Why Do We Need More Digits?

I was fortunate to be born with ten fingers and ten toes. Until recently, those were really the only digits I ever needed but things have changed. Now that I'm 70 years-old, I need digits to shop for groceries. Friends, this has not settled well with the Shaffer branch of the Geezer Tribe. We are about as tech savvy as a chicken embryo and digital shopping is not a hit at this house.

This hostile reaction is brought about by my love of grocery shopping for bargains. It follows that I am a coupon clipper. I'm not rabid about this clipping thing because my arthritis balks at using scissors. It's an uneasy movement for gnarly old hands. I clip enough store coupons to keep me smiling at checkout. I am thankful to the retailers who send them to me or make them available in their advertisements each week.

In my heyday, I clipped manufacturer coupons too. Sadly, those went away when we stopped affording a Sunday paper. In the old days I would spend a happy Sunday morning with coffee, scissors and my handy-dandy coupon organizer. A good time was had by all. The best part was that I learned about all sorts of nifty new things to buy. This is where I discovered Swiffer products, Windex outdoor window cleaners and so much more. Who knew the world was filled with all these newfangled things?

I quickly learned that they suck you in with the first discount coupon. You go for it... put the device together at home and jump with joy at its efficiency. You like it so much that you use it a lot. This can be cleaning mops, dusters, toilet cleaners, air fresheners and more of this ilk. When you go back for refills and find they are gold plated you're already a vested customer. Pretty tricky, eh? Not really... you knew it from the start but that first $5 off coupon was the tip of an iceberg.

I like to think this is genetic and I hope all of you blame these sorts of issues on your parents and grandparents. My Little Grandma would order Grandpa to drive from their home in Milwaukie to Jantzen Beach to save fifty cents on mayonnaise. In those days, coupons were only good for one product at one market. Imagine the horror my grandpa felt when told he would be driving to Fred Meyer? How many were in the Portland area 40 years ago? He knew the location of every one. It is said that hearing is the last thing to go as you leave this world. As my Grandpa lay dying I was blessed to be with him. For every available moment I thanked him and praised him for driving Grandma all those years and taking care of her. He was a grocery shopping angel and a whole lot more.

Back to those digits. I hate to be left out of a bargain but am befuddled by digital shopping. Part of the reason is that I do not have a smart phone... my dumb phone and I can't be parted. This means that any type of digital coupon has to be generated right here at home at this computer. I tried this once and failed so miserably that I got a message from Fred Meyer that their system went down and I would have to come back later. What does this mean?

Since I am a geezer and fairly stubborn, I went back at it again. I tried to load coupons on to my Fred Meyer card. It seemed to be a successful transition because the site thanked me. I was just tickled. Then I went to the store and waited at checkout with much anticipation to see my savings. The very kind clerk showed me the pathetic amount I'd saved and encouraged me to try again. Try again to buy the same groceries? NOPE.

The thrill is gone. Digital grocery shopping has taken all the fun out of things. I am humiliated in every aisle by signs that tell me how much I could save if I entered a digital coupon. What if I didn't? What if I changed my mind in the store and decided to buy something I hadn't digitally entered? What if I don't have a computer, cell phone or any other sort of technology?

The answer is disturbing to me. I will pay more for my groceries because I can't access digital savings. My own mother falls into this category and she is the ultimate grocery shopper. It's her recreation and a bright spot in her life. I don't understand why she would be penalized for not understanding how to use digital coupons.

Friends, I understand that things change but change sometimes hurts. This is one of those situations because we all need groceries... digital or not. :)

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