31 Days to a Better Grocery Budget: Play the Drugstore Game

Missed the first posts in this series? Read them here.

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?

In a nutshell, the Drugstore Game is taking advantage of the rebate programs at CVS, Rite Aid and Walgreens to get household and beauty products for pennies on the dollar — or even more than free!

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.

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Comments

  1. says

    I just got back from playing the “Drugstore Game” tonight, though I don’t think I will ever approach $120 in ECBs – oh my goodness, I think I would be there every night if they had unlimited deals :). I learned the ropes from your website a couple of years ago, and it really is one of my favorite ways to use coupons (especially at CVS :)).

    • Emily says

      @Jenni @ Life from the Roof, I agree, I’m also a college student (but I’m married), and have been couponing seriously for about three years now. It has saved me tremendously and I partially have “The Drugstore Game” to thank. I was always buying dollar store cleaning supplies and makeup before, but now, thanks to Walgreens and CVS, I can buy all the makeup, yummy smelling body wash and whatever else my family needs for literally pennies!

  2. Jen says

    I first learned about RR from your blog 2 yrs ago. I still remember the first deal I did at Walgreens in which the products were free and I made a profit because of coupons. I was stunned and so happy!

  3. says

    I love the grocery game, I use gift cards for cvs and walgreens from mypoints and lightspeed to pay and therefore rarely pay out of pocket. I do however pay out of pocket at riteaid if the deal is good enough (normally I make money off the deal), but that means I rarely go to rite aid.

  4. says

    I can’t wait until next Wednesday then! I have a totally irrational fear of the Drugstore Game! I guess I just need a little tutoring :)

    I am new to couponing – really only a week now. I have been focusing mainly on Target. I have gotten $40 in Target g/c’s this week alone using some of the awesome deals I’ve been finding on your blog as well as others. I am so glad I found this way of life so young [college student here] – it is going to save me so much money once I learn the ropes well enough!!

    Thanks for all that you do!

    • David says

      @B, I haven’t hit the gold as much as some of the others here, but you should definitely try it out. We have one by our house and it’s exciting to pick up a bunch of money-makers and then maybe spend a bit of the extra toward things that remain semi-expensive. If we don’t make any big purchases at CVS (i.e. blood tests, “as-seen-on-TV items”) we tend to get money leftover fast. That’s wonderful because when you’re only paying tax each week mainly, being able to use those points for Sunday Papers or everyday things that we’d otherwise pay for (i.e. Hellman’s Mayo, even though it’s a bit more there)… it all adds into what you get for free technically.

      The Drugstore Game is my favorite game and I HIGHLY recommend you join in while you’re interest is high. It’s definately rewarding!

  5. Rhianna says

    I remember the day I bought body wash at Walgreens that was free after RR, and I had a coupon, I was on cloud nine that I could actually make money doing that. I used to go way overboard, I think the highest I ever got was about $80 in rolling RR’s. Now I pick and choose my deals, it gets exhausting trying to chase every one, plus we have so many health and beauty items by now I don’t think we’ll need anything for a year :-)

  6. Liz says

    Wow.. you just described me to the T… I have gotten about $250 (and spent maybe $50 total ) worth of groceries, beauty products, etc.. in past 2 weeks.. to last at least 3 years from CVS and Walgreens!! I told my husband I need a bigger pantry!
    I only spent $5 this weel at CVS and got $175 worth of stuff! I’m totally addicted!

  7. says

    I do read all the blogs that have it worked out for me but I still can’t seem to understand it well enough to actually try it. I am excited for next Wednesday’s tutorial. I also need more help finding the coupons besides online.

    • rachel says

      @Jennifer, Jennifer, don’t be afraid! You don’t have to go all out, just buy one thing on your first trip. You’ll see how easy it is and jump right in!

    • David says

      @Jennifer, Don’t worry, it’s actually pretty easy once you get the hang of it. It’s pretty much that when you buy certain items you get money towards your next purchase. And you can use that money to cover everything but tax on regular items.

