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When MORE is LESS…

There it is.  One of the biggest secrets to the DrugStore Game.  Every so often, I have someone who sees my occasional deal brags on facebook and then says something like “Coupons don’t work for me because even with a coupon, the generic is still cheaper.”  And, in most cases, I totally agree with that.  Here are a couple of general tips:

1.  Shop Sales/Promotions.  If you go to the store and use your coupon on a regular price item, then yes it will probably still be at or above the price of the store brand.  But, if you shop during a sale when the item is at rock-bottom price already, AND with a promotion (extra $$ off, rewards on your receipt–+UP, Extra Bucks, Catalinas, etc.) then you’ll be getting a great deal.  For example, Rite Aid offers +UP rewards on receipts, and they also have a super-easy (electronic!) rebate program.  Add all those together with sales and coupons and you can get things for free or super cheap!

2.  MORE is [sometimes] LESS.  Rite Aid, CVS, Kroger, and other stores often have coupons for dollars off if you spend a certain amount (like save $5 when you spend $25).  For most people, these are a trap to get you to spend more money than you otherwise would have.  To the extreme couponer, this is FREE money!  But, you have to think outside the box.

Here is an example.  Rite Aid this week has Ziploc bags on sale for B1G1 Free!  The sizes included are priced at $2.99.  If I bought 4 packages, it would have looked like this:

4 pkg Ziploc $5.98
-$1.00/2 coupon
-$3.00 +UP rewards from last week
Total:  $2.34 after taxes.

$2.34 out of pocket is a great deal for 4 packages of ziploc bags!  BUT, if you do a little extra figuring, it can get even crazier!  Here is what I did:

4 Dry Idea Deoderant (B1G1 FREE sale): $8.58
Schick Hydro Razor $5.99
6 pkg Ziploc $8.97
Trial Size Tugaboo Diapers $.89
Total:  $25.90 after taxes

-$5/25 coupon from Video Values
-$8.58 B1G1 FREE Dry Idea coupons (when paired with B1G1 sale, they are both free!)
-$3 (3) $1/2 ziploc coupons
-$5.00 Schick Hydro coupon from this week’s paper
-$3 +UP rewards from last week
Total after coupons and taxes:   $1.02.

Yes, I paid $1.02 for ALL that stuff at Rite Aid.  I paid LESS by getting MORE stuff!  I’m not going to say it’s easy because sometimes it’s a little tedious to plan out, but it IS possible and there are “Deals” sites and blogs to help you out.  It’s certainly not for everyone, but if you’re trying to stretch a really tight budget, it’s a great thing.


I {heart} Rite Aid!

My blog has been very much neglected lately, but I’m still hoping to get back into a regular blogging schedule.  For today, I have to share my awesome week at Rite Aid!!!
I got all this stuff:
Regular Rite Aid Price:  $67.75
My price after sales and coupons:  $2.32
Remaining +UP Rewards: $3.00
Rebates Coming To Me:  $11.99
Crazy, huh?!?
Here is what I did:
Transaction 1:
20 ct. Motrin PM $3.00
-$3.00 coupon (from 4/18 insert)
=$.18 (tax only)
(Repeat this transaction a second time)
Transaction 2:
Schick Hydro $6.99 (raincheck price)
Gillette Fusion $9.99
2 Nivea Mens Body Wash $7.98
Finish Quantumatic $5.50
Motrin PM $3.00
2 Kelloggs $3.98
Total:  $37.44
- $5/$25 coupon from Rite Aid Video Values
-$4 Schick Hydro Coupon
-$1 RA Video Values Schick Hydro coupon
-$4 Gillette Fusion coupon
-(2) $3 Nivea Mens Body Wash Coupons
-$4 Finish Quantumatic RA Video Values Coupon
-$3 Finish Quantumatic printable coupon
-$3 Motrin PM coupon (from 4/18 insert)
-$1/2 Kelloggs coupon
-(2) $3 +UP Rewards
.44 (+Tax)
You will end up with $3 +UP rewards from the last Motrin, plus a $5 SCR from the Gillette Fusion Razor and a $6.99 rebate from the mail-in-rebate from Schick, if you print off the form.
Not too shabby!

The Wonderful thing about….

Coupons!  So, I won’t pretend that I am completely altruistic.  I began using coupons because I came across a blog detailing–in regular people terms–how to pair coupons with sales and get some great deals.  I had seen on the news and such people who supposedly feed their family on $.01 or other crazy scenarios, and I always thought there was a gimmick.  Then I came across some money-saving blogs and began to realize that there are a lot of things that you can get for free (or really close to free) by using coupons and sales.
Anyway, since I began, I have also seen another side of couponing–people misusing coupons, giving false info to get discounts, HUGE ridiculous stock-piles, getting freebies to sell in yardsales, etc.  The bad feelings this gave me personally was almost a huge turnoff for me.  But, I am able to get good quality and name-brand things for much less by using coupons.
And, here is a great reason to use coupons:

Last week, my family and I visited Grace Now Food Pantry  in Richmond, KY where we will soon begin volunteering.  Because of using coupons, we were able to take all the items you see pictured for donations.  If purchased at retail, these items would have cost $224.  I don’t have the inclination to look up on the receipts exactly what I spent on all of these things, but I can tell you with certainty it was nowhere NEAR $224.  We could never have afforded all of these things without using coupons and sales.  Some items I got for free (tax only), and my best guess is that I paid around $20-$30.  Even at the dollar store, I could never have stretched $30 this far.
We have also given some things to my mom’s Relay for Life team which she has auctioned off and will use for prize baskets in games as well. 
Yay for coupons :)
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