As you know, my mom is here, recuperating after a hospital stay (and doing a lot better). We were at Walgreens the other night, picking up her prescriptions, and she wanted to buy a bottle of mousse—for $3.50—and you know I couldn’t let her do that. Luckily, I had my coupons, so I grabbed the weekly ad from the front of the store and went to work.
I found that John Freida products were on sale, 3 for $15 with a Register Rewards deal (that’s Walgreens' savings program). “But that’s more than I’m going to spend on the other kind,” she protested. “Don’t worry,” I told her, since I had coupons from the past few Sunday inserts. John Freida puts out $2.00 and $3.00 coupons about every six weeks, perfect for a sale like this. I used three coupons on the three products, paying $7.00 out of pocket and getting a $5.00 Register Reward (a $5.00 coupon off my next purchase). As long as I spend that $5 in the next few weeks, it means I paid $2.00 total for 3 hair products. “How’d you do that?” she asked on the way out of the store.
Once we were home, I tried to explain again:
- Find coupons for the products you use regularly; if you’re not brand-loyal, you’ll be able to save even more.
- Look for sales (preferably with rewards programs) at the three big drugstores: CVS, Rite Aid, and Walgreens. Sometimes the grocery stores offer coupons back during certain promos, too. While Walmart and Target generally offer lower shelf prices on toiletries, even with coupons you may not hit these low, low prices.
- Wait to use your coupon(s) when products hit a low sales price PLUS the money back. You’ll lower your out-of-pocket cost and possibly get cash/coupons back.
- Be willing to stockpile a few extra items at the lowest price point. Now my mom has three products for the price of less than one! She can either give the other two away or hold onto them until she needs them in a few months.
By using these same steps with my family’s regular toiletries—toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo, soap, etc.—we’re able to spend very little on these household expenses. Because I’m willing to give up one shelf in the linen closet (not a ton of space—just one shelf!), we can “shop” from there when we run out of a product and not pay full price at the store.