Monday, February 28, 2011

Nielsen Home Scan is Accepting Applicants

Nielsen has a program that tracks your shopping purchases called The Home Scan Panel.

Here’s how it works: Sign up HERE if you have a landline and HERE if you only have a cell phone and upon approval they send you a scanner. You scan all the purchases you bring into your house, groceries, healthy and beauty, clothes, etc. (This is a fun thing to let the kids do!) Once a week, you hook the scanner up to your computer (or you can elect to get the scanner that submits it’s data over a landline) and in about a minute it transmits the data back to Nielsen.

You earn points for each weekly submission (150 points but it goes up the longer you’ve been a member) and then you also complete a short survey on each store you shopped at that week (100 points per store).

The points can be exchanged for a variety of prizes such as a Step 2 Easel for 34,000 pts or Dooney & Bourke® Small Tulip Tassel Tote for 95,000 points (awesome!). They have over 250 prizes to choose from.

I applied for this program a few weeks ago and haven't heard anything back yet but it sounds like an easy enough way to earn free prizes.  Have an older child?  Even easier because it makes a really fun game for them to scan all your purchases!

(Thanks Couponing to Disney)

FREE Butterfinger Snackerz at Rite Aid

I've been told that Rite Aid has Butterfinger Snackerz on sale for 2/$1 this week and there's a printable coupon for $1/2 which would make them free!

(Thanks Southern Cali Saver)

National Pancake Day - Free Pancakes at IHOP

Tomorrow, March 1, is National Pancake Day and IHOP is celebrating by offering a free short stack of pancakes if you come in between 7:00am and 10:00pm.  They do ask that you consider leaving a little donation for the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals and other designated local charities.

You can go HERE for more information.

An Easy Way to Help Support Your Troops

Apparently, military families stationed overseas can use expired coupons in their commissary's (military grocery stores) for up to six months after the expiration date.  Now that it's the end of the month, look through your coupon stash, find all those expired coupons and ship them to the troops!

Coupons that can be accepted:
You can send only MANUFACTURER'S COUPONS, no store coupons
Do not send any that are over 30 days expired.

Sorting the coupons:
The coupons need to be sorted into FOOD and NON-FOOD and put into separate ziplock style baggies.  Label the bags with pen or marker

Where to send them:
If you know a military family personally you could send your coupons directly to them, if not, there is a list on THIS website just scroll down towards the bottom.  Keep in mind that it can sometimes take many weeks for mail you send to arrive at its destination when mailing it overseas so try to send them as early as possible.

(thanks Happy Money Saver)

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Looking Ahead - Rite Aid Deals starting 3/6

Starting on Sunday, 3/6, Rite Aid will have Comtrex on sale for $4.99.  Here's how you can get it for free:

Comtrex - $4.99
$1.50/1 Comtrex product from the 2/13 SS
Pay $3.49
Submit for $4.00 Single Check Rebate (Limit 1 per address)
Final Price: FREE + $0.51 Money Maker

Also starting on 3/6, Rite Aid will have Colgate Total Advanced on sale for $2.99 and there is also a way to get this for free as well!

Colgate Total Advanced Toothpaste - $2.99
use $1/1 from the 2/27 SS
Pay $1.99
Receive $2.00 +UP (Limit 4 per wellness+ card)
Final Price: FREE after coupon and +UP reward

(Thanks Money Saving Maine-iac)

Redbox Groupon Deal

If you enjoy grabbing a movie from the Redbox movie rental machine then there's a great deal on Groupon for you.  Right now you can get three one-night movie rentals for only $1.  This deal will only be available for about another two days and there might be limited availability so you'll want to buy it quick.

Where to Get Rewards for Bringing Your Own Reusable Bags

Local Places in Maine:

CVS - sells the Green Bag Tag for 99c. Bring your own bags and have them scan it and after 4 trips (must be on different days), you will receive a $1 ECB* at the register.

Target - Offers 5c per reusable bag that is used to bag your purchases

Trader Joes – entry into a drawing

Whole Foods – 10 cents per bag

I know that Hannaford used to offer 5 cents per bag but I did a quick search and I'm only finding information saying that it was discontinued sometime in early 2009. Does anybody know if they brought the program back?

Other Stores around the Country:

Bi-Lo – 5 cents per bag
- 5 cents per bag

- 5 cents per bag

Fred Meyers
 – 5 cents per bag

- 5 cents per bag

 – 5 – 10 cents per bag (select locations?)

