Tuesday, April 7, 2009

My First Real Foray into Walgreens

I promise this won't turn into a blog all about couponing, and there will be posts soon with pictures of my cute boys and our recent adventures, but this is what's on my mind at the moment and therefore it's what gets posted! :)


I went to Walgreens once last Tuesday, but I only purchased one thing (and made 50 cents). This time I decided to go for it and use the advice from Southern Savers to get some major deals.

I went through the aisles, trying to carefully match up the items in the ad to the items in store. As you'll see below, this is extremely important! Walgreens has really high prices on some things, so if you don't get the one on sale, you are paying WAY more than you need to!

Here's what I got:
  • Cottonelle Fresh Wipes, 42 pack
  • Wal-itin Allergy 10 mg 10-pack
  • Visine
  • Physician's Formula Organic Mascara
  • 4 bags of Hershey's candy
  • Tylenol Sinus
  • Wal-itin Allergy 10 mg 30-pack
  • Colgate Total toothpaste

I went to the check out and used my gazillion coupons like a good little shopper. The total came out to be a staggering $50.86. WHOA! I reassured myself, though, that the first time you shop at Walgreens, you have to pay out real money (and I got mostly medicines, after all). After your first big purchase, you end up with so many Register Rewards and rebates that you end up using that on your next trip instead of real money.

So I took Isaac and my bags and went out to the car. Once I was safely in our Explorer, I started looking through my receipt and looking for my Register Rewards. There weren't any! I should have gotten $3.49 in RR from my toothpaste, and $3 from my Visine and Tylenol purchase. Sighing, I unbuckled Isaac from his carseat, grabbed my bags, and headed back inside to talk to a manager.

At the counter, I told the manager I was missing two RR and I was trying to figure out why I didn't get them. I quickly figured out that I got the wrong size on my toothpaste, so I went to exchange that while he looked at the other problem. There was a deal where you buy two qualifying items and you get $3 in Register Rewards. I bought Visine and Tylenol Sinus. He looked at the items, looked at the ad, looked at the items some more, and shrugged.

He returned the Tylenol and the Visine, then rang it up again. Still no RR printed out. Finally he just rang it up as a $3 discount and gave me $3 cash. That was nice. And once I got the right toothpaste, I got my RR for that, too. So I left the store for the second time (with 3 receipts) feeling pretty good.

But now that I am home and looking through my receipts again, I am so frustrated. I made two big boo-boos.

#1: I bought some Cottonelle Fresh Wipes (hey, I have a potty trainer at home!) which, if I had thought to use the in-store coupon, would have been $1.49 after coupling it with the manufacturer's coupon. But no, I forgot I had to tear the coupon out of the ad, so I ended up spending a whopping $3.19 for those suckers. Aaaaaaaaah!! SAVINGS LOST: $1.70.

#2: I tried to buy Visine at $3.49 and Tylenol Sinus at $4.99. Well, evidently I bought the wrong items. My Visine rang up at $6.99 and my Tylenol rang up at $7.49. What?!?? I just checked the ad AGAIN and evidently I got the wrong size Visine and I should have gotten "Rapid Release" Tylenol. Oh, the details. (And that would be why the RR didn't print!!) I did get the $3 back, but I lost out on savings. And my receipts are totally messed up, indicating I returned those items and got discounts on them, so I don't think I could return them without a major hassle. SAVINGS LOST: (deep breath) $6.00.

I used $14 in coupons. These are the rebates and RR I have coming from these purchases:
  • $10 from PF organic mascara purchase (through Walgreens esavers rebates)
  • $9.95 from PF organic mascara purchase (through PF) (YUP! Since the mascara was only $9.95, that means I made $10!)
  • $3.50 RR from the toothpaste
  • $5 from the candy (esaver rebate)
  • $6.99 from the Wal-itin (esaver rebate)
That totals $34.14 ($21.99 from ebates, which actually gives me an additional 10% back for putting it on a gift card, so add $2.20; $3.50 RR, $9.95 mail-in rebate) that I'll get back from the purchases. Not bad, but I can do much better--and I will next time!

If you are going to Walgreens, I definitely recommend the PF organic makeup deal--that's a money maker. The toothpaste comes out free (actually you can make a dollar if you use a coupon), and the candy comes out to 87 cents per bag if you use the $1.50 coupon that was in the paper a few weeks ago.

If you have questions about any of these deals, check out the Southern Saver post for Walgreens this week.


Mandy and Jack said...

...and that's why I'm scared of Walgreens.

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised you were not charged a restocking fee. That's what I have run into at our local $ General. Hate that place! ..I don't know how you can think & shop with 2 little boys anyhow! You're learning.

Love ya'

evelyn said...

That was NOT supposed to go through as anonymous! ..Still I am amazed at your shopping prowess.

Grandma Evelyn

Morale said...

I agree with Mandy. I can not bring myself to get all that mess together.