That’s right, there are certain necessities that I do not pay for anymore. Between store promotions, coupons and store stacked coupons; you would be surprised how many items you can get for FREE. In the world of marketing, they are called “loss leaders”. If you don’t mind switching between brands, you can build quite a (realistic) stockpile of products.
How to Get Products for FREE
Here is one scenario on how it works. Let’s say CVS has toothpaste on sale for $1.99 and you can get $1 back in Extra Care Bucks (ECB= coupon that can be used on your next purchase). You can also use a $1.00 manufacturer’s coupon for that brand and VOILA! you’ve gotten the toothpaste for FREE!! Sometimes the deals are even sweeter. Walgreens and CVS often list an item as Free (after ECB or Register Rewards). If you pair that deal with a manufacturer’s coupon, it’s what we call a money maker!
Here is what the “matchup” might look like:
(made up WALGREENS scenario)
Oral B Toothbrushes-$2.00
Buy 1, Get $1.50 Register Reward
$1/1 Oral-B Toothbrushes, exp. 3/31/14 (P&G 03/03/14)
Final price= FREE + money maker after RR and coupon!
Also, now that Dollar Tree accepts coupons, this is a great place to snag these Free staple items.
Now with double coupons dying and more restrictions being put on coupons, it is getting a little more challenging to find these freebies. But hey we’re all up for the “Mission” right!?
- Shampoo and Conditioner (example here)
- Shaving Cream
- Kid shampoo
- Razors (getting harder to get completely Free, but at least under $2)
So your stockpile is growing but you just can’t pass up the weekly freebie (or money maker!). What can you do with your deals?
- Fill a shower caddy with toiletry items as a gift for a High School Sr. going off to college in the fall. Or for a fun Christmas gift (My nieces look forward to the “Freebie Basket” every year.)
- Donate the items to your local women’s shelter or homeless mission.
- Make an anonymous care package for a friend whose family is out of work.
- Use the items to make a fun baby shower gift (See Diaper Cake here)
Not sure what an ECB or RR is? Check out my CVS 101 and Walgreens 101 posts for the basics of shopping at CVS and Walgreens. And check out all the Grocery and Drug Store Matchups I cover each week. Those Freebies will be marked with a star!
So what items do you Never Pay For!?
Linda Dietz says
I need to watch your tutorial on CVS & Walgreen. I have tried so do some “deals” at both…mostly CVS and for some reason, I feel like I am losing…perhaps because when trying to factor in the ECBs and coupons, I think it gets confusing. Also, if you don’t go back to use the ECBs then the deal really isn’t a deal at all.
Mary Hoover says
Linda- I totally understand. Learning how to play the “drug store game” can be tricky. I always look at it this way, for the ECB you have to “count” the savings somehow. It’s easier to factor it in on the item you are buying. As long as you use it – you have saved that amount. I’d definitely look at my 101 posts as well. And never hesitate to ask, I love to help.
This is so true, I used to coupon and got free toothpaste all the time; need to get back to it!
Mary Hoover says
Margo- get back at it! 🙂 Free toothpaste cleans your teeth better too! 😉