Thursday, October 30, 2008

A fool's errand

Kroger's orange flyer lured us: a Moonlight Madness sale, costume contest, kid activities, treats all over the store.

A frugal mama's dream, right? I dressed the kids and headed down the street.

Only to find no costumes. No prizes. No sales different than what I saw that morning.

And the treats? A single Tootsie Roll at the service desk.

Lucky for Kroger, I caught this sweet moment in the calm before the storm.

The things we will do in pursuit of FREE! Have you ever dragged your family on a frugal goose chase?

30 comments:

Nancy said...

Oooo... so frustrating. I can't think offhand of anything that turned into a complete goose chase... so many times, I've ventured to a local park, library or some such place with a "fun" event with my heart in my throat, hoping things will turn out well.

Oh! Just thought of this - last Feb, my sister and I headed off to the Field Museum (Chicago) with my son b/c it was the last "free admission" week of the month and we wanted to try out the new Play Lab. Most of the museum is above a three-year-old, so the Play Lab sounded like a good idea. We arrived FIVE MINUTES after the Play Lab stopped admitting kids for the day. Oy. We went and looked at the stuffed animals, but it was not quite what we were anticipating.

Sher's Creative Expressions said...

That's terrible. I always took my youngest to Kroger for this same event when she was little. I wonder if your Kroger is just not participating? Bummer and major disappointment for you and the kids.

Blessings,

Sher

Anonymous said...

Meredith, The boys look so sweet! Andrew is growing so fast! He looks to be loving his baby brother! I have so missed your daily entries!! But I TOTALLY understand! Renee

DeeAnn said...

What sweetie pies. I don't know why but my favorite costumes on babies are pumpkins. I think it's because they are little pumpkins.

Frugal goose chases? Yes & then they turned into the not so frugal goose chases. Got to love life. :)

Anonymous said...

easter 08...drove an hour to a HUGE EASTER EGG HUNT EGGSTRAVAGANZA!! announced on the radio for 2 weeks, hosted by the city, cops, firemen, petting zoo and hunt....we get there and its freezing, SNOW (we're in ontario , canada) the hunt....a cordoned off area in the parking garage with eggs dumped in ....that's in, none hidden, all kids were allowed to go, chose AN egg, and come out the other side for treat bag..petting zoo, bunnies...cute but that's it...and that was ALL of the events...nothing else...sigh...my kids still talk about how disapointed they were and it turned into a lesson on false advertising...

Celina in Canada

Amanda T said...

Well now, that's just not nice. I'm sorry.

Anonymous said...

Well, it was not a wild goose chase, but for my oldest son's first Halloween I dressed him up like a black cat. I made his outfit myself. He was so cute. I wanted his grandparents to see him. He was just 10 months old. At the time my parents owned and ran a place called Gene's Cue Club. (a bar with lots of pool tables) I went in with Jimmy all dressed up so he grandparents could see him. I sat with Jimmy at the end of the bar drinking a coke and chatting with my mother. Drunk after drunk came up to us and gave us money. (no one had any candy) I tried not to take the money as it was not at all what I had in mind..but my dad told me not to worry with it, take the money and use it for something for the baby. So I did, I thanked them all and I put the money (almost $100.00) into Jimmy's savings account. This was 1974 so $100.00 was alot of money. I still have the pictures of Jimmy dressed in his black cat suit. We were there less than an hour and he got so much. I was just so surprised.
Your boys are just too cute. Love the baby's outfit. So very sweet. Roxie

Corrie at "Cents"able Momma said...

How frustrating! This summer, I told my sons we were going to Taco Bell for free tacos. However, my Taco Bell wasn't participating...so I had to fork over money for tacos, since the boys were excited about eating there :-). That's why I skipped the free taco on Tuesday!

Amy @ Milk Breath and Margaritas said...

I hope you let them know! That's so bad.

Milehimama said...

I am so down on Kroger this week. Ours advertised an 8 hour sale - bags of candy for Trick-or-Treaters were $1.47. Add that to the dollar off coupon, and I made a special trip! (Actually, I had to return some rotten meat, too.)

Only to find out that there was no signage, the checkers didn't know about it, and there wasn't a single flyer in the store with the "special sale" on it.

The same thing happened to us but it was WalMart and Santa-games, candy, party, and a craft were advertised. We got there and no Santa, no candy, but they did give out a balloon.

the voice of melody said...

What a beautiful picture! Just precious.

I'm sorry your outing was such a disappointment, now that's what I call misleading advertising!

:)

Anna said...

Oh, yes. A free cherry limeade at Sonic, a free root beer float at A&W... it happens to me all the time. *sigh*
The manager at A&W felt sorry for me and gave us one, anyway. Then I felt REALLY bad!

Christy@MercyEveryMorning said...

What a disappointment! :( Cute picture, though! :)

Heather said...

Meredith - our Kroger sent out the same flyer Tuesday for Wednesday and they didn't do any of the things they had listed either. Thankfully, I went alone since the kids are full of colds. We don't celebrate Halloween, but I was after the specials that weren't there and had to pick up some meds anyway. I'm sorry the kids had a disappointment, but I'm sure you used it as a good teaching tool.
My kids still remember an event that was so completely not as advertised - they were on the verge of tears, but some passing angel gave me a nudge (shove) and reminded me that life is full a disappointments and we need to teach them at a young age to choose a Christ like attitude when dealing with them. Thankfully they made the best of it, but have resolved that they will always be careful not to make promises that they don't intent to keep. Our son remembers that he is to be a 'man of his word' and our daughter often thinks of that time as the day she determined never to hurt childrens' feelings.

tracy said...

