If you haven’t heard, in the frugal world there is a phenomenon called “The Drug Store Game”. I have been playing for nearly 3 years now. It is where you use all of their savings programs in conjunction with sales and coupons to get great deals on personal care items as well as groceries. My favorite of the three major drug stores is Rite Aid (CVS and Walgreens have programs too). Rite Aid has several ways you can save money with them including single check rebates, video values, wellness +, and +UP rewards. Since there are a few Rite Aids close to home and my son’s school, I tend to just play the “game” there. If your really ambitious, you can try all three at once, though I don’t recommend that! I could go into detail on how to use all these programs, but I am a bit lazy and it is all explained right over HERE. It can be a bit complicated at first, but once you get the hang of it all it’s a piece of cake! For example, I very rarely pay over $1 (many times it’s free after coupons) for deodorant, shampoo/conditioner, toothpaste, toothbrushes, bodywash or razors (and I mean the good gillette proglide ones). Most people get lotions for little or nothing too, I just don’t like commercial lotions and only use coconut oil. Make sure you have their wellness savings card to get the sale prices! I don’t scour the ads and come up with my deals on my own. NO WAY, too much work. I let the people over HERE do all that work for me and I just pick the deals I want.
Rite Aid regularly has sales on their food items as well. I will show you what I have done for this week. These deals are good through 2/3/11 here in sunny So Cal.
I had $8 in +UP rewards from some purchases I made about a month ago that I needed to use before they expired. These are the ones that print on the bottom of your receipt.
This week I stocked up on ice cream and potato chips….yes I know not the healthiest, but the chips are good through November. That means they can go in Dallas’ lunches and be ready for our summer camping trips. Yes, I am thinking of summer in February!
Lays Stax Chips are on sale 2/$2. They also produce a $1 +UP reward for each item when you purchase. Plus there is a $5 +UP reward when you purchase $15 dollars worth (limit 1 per household).
Dreyers Ice Cream is on sale for $2.99 and is producing a $2 +UP and is also included in the $5/$15 stated above.
This was spread out over 3 Rite Aid stores:
4 Dreyers Ice Cream @ $2.99
4 Lays Stax @ $1
– $8 +UP (from my purchases last month)
New total=$7.96 which I paid with debit card
THEN I got back on my receipt 4 $2 +UP (ice cream), 4 $1 +UP (chips), $5 +UP ($5/$15 promotion). That $17 to use again without using any coupons! So then I “rolled” that to the next store.
6 lays stax @ $1 each
-$6 in +UPs from last store
Paid $0, yes I walked out of the store without paying a cent.
Plus I got back 6 $1 +UP rewards.
I went to another store and did it yet again…
4 Lays Stax @ $1 each
1 doz. eggs @$1.99 (not the best price, but I was out and I used my +up to pay for them)
Got back 4 $1 +UP
So, out of my pocket today I paid $8.95 and still have $16 +UP to use in the next few weeks. Essentially it did not cost me anything for this stuff.
I came out with 4 tubs of ice cream, 14 cans of chips (like pringles) and eggs. Now the trick is to keep it going. I have had rolling rite aid +UPs since last summer! Other food items I have purchased at rite aid with my +UPs and sales are things like, pasta, cereal, nuts, beef jerky, velveeta shells and cheese, milk and probably other things I can’t think of off the top of my head. I’m not saying it’s easy. It takes work and a little patience as you learn, but well worth it in the end. Good thing I have a big pantry!
Oh…and to get started, the easiest is to transfer a prescription. There are coupons for a $25 gift card regularly in their ads for transferring a prescription there. You can do up to 4, but only 2 times a year. I did this last summer and got $50 for $10 in co-pays. It’s a great way to get started stretching your money there!