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Saturday, October 25, 2008

Walgreens Deals

Between yesterday and today, my purchases at Walgreens seem too good to be true. Am I missing something? Is it really this easy to get something for nothing?

As I mentioned this morning, yesterday I made a $2 profit by purchasing a St. Ives facial cleanser that usually sells for about $7.49 (I think). I did three more of the St. Ives transactions today for a total of $20 in catalinas (the check-out coupons that sometimes print with your receipt), $8 of which was over the amount I spent. Of course, I also got the products:

This evening I headed to Walgreens once more with coupons in hand, as well as the $20 in catalinas. I bought a bottle of Clear Care contact solution, usually $9.99, on sale for $7.49. I used a "$2.00 off Clear Care catalina" I had, meaning I got the solution for $5.49. I got a box of Benefiber, priced at $8.49, and used a coupon for $5.00 off. I also got a box of 100 Excedrin tablets on sale for $5.99. These three items combined to print me an "$8.00 off your next purchase" catalina (which, of course, is why I bought them - that and the fact that they are all things I will use). I got an OralB toothbrush on sale for $4.49, which gave me a catalina at checkout for $4.50. I also bought two bottles of Pert Plus shampoo, on sale for $3.49 each. I used two $2.50 coupons, so I got each bottle for $0.99. I bought a bottle of White Rain conditioner for $1.00, and two bars of Yardley soap, usually $1.49 each, for $0.69 each. These non-catalina-printing items were my "filler" items to get my total up to $20, which I needed in order to use my "$5 off your purchase of $20 or more" coupon.

My total was somehow $4.01 after scanning just two of my $5 catalinas (from the St. Ives purchases), when I had expected I'd need to use three of those catalinas to get it down to $4.00. Still not quite sure how that happened. I asked the cashier about it and she just said "If the computer says that, then it must be right." So I paid the $4.01 out of pocket along with using just $10 in catalinas.

Along with my receipt, I got an $8 catalina from the Benefiber/Excedrin/Clear Care, and a $4.50 catalina from the toothbrush. I also got a catalina I didn't expect: another $2.00 off Clear Care! So I walked away with $14.50 in catalinas from a total expenditure of $10 catalinas plus $4 cash. In other words, my stuff was free. As she bagged my stuff, the cashier declared, "Hey, you did good!"

My four St. Ives receipts each read:
Total savings: $4.50

My big evening purchase receipt reads:
Total savings: $37.10

(So, if I had bought those items at regular prices, I would have spent $55.10)

That total savings amount combines sale price savings, manufacturer coupon savings, and Walgreens Easy Saver coupon savings. It doesn't include the catalinas that print, and my catalinas acquired over the past two days total $34.50. (So in a way it's like I saved $84.60.)

The total cash I spent was $16.57.

Can you believe that? Walgreens gave me $17.93 to shop. Of course, it took effort and research on my part, but the more I use coupons the easier it becomes, and it is so worth it!

People, I am a total newbie to couponing, so if I can do it, you can too.

Note: The reason these deals worked so well for me as a newbie to couponing really came down to the St. Ives printables. Since I don't have a big stockpile of newspaper coupons yet, it was great to print coupons and start getting Register Rewards that exceeded the amount I spent. I was then able to "roll" those reward coupons forward to cover additional purchases which I knew would produce more Register Rewards - and I can just keep repeating this process!

1 comment:

  1. Are the catalinas just "cash" to spend on your next trip, or can they only be spent on certain things? And do they expire in a short time period?

    Also, will you actually use everything you just acquired? Or did you just spend $16 on "stuff"?

    It does sound like there has to be a catch somewhere. If there isn't, how is Walgreens making money? Are they just assuming that you won't take the time to find all these deals, or that you'll buy a bunch of other stuff while you're there?