The recent All You magazine event at Wal-Mart was supposed to happen from 10 a.m - 6 p.m. I arrived at my local store at 4:45 to not only find nothing at all but not a single employee who knew anything about it. (And I double-checked; my store was on the web site's list of participants on 10/26.)

Anonymous said...

I think that you ought to email the corporate office, and send along the cute pictures of your kids, and tell them how disappointed you and the kids were with this event. I think that these stores that advertise these events ought to be held accountable for what they advertise. I think that if more moms did this (and it doesn't have to be done in a mean way), I think you'd see stores, etc. that are more likely to honor their commitments. Just my two cents. If you do write, Meredith, you ought to give them a link to this blog post so that they can read all the comments of moms who are similarly frustrated by "events" that turn out to be non-events like this!
Susan

TJ said...

We've had several trips that didn't turn out as planned, but I can't imagine getting the kids amped up for something that turned out to be nothing. That had to be hard for them to understand.

That is the sweetest photo of the brothers!

nea said...

i hope you complained. i feel your pain, because, yes, i have been there, done that!
your boys are adorable and that photo is sweet!

Anonymous said...

Meredith,

When my 16 year old was two I hauled him out of bed at 7:30 on a weekend!!! - hubby sleeping soundly - and drove him to the mall IN THE POURING RAIN because J.C. Penny had advertised that we could see Barney in person. I had visions of the big purple guy hugging my adoring boy. Barney was his special love and I knew it would be worth it.

We joined a crowd of similarly excited kids and moms in the mall outside the store and were told to sit on the floor and wait to see Barney.

They hauled out a TV set and turned on a Barney episode. We say Barney in person alright. We were there in person and Barney was on the TV.

Could have done that at home with my own TV.

Heather

Darla~SassyHomemaker said...

How frustrating. You got a cute picture tho. ;) I don't know why but I am always more tired after I get fooled.

BlondeMomBlog (Jamie) said...

This is why I loathe Kroger! I'm so sorry you went through this. I know Publix is having an event later today...check it out.

NeedANap2 said...

We've also had our goose chases - stores completely out of sale items, etc. I'm sorry you had a bad time, but it is a cute picture!

One particular event was a Kids Day at the mall. Dillard's had a very sad looking duck pond and we had to look all over to find it. However, this past year (I sent hubby with the kids not expecting anything) it was huge with a person making balloon animals (an EXPERT - made the 3-year-old a horse and the 5-year-old a crown using different color balloons and everything). Sometimes you just never know.

Marsha said...

I've had so many of these experiences that I've learned the hard way (over and over and...) not to say word one to the kids about what I'm expecting to happen. If it's a bust then no harm, no foul - I can usually think of something to make the outing "worth it" (throwing a penny each in the fountain to make a wish, window shop for next year's cleats, whatever). Often my downplayed expectations mean more delight for the kids since I haven't built anything up. I was once crestfallen at a local store's flop of a "kids' day" and they thought the whole thing was great. They'd had no idea it was on the day's agenda and were delighted by the serendipitous encounter. Now *that* was a huge lesson for me!

Marsha
hotwaterbath.blogspot.com

ispeakbeanish said...

That had to be frustrating!

ancient one said...

This has been an eye opener for me... in the olden days it seemed like the stores really did what they advertised... haven't had any little ones to participate in anything lately...but have lovely pictures of the grandchildren at all kinds of events given by different businesses... I guess the whole world has gone to speaking untruths?

PleaseRecycle said...

I second the love Publix, hate Kroger comment. In my neck of the woods, Kroger has lower prices, but it is worth it to me to shop in a clean, friendly store (Publix). We've gone to Publix several years in a row on Halloween and we've always been pleased with the little games, treats, and friendly employees.

Bummer! And yes, I've dragged the kids out only to be disappointed. Now, if I'm not 100% sure that an event is going to happen I either don't tell my the kids or say that we *might* be doing x, y, or z.

Michelle said...

Just yesterday. There's a local farm that hosts Fall Harvest Days every year. It's been a family tradition but after yesterday--no more. I double checked the website to make sure they were still having it--corn maze, pick your own pumpkin, a play area filled with straw for the kids and hay rides. When we arrived there was a "closed" sign at the entrance. When I went into the gift shop to ask someone about it, the cashier told me "nobody was there so he just closed it." My response, "I don't think my six children and I are nobodies." I made sure I spoke to a supervisor and told her we'd be finding a new location to continue our yearly autumn tradition.

Anonymous said...

I hope you let the manager know that you were disappointed! To get small children ready and out - and a newborn too-- you deserved more than an apology!! Vicki

Anonymous said...

I was so broke and a group of dentists offered free inspections in the elementary school for kids. They (the dentists) had dozens of kids sit in rows and went along the rows glancing into the kids mouths and scowling the whole time and then gave us their business card and told us to make an appointment. What a waste of time !
lizzie

Nicole said...

We went to Whole Foods, which had a lot put out, but all the games were 25 cents each, but the trick was you HAD to buy tickets from the register, which wasn't working, so the line was super long so the games were all empty and they didn't raise any money. My kinds enjoyed the goats someone brought to pet. THe treats they handed out in the store were all very healthy and my candy nut was WAY dissapointed. But we have gotten a lot of mileage from that in discussions.