Monday, April 11, 2011
My Walgreens Challenge
Alyssa over at Keeping The Kingdom First writes about The Walgreens $5 Challenge. Basically it involves seeing how much you can buy with just $5.
There are several blogs and websites that share tips and strategies for "extreme Walgreens shopping" but I only purchase items for which I have a specific use.
Many thanks to Melissa at The Consumer Queen for providing the scenario to help me get started. I worked the ad, and realized that by spending a couple of dollars more and rolling my Register Rewards, I could purchase a decent haul of merchandise.
I walked in to Walgreens with $7 in my hand and my hope was to walk out of the store with money left over. OK here we go:
My shopping trip involved three transactions. The first transaction I purchased
Luster White 7 Toothpaste, 2.6 oz for $4.99 and Carefree Pantiliners 22-ct for $.99. I used a coupon for $1.50 from Smart Source insert 4-3-11on the toothpaste and a coupon for $.50/1 any Carefree product from Red Plum insert 3-27-1. Then I paid out (this is the secret to getting so much for so little). Total with tax was $4.51. I received two register rewards, one for $4 (toothpaste) and $1(pantiliners), which gave me $5 to pay toward my next transaction. Total savings on this transaction, with coupons and sale prices, was $4.50.
Next, I purchased Biore Pore Strips 14 pack, on sale for $5.99 and Biore Cleanser 5 oz. also on sale for $5.99. I used a coupon from Smart Source 3-6-11 (Buy strips, get cleanser free). I added one of the pencils on sale at 8/$1 (costing me $.13, because I needed a filler item. A "filler" is needed when you have more coupons than items.) At this point, I owed $6.12, and then I handed the clerk the two Register Rewards I had just earned from the toothpaste and pantiliners. My total for the three items was $2.19.
OH NO! How could this be? In my head, I was calculating that I owed $.99 for the Biore products and $.13 for the pencil, and those numbers did not add up to $2.19. Then I realized what the problem was: the store was charging TAX on the price of the items BEFORE coupons costing me an additional $1.07. This would have been good information to know BEFORE I started working this project!
Anyway, there was nothing I could do other than abandon the whole project, so I paid. As soon as I paid out, I received another Register Reward for $5 (from the Biore sale in the Walgreens ad). Total savings on the transaction, with coupons and sale prices was $16.99.
Finally, I made my last transaction. I had a quarter and a nickel left out of my $7. I purchased two bags of Mars Easter Candy on sale 2/$5.00, using a coupon for $2.00/2 any Mars Easter Products from "All You" magazine April 2011 and a $1.00/2 coupon found in the Walgreens April Booklet. This made cost of the candy $1 per bag! What a deal!
Also 2 cans of Carnation Evaporated Milk on sale for $.99 per can, and used a coupon for $.50 off found in 03-27-11 Red Plum. Cost of the milk was $1.49.
And, 2 packs of Trident Layers gum, on sale for $2 for 2.
Having more items than I did coupons, I didn't need to add a filler this time. I handed the clerk my $5 Register Reward from the Biore, and my total rang up at $1.27. Only having $.30 in my hand left to pay with, I did what I had walked into the store hoping not to do - I opened my purse and got out another dollar. Savings on this transaction from sale prices and coupons was $13.00.
Total retail before sales & coupon: $42.46
Total out of pocket: $7.97 including tax for roughly 80% savings
There are others who can play the game and save 90%. I'm just learning and by no means am I a Couponing Pro; I'm just very thrifty. I only buy what I can use, and I'll pass up a deal if its not something that we "need." Will I play the game again? Probably so. What about you? Have you taken the Walgreens Challenge?
at 10:14 AM