Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Please join the Foundation for a Milk-Free World

Who knew drinking milk was just as nasty and terrible as smoking and gambling?

Not me.

But I learned that last week, thanks to my never-ending quest to save a buck.
I’m a sucker for those stupid promotions and gimmicks at Walgreen’s. I really should stop going there, it’s a terribly run corporation, and it’s not doing America any favors. I’d stop short of calling it the Wal-mart of the pharmaceutical industry, but it may be just as evil.

But those jip joints are do offer a few things I need at a competitive price. Granted, 99 percent of their crap is overpriced, (and anything on sale at a good price is guaranteed to be out of stock,) but nobody has given me more free toothbrushes than Walgreen’s.

One of their new gimmicks is the “instant reward” or whatever it is they call it. If you buy an advertised product at a set price, you get a coupon for a future purchase. The coupon works like cash, for the most part, although unlike the cash in my wallet, Walgreen’s cash is only good for two weeks. They don’t want my cheap ass saving $3 on a purchase in June, they need me to come in and buy more of their overpriced crap now.

Last week I bought a gallon of milk and two bags of M&Ms at the nearby Walgreen’s. Both products were on sale. The M&Ms were for my card game that night, the milk was for the house. Milk was prominently featured on the weekly sale flier for $2.99 per gallon.

I had one of those instant rewards, worth $3, and like the idiot I am, I forgot to use it when I made my $8 purchase. I realized this sometime Saturday, the day the reward was expiring.

On my way back home Saturday afternoon I stopped at Walgreen’s, figuring I’d purchase another gallon of milk, on sale, and use the coupon. All was fine until I handed it to Sluggo at the register. He said he didn’t think the coupon would work, due to some sort of restriction on its use. He was right.

At that point I asked if he could just apply the coupon to my previous night’s candy purchase. (The receipt was still in my wallet.) He said I’d need to talk to the manager.

So I did, and I asked her how the hell milk could be restricted from purchase with an instant reward. Promotional gimmicks often say that certain items – usually tobacco, lottery tickets, liquor and gift cards – are excluded from the gimmick, but milk?

The manager told me that because milk prices are regulated by the government – they are, somehow, but don’t ask me why – milk cannot be covered by an instant reward.

I didn’t ask why this highly-regulated liquid could be offered at a sale price, something I’m seeing a lot of in grocery store sales fliers lately, but not discounted $3 with what essentially is a cash-back rebate from a separate purchase. I am confident Nancy had no clue.

Instead I just shook my head, accepted $3 cash from her in exchange for the coupon I forgot to use on Friday and left the store.

The government will allow me to buy as much processed sugar as my heart desires with my instant reward, or an addictive over-the-counter medicine, but not milk.

Milk must be as dangerous and addictive as smoking and gambling. If that’s the case, pour me another rum and Diet Pepsi at lunch. If I’m going to drink a harmful liquid, I might as well enjoy my afternoon.