Random Musings

Big Brother Is Watching

The other day, we got a packet of coupons from Smith’s (a grocery store) in the mail. The packet said that we’re one of their best customers, that only a small percentage of their customers get these packets, and that the coupons were specifically chosen for me. The “best customer” bit didn’t surprise me. I usually shop sales and go to more than one grocery store, but Smith’s is really the only good and affordable grocery store within a reasonable distance of where we live, so I’ve been shopping there nearly exclusively for a year.

Looking through the packet, I couldn’t decide whether to be delighted or weirded out. Nearly every single coupon was for something I buy tons of—and they were all really good. Like, a free frozen pizza from a brand I like. Or, $2.50 off when I buy $10 of beef. At the same time, it bothers me a little that Smith’s apparently is very well informed of my spending habits.

Only a little. The rest of me thinks, “Who cares if they know I buy S&W brand of beans if it means I get cool coupons because of it?” It’s not like they’re watching me sleep or take showers or something.

Or are they? Dun dun dun.


  1. Heh, Smith’s is convinced we only buy hair dye. Target is desperate to get me to try their reconstituted juice.

  2. Dude! I brave the 4200 S, West Valley City Smith’s every week and I don’t get “best customer” coupons. All I get is hit up for money by that weeks transient.

  3. I was a bit disturbed when I heard the marketing from a grocery store once. They really do keep track of what you buy and that’s how other marketers determine whether or not you’re in the right target market for them, too. . . You get discounts for things you like and you hear about things you’re statistically more likely to be interested in. But. . . it still feels wrong. . .

  4. Who knew. Well, I knew that internet companies did such things but never grocery stores. Probably because I’m not really a frequent buyer at any grocery store. Spooky.

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