Thursday, January 19, 2012

Winning at Walgreen's

This week was a fantastical one at Walgreen's, and I scored even bigger than I thought I would! Here's what I bought, the breakdown of costs and coupons and a very special lesson for everyone.

I'll start with the best news: my out-of-pocket expense was $2.14. Love that!

I had six coupons: a coupon for $1 off two boxes of Rice Krispies cereal, an in-ad store coupon for a box of Puffs tissue for 99 cents (limit of 3), a coupon for South Beach diet bars of $1 off, and three RR coupons with a total of $9.

The South Beach diet bars were buy one box at $5.99, get $6 back in RR. Since I had the $1 off coupon, this made it a very good deal in my opinion. I do not follow the South Beach diet, though, but they're basically granola bars. Sounds good!

I was particularly pleased with my list heading into the store: the cereal, after the coupon, was $1.50 a box - a very good deal, cheaper than Aldi, plus I use rice cereal in our homemade granola bars so this was great! We always need more tissue, so I was scoring on that, too!

What I did not know, however, was that the two boxes of cereal came with what bloggers call "peelies" (possibly this is the actual term for the sticker type things on the front of the box, I do not know!). Actually, if it wasn't for the very nice Walgreen's cashier, I wonder if I would have ever noticed these peelies! Each box had one, and each peelie is good for a free 12 oz. bag of M & M's! SCORE! So I used one peelie that day to get a free bag, then I have another peelie to get another free bag next week.

The hilarious thing about this was that Jason and I were pretty lazy over the weekend. Sad to say, we ate out for most of our meals, the house was very cluttered, and we just didn't do a freaking thing. We went to VG's on Saturday and picked up loads of junk food, and one item I picked up was (horror!) store-bought cookies. Really, that is horrible. I paid a horrific price for cookies that were only okay but since I had the blues, I didn't even care. Anyway, the cookies were M & M cookies and I spent many minutes on Saturday and Sunday complaining about how I need to get M & M candy to make M & M cookies (and before you ask, they are not the same thing as chocolate chip cookies! I had a lengthy debate with Jason over this!!!).

So imagine the funniness when I get two coupons for two free bags of M & M's! I love it.

Okay, so for the big lesson for everyone: There are many bloggers and website owners out there who list not only what they spent at each store but the percentage of what they saved. If you regularly read this series, you know I don't do this. Why, you might ask? Because that percentage is not real. Yes, it's real in that if I were an idiot and had bought all of these items, that is the amount Walgreen's would have charged me. But I would never, in my right (or possibly wrong) mind, spend that crazy amount. There's just no way. I shop, using a price book, to get the best deals I can, even sans coupons. And for the record, the bloggers I know of likely wouldn't shop at these stores and pay for regularly priced items, either.

But, for tonight and possibly tonight only, I will share my percentage for two reasons:
  1. To show you that you can get big savings using the right mix of coupons (remember, I use only printables and in-ad coupons, unless I tell you otherwise) and sales.
  2. To show you how crazy drugstore prices really are.
Earlier, I mentioned my total at the register was $2.14. I also received $6 back in RR, so I have that coupon to use for next week. My total saved was.... $26.47. I had a savings of 93%! That is awesome and exciting, but I would never, never spend almost $29 on these items. That's just insane.

It's best to forget about these percentages and focus on the amount spent. That's why I focus so much on my price-per-item, keeping a list of every single item I have purchased and a cumulative of my amount spent. Taking into account the items I picked up this week, my price-per-item is now at $1.30. That's a price I can swallow for all of the items purchased this week.

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