of me buying tofu didn’t get a booze coupon.  The register knows its prey.

Not only does the register know and remember, it judges.  In the early years, it would automatically print coupons for Hot Pockets and Dove Ice Cream bars.  But I think it has figured out that the kids are out of the house, and that I’m buying all that stuff for myself.   No more ice cream coupons.  Now it prints coupons for Kashi Go-Lean cereal and Weight Watchers frozen dinners.

Last month it gave me a coupon for a Hallmark Mother’s Day card.  It’s nagging me!  If it could have talked, it would have said, “Call your mother.”

I just know my grocery store’s register is sharing my information with all its computer brethren.   You think I’m paranoid?  Don’t be naïve!  Of course they all talk.

Last time I had a cold, I went to the drugstore and bought some Nyquil.  I used my drug store preferred card to get 50 cents off.   I stopped at the grocery store just 15 minutes later and the register spit out coupons for Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup and Puffs tissues.

This has gone on long enough.  I decided to turn in my card and find a new store, one that doesn’t know all my secrets – one that doesn’t judge me.   Time for a fresh start.  When I went there yesterday I fully intended it would be for the last time.    

I went to the checkout…and got a coupon for a dozen red roses.  It remembered our anniversary! 

Maybe I’ve been too hasty. You don’t throw away a 10-year relationship on a whim.  I’m going to give this thing another chance.  After all, they’ve got 2-for-1 on Charmin toilet tissue this week. 

But only for special customers.

p.s. I went to this store last night after I posted this blog.  I got 0 coupons at the checkout.  Zero.  First time, ever.  Don’t you dare think that computers don’t talk to each other. – obviously the register heard about this post and was getting back at me.

 

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About pegoleg

R-A-M-B-L-I-N-G-S, Ram...Blin!
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39 Responses to My Grocery Store Knows Me Better Than My Husband Does

  1. Love it, your blog makes me smile

    Like

  2. I hope your grocery store reminds you when my birthday approaches.

    Like

  3. Tar-Buns says:

    I, too, have a few grocery cards for the in-store deals. I resisted getting for the same reasons but Pat got them because he does most of the food shopping. I know, we’re connected, but still it’s his name on the card, not mine. Don’t like that they are tracking what we buy.

    It’s justified by calling it marketing research, to provide better customer service, blah, blah, blah.

    Did you know they are already mapping the brain’s reaction to commercials/ads? Yes, they map the part of the brain that responds or fires and WHAT it responds to. (Like the chocolate lobe for you, Peg) 🙂 That data will help them refine their “sublime” attack on the unconscious mind to buy or ??? Food for thought. (couldn’t resist).

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      Is our whole family paranoid, or just realistic? A shrink would have a field day with group sessions, no?

      Like

      • Tar-Buns says:

        I’m going with realistic since the information is right there in the news. Teaching Psychology and our interest in the brain, clues me to these stories. Creepy is right.

        OK, time to go EXERCISE – but wait, Wimbledon is in the men’s quarterfinals…must watch, must watch…only a few more days of tennis before the drought between the grand slams.

        Like

  4. bigsheepcommunications says:

    You’d think if they know so much, they could just have your stuff waiting for you when you get to the store or better yet, deliver it to your house and cook you dinner. I too reluctantly signed up for the cards, but really hate the feeling of having my every purchase tracked and analyzed. Creepy.

    Like

  5. Natalie says:

    In the good old days, Sam the butcher would know exactly which cut of pork chops Alice would need for feeding the Brady’s on Wednesday. And then she could flirt with him a little and he’d give her a better deal on the meat. Not too different from where we are today, but bring back the good old days…

    Like

    • charleen says:

      I don’t know, I would have to be very Mrs. Robinson to flirt with most anyone that worked at my grocery store. I think when the employees hit 21, they send them to the Carousel, and recruit a new batch from the high school.

      Like

      • pegoleg says:

        Logan’s Run – I loved that movie! And Soilent Green, and Omega Man. They used to make cool Sci Fi back in the 70s.

        My store is the same way. They start hiring at 15 and I feel like I should help the little bag boys lift the heavy stuff.

        Like

    • pegoleg says:

      Not too different…where do you live?? Or should I say WHEN do you live?? The butcher has almost gone the way of the soda jerk and the gas station attendant. Do you think Sam and Alice were just flirting, or was there more to it …

      Now beef is grown in labs and comes into the world in pre-measured portions, ready to be wrapped up in black foam trays, which means they can charge $1 more per pound than if they were on white foam.

      Like

  6. Oh, they talk. They follow you around. They not only spit out creepily accurate coupons; they also post ads on the websites you use. I’m waiting for them to give me something for free. That never seems to happen. Great post!

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      Whenever I get the freebie coupons, I carry them around in the cavernous pig-sty that is my purse, until I remember them 2 weeks later. They always expired the day before. I think they use special, date-changing ink.

      Like

  7. Big Al says:

    Welcome to the Orwellian world of Piggley Wiggleys. The last time I stopped at the grocery store the coupon gave me the number of the support group “Klondike Bars Anonymous.”

    Like

  8. SilverLining says:

    😀
    thank you for another witty piece of your writing 😉
    YOU made MY day!

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      No, YOU made MY day!. Nuh-uh, you made MY day. Did not…if any day-making was being done, it was you doing the doing.

      So glad to be a member of this mutual admiration society!

      Like

  9. Marija sKeri says:

    Ahahahhaa fantastic!! That’s how I felt shopping in Tesco. Now we changed to shop in Morrisons and I miss Tesco surprises and putting their nose in my privacy! 😀 Lovely entry!!! so much laugh!

    Like

  10. Now if they were really good at this marketing stuff, they would give the coupon for the dozen roses to your husband every time he visited!

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      After I said my grocery store gave me roses, my last line WAS, “which is more than I can say for my husband” but I changed that. Although it would have been funny, I thought he might not appreciate it.

      Like

  11. Why do you get all the good coupons? I get random ones for things I never buy. Am I to assume my grocery store, at which I dump loads of $$$, is indifferent to me? I’m going to have my phone talk to the cash register computer next time I go in there…

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      No, I’m sure your grocery store cares deeply about you and your loads of $$$. Maybe their register doesn’t feel the need to change you. It thinks you’re perfect just the way you are!

      Like

  12. jsh0608 says:

    Your post made me giggle. But isn’t it amazing how computers are getting to know us better and better. It can be good, but like you said also judgy. What is it their business if you want to eat ice cream till you get vanilla wasted (or whatever flavor you like) hehe :0) ‘You think I’m paranoid? Don’t be naïve! Of course they all talk.’ This comment made me giggle. :0)

    Like

  13. tinkertoot says:

    very funny – wish we had a system like that in sa – no-one here uses coupons. have a great day.
    again – how is the family challenge going??

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      Thanks! I posted an update on Monday – that is my plan, a weekly update. It’s going very slowly. I was discouraged to have gained 1/2 pound today – how does that happen? I guess I shouldn’t weigh myself everyday. Sigh.

      Like

  14. Tori Nelson says:

    It’s hard not to love coupons and free sample snacks, soothing 80s music and the smell of fresh plastic bags. Why am I getting married again?

    Like

  15. SoapBird says:

    HA,HA,HA… love it! 🙂

    Like

  16. sukanya says:

    had a good laugh reading your witty post!

    Like

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