Several weeks ago I wrote about lifetime warranties on products and how rarely customers know of the warranties -- and how even fewer of them actually take the time to contact the company and have them fulfill a lifetime warranty guarantee.
I wrote that our family had submitted a Tervis Tumbler -- two actually -- to the company for replacement. No receipt was required, we simply printed a form from their website and shipped the tumblers back to the company. We received two replacement tumblers at no cost to us.
However, because one of the tumblers had a customized design that was sold by a non-profit group, there was some miscommunication on the part of the company. They returned the University of Georgia cup with the proper logo, but returned a blank cup to us in the place of the customized logo cup.
In addition, when my husband contacted customer service before submitting the cups for replacement, he was told to ship back the lids with the cups. The cups we received in replacement had no lids.
My husband called Tervis, explained the problem, and within 10 minutes, had picked out a cup with a logo to replace the customized logo cup. He also explained the problem with the lids. I am happy to report that we have received a Tervis tumbler with a logo and received two new lids to replace the two we submitted.
Overall, our experience with Tervis in fulfilling their lifetime warranty has been a good one. If your Tervis tumbler, mug or other product breaks or leaks, be sure to contact them about the warranty before tossing it in the trash.
My second update concerns the grocery expenses my family incurred in 2013.
If you have been reading my column during the past three years, you know I encourage you to keep your receipts so you have the ability to analyze your spending habits.
Ive totaled my receipts for the year. In 2013, our family of six purchased $7,191.99 worth of groceries, toiletries and household cleaners. We paid only $3,355.26 for all of that, which averages out to $64.52 per week. Thats a $12 per week increase over 2012 but our eating habits have changed drastically and are much more organic than they were previously.
Another thing I noticed from the receipts is that I do the majority of my shopping in three places: Publix, Kroger and Aldi.
Of course, Aldi purchases are coupon-free, but I know their produce is at least half-off what I would pay at Kroger or Publix. I shop at Publix as my second most frequent place for purchasing groceries. I shopped at Kroger only 40 times.
Based on my receipts, those visits centered on great Mega Event sales and almost always coincided with a prescription transfer credit that I had on our account.
In addition to providing for my family with coupon-funded purchases, we donated several hundred dollars worth of food, toiletries and cleaning supplies to needy families in our community.
Overall, I paid for only 46 percent of the items we needed last year to eat, wash the dishes and clothes, and keep ourselves smelling good. Getting 54 percent of everything we needed, without paying anything for it, is definitely a reward from couponing!
After reading these two updates, I hope you are inspired to do a few things.
First, if you have items under warranty at your house, contact the company about honoring their warranties. Cracked tumblers, clothing that ripped just after purchasing it, or appliances or electronics still covered by warranties are all items that you can likely have replaced if you will take the time to contact the manufacturer.
Start keeping your receipts right away. Not only will they be helpful if you have warranty issues, but they can help you analyze your spending habits.
I would love to hear your stories about successful warranty repairs or replacements at the Savings Sense Facebook page. If you have totaled your 2013 receipts and have great news about your spending, I would love to hear about that as well!
Rachael J. Mercer is a freelance writer and coupon workshop instructor living in McDonough. Contact her at email@example.com