      I’m a bad explainer, but there’s really nothing to fear. Wednesday it should be mapped out pretty well. :)

  8. says

    I started the drugstore game about one year ago and now I find myself having hordes of shampoo, conditioner, body wash, lotion etc that will last me at least another year. I love it and when I found these deals, paying nearly nothing, I was so gitty with excitement that I didn’t want to stop. Now I’ve made myself come to a slow trickle because I live in such a small place I don’t have room for more deals!
    Thanks Crystal

    • Terri Gajeski says

      @Carol,
      I was just reading your comments. Just a suggestion, but if you are paying just a little for your items, consider getting the best deals you can and donating those items to a local food pantry or homeless shelter. They are always looking for donations, and every little bit helps.

      • says

        @Terri Gajeski,
        I do agree with you Terri, that is a great idea. I am having trouble making ends meet so I keep these type of items as I am on disability myself. I do give in other ways and I’m all for donating items. Thanks for your great idea and thoughtful comment.

  9. says

    I’m excited for next weeks post! I’ve been playing the Drugstore Game for 2 months. I went overboard too! I was shopping at Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid AND Target. It seemed like I was out shopping everyday. I’ve toned it down some and stopped shopping at Walgreens (too much stress for me with my 2 children and trying to figure out what to do on the spot when my plan doesn’t work out…paired with too many cashiers who don’t know what they are doing…my breaking point was when I was dealing with an Asst Manager who didn’t know that there are deals that give back RRs for the full purchase price and said to me, “That just can’t be right!” …sorry, I’m venting). I’m excited for additional tips and tricks!

  10. says

    I should add that I’m not trying to say to not shop at Walgreens. If you find a good store with people who know what they are doing, by all means, shop there. The stores where I live have just caused me too much stress in the 2 months I’ve shopped there. But they do have great deals =)

    • says

      @Corrina at Eternity On A Budet, My original comment didn’t post. Anyways, I’m excited for next week to learn more about tips and tricks while playing the Drugstore Game. I’ve been having so much fun, with the exception of my local Walgreens, and so I do not shop there anymore. It ended when I had a RRs not print and the Asst Manager looked at me and said, “That would be like getting the item for free, and that’s just not right.” I should have said, “Have you ever looked at your ads? That’s the point!” Instead, I got my RR and left.

    • Diana says

      @Corrina at Eternity On A Budet, I didn’t have a good first experience at WalGreens so I just stick to CVS. I am a full time working mother of four wonderful children and am VERY busy so one store is about all I can do. I don’t have a RiteAid near me. Plus in Oklahoma we don’t (or I don’t know about) grocery stores that have great deals. The only grocery stores that double coupons are high way robbery. We have a store here called Crest and it has some GREAT deals however the do not advertise so you go in not knowing what is on sale so you have to know what you have coupons for.

      • Angie W. says

        @Jenni @ Life from the Roof,

        I too gave up Walgreens because it caused too much stress shopping with 2 toddlers and trying to make my coupon/item ratio come out just right every time when they’d be out of an item or something. And when the RR didn’t print, it was like oh well, too bad for you. Excuse me? $5 back makes a big difference. The staff was nice but I think it was just too much with the boys. I just do Rite Aid now and am much less bothered. :)

  11. Beth says

    I just got back from a playing the “drugstore game” and am so excited about my goodies that I can’t sleep. At CVS I got 2 Colgate Clinical Toothpaste (rain check from last week), 4 Nivea Body Washes, 4 Old Spice Body Washes, 2 Old Spice body spray. After rainchecks, sales, q’s, and ECB’s I spent and grand total of 7.99(which I used a 25.00 CVS gift card I had gotten for a prescription transfer) with $7.oo in ECB’s to use next week. So really only spent .99. At Walgreens I bought 3 packs of Keebler Pecan Sandies, 1Pack of Fudge Stripes, 1 Gallon of milk (necessity), 7 packs of the Friskies cat treats (clearanced out for $1), 1 pack of krazy glue ( on clearance also), 1 Scrubbing bubbles power Sprayer, 1 pack of Hawaiian Punch Popsicles, 2 bottle of Listerine Restoring Whitening rinse, and spent approx $10.00. Before sales, q’s and ECB/RR’s it’s estimated value was $155.00. Needless to say, I am hooked!

