Friday, June 10, 2011

Getting Stuff for Free/Cheap

I shared awhile back about some of my grocery shopping tips, so I thought I would share some of my tips for shopping for toiletry and personal items.

I generally stick to two stores. CVS and Walgreens. Walmart is a good place to shop if you don't have a lot of time to be making small trips and/or couponing. Their prices are probably the lowest for everyday shopping. And I've explained before why I quit shopping at Target. Target is bad for my budget.

I really love CVS and Walgreens because of their Extra Bucks and Register Rewards. If you aren't sure what I'm talking about, I'll try to explain real quick. You buy an item at the marked price and after you pay, it will print out a coupon that you can use on your next purchase.

(Small tip for those of who don't know, you can use Register Rewards from Walgreens at Jewel)

Although I shop at both, I am definitely a bigger fan of CVS. Their Extra Bucks don't expire as quickly as Walgreens Register Rewards and I just seem to get better prices there. But I know plenty of people who like Walgreens better, so decide for yourself.

I know many who get free items that they will never use and then use the Extra Bucks/Register Rewards to roll over to other transactions. I try to stick to items we need or that I know we will use. I watch the sales and often have quite a stockpile going.

Things I get free or real cheap: Deodorant, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrushes, body wash, mouthwash, floss, plus many more.

To show you how it works, I'll share my transactions from this week from CVS. I often do two transactions in one visit.

Transaction #1
1 Ban Deodorant 2.99
2 Deans Milk 2.99 each
1 Crest ProHealth Mouthwash 4.50
1 Clairol Nice & Easy 6.97

Used $.75 off coupon for Ban
         $1.00 off coupon for Clairol Nice & Easy
         $2.00 off coupon for Crest ProHealth

Total Out of Pocket $17.70
Received $8.50 back in Extra Bucks

Transaction #2

2 Pkg Lifesaver Peppermints 2/$3
2 Tampax 20 ct 2.99 each
2 Axe Spray 4.69 each

Used coupon for Axe Spray BOGO
         $1.50 off 2 Tampax
         Then $8.50 in Extra Bucks

Total Out of Pocket $4.96

Total Paid in both Transactions $22.66
Total Saved in both Transactions $25.69

Although I've had shopping trips that have ended better than this, I always think it's a success when what I saved is more than what I spent.

Tip: If you shop at CVS, you will need to sign up for one of their cards. You can also sign up on their website to have more coupons emailed to you.

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