Super-Couponing: Drug Stores

Super-Couponing: Drug Stores

Who knew those national drug store chains could save you money? Before trying my hand at super couponing (the art of matching sales with coupons for maximum savings), I rarely popped into a drug store. In my mind, they were totally overpriced and good for making an emergency medicine run or picking up that last minute card.

Now, after some time honing my newfound craft, I frequent some of my local drug stores to help purchase things at better-than-the-grocery-store prices. If you're interested in saving money, read on for some tips on how to make drug stores part of your shopping-and-saving routine.

Not Just for Advil

First of all, get used to the idea of running into a drug store for more than picking up a prescription. Drug stores have a large variety of products these days, including groceries as well as health and beauty items. Five months ago, I would have never set foot in one for coffee, cereal or eggs. But now I frequent them for such; these stores often run specials on pantry staples that blow the grocer's right out of the water. If you can buy a can of tuna for $0.59 at the local CVS instead of $0.99 at the grocery store, why wouldn't you?

Stacking Coupons

Most drug stores have in-store coupons that are just begging to be paired with manufacturer coupons. The notion of stacking can help shoppers maximize savings, especially when combined with a great sale.

Case in point: a few weeks ago, there was a manufacturer's coupon for $5 off one of their Tylenol Precise products (either a pain-relieving wrap or cream). Walgreens had an in-store coupon for $3 off one Tylenol Precise, and then they put the products on sale for $7.99. So the coupons stacked to take $8 off, making the purchase free!

Stacking coupons at drug stores is a great way to save even more money. One word of warning: just be sure to be familiar with each individual store's coupon policy.

Rewards Program

Each drug store also has its own version of a rewards program: CVS offers Extra Care Bucks (ECB), Rite Aid features Up Rewards (UPR), and Walgreens offers Rapid Rewards (RR).

These stores often run deals or specials where if you buy a certain amount of a certain product, you'll be "rewarded" with money off your next order in the form of ECB, UPR, or RR (depending on the store). The rewards usually print off at the end of your receipt and can be used towards your next purchase.

Here's a rewards scenario: say Aussie hair products are on special at two for $5. Any given drug store might offer an incentive of "buy two Aussie products and get a $1 reward off your next purchase." If you'd like, you can hold on to that dollar for your next trip to the store, or if you have other things to buy, you can request a separate transaction on your remaining items to take advantage of the savings right there.

These rewards can add up fast. Plus, if you combine them with the coupon stacking as described above, you can often get rewards on items for which you pay very little (say you get a $1 reward for a shampoo that you paid $0.75, after the coupons and sales). This can be like making money by taking a product off their hands!

When you're ready to give saving and super-couponing a try, don't bypass the drug stores. From groceries to household items to medicines, drug stores can help you maximize savings and make super-couponing super-worthwhile.

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Melissa's picture

Melissa wrote:

Thu, 07/28/2011 - 18:09 Comment #: 1

Great post! People forget about drugs stores too often, I think. I always always buy milk at the local drug store chain, because it is seriously the cheapest around. Up to $2 cheaper for 4L than the regular grocery store, and even cheaper than the discount grocery stores. Can't beat that!

Melinda Gregory's picture

Melinda Gregory wrote:

Fri, 07/29/2011 - 13:20 Comment #: 2

Thanks, Melissa! Since I've been couponing, I just can't believe the deals to be had at the drug stores.