King Soopers
 – 5 cents per bag

- 4 cents per bag (some give 5 fuel points)

Military Base Exchange
 – 5 cents per bag

- 2 cents per bag

Pick n Save
 – 5 cents per bag

Raley’s and NobHill 
- 5 cents per bag

- 3 cents per bag

Stop N Shop 
- 5 cents per bag

- 5 cents per bag

- 5 cents per bag

Stew Leonard’s
 – 5 cents per bag

Sun Harvest
 – 5 cents per bag

Sunflower Markets
 – 10 cents per bag

Winco – 5 cents per bag

Does anybody know of any other stores that provide rewards when you bring your own bags?  Admittedly, I have four or five of them but I can never seem to remember to bring them with me.  I'm going to try to be better about this though.  Even though I do recycle the disposable plastic bags that I get when I'm out shopping it still seems wasteful.  

*ECB at CVS is similar to Rite Aid's +UP rewards.

Weekly Target Deals 2/27 - 3/5

Make sure you're familiar with Target's coupon policy which can be found HERE and their price matching policy HERE. You can also see the entire list of current Target coupons available right HERE.  You can also sign up to receive Target coupons on your cell phone HERE.

Doritos and Pepsi Max (Doritos are on sale for $2)
use FREE Pepsi Max when you purchase Doritos coupon
pay $2 for both

Clorox Wipes - $3.49
use $1/1 printable Clorox coupon
and use 75c/1 Target Coupon
Final Price: $1.74

Target is also having a promotion that if you buy any two of these items you'll receive a $5 gift card back.

 Pantene Shampoo or Conditioner $5.99
 Use $1/1 Pantene Product, exp. 3-31-11 (P&G 02/27/11)
 Final Price: $2.49 after gift card and coupon

Charmin 18pk double or 9pk mega $9.99
Use $1/2 Charmin Product, exp. 2-28-11 (P&G 01/30/11)
and Use $1/1 Charmin Bath Tissue @Target, exp. 3-31 (RP 01/30/11 #2)
or Use $2.50 off Charmin Wipes AND Bath Tissue @Target (RP 01/30/11 #2) – this will probably make these free
{Deal Idea}
Buy 2 Charmin at $9.99
Use (2) $1/1 Target store coupons
and Use $1/2 coupon
Get $5 Gift Card
Final Price: $11.98 or $5.99 each

Bounty 12pk Paper Towels $14.99
Use $1 off Bounty Roll Towels or Napkins, exp. 2-28-11 (P&G 01/30/11)
and Use $1/1 Bounty Paper Towels @Target, exp. 3-31 (RP 1/30/11 #2)
Final Price: $10.49 after coupon and gift card

Cover Girl Primer or Simply Ageless $13.99
Use $1/1 any Cover Girl from 2/27 P&G
Final Price: $10.49 after coupon and gift card

Olay Regenerist $23.89
$3/1 Olay Regenerist Product, exp. 2-28-11 (P&G 01/16/11)
Final Price: $18.39 after coupon and gift card

Crest Toothpaste 2pk $5.49
Use $1/1 Crest or Liquid Gel, exp. 3-31-11 (P&G 02/27/11)
or Use $0.75/1 Crest Toothpaste or Liquid Gel, exp. 3-31-11 (P&G 02/27/11)
Final Price: $1.99 after coupon and gift card

Luvs Big Pack Diapers $16.99
Final Price: $14.49 after gift card

Tampax Pearl Jumbo pack $8.99
use $2/1 Tampax Pearl or Tampax Pearl Compak, exp. 3-31-11 (P&G 02/27/11)
Final Price: $4.49 after coupon and gift card

Prilosec 42ct $24.89
Use $3/1 Prilosec Product, exp. 3-31-11 (P&G 02/27/11)
or Use $8/2 Prilosec Product, exp. 2-28-11 (P&G 01/30/11)
{Deal Idea}
Buy 2 at $24.89
Use $8/2 coupon
and Get $5 gift card
Final Price: $36.78 for 2 after coupon and gift card

Cheer 150oz, Gain 150oz $14.99
Use $1/1 Cheer Detergent, exp. 2-28-11 (P&G 01/16/11)
or Use $1/1 Gain Detergent, exp. 3-31-11 (RP 02/13/11)
Final Price: $11.49 after coupon and gift card

Iams 17.5lb Dog Food $17.19
Use $1/1 from 2/27 P&G
Final Price: $13.69 after coupon and gift card

These are just the few things that I thought were kind of a good deal, I didn't see anything too terribly exciting.  I might pick up one or two things if I happen to be near a Target but I won't be making a special trip.  If you want to see a complete list of deals check out Totally Target.

