You can read the rest of the Ways to Make & Save Money series here.
I wouldn’t call The Drugstore Game the most important way I’m going to save money this year, but it may be my favorite way. I’ve been playing The Drugstore Game for almost two years now, and it’s absolutely transformed the way I shop. I can’t believe how much I used to pay for every day items like shampoo, toothpaste, and toilet paper. These days, I have a list of items that I will only buy if they end up being free, and I have much lower target prices on other everyday items, like toilet paper, tissue, and dental floss.
If you’re new to The Drugstore Game, read my Drugstore Game Primer first. (Even if you’ve played the game for a while, you may want to read it again as I updated it for this post.)
I play The Drugstore Game at the three big chains: Walgreens, CVS and Rite Aid. I’m fortunate, because all three chains are pretty ubiquitous in the Los Angeles area, so it’s quite easy for me to shop at all three stores each week (though I rarely do that anymore).
Here are the items I only buy if they are free:
Adult toothbrushes (I’ve found it more difficult to get the kind of toothbrushes my kids use for free)
We are not brand-loyal when it comes to any of the above items, so I buy them when they are free and add them to my stockpile. Not being brand-loyal makes life a lot cheaper!
It’s also important to remember that if you can wait for a sale, one will eventually come along. Of course, if it’s stressing you out to be running out of something, then by all means, go out and buy the cheapest item you can find. But if you can wait, do. A great sale may be just around the corner.
As I prepared my budget a few weeks ago, I realized just what an impact The Drugstore Game has had on our spending. I spend no more than a third of what I used to spend on toiletries, paper goods, and other household items. Since our consumption of these items is just going to increase as the kids get bigger, it’s more important than ever for me to shop smart and keep my stockpile stocked!