Thursday, June 19, 2008

This week in The Drugstore Game: CVS, Walgreens and Rite Aid

As I mentioned a few days ago, I'm not too excited about the deals at CVS this week. I do have to go pick up a prescription, so if they have Revlon emery boards, I'll probably pick those up. (They're Buy One, Get One this week and at $1.99 each, I can get all four for free with four $1 coupons.) But I'll have $4 in coupons for a $3.98 total, and I hate calling attention to my coupon use with overage (when the value of the coupon is higher than the purchase price). So I'll probably pick up a small filler. I might pick up a pack of gum. Or I might do the following transaction if they have everything in stock:

4 Revlon files, $1.99 each - $7.96
2 Energizer batteries, $4.99 each - $9.98
1 Listerine SmartRinse - $3.49
1 CVS brand bandage - $1.99
Total: $23.42
Discounts: $3.98 Revlon, $4.99 Energizer (both are Buy One, Get One this week)
Coupons: Four $1 off Revlon, two $1 off Energizer, $1 off SmartRinse
Total after discounts & coupons: $7.49
I'll use a $6.99 ECB and pay 46 cents out of pocket on a gift card. I'll also receive the following ECBs: $3.49 for SmartRinse and $1.99 for the bandages. It does hurt a little to lose ECBs, but I think of it as paying $1.51 in ECBs plus 46 cents for all of these things, which isn't bad at all. The batteries alone would cost $4.74 after coupons and tax at Target.

As an aside, I really like using the SmartRinse for myself. Regular Listerine literally burns off the top inner layer of my cheek, but this stuff isn't nearly that strong.

I'm also thinking of going to Walgreens, even if I haven't received my new rebate gift card yet. The big draw is that Snuggle dryer sheets are supposed to be $1.99 for a box of 40. (I spotted a post on a deal forum about the sale price, but I've scoured the weekly ad and don't see it listed, so it's possible that this sale isn't happening in LA.) I have a $1 off coupon which would make the box 99 cents. Ever since we got our new washer, I've been using liquid fabric softener. But Marc says he's been using dryer sheets since the new bottle of All that we opened has such a strong smell. And I'm not about to complain or argue with him, since he's doing laundry. But we're running low on dryer sheets, so this is a good way to get them inexpensively.

If I'm there anyway, I might as well get the free after Register Rewards Oral B power toothbrush. There was a Buy One, Get One coupon in Sunday's paper. I could use the Register Rewards to buy the Snuggle and four packs of Walgreens brand maxi pads, which are also Buy One, Get One this week. I think the 36-count pack is $4.99, so it would be four packs for $9.98. And there's a monthly rebate deal of Buy 3, Get a $10 Rebate (it's #13 in the book). Here's how it would look:

Transaction #1:
B1G1 Oral B power toothbrush - pay $5.95 (after taxes), get $5.50 RR (for two toothbrushes)

Transaction #2:
1 Snuggle - $1.99
4 Walgreens maxi pads, $4.99 each - $9.98
Total: 11.97
Coupons: $1 Snuggle + $5.50 RR
Out of pocket: $5.47 ($5.92 after taxes)
Total out of pocket for both transactions: $11.87 after taxes

When you factor in the $10 plus 10% that I'll get back as a rebate on a Walgreens gift card, my total cost is 87 cents for all of these items.

If I were to go in and buy just the box of Snuggle, I would pay $1.15 after taxes. And that's the beauty of The Drugstore Game: I save money by buying stuff that I can use or give away.

Rite Aid
I rarely go to Rite Aid, but I took the boys this week and was so bummed that the NexCare character bandages, which are on sale for 99 cents, were all out of stock. I have three $1 off coupons, so I was going to get three boxes for free. Which makes it good and bad that I have to go back to return the cereal that I bought, because I just grabbed the boxes that were on the shelf without reading them. The Malt O Meal version of Frosted Mini Wheats were on the shelf above the Buy One, Get One sign for Kellogg's cereals and I thought I was buying Kellogg's. It wasn't until I got out of the store that I realized I'd bought the wrong cereal, and I just didn't feel like dragging the kids back in. So I will get to another Rite Aid by Saturday to return the cereal and pick up Kellogg's brand - and hopefully the bandages as well. Needless to say, I'll be heading to a different Rite Aid to do the return.

It's worth noting that one advantage of living in a huge city like LA is that I have access to everything, including multiple CVS, Walgreens and Rite Aid stores. So I'm definitely lucky, even if CVS hates LA.


  1. I've only tried Rite Aid three times in the past six months, but they NEVER have anything in stock, even when I went to one at 8:30 am on a Sunday morning!

    I've given up on them. It's CVS for me all the way, baby.

  2. e218Just a tip on the dryer sheets.... you can cut them into thirds and they still work just the same... it takes me FOREVER to use a box now! :-)


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