I started following Jill Cataldo~The Coupon Queen~last March. A friend of mine recommended participating in her "coupon class" offered at the local library. While I didn't make the class, I did view her DVD on how to save hundreds of dollars each month just by clipping some coupons and shopping smart.
I was hooked from the first transaction. My new found skill even got me back into our local Dominick's. The last time I had darkened that doorstep was 1995 when I ran in to pick up a dozen eggs that were on sale for $.49. We also needed bacon and bread. The Oscar Meyer bacon was $5.99 and the Wonder bread was $2.99. The .49 bargain price for a dozen eggs didn't add up to savings for me when you consider the "bend over" price of the bread and bacon.
Dominick's drew me back in 2010 with the promise of them taking "expired" coupons (a little tidbit I learned on Jill's blog, http://www.jillcataldo.com and over at a site called Couponers Wanted www.couponerswanted.com ) and when I matched those babies up with a sale...BINGO. Savings. It seemed like a win/win for me~saving money on the bottom line~and Dominick's got back an old disgruntled customer.
During a huge frozen food sale at Dominick's last June, I picked up Totino's Pizza Snacks for a buck a box. After using .50 off coupons for each box and taking advantage of the instant savings at the register for purchasing in quantity, the bottom line was about $.43 a box. Score, right?
Not so much. I was baking up a box about a week later, and was cutting the box top for education off the packaging. While trimming the box top, I noticed the expiration date: January 2008...eeeeeewwww! After checking the other nine other boxes in the freezer I found assorted expiration dates ranging from January 2008 through March of 2010.
I should have returned them, but I dumped them thinking it wasn't worth the $4.30 to bring them back. I usually get the stink-eye when using coupons at this particular Dominick's location. Imagine the look when bellying up to the CS desk and claiming I purchased food expired years ago just last week. I reasoned in my own mind that people make mistakes, and certainly this batch was overlooked. I considered it an inexpensive lesson learned.
Last month I was opening a bottle of Kraft Ranch Dressing from my pantry (also purchased at a "must-do" sale at my Orland Park Dominick's). The expiration date printed on the bottle said to "use by" October 2010. A twist of the cap confirmed my official breakup with Dominick's. I do not care how good the sale, if the stuff is not edible it is not worth wasting my time.
A couple of weeks ago, Dominick's changed their coupon policy. As of February 5, 2011, Dominick's is no longer accepting "expired coupons". I admit I chuckled to myself thinking maybe an end to expired coupons meant an end to the expired food on their shelves.
Apparently not. Today, Jill Cataldo wrote a blog about her recent trip to Dominick's where she and two other shoppers collected THREE grocery carts of expired food at ONE Dominick's location in the span of only two hours. They had only visited four aisles.
Please take a moment to read about Jill's experience. http://www.jillcataldo.com/node/15175
Hopefully Dominick's addresses the issue soon.
Since writing this morning, Jill Cataldo has posted another blog regarding another Dominick's location with expired food on their shelves. According to Cataldo's blog, she reports, "After one hour, we again filled three carts with expired groceries -- 336 expired products in all."
Check out the update here: http://www.jillcataldo.com/node/15267
Dorothy Tucker on CBS 2 will report at 5:00 p.m. tonight regarding Jill's findings.