Free Excedrin at Target

Target has Excedrin priced at $3.59 (prices may vary from store to store).  Target has added a bunch of new printables including two Excedrin coupons.

Excedrin Extra Strength Pain Relief (20ct) - $3.59
use $3.00 Target printable
use $1/1 printable manufacturers coupon
or use 75c coupon in 2/27 SS*

Make sure to give the cashier the manufacturers coupon first and then the Target coupon and you  may get overage.

(Thanks totallytarget)

Get a FREE Personalized Song with Your Child's Name - Sung by Elmo!

Go HERE and enter promo code: MYELMO to get a free song download sung by Elmo with your child's name in it.  My daughter is in LOVE with Elmo right now so I"m sure this will be a big hit.

Morning Rite Aid Run 2/27/11

24 Cans of Lay's Stax chips - $1.00 each ($24.00 total) w/$1.00 in +UP
Final Price: $24.00 w/$24.00 +UP

8 Nivea Lip Balm - $1.00 each ($8.00 total)
used (4) $2/2 printable coupon when you "like" Nivea on Facebook (print 2 by clicking the back button)
Final Price: FREE

1 bag of Halls cough drops (30 count) - $1.00
used 50c Rite Aid Video Values coupon from February (no longer available)
Final price: FREE

2 bottles of Arm & Hammer laundry detergent $2.99 each w/$1.00 +UP each ($5.98 total)
used (2) $1.25 printable coupons
Final Price: $3.48 for 2 (or $1.74 each) w/$2.00 +UP

4 Colgate Plus Toothbrushes $1.00 each ($4.00 total)
used (2) $1.00 off 2 from 2/27/11 SS
Final Price: 50c each

6 bags of Luden's cough drops - $1.00 each ($6.00 total)
used $1/2 Luden's Lozenges from 1/30/11 SS
Final Price: 50c per bag

2 bags of Ricola cough drops - $1.00 each ($2.00 total)
used $1/2 Ricola product from 1/16/11 SS
Final Price: 50c per bag

3 Starburst Candies - 50c (All Mars or Nestle Single Serve Candy - 50c) 
used 25c/1 Starburst Video Values coupon from February (no longer available)
and used 50c/2 Starburst or Skittles
Final Price: 25c each

Aveeno Clear Complexion Foaming Cleanser - $7.99*
Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion - $3.29*
Rite Aid is currently having a B1G1 50% off sale on all Aveeno Skin, Bath, Suncare, Baby or First Aid.
Final Price: $5.64

Clean & Clear Daily Pore Cleanser - $5.99*
2 Clean & Clear Deep Action Cream Cleanser - $5.99 each ($11.98 total)*
Clean & Clear Blackhead Eraser - $5.99*
Rite Aid is currently having a B1G1 50% off sale on Clean & Clear Skincare items priced $5.99 - $6.99
Final Price: $9.98 ($2.50 each)

*Aveeno and Clean & Clear are part of a +UP beauty product promotion where if you buy $25 (before coupons) you will receive $10 +UP.

Total prior to any coupons being scanned - approximately $80
Total out of pocket after coupons and redeeming prior +UP - $43.68 (this includes 4 Sunday Newspapers)
60 Items = 73c per item.
+UP rewards earned to use toward future purchase: $36

I went to two different Rite Aid stores and on each receipt I received a printout to take a survey about my in-store experience.  After completing each online survey I'll be provided a coupon to get $3.00 off my next purchase of $15. 

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Earth's Best Organic Baby Food - Under $8.00 Shipped!

If you're a member of Amazon Mom, Amazon is having a great sale on Earth's Best Organic Baby Food

Earth's Best Organic 1st Fruit Starter Kit (2.5oz Jars) - 12 Pack for just $7.05 with subscribe and save.

Earth's Best Organic 1st Vegetable Starter Kit (2.5oz Jars) - 12 Pack for just $7.05 with subscribe and save.

Earth's Best Organic 2nd Fruit Variety Pack (4oz Jars) - 12 Pack for just $7.85 with subscribe and save.

