Weekend Coupon Rampage: $170 of goodies for $7

If the deals had been more useful this week, I’d have done even more than $170 worth of damage at CVS and Walgreens. Heck, if Manhattan Walgreenses stocked a certain item on special, I’d be reporting $230 for $16 (mostly tax, yuck).

My haul from Walgreens was small – a bunch of things on monthly rebate special with some awesome coupons (Pledge, Oust, Right Guard Professional deo, Theraflu) on Saturday, and a few things that produce “Register Rewards” (instant rebates to be spent on a future purchase) or were just a great deal on Sunday – Skintimate shave gel, Chapstick, Dawn.

The magic red spit machine at CVS quite generously dispensed $5-off-$30 purchase coupons earlier in the week, and I believe we’ve already established my inability to throw away free money. I did break one of my rules though: never buy anything I can’t find a good home for. I’ll get to that in a moment.

For myself: I’m keeping 1 Glade Lasting Impressions, 1 Lysol toilet cleaner, 1 Scrubbing Bubbles Action Scrubber starter kit, 1 Fantastik spray, 2 Pledge Multi-Surface cleaners, 1 Pledge furniture polish, 2 bags of pretzels, 3 small boxes of Wheat Thins, Roc facial moisturizer (can’t ever manage to get this even remotely free, but the deal was decent and I’m almost out), 1 Skintimate shave gel, a few flatpacks of Wrigleys, and 1 box of Frosted Flakes.

For my brother Six Figures, the new homeowner: 1 Scrubbing Bubbles scrubber kit, Lysol toilet cleaner, 1 Oust room sanitizer, 1 Pledge multi-surface cleaner, 1 Fantastik, 1 Glade Lasting Impressions, 1 Glade Sense & Spray (he’s a HUGE fan of this type of product, to the point where he makes fun of himself to beat us to the punch), 1 Dawn, 1 Crest Pro-Health Enamel Shield mouthwash. He’ll especially need the deodorizers/disinfectants because his neighbors are used to home being empty (he closed on Friday, moves in in about 10 days), and have been piling their garbage outside his place rather than theirs, letting their dogs crap in his driveway, and using his back stoop as the local furniture dump.

For a future care package to my sisters in Aspen (where sales are non-existent and prices are worse than NYC): 2 Fantastiks, 1 Chapstick, 1 Crest Pro-Health Enamel Shield mouthwash, 2 Theraflu, 1 Sambucol. Will likely add Skintimates and another Chapstick at some point through the week.

For the teen shelter: 2 Crest mouthwashes, 4 bags of pretzels, 3 small boxes of Wheat Thins, 3 Post/Kellogg’s cereals, 2 Fantastiks, 2 Right Guard professional strength deodorant, 1 Pledge multi-surface, 1 Oust.

Random Giveaway:  On my way home from CVS, I did something that I’m certain was weird but I don’t care – I stopped into my local pizza place, staffed entirely by some hardworking and most likely illegal Mexicans. When it came time to pay for my slice, I handed over the money and a bottle of Crest mouthwash.

Items in need of a good home:  Two Accu-check diabetes monitors. Not sure where to donate them, and I don’t know anyone with diabetes. But I needed them to get me to $30 on two of the deals. Suggestions welcome!

Another reason to be kicked off morally superior coupon sites:  I used the self-check out at CVS because I can apply a $-off-$$ coupon to the pre-sale prices because it doesn’t show the true total until you hit the “Finish & Pay” button. Coupons of all kinds scan before “Finish & Pay”. I always ring up my items until I hit the minimum purchase amount to use the $/$$ coupon before sales tax, then do all the coupons, hit the Finish button to see what I still owe, then go back and scan in ECBs until my total is as low as it can go and pay the remaining 44 cents or whatever. Well, I bought a scrub for $9.99 that triggered a $10 ECB at some stores and 2 boxes of Frosted Flakes at 2/$5 but of course rang up at their full price – $5.19. So using a $4-off-$20 purchase coupon on an order that really only came to $14.99 was flirting with a gray area of legitimacy, but I didn’t feel too bad about it because, well, shame on any retailer that tries to sell a box of freaking cereal for $5+ in the first place. So $14.99 – $4/$20 store coupon – $1/2 Frosted Flakes – $2 scrub coupon = $8 + tax, and I used $8 ECBs and a penny. But then the ECB didn’t print, so I promptly returned the scrub and confused the bejesus out of the cashier and the manager, who unlocked the self-checkout coupon bin to sort this all out. I was trying to make it easy on them, suggesting one of the two solutions that are most frequently given:  refund on a gift card or cancel out the entire order and start from scratch. They actually gave me back my $8 in ECBs and the $2 coupon for the scrub and sent me on my way with two boxes of cereal for 1 cent. I walked out of the store very slowly because they looked puzzled and I truly did not want to leave them with a situation they could get reprimanded for. But I figured it was because they forgot to pull out the cereal coupon from the machine, making the total look a little off. I did this on my mother’s card (she wasn’t going to have a chance to use this one-shot coupon, and it expired on Sunday), so I called to warn her that she might be hearing from the CVS ExtraCare Cops demanding the return of two Tony the Tigers.

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8 Responses

  1. I wish we had coupons in Australia… I love getting almost free stuff.

    Most cereal boxes in Australia are $5 or more, it’s more like 7 or 8 dollars…

  2. LOL! you are superwoman to CVS, Walgreen, etc…
    Freaking Fantastic.
    What did the mexican illegal think of you when you handed them mouthwash? I would take that as insult and not thankfulness. 😉

  3. Low Income Lady – I lived in the UK, where there were no coupons or weekly sales. It actually kept the prices of things quite reasonable and consistent.

    Money Funk – It was Crest Enamel Shield mouthwash, so it didn’t look too obviously like I was saying “you have stinky breath”… though maybe “I think your enamel needs attention”…? At the end of the day, it was free and sealed and given with a shrug while I just said “I got tons of this stuff for free, take one”. Only afterwards did I realize how weird it was. Don’t think I’ll be doing that again.

  4. Great shopping! I wish we had self-checkouts at my CVS. I can’t seem to get the coupon machine to spit anything good lately.

  5. You could see if a local senior center or low income style clinic could use the diabetes monitors. I wonder if the teen shelter would take them.

  6. There is a medical supply donation place up here in Yonkers, that I know a lot of CVSers send their diabetes monitors to.

    I’ll see if I can find out the name and let you know.

  7. You could also call your local American Diabetes Association office (www.diabetes.org). They might have a suggestion as to where to send it or they could use it at their annual Diabetes EXPO, where they give those puppies away en masse, usually.

    Kudos to you for all the glorious generosity!

  8. giving the mouthwash to the mexicans is absolutely the funniest thing I have heard about in weeks. It was totally worth it to read down the page (I just found your site today)!! so glad I did! you are hilarious. I am laughing so hard right now my 2yr old is staring at me wondering if she should laugh with me or cry!

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