Wednesday, May 4

Coupons 101: Lesson 4

Today, I'm going to show you how you can stop paying high dollar for all of your drug store items. Most of these items I get for free or close to it.

I never used to shop at drug stores before I learned how to use coupons. Their prices were so much higher than Target, so why bother. Not until I learned the drug store secret. 

Each drug store has their own "rewards" system. CVS has Extra Care Bucks, Walgreens has Register Rewards, and Rite Aid has +Up. CVS and Rite Aid have rewards systems that you need to register for and get a card (or key chain card), however Walgreens does not require you to sign up. They are available to all shoppers. Rite Aid also offers Video Values and Single Check Rebates, read more about that here. 

These rewards are money back to you that you can use on your next shopping purchase. So, for instance, I bought some razors at Walgreens the other day. With my receipt I was also handed a register reward for $4 off my next purchase of $4 or higher at Walgreens. 

The other day, I showed you many different sites that I use for matchups. These sites also have matchups for drug stores as well. However, at drug stores, the deals look a little different. 
For example, here is a deal at Walgreens this week taken from Hip 2 Save: 

Buy Bic Hybrid Advanced razor system $5.99
Use the $3/1 coupon found in the 4/10 SS 
Pay $2.99
Get back a $2 RR
Final cost $0.99!

Translated, this mean you can buy the Bic Hybrid Advanced razor system for $5.99. You'll use the $3 off 1 coupon found in the Smart Source {SS} insert in the paper from 4/10. You'll pay $2.99 at the register for this, however, you'll get back $2 in register rewards {RR} to use on a future purchase. 

Now, let's say that you also need to pick up this deal at Walgreens as well:

Pantene shampoo, conditioner 12.6 oz, styling products 5.1-11.5 oz 2/$7 = $1 RR
Use the $3/2 coupon found in the 5/1 PG
Pay $4
Get back a $1 RR
Final cost $1.50 each!

You could seperate your purchase into two transactions. The first one you would buy the razors and get back your $2 in register rewards. The second transaction would be your shampoo. The final cost would be $4, however, you would use your register rewards from the first transaction and only pay $2. You would still have $1 register reward left to use. 

So, here's the recap. If you walked into Walgreens and bought these things just based on the sale price, you would walk out spending $12.99 in items and getting $3 back in register rewards. However, because you used coupons, you bought everything for $6.99 (almost 50% off). However, if you seperated your transactions, you only paid $4.99 out of pocket {OOP}, which is more than 60% off the sale price,  and still had $1 left in register rewards.

This is what coupon crazies call "rolling your buck". Basically it means we're using our register rewards (or +Up or Extra Care Bucks) to earn more rewards. It can be pretty addicting. 

So now, have no more fear over shopping at drug stores! 

Tomorrow, I'm wrapping up the series with a few tips and tricks that I've learned along the way and answering all the questions I've recieved over the last week. Stay tuned!

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