  12. beth smith says

    I started couponing about 4 months ago and jumped into the drugstore game first- probably because it was the most exciting! I read several blogs for about a month to study what was done and then just walked into Walgreens one day. I did NOT have a perfect scenario- paid too much, didn’t use enough coupons- but still saved a LOT of money and I was hooked. I just told myself you can’t do it exactly right the first time. I still occasionally make a mistake- but my stockpiles of cleaning, health & beauty, and pantry are about where I had hoped that they would be and I have a family of 6 with a $75 weekly budget! Not bad for 4 months worth of work. You just have to keep going. Lots of gifts in my stockpile, giving away stuff to those who need it, my kids “shopping” in the stockpile- I LOVE IT! If you are just starting- Just DO IT! Thanks so much.

  13. says

    I love the drugstore game, and my city is full of Walgreens and CVS but no Rite Aid. I learned it from your blog about 2 years ago and haven’t looked back since! We’re a family of 3, soon to be 4 in about 5 weeks. My stockpile is sufficient that I’m able to donate regularly to a domestic violence shelter (just gave 11 copy paper boxes FULL three weeks ago!) and to my unemployed parents.

    The most RRs I ever had was around Thanksgiving last year when there were Dulcolax moneymakers and a bunch of other ones. I had about as much again recently with the dulcolax / floss / vitamin week at Walgreens. I used the “overage” to purchase nursing pads, lansinoh and a scanning thermometer for us and another set for a pregnant friend!

  14. says

    I “stumbled” on CVS on a forum a few years ago as well. I had never even used coupons before then. At that time, there were a number of $/$$ CVS coupons out, and my CVS said that I could use a $15/$75, $10$50, $5/30, $4/20, and $3 /$15 all in the same order! Needless to say, I probably went a bit overboard too! I’m happy to take a simple trip each week now to roll my Extrabucks and keep myself stocked on necessities for free.

  15. rachel says

    I started CVS’ing last year and can honestly say it has changed my life! Things that I once paid $5 or $6 dollars for I will NEVER pay for again. We have a 6 month supply- at least- of razors, shampoo, body wash, dish soap. I have a great CVS and they make it so easy. I recommend it to everyone!

  16. Renee says

    I stumbled on the “drug store game” through a link while casually researching money saving tips on a food blog a year ago. My first CVS transaction was just one gallon of milk and when I walked out I thought, “I can see how this is going to work!” I was thrilled! I don’t have a Riteaid, but between CVS and Walgreens, I have saved several hundred dollars this year at least. LOL, my first food stockpile item was taco shells and when I came home with them, my husband said, “so we are going to save money by eating nothing but tacos…?…” I love your blog!

  17. says

    I can’t thank you enough for all that you’ve researched and typed out for us in regards to the drugstores. Since learning about this way of shopping several years ago from you, I can literally say it’s changed my life! It is a big part of why I’m able to stay home with our son – no longer paying for so many household items! Thank you, thank you, thank you Crystal!

  18. Jen says

    I’ve been doing the drugstore thing for about a year now & I can’t believe I ever paid for toothpaste, shampoo & lotion. I can’t pass up the free or money-making deals, so I give a lot away to people I know that could use some free stuff. They don’t understand how I do it – and really don’t want to take the time themselves. I love getting free stuff!! CVS is the place to start as Wags is very picky & requires much more planning and focus.

  19. Jan says

    I would say the deals at CVS were really great about 2 years ago but they are REALLY limited now. I used to make money all the time- but it’s rare now. Still some good deals though.

  20. says

    One of the reasons that I don’t like to play the drugstore game is that we are trying to move away from some of the chemicals in shampoo, antiperspirant, etc. BUT, I do still look for deals on things like razors, toothpaste, toilet paper, etc.

    • says

      I agree, Amanda, that even if you don’t feel comfortable using some of the product due to chemicals, there are still many things you can purchase for free or next to free — like razors, toilet paper and toothbrushes. Plus, you can always buy stuff to donate and use the overage earned to buy Tom of Maine’s or Burt’s Bees and other chemical-free products which the drug stores sell.

