And I couldn't be happier!--Wait let me explain. Since I was teen ager, I've been the person who has collected box top or labels and sent away for promotional products (and unlike Ralphie, I never ended up with a decoder ring and been disappointed). I've been a coupon queen—once (back in the lat 1970's) buying a full cart of groceries (over $100 worth) for just a few ($2? $3)--including meat, potatoes and fresh vegetables. Promotions have changed over the year, and many now can be done on computer, with nothing to mail in. And while I do fewer, and I am less compulsive about it, I still participate.
Since they started, I have been one of the people participating in MyCoke rewards program. On disadvantage to this promotional scheme (to all promotional schemes!) is the quantities required to get anything-- Along the way I have learned tricks to extend my ability to garner points.
NY State is one with a bottle recycling program—and the recycling machines used often kick out the bottle caps—slip on a disposable glove, and you can sort through a bunch of caps and find some from CokeCola products—and add some points (with out more purchases.) I confess, I do this all the time.
Yesterday—while shopping for a Sunday paper—I checked the bottle machines—and found myself 9 caps--(It would take me a month to drink that much soda!) a bonus!
Each cap is worth 3 points—and may rewards take 300 (or more!) points—It's not a very generous rewards program—so scrounging for caps is, well, one aspect of my compulsive behavior.
A gentleman (I was going to say elderly—but chance are, he was just older (by some 10 years) than me, and I sure don't want to be called elderly!)--saw me, and said, “You collect caps? Here I have some...”
He had a nice car (much new than mine) and his trunk was filled with bottled for recycling—(it's amazing the number and sort of people who collect cans and bottles and add to their income a nickel at a time) Here and there in piles, were caps. I held out a bag, he rummaged.. and rather quickly filled the bag—a lovely Christmasy collection of red, green, and white caps. (OK there are a few silver ones, and black one or two, —but mostly reds and whites and greens!)
At home I washed them (in hot water and a little bleach) and dried them, and counted them.
71 caps! With my measly 9, that's 80 in all. And 80 times 3 is 240—a substantial number of points!
Already, it's enough to reward my self with a coupon for a 12 can pack (or rather a coupon for one)
I don't usually drink cans of soda—but every once in a while its nice to have a small controlled portion. (I used to love these coupons when I worked—I could carry a coupon to Manhattan, and buy a 12 can pack a the local drug store—so much easier than lugging all 12 cans from Queens!(up and down subway stairs—and a few block of walking too!) Then, when I worked late, I enjoyed treating my self to a can of soda (I tend to drink soda after 4PM—and more after dinner..and not that much ever.) It made long hours more enjoyable—but since I am not working, I don't think so.
240 points is just about half the number needed to purchase a free movie ticket voucher--
What do movies cost around your way? Here in NYC--$11 to $13 (and sometimes even $15!) is the normal charge. There are some promotional deal like $5 Tuesdays--(early matinee's only) but for the most part, the experience of going out to a movie is a luxury I just can't afford. (I just cashed in a year's worth of points for just such a voucher.)
They also have rewards for free movie rentals (cheaper than a movie ticket) and for a lot of promotional clothing (I have no interest in wearing CokeCola T shirts, or hat, or carrying a lunch bag with a promo, or a key chain, or ...) and other stuff—lot of free subscriptions to magazines (none that I generally read, but..) and photo products, and.. well other things I am not interested in.
Still, in all, Free stuff! Isn't that what we dream about? I especially like free stuff that is intangible—a free movie ticket/experience take up absolution no space! It's clutter free! And for me, a bit of a luxury.
I got a lot of other nice stuff for Christmas—I am blessed with generous loving family and friends—and it warms the cockles of my heart, that I got some garbage, too!