guess who are the ones gladly accepting them when I offer? Yep, my coworkers.
When I saw a $2 off coupon for Cosi a couple months ago in the Washington Post Express newspaper, I grabbed a couple of the papers at the end of the day (when they were less likely to be read by Metro riders), and cut out the coupons. Of course I recycled the papers too.
I brought in about 10 coupons, with the intent of sharing, and they all laughed at me for being the “coupon clipper”. Honestly, the only times I use coupons are for dining; I don’t cut coupons for groceries (Stacie might though). Also, I normally don’t bother with just 10% off or $1 off-type coupons, but I figured I would try the place out since I’ve only ever had their bagels and Smores dessert.
So for lunch that day, I suggested the local Cosi, grabbed a couple coupons and my coworker and I headed over. Before ordering, I handed my coworker a coupon and he chuckled. Their prices are exorbitant for the small sandwiches that you get, but the meats and bread are decent quality. I would never eat there without a coupon ($7 for a skinny sandwich and a small bag of “free” chips). We enjoyed the lunch, but the $5 sandwich and chips still stung a bit.
After the coupons expired at the end of August, we figured that was it for Cosi. However, I learned yesterday that my coworker loves the place and has gone back about 16 times now (they have a rewards card that you swipe for free lunches). He’s paid full price most of those times, and yes, this is the same coworker I wrote about in Not So Frugal Lunch. But in September, the Express ran another set of coupons. I worked from home that day, so I didn’t get any papers myself, but guess who swiped some papers for themselves? Yep, my coworkers.
So the same set of coworkers who laughed at me for cutting coupons are now keeping an eye out for coupons themselves, and have even seen them when I’ve missed them. When my grandmother visited 2 weeks ago, they ran the coupon again and I grabbed 15 papers. I put my grandma to work by having her cut out all the coupons.
Yesterday, 7 of us, including my boss, dined at Cosi on my coupons. I helped the team save $12 (although I wouldn’t count spending money for dining out as “saving”). As they filed out the office door, I handed each one a coupon, except 1 coworker who had his own. I’ve started a trend!
I did mention that Cosi has a loyalty card. You get a card and swipe it with each purchase. You can earn coffee or entree points (2 different line items), and 10 purchases will get you the 11th free. I leave my card out for coworkers to use, so I went in yesterday with 3 points. Yesterday, I used it and then handed it to another coworker and my boss who swiped it for me. I’m now up to 6 entree points and 1 coffee point thanks to my quick thinking and exploitation of others’ purchases 🙂 Only 4 more until I get a free sandwich!
One last thing about Cosi. I’m going to write about the nutritional value of their food over at Building Nutrition. I was very surprised at the sodium content, and it’s a major reason I avoid eating there too much. I hope to have that article done tonight, so keep an eye out for it. I would have Stacie write it, but she’s in Minnesota for a pediatric nutrition conference right now.
Now you know, don’t be hatin’ on the coupon cutter. He may help save YOU some money too!