      There was a great discussion on this very topic a few weeks ago:
      http://moneysavingmom.com/2010/05/the-depends-dilemma-why-i-buy-items-i-wont-use-guest-post.html

    • Lana says

      @Amanda, We haven’t used any products with fragrance for about 17 years because of my eczema and asthma so I have never played the drugstore game. Maybe I need to give it another look though. The products we use are very expensive and all special order so maybe I could offset that some. Anyone know if RR’s or ECB’s can be used for specail order items through the pharmacy?

      • brookeb says

        @Lana, I’m not sure that you can do special orders — but you might want to take a look at what’s available in-store now. Over the past year so many companies have started putting out fragrance-free versions of many products, shampoos without parabens, etc. The market has changed quite a bit.

      • says

        @Lana, That is a good idea Lana! You should check out the special order “rules.” Also, we have found a lot of good deals on fragrance free products at vitacost.com. They have good prices and flat rate shipping for five bucks no matter how much you buy. It’s not as cheap as the drugstore game deals, but pretty good for the quality they offer.

        • Lana says

          @Amanda, Yes, we love vitacost-they save us tons of money on our supplements. They don’t carry any of the other products that I use though. We have found that we can waste tons of money trying new things and then throwing them away (besides the allergy and itching) so we stick with what we know is safe for me.

  21. Rebecca says

    I’m excited about next Wednesday! I am looking for ways to cut our budget down since I just started being a stay at home mom YESTERDAY!! Health and beauty and cleaning supplies are making my trips to the grocery store look terrible!

  22. says

    I just began playing the drugstore game just last weekend. I went online and found your blog and some others by accident one day. I’d heard about folk clipping coupons and saving big bucks, but I didn’t understand how to really save until I read yours and other blogs!

    I have a family of 4, me, my husband, my toddling girl, and our dog Josie. Over the last year that my daughter has been with us we’ve spent about $600-800 a month on groceries with diapers, formula and other weekly essentials. I started cutting coupons, but I never felt like I was saving alot $5 here and there, but just the other day… I saved much bigger.

    I went to Walgreens, and I took advantage of their B1G1 Noxema Shavers. I used 2 coupons ($2.00 off /1 ), and I bought a newspaper to clip more coupons, and I ended up spending $2.40 out of pocket for 2 packs of razors and a Sunday paper. I’ve never spent less than $3.00 for a single pack of razors. :)

    I love your blog, and I’m so thankful that I found it because it is allowing me to SAVE big with all the freebies you post, and all of the cost saving tips!!!

    -Gabi from Savannah, TX

  23. Ann says

    I love CVS. I usually only get a few items every week, but it all adds up when you don’t have to pay for toothpaste, soap and hair products.

  24. Allison says

    I’ve gotten pretty good at the Walgreen’s game…I remember one week I had it mapped out perfectly for each transaction, and I ended up paying $.08 and $.12 for a few of them! Of course that is the only time it has ever gone that smoothly, but it was such a thrill! I too have at least a year’s stockpile of personal care items now, so I have decided I will only get something if it is free….like 6 free bottles of the Nivea bodywash. I had two B1G1 coupons from All You, plus four of the $4 coupons, and luckily Target lets you combine those. I was so excited to get $24 worth of body wash for only the tax! I have people asking me all the time to tell me how to do it, so first I direct them to MSM, and then I wrote a big post on facebook about everything I do, too.

  25. says

    Found this blog over a year ago and started learning about the CVS/Walgreens game. It really has been a God-send to us as we run our own business in construction and it really took a downturn 2 years ago so we took a substantial paycut. I cut our grocery budget by 35-40% using coupon strategies. This has been a tremendous blessing to us and thanks for all the hard work, Crystal, putting it all together:)
    BTW, once you get a reasonable stockpile on some items, it’s nice to be able to pick/choose what sales to chase and you don’t have to run a lot just to get the next sale, but it does take some intense effort up front to get going~~ so if you’re new at it, be patient, learn the ropes, and it will pay off.

