You know you are addicted to data when… I wrote a story ’bout it; wanna hear it? Here it goes…
Publix has this system where you can sign up on their website using your phone number, and before you go to the grocery store you select the coupons on the site; then when checking out you punch in your phone number, and it electronically accounts for the pre-selected coupons. Genius. No cutting. No coupon queen which I was very good at? That’s one good thing I shared with my niece–the power of coupons combined with B1G1 (Buy 1 Get 1). I digress- but if you are a Mom you need to use the power of data, coupons and pantry storage (http://www.thegrocerygame.com/ orhttp://www.couponmom.com/ )
I’m not so excited about buying 1/2 loaves of bread, soup, coffee and Beech-Nut Baby food (chicken/turkey) for the Queen though so I rarely use the electronic coupons. When Chuckles left for college my couponing days were over but when I realized Publix would track my purchases (much the same way most grocery stores do with the customer value cards you carry)…imagining the data that they could eventually glean by combining years of grocery purchases=dietary habits along with my expenditures at restaurants, medical records, demographics…oh my. So now when I go to Publix, I insist on punching in my phone number.
Here I was with my coffee and baby food and started punching in the number. I hit one of the keys wrong and tried to back it out. The cashier says, “Oh, you don’t have to do that, just hit cancel.”. I said, “Well actually I want my number in there.”. Blank stare. “Do you have coupons?”. See my blank stare. “Uh no.”. She continues to scan items and smiles, almost laughing at me, “Then you don’t need to do that.”. I stood silent trying to calm the data demons goading me to press numbers. Frantically I started pressing buttons hoping she wouldn’t notice I’d just punched in my digits. She reached over, “Here I’ll cancel it fo….”. I put both hands protectively over the device. “I got it. My number is in.”, I smiled victoriously.
So, of course, she had to ask why would I bother if I didn’t have electronic coupons. I looked at how many items I had left for her to scan if anyone was behind me and if I could get the exact amount of words out of my mouth before someone decided to cold cock me. “Well, my purchases today may save lives some day or tell stories about how we live, how we eat, quite possibly what we may need to change in our shopping or dietary habits. Maybe even women my age may live longer because of my diligence punching in my digits. Did you know that if thousands of women punch in their digits and Publix collects that data over time along with, oh I dunno, breast cancer or heart disease statistics, and we cluster and pattern that data using insane regression techniques that we could potentially find answers we never knew to ask?”
She stared at me. Utterly fascinated. “You want paper, don’t you?”