Friday, October 17, 2008

Saving Money Shopping Drug Stores

When I started trying to save money, I saw lots of people claiming to get FREE stuff from drugstores like CVS, Rite Aid and Walgreens. I decided to play the game and I have also gotten free stuff, made money, or just really good deals. This is a great way to get a stockpile going on things you use regularly. Here are some of the stores I shop and how they work.
Rite Aid is a store I shop at every week. They have Single Check Rebates (SCR). Basically, you buy the products that have rebates all month and then you either send all of them in online at their website or you mail them in using the form in the monthly SCR booklet. Once you send it in for a check you can’t add anything to it, so you have to make sure you have bought everything you want before sending it in for a rebate. The good thing about Rite Aid is that they will put these products on sale so you will save even more money. Lots of times, I will pair a coupon with a product on sale and SCR. This sometimes makes the product free or I sometimes even make money on it. It took me about 3 months of spending before I was able to “roll” my SCR money. When I first started out, I just bought the free after rebate or free after rebate and a coupon and then when I got that check, that money stays on my Rite Aid Card that I only use for buying stuff that has a rebate, hence I am “rolling” my SCR monies. Now each week I have the money on there to buy the free after rebate stuff and it is not coming out of my pocket. Rite Aid is also offering a $3o gift card when you transfer a prescription so you could start out using this money. You can do this deal up to 5 times. Another important thing to note about Rite Aid is they do not take Internet printable coupons. Rite Aid does have coupons that you can pair with manufacturer coupons which could make an even better deal. I made $5.00 on 4 large tubes of toothpaste that were on sale and had a rebate doing this last month. This week Rite Aid is offering lots of Free after rebate deals on medicines, so be sure to check out the ad. So, as you can see you can save and sometimes even make money with Rite Aid and get lots of great stuff for your stockpile.
Another place I like to shop at is CVS Pharmacy. I also saw lots of people getting “free” stuff here too and wanted to try it out for myself. CVS has what they call Extra Care Bucks often referred to as ECB’s, where they give you “money” back when you buy certain products. They will place these ECB products on sale to make it an even better deal. I like to use a coupon with these deals to get an even better deal or sometimes a free product. Most months they will also offer free after rebate stuff too. Make sure you check the ECB monthly booklet to see how many times you can get an ECB on a product. In order to get any of the sale prices or ECB’s, you must either register online or at the store to get an ECB Store Card. If you register at the store you can use your card right away, if you register online you will have to wait several weeks. The ECB’s print right out on your receipt and it keeps a running total as to how many ECB deals you have used and how many times you can do them again. I started out slow in the first month that I bought things and usually only got the free after ECB products. I could then roll that money over onto more deals which is how you continue to keep your out of pocket expenses low. It takes awhile to get the hang of this and sometimes you will have to do more than one transaction to keep your out of pocket expense low. CVS is also a great way to get a stockpile going of things you use a lot. This week at CVS, I got two 10 oz tubes of Colgate Total Advance toothpaste. I did them in two separate orders. I used $1.50/1 coupon from the September All You Magazine and my first order total was about $2.00 and something and then got a $2.00 ECB back which printed on my receipt. I then paid for the second tube with the coupon and ECB paying cents for the second tube and got another $2.00 ECB back to roll on a deal next week. I only paid the tax for both of these orders after ECB.
So as you can see there are a lot of deals and freebies at drug stores. I will be matching coupons and listing some of the deals you can make to help you get free products at these two stores since those are the ones I have available to use.

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