Coupon Games: Free Water Edition

I had a lot of fun doing my coupon thing at Rite Aid and CVS in Brooklyn over the weekend (Revlon mousse foundation! Bic Soleil cartridges! Stayfree! Post Trail Mix Crunch! Colgate! Clear Eyes! Venus razors!), but today was the first time I managed to pull off some great deals at Walgreens.

A new store opened up about 2 months ago, and it’s right in my main “shopping neighborhood” near my home. I love Hell’s Kitchen for lots of reasons, including its cool name and historic origins. Anyway, they’ve declared this week their Grand Opening, and all the circulars have a $3-off-$10 purchase coupon wrapped around it. I used 6 of them this afternoon, turning $5 in Register Rewards into $15 with sales tax as my only out-of-pocket expense.

The best part for me was using that “free” $3 to stock up on the cases of water they’re selling this week for $2.99. Personally, I’m a fan of New York City tap water, but I buy bottled water for my clients – massage has a dehydrating effect, and most of them need it afterwards. I’ve been ordering from Staples because their water was $5-6 a case with free delivery on orders over $50. I stocked up twice a year, and last time it was $6.79/case. I was getting ready to do my semi-annual order this past weekend only to find that I’m looking at $8+/case. Office Depot wasn’t much better @ $7.19.  The delivery thing is really important to me because, well, you do know that a case of 24 x 16.9oz bottles is about 25 lbs, right? And the closest store is Rite Aid, about 1/3 mile away. I just can’t do that to my back. I thought about buying a big load in the dead of night with my huge granny cart that I only use for laundry (in my building) – I refuse to be seen in public with it and risk being mistaken for a homeless person. But then I realized that the cart would probably break under the weight of 6 cases (150 lbs), so I spent an hour this afternoon shuttling free water (and Listerine, and Neosporin, and Jergens) in my little wheelie suitcase until I smelled ripe enough to be mistaken for a homeless person who just happened to have a new navy suitcase instead of a wire granny cart.

So I ended up with $75  of goodies – 3 cases of water, 6 toothbrushes, 5 bottles of Listerine, 3 dental floss, 3 toothpastes, 1 Jergens lotion, 2 bottles of Snapple (bought a diet one by mistake, dagnabit!), 1 can Arizona, 3 two-pocket folders, 1 20ct band-aids, 1 Neosporin – for $6. That’s less than I was looking at for a single case of water from Staples. My drug store trifecta this week has netted me $175 worth of sale-priced goods for $17 so far – and I’ll be getting $10 back in a monthly rebate check.

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5 Responses

  1. You are the Queen of the Drugstore Game. I also appreciate (no lie!) your very appropriate use of ‘dagnabit.’

  2. I feel like such a loser that I can’t seem to figure out how you do this. Will you please fly to California, hold my hand, and show me how to do this?

    • Aww…I provide CVS “phone support” to a mathematically challenged friend. She literally calls me from CVS telling me what coupons she has, what she wants, what the store is out of – and then messes up pretty badly if I’m not on the phone with her all through the transactions.

      So many sites put together “scenarios”, but they all fall apart if your store is out of stock of even one item. And it doesn’t help that California CVSes have different deals from the rest of the country, so those sites can’t always help you. If you want me to “talk” you through it by email, let me know.

  3. Ok, I’m really wishing you had a photo of you with your suitcase rolling down the streets of NYC. We need blog photos!

  4. I second the photos! I never realized how difficult it is to live in New York. I never appreciated the fact that I could just drive to 4 CVS’ stores & 1 Walgreens in one day without having any trouble carrying the items or anything. To think that I was tired from carrying 6 bottles of listerine to my car? How foolish I am!

    On the bright side, that is wonderful exercise. During the summer, I get so lazy from all the heat. The most exercise I get lately is just walking up the stairs to my apartment and thats only one flight. My mini-fridge doesn’t help either.

    Have you heard of those exercises/stretches you can do while cleaning? Like doing lunges while vacuuming, stretching while dusting… lol it works.

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