I had a lot of mixed feelings about putting my secret free turkey plan into motion for the $1 Thanksgiving Dinner Challenge. On the one hand, had I been a little more organized and had a little bit of luck, I would have already had a free turkey when Safeway offered their free turkey with a $100 purchase a few weeks ago. The problem was that with the sales that were on at that time, I could only find a way to get about $50 in free food thus making it impossible for me to get the free turkey. I thought that another store in my area would offer a similar deal, but it never materialised.
I fully believed that I could win the challenge through the normal use of coupons that anyone would be willing to do and it was my plan to win the challenge without resorting to tactics that some people would refuse to do. That being said, with the choice quickly turning into losing the bet or doing something a bit embarrassing, there was not a question that I was going to choose to be a bit embarrassed.
I have long held the feeling that there were a lot of hidden coupon treasures to be found for anyone willing to go and look for them. I find free money Catalina coupons on a regular basis left inside shopping carts, shopping baskets and in grocery store parking lots. I know that most people never look at the Catalina coupons that they get and throw them away without even realising that they are throwing away money. I know this because I used to be one of those people. My gut has been telling me for quite some time that anyone willing to look in the trash cans outside grocery stores would likely find free money coupons hiding inside. In fact, I was thinking about doing a challenge to see exactly what I could find at some later point, but that point was quickly moved up so that I would not have to hear my sister’s “I told you so” for the rest of the year.
I decided that my secret plan to getting a free turkey would be to search the trash cans for free money coupons that were thrown away by people. I needed to find $7.00 worth of these Catalina coupons to secure a free turkey and not being sure how difficult this might be, I decided to start over the weekend in case it required several days (and because grocery stores tend to be a lot more crowded on weekends meaning a better chance of finding Catalina coupons thrown away.
I found myself in front of Safeway with a steady rain coming down all around attempting to get my courage up to delve into the trash can:
I open up the plastic trash can liner and lean down into the can and immediately found a few Catalina coupons that have been tossed. Moving a few advertising inserts revealed a few more that I grab. I began to move aside a paper bag when I felt a tap on my back…
Me: (thinking: “Damn, are you serious? I just started and already I am going to get in trouble for doing this?”) as I slowly take my arm out of the trash can and turn around expecting to see a store manager or security guard.
Older lady: “Here you go,” she says waving a dollar bill for me to take.
Me: (look of shock at this unexpected event) “No, no…I can’t take that,” I stammer still in shock.
Older lady: (Looks confused) “Oh,” she says, then reaches into her purse to take out another dollar and hands both to me.
Me: “No, no, you don’t understand. I don’t take money.”
Older lady: (still confusion on her face) “Oh, would you like me to buy you some food then?”
Me: “No, no. I am searching for coupons,” I say thinking that this will make everything clear.
Older lady: (now looks at me like I am totally crazy and hurries off into the store probably to call the police — Note to older lady: If you ever happen across this post, I sincerely apologize for freaking you out and not getting the chance to tell you what a kind heart you have in trying to help out someone that you thought was in need)
Despite the awkward beginning to the search for thrown away Catalina coupons, I did manage to find 22:
Unfortunately, none of the coupons were the $x.xx off your next purchase type that I was hoping to find. There were a couple of free item coupons: One for free Dreyer’s ice cream (up to $3.99) and one for one free gallon of milk (up to $3.60)
There was also a very interesting coupon that may get me my free turkey. I found a “Receive a $10 US Bank Reward Visa Card when you talk to a banker today!” with the fine print saying there is no purchase necessary. If this is a legit deal, I should have no problem getting a turkey using this card.
I’ll find out on Monday if this will work. Keep your fingers crossed…