Friday, June 11, 2010

Trying my hand at the Drugstore Game

About 2 weeks ago, I was fortunate to read about something called "The Drugstore Game" on the blog Money Saving Mom. I had heard of people getting amazing deals at drug stores, but wasn't exactly sure how it all worked. Money Saving Mom is currently featuring a once a week segment called "31 Days to a Better Grocery Budget." Being the frugalista that I am, I was intrigued. Many of the tips are things I already do, but then the Drugstore game appeared!

Last week, I worked out my first deal in the drugstore game. I was somewhat nervous that I would blow it, but started small. Walgreens had a deal on U by Kotex tampons that cost $3.49 and paid back $2.50 register rewards. I had some $1/1 coupons for these so I took my mom with me and paid out $2.49 each and got $2.50 back. I ended up spending just under $5 out of pocket to start this game which I thought would be a good investment. I also got some Ecotrin aspirin in the same transaction that was $2 on sale with a $2 register reward and I had a $2/1 coupon from the coupon inserts. Not only did I get free aspirin, but I got paid $2 to buy it. On my $5 investment, I was now in the possession of $7 to spend in register rewards.

I've worked out several deals since then. I limit myself to twice per week when I am on the way home from running an errand or soccer practice and if the deal I have worked out can't work, I leave and stop by the second Walgreens I pass on my way home. (I have 3 within about a mile of my house).

Today, I had some great luck on a scenario that I had worked out.

I had $5 in RR that were left from another transaction earlier in the week to use.

Jergens Natural Glow Firming Lotion--marked down to $4.59 each and you earned a $5 RR when you bought 2

(2) lotions at $4.59 each - (2) $2/1 Jergens Natural Glow lotion coupons=$2.59 each

1 6 oz Orange slices-$.39 on sale

Total= $5.57 - $5 RR= $.57 + .67 tax=$1.24 out of pocket

Plus I earned a $5 RR to use next week.

I'm sure some of you are wondering why on earth I bought orange slices when I could have gotten the lotions for change without it. Walgreens will not let you use more coupons than you have items so the cheap candy (which was on sale for a REALLY great price) is called a filler item. This extra $.39 let me use $9.00 in coupons instead of $7.00 at most since the RR is considered a coupon.

All in all, I've spent less than $10 out of pocket in 5 transactions and I've gotten over $100 worth of merchandise. I can honestly say that I really can't believe it until I look at the cabinet in my bathroom full of quite a few items I've gotten for super cheap. I used to be a dollar store or Suave only girl because everything else was too expensive. I've gotten amazing name brand products (Jergens Natural Glow, Reach, John Frieda, Pantene, Kotex, Gillette, and Bayer just to name a few) for pennies on the dollar. Some of these things will be given as gifts (think stocking stuffers) later on down the road. Until then, they will be stored in their place which will be the inspiration for my next post on storage of freebies and stockpilings!

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