Also on sale:

Earth's Best Organic 2nd Vegetable Variety Pack (4oz Jars) - 12 Pack for $9.34 with subscribe and save

Earth's best Organic 2nd Gourmet Meals Variety Pack (4oz Jars) - 12 Pack for $12.09 with subscribe and save

Make sure you don't forget to cancel your subscribe and save once your order arrives!!!

Whole Foods Market: 2/25 - 3/1

I don't shop at Whole Foods Market just because I don't have one any closer than a 45 minute drive but for those of you who do Your Green Helper did great work finding the best deals at Whole Foods this week!

Top Deals

So Delicious Aseptic Coconut Beverages $2.00
Use with $1.00/1 Whole Foods printable
Stack with $1.00/1 printable FREE after coupons

Organic Valley Half and Half $1.15
Use with $0.75/1 Organic Valley printable 
$0.40 after coupon

Rice Dream Beverages $2.00
Buy 2 and use with $1.00/2 Whole Foods printable
Stack with two (2) $1.00/1 Dream printables
$0.50 each after coupons

Honest Bottled Teas $1.00
Buy 2 and use with $1.00/2 Whole Planet Calendar
$0.50 after coupon

Kettle Chips $2.00
Use with $1.00/1 coupon 1/30 RP
$1.00 after coupon

Newman’s Own Organic Pretzels $2.99
Buy 2 and use with $1.00/2 Whole Foods printable
Stack with two (2) $1.00/1 Newman’s Own printables
$1.49 each after coupons

More Great Deals

Simply Asia Sauce Mixes  $1.99
Use with $0.75/1 Whole Foods printable
Stack with $0.50/1 printable $0.74 after coupon

Earth’s Best Organic Baby Food 3rd Foods $1.00
Buy 7 and use with $1.00/7 Earth’s Best printable
$0.86 each after coupon

Annie’s Homegrown Organic Pretzels $2.99
Use with $0.75/1 HealthESavers printable
$2.24 after coupon

Seventh Generation Diapers $3.29
Use with $1.00/1 Seventh Generation printable
$2.29 after coupon

Muir Glen Organic Salsa $3.00
Buy 2 and use with $1.00/2 Eat Better America printable
$2.50 each after coupon

Lightlife Smart Ground Original $3.50
Use with $1.00/1 Whole Foods printable
$2.50 after coupon

Maranatha Nut Butter $3.99
Use with $1.00/1 Whole Foods printable
$2.99 after coupons

Annie’s Homegrown Cereals $3.99
Use with $0.75/1 HealthESaver printable
$3.24 after coupon

Organic Valley Cheese  $5.49
Use with $1.00/1 Organic Valley Printable
$4.49 after coupon

Santa Cruz Superfruit Juice $5.69
Use with $1.00/1 Santa Cruz printable
$4.69 after coupon

Jason Shampoo or Conditioner  $7.99
Use with $3.00/1 Whole Foods printable
$4.99 after coupon

Great Sale Prices

Organic Roma Tomatoes $1.49/lb
Organic Fuji Apples $1.99/lb

See the full list of deals here!

Watch Full Episodes of Disney Junior Online for FREE

My daughter has been thoroughly enjoying this!

Disney Junior is offering 39 different full episodes of some off their most popular shows online!

Watch Full Episodes of:

Agent Oso – 3 episodes
Chuggington – 4 episodes
Handy Manny  – 5 episodes
Imagination Movers – 5 episodes
Jungle Junction – 5 episodes
Little Einsteins  – 3 episodes
Mickey Mouse Clubhouse – 5 episodes
Neverland Pirates – 5 episodes

Rite Aid Deals 2/27 - 3/5

A lot of these deals come from Southern Cali Saver so be sure to check her blog for even more great deals


Nice 'n Easy Color Blend Foam Hair Color - $8.99 w/$2.00 +UP
Or $3.00/1 Nice 'n Easy Color Blend Foam from 2/27 PG
Pay as low as nothing and get back $2.00 +UP 

Combos (6.3-7 oz) - $1.00 w/$1.00 +UP
Final Cost is FREE

Lay's Stax (5.5-5.75 oz) - $1.00 w/$1.00 +UP
Final Cost is FREE

T.G.I. Friday's or Burger King Snacks (3-8.75) - $1.00 w/$1.00 +UP
Final Cost is FREE

