The key to getting free and very inexpensive items at drugstores is “Rolling Rewards“.
Rolling Rewards is when you use one reward to pay for another item that gives you rewards.
Example: You use you .75 cent rewards you receive by buying candy to pay for toothpaste that will give you $2 in rewards.
What to know about shopping at any drugstore:
-They do not double Manufacturer’s coupon.
-You can combine a Manufacturer’s coupon with a store coupon (1 coupon of each kind per item).
-The 3 different types of savings you can use in one transaction are: Manufacturer’s coupon, Store coupon and Store Rewards (the rewards you get for various dollar-amounts off to use on any item in store).
What you need to know about their coupon policy:
Every drugstore has a different policy for this but thankfully CVS had THE BEST policy for rolling rewards.
If an item gives you Extra Bucks (what they call their store rewards), you can immediately use the Extra Bucks in your next transaction. When you combine this tactic with coupons. You basically win the couponing jackpot. Below is an example of how you can make money using those deals.
Here’s an example:
Buy 1 Hershey’s Singles – .79 cents, get .79 cents back in Extra Bucks (Pay .79 cents)
Buy 1 Children’s Advil – $2.37, get $2.37 back in Extra Bucks
—Use $1.50 off Children’s Advil coupon (this makes it .87 cents )
—Use .79 cents Extra Bucks from last transaction (Pay 8 cents, get $2.37 back in Extra Bucks)
Buy 1 Laundry Detergent – $1.79, get $1.79 back in Extra Bucks
Buy 1 Hershey’s Theater Candy – .99 cents, get .99 cents back in Extra Bucks
-Pre-coupon total = $2.78
—-Use $2.37 Extra Bucks from the last transaction (pay .41 cents, get $2.78 back in Extra Bucks)
Think of Extra Bucks like Nesting Dolls – the smaller one goes into the bigger one. Get it?
Rite Aid’s rewards (now PLENTI POINTS) are available to use the next day as early as 6pm, they are the only ones with rewards that you cannot use the same day.
Want an example of how to coupon at Walgreen’s? Click Here to see my coupon haul from Thanksgiving 2013.
Walgreen’s is by far the hardest to understand because they have weird rules.
Here’s the guidelines.
If you are not using any MFR coupons, you can roll rewards in whatever way you want but except many times you cannot use the reward on the the same item you have just received them from.
Example: You can use a $1 reward you got from buying a toothbrush you can’t necessarily you it to buy another (guidelines should be specified in the ad) but you can use it towards say, a box of cereal.
Adding in MFR coupons: At Walgreens, they consider their Register Reward MFR coupons (even though they clearly are not because by definition, MFR coupons can be used anywhere!). Because of this, you cannot use a MFR coupon and store reward on the same item unless it is accompanied by another item (this way it fits into the 1 mfr coupon per item rule).
*The way to get around this is to add another item on, grab a small piece of candy or something to use as a second item.
To make things more confusing, this past year Walgreen’s added “points” as a reward system where 5,000 points = $5.
Unfortunately points cannot pay for items that yield other points no matter what the items are unless you don’t mind not getting points from the 2nd item you are buying. Example: If you buy 3 cereals + get 5,000 points ($5) you can use them to buy candy which is buy 1, get 1,000 points – but you won’t get the candy points.
So why am I telling you all of this – while it may seem near impossible to roll rewards here, it’s worth the extra fuss because you can get GREAT items. It’s really just a matter of getting the system down.