  26. Ruth says

    Thank you, Crystal, for teaching me the drugstore game. When CVS opened, their add featured a ton of $5/$20, $3/$15, etc. coupons, and I never went in. Now I have been going for two years and I realize why you went a bit overboard! It is easy to do in the beginning (along with making some mistakes and getting mad at yourself). I have been able to slow WAY down, since I have so much. I have seen a tightening up of the drugstores with the number or offers and programs, don’t you? I do miss the old days, but it is still worthwhile!

  27. says

    Thanks for talking about this. I still have no idea what you all are talking about when you mention “register rewards” and other such lingo. I’ve never participated in any drug store deals and would like to learn exactly what it’s all about.

  28. says

    For some reason the comment I posted earlier is not showing up. Although I disagreed with doing the drugstore game because we use mostly natural products and cloth diapers, I didn’t say that others shouldn’t do it. I don’t believe in buying a bunch of things I won’t use because I think it’s wasteful. Isn’t it okay to have a differing point of view on this subject when presented in a respectful manner like mine was? I’ve been reading your blog for about 2 years now. Thanks!

    • says

      You’re welcome to state a differing opinion. However, comments which could be construed as criticizing or belittling other commentors will be deleted.

  29. says

    It’s funny, I was just in CVS last night at the coupon scanner, and there was a $5/$30 coupon someone had left. When you don’t know how to really use them, I suppose they can be worthless, but I was dying because I would have totally used it if it hadn’t been for someone else’s ECB card :).

  30. says

    I have never tried CVS, I do shop at Walgreens through the Grocery game and really like it, do you all recommend CVS over walgreens?

    And I am still pretty new – I was wondering can I use more than one RR at a time with one purchase, or can I only use one?

    • says

      @Phallin, @Phallin: CVS is a better store to start out with. With Walgreens, you can use more than 1 RR per transaction, but you can’t use more RRs/Manufacture coupons then items purchased. Since a RR is considered a Manufacture coupon, it gets tricky and that’s why you need fillers. IE: you have (5) $2 RRs and you want to buy a $10 item. You would need to buy 4 filler items in order to use all 5 RRs (and if you have a Manufacture coupon for that $10 item, you would need 5 filler items). Did I make sense? I hope this helps =)

    • brookeb says

      @Phallin, CVS is generally more simple, but Walgreens doesn’t have limits on purchases in the same way that CVS does. So you might be able to do a deal for 1 item at CVS, but you could do several over the span of a week at Walgreens.

      • Amanda Y. says

        @brookeb, Not likely unless you live where no one else coupons. I can go to Walgreens all 7 days of a sale and never get the deal once because they’re always sold out or out of stock. But I hope you have better luck!

  31. Regina says

    I’m really glad you are doing this post because while I have mastered the art of getting groceries, I am still a newbie in playing the drugstore game. I can’t wait to see your post.

  32. says

    I’m looking forward to next week’s post. I semi play the grocery game (not really, but I do coupon for organics, and then I stock up on stuff if I am able to, but we eat mostly organic and try to eat fresh, so its a bit different), but I know that I could get better deals if I would delve into the world of the drugstore game. I feel like I am always buying household and toiletry items, so playing the drugstore game would at least cut down on the costs there. Plus I am really trying to find room in my budget for more organic meat, so I think this could be the solution! Can’t wait to read more about it.

  33. Abby says

    I LOVE CVS! I was just there today and bought $35 worth of items for 23 cents! And we’ll actually USE it all! As many others have said, I will only spend money on things we actually need, but I’ll get things to stockpile or to give away/donate if they are free or earn me money! It’s so fun! Then I can take the ECB/money I earn and buy the things we need.

  34. says

    Yes I think I get it!! :) So I have a $3 and a $8 RR, I would need to buy three items, or is two sufficient??? and more is okay I am assuming…….thanks for your help, really appreciate it!!!

    • brookeb says

      @Phallin, Two would be fine; you just need at least as many items as you have coupons, and they can’t be for under the value of the coupons.

