Wednesday, March 2, 2011

"Drugstore Deals": Worth the Hassle?

A few months ago, someone asked me if I shop any of the drugstore deals/scenarios, and I said no. I explained that it wasn't worth my time, especially since I have a little boy, and going in and out of stores on snowy winter days is personally stressful. I also made a commitment with my husband back at the start of this couponing adventure to buy only things we need/use. Occasionally I would find a great deal and stop by to pick up a specific item, but in general decided that drugstores were not helpful to my budgeting/couponing.

To make a long story short, in January there were a couple of deals (like FREE Special K cereal, Edy's ice cream, and Lay's Stax) that I stopped by Rite Aid for... and my adventure in couponing expanded once more! To see if shopping at a drugstore was actually saving me money (as well as not wasting my time), I kept an Excel spreadsheet of items purchased, as well as their regular store value (at Walmart/Target). Rite Aid offers "+UP Rewards" on varying products every week, which means if you buy and item, a coupon prints off on your receipt for a specified amount, which you can use at Rite Aid on your next purchase. It cannot be applied to tax, and expires in a few weeks. So by shopping sale items that offered +UP rewards, rolling them to the next purchase, etc... We also have 3 RiteAid's locally, who are very coupon friendly. Here is the grand total for January/February:

Spent $31.78 Out-Of-Pocket (OOP)
Bought 121 items valued at $336 (without tax)
That's a 90% savings!!! 90%!!! Wow. So I guess I was wrong. Drugstore deals can be a budget saver if you stick to things you need/use/donate/gift.

So what kind of items did that cover? I won't list them all, but here are some of them...
- 16 boxes of Special K cereal
- 7 tubs of Edy's Ice Cream
- 17 cans of Lay's Stax (we're always having teens over!)
- 8 bags of Combos
- 1 Tide laundry detergent
- 4 Purex laundry detergent
- 4 Quantimatic Finish dishwasher detergents
- 4 Gillette deodorants
- 1 Gillette Fusion ProGlide Razor
- 6 Stayfree Pad packages
- 21 J&J Baby washes/lotions (bought in multiple trips at multiple stores so I didn't deplete one store--so excited about having wonderful baby shower gifts!!!)
- 8 Nivea Lip Balm (for me and as gifts)
- 2 Colgate toothpastes (w/ bonus toothbrush)
- 3 vitamins
- And the list goes on...

Our make-shift pantry downstairs (we don't have one in our kitchen) and our deep freezer are getting use! And I'll keep on watching for RiteAid deals!!!

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