Nivea Lip Care (0.17 oz) - $1.00
Buy 2, Use $2/2 Nivea Lip Care printable (like them and then look in the coupon tab)
Final Cost for 2 is FREE

Other Great Deals: 

Crest Toothpaste (4, 4.2 or 6 oz), Scope (250 ml), Oral B Stages, Advantage Plus or 3D Toothbrush - 2/$5.00 w/$1.00 +UP
Use (2) $1.00/1 Crest Toothpaste from 1/16 (exp 2/28!) or 2/27 PG
Or $0.75/1 Crest Toothpaste from 1/30 SS
Pay $3.00, get back $1.00 +UpR

Final cost is $1.00 each 

Kellogg’s Special K, Smart Start, Fiber Plus Cereals, Special K, Fiber Plus Cereal Bars - B1G1F     Use $1.00/1 Kelloggs Special K Cereal printable (a few varieties available)
$1.00/1 Kellogg’s Special K Multigrain Oats & Honey Cereal printable     

$1.00/1 Kellogg’s Smart Start Cereal from 2/6 RP
$0.75/2 Special K Cereal Bars from 2/6
$1.00/2 Special K Cereal Bars or Fruit Crisps from 1/2 RP (exp 2/27!)
Final cost varies

Nature Made All Vitamins and Herbal Supplements – BOGO Free(Fish Oil are part of healthy heart promo–which is still running this week–buy $30, get $10-Buy $50, get $20)
Use (2) of any of the following:
$2.00/1 Nature Made Cholestoff from 1/30 SS
$4.00/1 Nature Made CholestOff from January All You
$5.00/1 Nature Made CoQ10 from 1/30 SS
$6.00/1 Nature Made CoQ10 from January All You
$2.00/1 Nature Made Fish Oil from 1/2 SS
$2.00/1 Nature Made Fish Oil, from 1/30 SS
$4.00/1 Nature Made Fish Oil from January All You
$1.00/1 Nature Made Vitamin D from 1/30 SS
$3.00/1 Nature Made Vitamin D from January All You
$1.00/1 Nature Made Vitamins from 1/30 SS
$3.00/1 Nature Made Vitamins from January All You
Plus use $2.00/1 Nature Made Cholestoff February Video Values
And/or $3.00/1 Nature Made Fish Oil February Video Values
Final cost varies

$1.25/1 Arm & Hammer Detergent Coupon & Rite Aid Sale

The Arm & Hammer coupon on Smart Source has been reset.  Print it off now and save it for the sale at Rite Aid starting tomorrow (Sunday).

$1.25/1 Arm & Hammer Laundry Detergent

Arm & Hammer Laundry Detergent (45-50 oz) - $3.99 w/$1.00 +UP
Use $1.25/1 Arm & Hammer Laundry Detergent printable
Pay $2.74 and get back $1.00 +UP to use on your next purchase

NOTE: You can print the coupon twice.  With some coupon printers this works by pushing the back button a couple of times but this doesn't seem to work for me with the Smart Source coupons.  If that's the case with you two just click the link a second time after your first coupon prints and you should be able to print another.

(Thanks My Frugal Adventures)

Friday, February 25, 2011

Sneak Peak at Sunday's Coupon Inserts

Click HERE to get a look at what coupons you can expect to see in this Sunday's paper.  This week there should be a P&G (Proctor & Gamble) insert  and a Smart Source insert (no Red Plum this week)

Pampers Gifts to Grow Code

The Pampers Gifts to Grow rewards program rewards you whenever you purchase pampers diapers, training pants, or wipes.  Every package of diapers or wipes that you purchase has a Gifts to Grow code on them that can then be entered on the pampers website.  Once you have enough points you can redeem them for great things like coupon booklets, children's books, gift certificates, toys, and more.  Periodically free codes will pop up that you can enter without even having to purchase diapers.

Enter this code into your Pampers account to earn 10 points: SEP3PGW7NRKYWXK

More codes:

Worth 10 points:


And even more:

2BEGINEARNING50- 50 points

L.L. Bean Backpack for under $15 shipped

LL Bean currently has their Plaid Deluxe Book Pack on sale for $13.99 which is a savings of 64% off the original price of $39.95.  This is only good on the Black or Pink Plaid and can be monogrammed for an additional $6.

If you enter code 3026415 at checkout you'll receive free shipping.