  35. Elaine says

    I don’t think anyone has mentioned the awesome post holiday or seasonal sales CVS has. Things sometimes go to 90% off. I was recently able to get towels, binoculars, heated neck massager, and solar lights for our back yard at 90% off. They also had waffle irons and other great deals on things we didn’t need. Coupons and rebates, combined with the drugstore game, have probably saved thousands of dollars for my family over the years, but if I only save a dollar, that is another dollar to put toward something else we need or want. I am thankful to be able to give to friends and neighbors in need, shelters, etc. We participate in Operation Shoebox using things like toothpaste, bars of soap, toothbrushes, candy, toys, and such, that I have been able to get for free or inexpensively. Thank YOU, Crystal for your wonderful spirit and highlighting and matching coupons to the deals. You have helped me save a lot of time and money.

  36. Margaret says

    Thanks so much for posting all the CVS deals!
    I love doing the deals, and gettin free things to share with friends or family and getting ecbs to put towards things I need or want!

  37. Ashlee says

    This post could have been written by me, now. My husband is in law school and we have one baby. I just started the drugstore game, nervously at first. Then I went a little crazy and got anything and everything. Now we are well stocked on most items for probably the whole next year! So now I am cutting back and only buying the things that I can give away to someone who needs them or can use them myself. I am not going to Walgreens anymore since their rewards expire so quickly, I’m sticking to just CVS.

  38. says

    I would argue that playing the drugstore game is more beneficial to our budget than couponing for groceries. I spend a lot less time researching CVS deals and get much higher savings than I ever do at the grocery store. I can shop the CVS deals for 6 to 8 weeks, buy all the toiletries/laundry prodcuts we need for a year; then relax and forget about it for months until we run low!

  39. Kristen P says

    I started clipping coupons and shopping CVS for the extra bucks about 3 weeks ago. My husband couldn’t believe it! Just today we shopped at Target and we saved over 40% by stacking coupons. I now look forward to the newspaper ads and finding the best deal scenarios. Thanks so much for this blog and all of the research you must do to make it easier for us!

  40. Rochelle says

    I love doing the drugstore game! Today I stocked up on all things baby. Paid $35.35 for $142.54 or baby items. I got several packages of huggies diapers for cheap. $80 worth of diapers for $20! Figures out to 8 cents per diaper. I frequently get free diapers too after ECBs and coupons. I never thought that was possible before I started the game several months ago. I started when they had the Huggies wipes mistakenly marked at 2.50 and stocked up. woohoo! Today they had almost as good of a deal at 3.49 for cvs brand large packs and pampers. Large baby clearance.

  41. Amanda Y. says

    Personally, I’m a huge couponer but I have had to give up on the drug store game, for two reason: we have no CVS’s near us and the Walgreens and Rite Aids clear out of their deals even before 9 AM on Sunday! I have gotten WAY too fed up with them being out of stock of good sale items even first thing on Sunday at several stores in my area :-( It really disheartens me to pay for this stuff at the other stores, but I don’t see an alternative where we are.

    • says

      @Amanda Y., I, too, was frustrated at how often Rite Aid (the only drugstore I shop at because I had to simplify and they give you actual money back through their single check rebates, not ECBs or RRs) was out of the advertised sale items even on the first day of the sale! But you can get rainchecks and still get the deal later. That has helped me a little. I’ve read (although I personally haven’t found a deal that I think it would be worth the trouble for) that you can even get a single check rebate for an item that you use a raincheck for later by calling customer service. However, I’ve run into situations where the item wasn’t back in stock until after my coupons for it had already expired. I definitely understand your frustration. You put so much time and effort into preparing for your shopping trip and then when you get to the store, there’s nothing that you need left.

  42. Wendy says

    I still remember that October when the deals at CVS were so AWESOME! So many free items and overage! Thanks for all the deals!

  43. says

    I wish I lived closer to one of these stores so I could partake in all these great deals! But the next best thing is recommending “the game” to others – I linked to this post on my weekly roundup… the post is under my name. Thanks!

  44. Claudia says

    I am obssessed with what you call this “drug store game” I seriously look forward to every Sunday when the CVS ads come out for the week so I can see what else I can get for free or almost free. I get a thrill from it every week… :)