Once you have your coupons all organized and you’re starting to feel comfortable using them at your grocery stores, it’s time to step it up a notch and learn how to play what I call the “Drugstore Game.”
What is the Drugstore Game?
How I Got Started Playing the Drugstore Game
A few years ago, my husband was in law school, we had one child, and we were living in a little basement apartment on a beans-and-rice budget. I had some extra time one day and I was online researching ways to save money.
In my searching, I landed upon a forum of people discussing this store called CVS. As I read more on this forum about people getting hundreds of dollars worth of products for free, you can bet I was a bit intrigued.
I’d never heard of CVS in my life, but I discovered that a nearby drugstore was in the process of being converted to a CVS. I read and researched everything I could find about shopping at CVS (which wasn’t a lot back then since there weren’t any blogs who had it all mapped out for you!) and then timidly walked into this in-the-process-of-being-converted-to-CVS drugstore and tried my hand at a simple scenario.
To my surprise, the deal worked! I paid a few dollars out of pocket and got those same dollars plus a few more back in Extra Care Bucks! I practically floated out of that store like I’d just struck gold.
I went home, did more research, clipped some more coupons, mapped out another scenario, and went back the next day. Once again, the deal was successful — and I used the Extra Care Bucks I’d earned on my transaction the day before to purchase my order. So this time, I spent less than $1 out of pocket and, after my coupons and Extra Care Bucks, I got back around $8.
In the Beginning, I Went a Little Overboard
It so happened that the month I discovered CVS was the October when CVS was pushing their Extra Care program really hard. And, during that month they had no limits on the Extra Care deals. Yes, seriously. Plus, some of them were good for the entire month. Since we only had one child, the CVS store was close to our house, I had lots of time on my hands and we had practically no money, I went a little overboard on the CVS deals.
In fact, in about three weeks, we’d gotten around $800 worth of groceries, household products and health and beauty products — and spent less than $20 out of pocket! Plus, I had around $120 in Extra Care Bucks to roll. It was a bit insane!
I’ve Learned That Balance is Key
Over time, I’ve learned that balance is key. You don’t have to do all the deals. But if you’re willing to put forth 30 minutes of planning and 30 minutes of shopping at at least one drug store every week, you can stock up on almost all the household and health and beauty products your family needs for almost nothing.
A One-Hour Investment Per Week Can Mean Free Health and Beauty Products for Life!
And think about it, if you got all of your toothpaste, razors, deodorant, shampoo, body wash, over-the-counter medicines and all the other health and beauty products you routinely buy for FREE, wouldn’t that significantly lower your grocery budget?
Stay tuned next Wednesday when I’ll walk you step-by-step through how to get started playing the Drugstore Game — and how to maximize your time and effort for the best return on your investment of time and money.