Monday, June 23, 2008

My latest plays in The Drugstore Game

I mentioned last week that I had to pick up a prescription and would at least get the free Revlon nail files while I was there. And I did go to pick up my prescription. This CVS has a big "we accept competitor prescription coupons" sign out front, but I was half-expecting them to refuse to honor the $20 Kmart coupon that I'd found online. (I have lots of transferred prescription coupons, but really had to hunt down one for a new prescription.) Fortunately, the manager didn't bat an eye. Which is why I didn't argue when he told me that the nail files weren't a "tool" and that I couldn't use my coupons on them (even though he was totally wrong). So my only purchase at CVS last week was my new prescription.

I made up for it on Sunday, though. We were still a little low on toilet paper so I knew I wanted to do the Charmin/Bounty/Duracell deal (buy $20 worth, get $10 ECBs). I had one 25-cent coupon on Charmin but that was it. I also had three "buy two, get one free" and $1 off four coupons for SoyJoy bars. There's a deal this week to buy four bars for $4 and get $4 ECBs, so with the coupons, it was a money-maker. At the end of the day, I had 20 SoyJoy bars, four 12-big roll packs of Charmin, one 2-pack of Duracell C batteries, two canisters of Lysol wipes, two boxes of CVS brand bandages, and one stick of Brut deodorant. I started with $13.98 in ECBs and ended with $8. I didn't actually pay anything out of pocket because I had gift cards, so I essentially got all of these things for free. I will have to go back later this week, though - both CVS stores I went to were out of SmartRinse, and as I mentioned last week, I actually really like the stuff, so I want to make sure I get the maximum number of free bottles.

It turns out I hadn't scrutinized the fine print closely enough, so the deal on Walgreens brand maxi pads that I had envisioned didn't pan out. The Buy One, Get One offer was only good on lower count packages, while the monthly rebate is only good on higher count packages. The only product the offers jointly worked on was the 40-count box of Walgreens brand tampons, and I'm picky about my tampons so I didn't buy any. Snuggle was also regular-priced at $3.99, not on sale for $1.99, so I completely struck out at Walgreens. I'm not intrigued by any of this week's deals, so I'm not planning on going. But I'll keeping an eye on Common Sense with Money, since Mercedes has become the Walgreens deal queen.

RiteAid is weird in California. I had completely forgotten that the weekly deals are in effect Friday through Thursday instead of Sunday through Saturday. So when I popped into RiteAid on Friday, Frosted Flakes and Frosted Mini Wheats were no longer Buy One, Get One Free. But the cashier was really nice and got an override to push the deal through for me anyway. You can bet I'll be going back to that RiteAid in the future (just not this week).

Read about more drugstore deals at The "Cent"sible Sawyer.


  1. Hi Cathy,
    I hit CVS this sunday too. I wanted to get some TP. I didn't want to use up a lot of my ecbs but I was able to get 7 of the b2g1 soyjoy coupons. So I "made" 6 ecbs there. Then I also bought colgate paste and made 2 ecbs there. Last week when I scanned my card I got $3 off Revlon, so I bought some mineral eye shadow and together with a manufacturer coupon and made 2 ecbs there. All of that made up for the 10 ecbs I used upto get the TP. i did trade for several of the 1/1 charmin coupons.
    But I am upset because I made a mistake and the cashier messed up and my zero oop transactions turned into $5.60 oop total. ugh! First she didn't process one of the sobe bogo coupons. Then on the same first trx I gave her 11 soyjoys instead of 12 so only 8 ecbs printed. instead of the 12 I needed to pay for the charmin. so I had to make up the rest.
    It's funny, I am upset about paying 5.60 for around $80 worth of stuff. Oh! how things have changed!

  2. One more thing regarding Walgreens and still have those Planters coupons. it seems peanuts are still BOGO. You can get that and instead of getting the mac and cheese you get trail mix (on sale this week for 99 cents). You get a RR for the peanuts and one for the trail mix. but if you wait to do this until friday or Saturday you are within the next rebate period and in addition you will get $5 back for spending more than $15 in kraft products.

  3. Cathy,
    Do you plan to hit all three stores weekly? It can get you burned out, so be careful. Depending on where they're located, it may not be worth a trip for 1-2 items even with a good deal.

    Driving-wise, I've decided to stick with CVS, plus there are 4 of them around compared to 2 Rite Aids that NEVER have anything in stock (annoying). Now that I've watched the sales cycles for enough months, I know what I need will always come up. It's just a matter of having enough on hand. I hate running out of TP (that and laundry detergent), so I have a small closet space devoted to TP storage. If you have a little space you can set aside for your drugstore stockpile (you don't have to go crazy here), it can help!

  4. @Gina - No, I don't plan to go to each store every week, but on the other hand, at this point in my life, sometimes I need somewhere to take the kids and a drugstore with a deal is as good a place as any (especially in the heat!). This week, for instance, I'm planning to skip CVS and Rite Aid, but I'll probably hit Walgreens (and I'll wait until Friday to see if there's another Friday coupon).

    I really like what you said about knowing that what you need will eventually go on sale, because that's what I'm finding too, with the toilet paper and paper towel experience.

    Thanks for always helping me and sharing your expertise!


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