Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Makin' Magic at Walgreens

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After my last post you might be thinking "sure, I can get by without napkins and cable... but at some point I have to buy essentials like shampoo."

When it comes to toiletries, Walgreen's has usually proven to be the best deal for us. Here's some Walgreen's Magic we worked this weekend:

We did 3 transactions:
Transaction 1: 2 bottle's of Herbal Essences Shampoo. Reg. price: $3.99. Walgreens was having a sale this week for 2/$6 with a $2 Register Reward (abrev'ed RR- I'll explain about RR in a minute). I had a $3 off of 2 coupon for HE so for those of you not doing the math:

2/$6 - $3/2 coupon + tax = $3.56 total with a $2 RR

Transaction 2: 2 Mitchum deodorants (his and hers :) ). Normally priced $3.99 each. On sale this week for 2/$6 with a $4 RR. I had two 75cent off coupons saved up for such a time as this and I had my $2 RR from Transaction 1. Since I technically had 3 coupons (the two 75 cent ones AND the $2 RR one) I had to add a 10 cent laffy taffy to this transaction. Walgreens has a policy that you can't have more coupons than items. So now I have 3 coupons and 3 items.

2/$6 + .10 (taffy) - .75 - .75 - $2RR + tax = $3.22 with a $4 RR

Transaction 3:  1 box of Puffs tissue ($1 on sale) 6 pack Scott paper towels ($5 on sale). I had a coupon for .75 off the paper towels and Walgreen's had an in-store coupon for $1 off the paper towels. In this case, you can use both (since 1 is a store coupon and 1 is a manufacturers coupon... different stores have different policies- at Walgreens you can totes double up). Since I had 3 coupons, I had to throw in a 10 cent laffy taffy to have 3 items.

.10 (taffy) + $1 + $5 - .75 - $1 - $4 RR + tax = .97

Total Spent = $7.75
Total Saved with in-store promotions, coupons, and RR = $19.33

2 bottles of Herbal Essence, 2 deodorants, 2 laffy taffy's, 1 Puff's tissue, and a 6 pack of paper towels for $7.75!!! Now here is the nitty gritty about how we did it:

1. Coupons. I buy the paper every weekend. Its usually $1.25 - $2. There are usually 2-3 coupon excerpts. I clip the ones I think we will or could use before they expire. You can also get the weekly sales circular in the paper. It makes it easier to match up what's on sale with what coupons you have. My favorites to check: Walgreens, Target, Walmart (in that order).

2. Register Rewards. They're confusing but can save you BANK (see previous example) if you can use them correctly. They're basically little giftcards to Walgreens that print out with your receipt after your transaction. They are considered coupons when you use them (thus sometimes you have to get a .10 laffy taffy so that you won't have more coupons than items). In the weekly sales ad, it will tell you what items will earn you RR. You can only do each deal once during each transaction to get the rewards... so I couldnt have bought 10 bottles of shampoo to get 5 RR's in 1 transaction... if I had bought 10, I still would have only received 1 RR for $2 off my next transaction.

3. Work our the puzzle before you go. Match up your coupons with what's on sale. Plan your transactions. Be careful not to buy things if you really won't ever use them. Don't be too tight on brand loyalty- we use whatever products are the best deal- not the ones with the most beautiful advertising.

I think that sums up a beginner's guide to making magic at Walgreens. Let me know if you have any questions. It also might be helpful to go to the walgreens website and read their entire coupon policy.

Good luck! Let me know how it goes!