Right, So I'm Kind Of an Extreme Couponer
Tuesday, June 25, 2013
I think it's no secret that I love a lot of medium, high end and pro products, but I also have a soft spot for drugstore products because they can be free or near free. You can get a lot of really great deals on makeup, hair care and skincare by combining coupons with sales. Take it a bit further by stacking manufacturer's coupons and store brand coupons, which many drugstores allow you to do. I think that sometimes coupon policies and deals can be daunting, so I want to do some quick summaries on how you can really save.
Personally I think they have the best store coupons and rewards system. With the (free) ExtraCare card, you get an amount back quarterly plus $5 back for every $50 you spend in cosmetics if you sign up for the Beauty Club (you also get 10% on your first purchase for signing up and $3 ExtraBucks on your birthday), details here. ExtraBucks can be immediately used, so sometimes I'll split up my buy into two transactions so that I can turn around and apply the ExtraBucks from my first transaction onto my second one.
Another tip, sometimes the CVS coupon printer (that red scanner box instore that scans your CVS ExtraCare card and prints out some great coupons) doesn't print out all the available coupons in one go. I recently realized that if you scan your card a few more times after the initial scan, sometimes more will print out! It's not over until you get the "No More Coupons Today" message on the screen. A few things to keep in mind, price based CVS coupons can only be used one per transaction (like "$1 off $5 purchase of Oral Care" or "$4 off a $12 Cosmetic Purchase") but you can always do multiple transactions (I suggest making sure that there aren't people in line behind!).
A late comer to the rewards card game and not my personal favorite because you have to have the card to advertised sale prices. The card is free, but I can't even tell you the number of times I've been held up at Walgreens because the cashier has to explain to the three people in front of me why they aren't getting the sale price unless they sign up for the card (and then consequently it takes forever for those people to sign up). To be honest, I'm still a little unfamiliar with their points system (buying certain items earns you points, 1000 points = $1 and you can redeem your points at 5000). However, Walgreens does have online printable coupons on their website here which go really nicely with manuf.'s coupons.
For example a couple weeks ago, I was able to get Organix shampoos for 75% off. I love pro hair brands but since Morgan doesn't care what he uses, I stocked up. I used two $2 coupons. Walgreens had a rare BOGOFree sale and they let you use coupons on the "free" second item, so what started out as $16 purchase (two bottles at $8 each) ended up being $2 each. Awesome, right?
Rite Aid's version of rewards are called Up+. I'm not a big fan of them because they are not immediately redeemable (they redeem the next day) so it makes me take multiple trips. I'd recommend you asking them to be printed out instead of sent to your card because or else they are automatically spent on your next transaction. Another flaw is that they are only valid for 14 days, whereas CVS ExtraBucks are valid for a month.
Rite Aid does however, carry a lot of brands that the other drugstores don't. For example, Jesse's Girl and Julie G. For me, Rite Aid is the only drugstore out of the three that has my favorite Cutex polish remover. Rite Aid also seems to carry more LE collections than my other locations, more LE Wet'n'Wild, Sinful Colors, Rimmel, Maybelline etc shows up there than my CVS and Walgreens stores.
Of course, don't forget Target, Walmart and Ulta. I'm getting long winded here so I just wanted to remind you that all three have their own coupons.
I could go on and on talking about coupons and sales, so I'll stop while I'm ahead. Though it can be time consuming and hard to keep track of at first, I love couponing because I save so much money. It's gotten to the point where I don't really pay much (or if I'm really good, I don't pay anything!) for ordinary personal care items like toothpaste and mouthwash or household items like cleaning supplies. I was pretty amazed how much of a difference it made, having paid out of pocket for things at the full price or what I thought was a "good" sale before. Naturally, extending it to cosmetics was a no brainer so though I'm on a low buy, it's really easy to still get new products without spending very much or at all.