Sunday, April 24, 2011

Shopping with Coupons at the Drugstores (CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid)

How I Got Started Shopping Drugstores

I started shopping drugstores with coupons when, just like you, I did a little research online, and discovered other couponers saving lots of money on everyday item. I started by doing just a deal or two a week until I became comfortable using coupons and "Rolling" my Extra Care Bucks and Register Rewards, etc., and using them and coupons as if they were cash. It takes some planning but you too can get everyday items for free or really cheap.

I've learned the key is moderation

Once you get started couponing at the drugstores, trust me it can get a little intense. Unfortunately, I lived in a rather small town when I started couponing back before couponing was a national series on TLC, so there was just a few of us in town that couponed on a "more informed level" then others and I ran into a few snags along the way.

At first, since I was getting things for free, I would often get extra coupons and make several trips each week stocking up on something like free or cheap shampoo. I was stocking up to the point where I was not only running into town and making several trips, but also clearing shelves and taking 5 or 6, or more bottles at a time. I remember one time there was such a good deal, I purchased a shopping cart full of Herbal Essences shampoos and only paid a few dollars for all of them along with coupons and catalinas.

I've since set some priorities. I don't take more than I really need and I don't clear shelves anymore. I am considerate to my fellow deal shoppers. My only exception to the rule is if it on clearance or it is late in the day on the very last day of the sale.

I've also learned that cashiers and managers often misunderstand couponers. I have been asked to leave both a CVS and a Meijer because of big couponing trips. Both stores actually told me they would refuse to sell me anything more because I was getting too many things for free. I had to contact their corporate offices and received apologies from both companies. I never got in an argument or yelled, but it was an awkward situation to be put in when I was doing nothing wrong. I think with the increase in coupon users, cashiers and managers are becoming more coupon friendly then they were a few years ago.

Stayed tuned this week, when I walk you through how to start shopping the drugstores effectively and maximizing your savings.

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