Free and/or Cheap things to do this Saturday (2/26/11)

Lowes is having one of their Build and Grow Clinics on Saturday at 10:00.  Kids will be able to build a pull back #48 race car.  It includes stickers and a pull back motor.

AC Moore will be offering a Wilton Cake Decorating Basics Demonstration on Saturday from 1-3pm.

Barnes & Noble - if you have a Barnes & Noble near you, stop in on Saturday and have a bookseller show you the new NOOK color e-reader and you'll receive a free cup of coffee for your time.

Borders - Stop into borders on Saturday at 2pm for Elmo's Birthday Party.  There will be games, songs, giveaways, and more.

Michaels - On Saturday from 10:00am - Noon, Michaels will be doing a My First Science Kit Demo.

Target will be doing a Dr. Seuss story time from 9am - 11am on Saturday

(Thanks Who Said Nothing in Live is Free???)

Another Great Deal on Wipes at Amazon!

Amazon is having another great deal on their Papers wipes. In order to make the most out of this deal you will need to be a member of Amazon Mom.  Amazon mom is a free membership program that is aimed at helping parents and caregivers (from prenatal up through the toddler years) purchase much needed items on Amazon.

What are the benefits of Amazon Mom?  You'll receive free Two-day shipping with Amazon Prime benefits, 30% off diapers and wipes with Subscribe & Save Delivery (can be cancelled at any time), and exclusive email discounts and offers.

Pampers Soft Care Scented Wipes (720ct) is currently discounted from $25.00 down to $19.19.  If you're a member of the Amazon Mom program you'll automatically receive an additional 30% off if you sign up with the Subscribe & Save (which will be located on the right side of the screen).  I usually subscribe for six months but when my box of wipes comes in the mail I go into my Amazon account and cancel the subscription.  This will reduce the price down to $13.43 and if you enter MOMWIPES at checkout you'll receive an additional 10% off bringing the price down to $11.51 with free shipping. You'll get (10) 72ct packages of wipes which is like payine $1.15 each!

How many newspapers should you buy?

The question of how many Sunday papers to buy is a hard one.  I've seen some people say that you should get at least four so that when stores have B1G1F* sales you'll have enough coupons to get four of that particular items.  Other people have said that you should get a paper for each member of your family plus one extra.  So, for example, for my family of three I would buy four newspapers.  The reasoning behind this idea is that if there's a deal where you can stack coupons on top of sales to get items for free (toothbrushes for example) you'll be able to get one for everybody in the family with one extra.

Some people don't buy the newspaper at all, they will simply buy the coupons that they want through websites such as  I would think that this approach would make it difficult (if not impossible) to collect the coupons for those really great deals that you'll find though.

I was surprised to learn that not all newspapers are the same.  Bigger cities will get different coupons than rural newspapers.  For a while I was purchasing one local paper (Portland Press Herald) and one Boston Globe.  I did find that the Boston Globe had better coupons but I was finding that the coupons were not SO much better that I could justify the additional cost ($4 for the Globe as opposed to under $2 for the local paper).  The Boston Globe would have the occasional B1G1F* where the local paper would have $1.00 off 2 for example, but it wasn't every coupon that was better, only a select few.  What I have started doing now is purchasing four local papers instead.  It ends up costing approximately the same amount as it was when I was buying one local paper and one Boston Globe.  In addition to that I've been receiving coupons from my mother and mother-in-law.  They'll usually go through their coupons and pick out what they will use and then give me the rest.

Before I go out to buy my newspaper in the morning (I'm working on getting signed up for delivery of the Sunday paper but it hasn't been processed yet), I try to check out how many coupon inserts are in the paper that week.  Last week there was only one coupon insert so I only purchased two newspapers.  As I get more into this I might change my approach but for now this seems to be working.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Rite Aid

I have never done much shopping at drug stores unless it was because I needed to grab a greeting card, pick up a prescription, or needed something quick and didn't want to drive all the way to the grocery store.  I was always under the impression that drug stores are more expensive and for the most part they are, unless you utilize their sales and rewards programs in order to buy non-perishable type products to build up your stock pile.

I have found that the drug store rewards programs are not like the reward programs for other stores, they're much more complicated.  Borders bookstore, for instance, has a rewards program where every dollar you spend earns you a point, after you earn a certain amount of points you get $5 that you can use on anything in the store.  Rite Aid, on the other hand, has +UP Rewards, Wellness+, Single Check Rebates, Video Values, and sometimes they throw in some extra promotions just to make things more confusing.  Not all of these are necessarily linked to a rewards card but they are all things that can save you money if you use them correctly.  For my own sanity, until I feel like I really have a handle on Rite-Aid's programs and how to best take advantage of them, I have only been shopping at Rite-Aid instead of all the other drug stores as well.  I think it would be too much for me to handle trying to figure out all the programs at all the stores all at the same time.  You can do what is best for you but if you tend to get easily overwhelmed then you might want to limit the number of places you shop at first.

Lets take a closer look at Rite-Aid's programs:

  • Wellness+ - This is Rite-Aid's rewards card.  In order for you to be able to get the sales prices that are advertised in their weekly circular you'll need to have one of these cards.  It is a free program and you can sign up at the register.  Having this card also allows you to receive a 10% discount when purchasing Rite-Aid brand products.

    In addition to the sales it also has a rewards program attached to it.  You will earn a point for every dollar you spend on non-prescription purchases and 25 points for every prescription.  Once you earn 125 points you'll receive a one day 10% off shopping pass.  After earning 500 points you'll be upgraded to Silver+ status and receive 10% off all non-prescription purchases everyday and free health screenings; and after earning 1,000 points you'll be at Gold+ status where you'll receive 20% off all non-prescription purchases every day.

  • +UP Rewards - You'll notice that +UP is mentioned quite a lot in the weekly circular.  What this means is that if you buy certain items you'll receive a coupon back at the register for a certain dollar amount off a future purchase.  In the image above you'll see that the sale price for the item is $2.99 when you use your Wellness+ card.  When you purchase the item a coupon will print at the bottom of your receipt that shows you received $1.00 +UP reward.  The next time you go to Rite-Aid you can use that $1.00 coupon to take $1.00 off your next purchase.  Some exclusions apply to this. You cannot use it to purchase cigarettes, alcohol, prescriptions, prescription co-pays, gift certificates, online purchases, money orders, money transfers, lottery tickets, licenses, prepaid cards, stamps, or other mail services and items prohibited by law.

    The great thing about this program is that you can just keep rolling your reward dollars into purchasing other items that produce more reward dollars.  This is one of the ways that you can get items very cheaply if not free.  Like I was saying in one of my earlier posts though, there will be some out of pocket money at the beginning when you purchase items that will produce you the reward dollars.  Going back to the image above, it states that it's like paying $1.99, and I suppose it depends on how you think about it, but I don't totally agree with that.  If you're just starting out, you'll be paying the $2.99 (unless you have coupons for that item that you can use on that transaction as well) but if you were to go back to the store and purchase the same item again and use the $1.00 reward that you received from the first purchase you will only pay $1.99.  Just be aware that there will be an out of pocket expense when you first start doing this but the idea is to search out the good deals using the tools I posted about yesterday, stack coupons on top of the sales, and then get the rewards dollars to use in the future as part of your long term couponing plan.

  • Single Check Rebates (SCR) - Every month Rite-Aid has a list of items that you can submit rebates on and a lot of times if you submit the rebate you can get the item for free (or possibly even make money on it if you were able to use a coupon when you initially purchased it and then receive the rebate for the original sale price).  You can either pick up a rebate book from the front of the store each month (usually next to the weekly circular) or look at the list online, sometimes they'll also list some rebates in the weekly circular.  Sometimes the weekly circular will have a SCR if you purchase a certain dollar amount of a particular brand (for example $5 SCR when you purchase $20 of Maybelline products).  The important thing to note about that is that the dollar amount that you're being asked to purchase is calculated prior to any coupon savings so when you stack coupons on top of potential SCRs it can make for substantial savings.

    Once you purchase the item you take your receipt and enter the information from it onto the Rite-Aid website here (you'll need to create an online account to do so).  Rite-Aid will then verify the information you entered with the store where you made the purchase.  Once they confirm it you can request your check online and you'll receive it in the mail in as little as two weeks.  SO much easier than other rebates that make you mail in copies of your receipt and UPC codes. SCR FAQ

  • Video Values - This is another part of the Rite-Aid site where you'll need to create a user account.  Once you do that you can earn Rite-Aid coupons (which can then be stacked with manufacturers coupons) just for watching short videos.  You do have to watch the video though, you can't leave the browser because once the video is done you'll be prompted to enter a captcha before being able to print your coupon.
You can find Rite-Aid's coupon policy here.