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  • The Drugstore Game Redux

    You may have noticed that I’m changing things up here a little at CFO. There’s been so much interest in The Drugstore Game, and I want to make sure you’re getting the information that you need in order to play the game well.

    So, you may have noticed that last week, I published “how to” guides on playing The Drugstore Game at each of the three big drug stores – CVS, Walgreens and Rite Aid. Also, I began working this weekend with some of my favorite bloggers to bring you the best weekly deals at these stores. I also put together some “starter transactions” for each store to help you get started in The Drugstore Game, and added a button to make the page easily printable. (Thanks, Camille!) I’ll work on adding the code for paragraph dividers so you can delete the transactions you’re not interested in, and on adding the printer-friendly capability to the weekly deals posts (and recipes) as well.

    If you’re brand new to The Drugstore Game, you should start by reading the rest of this post, then my Drugstore Game Primer and Common Sense with Money’s FAQ (especially for the abbreviations). Then read the “how to” post for the store(s) you will be shopping at.

    You should also start a price book if you don’t have one already. (And everyone should have a price book whether or not they play The Drugstore Game.) As I’ve said before, a price book is the only way to know if you’re getting the best price on something. For example, in The Drugstore Game, you’ll see toilet paper on sale every week, but a price book will help you figure out when the price is lowest for stocking up. Learn more about price books here.

    Another thing to keep in mind with The Drugstore Game and any kind of everyday bargain shopping, is that you need to have a “stockpile mentality.” That means you only buy things when they’re at their lowest price, and then you stock up enough so that you don’t need to buy these things again until they’re at their lowest price (again). Deals can be addicting, but you’ll only become a true Drugstore Game master if you have the patience to wait for the very best deals.

    As for the Drugstore Game Padawan series, I want to thank Hayden and Nicole for their participation. I had a blast working with them, and what I realized last week is that the format doesn’t work too well when there aren’t a lot of deals going on and one doesn’t have a backlog of coupons. But you may still see them pop up from time to time, as I’ve assured both of them that I’m happy to continue answering questions.

    And in the same vein, feel free to ask your questions in the comments or by email. I may not always have the answer, but if I don’t, I’ll do my best to at least point you in the right direction. Just be patient with me – I work full time and have two young kids, so it may take me a while to put together a thorough response!

    The Latest Changes at Chief Family Officer

    You may have noticed that the posting frequency has increased in the last week here at CFO. That’s mainly due to the simple fact that there’s just so much going on because of the holidays, and I don’t want you to miss out on the great deals, ideas and stories.

    So I’m going to experiment with increasing the number of posts to keep things manageable around here. Those Morning Coffee posts are still long, but they were really getting out of control!

    One thing to note: I will post time-sensitive deals as soon as I can. But there is nothing I can do about when Feedburner updates the CFO RSS feed. I’ve noticed that in my own Google Reader subscription, it often takes several hours to update. Similarly, for email subscribers, emails go out at 3 p.m. Pacific Time, so you won’t get posts that go up after that time until the following day. I know that’s not a concern as to most posts, but sometimes there will be a deal that has expired by the time you receive the email.

    If you’re concerned about missing deals during this deal-laden holiday season, you can check the homepage,, to see the very latest posts.

    I know you’re all just as busy as I am during the holiday season, and that you don’t always get to your feed aggregator or email right away. So I’ll end this post with the same advice I’ve been giving myself a lot lately:

    You don’t have to get every deal. You don’t have to enter every giveaway. You don’t have to do everything on your To Do list. Give yourself a gift this holiday season, and do what you can to make your life easier and better. You deserve it!

    More Transparency and Disclosures Than Ever Here at CFO

    I try to be as forthright as possible about affiliate links and so forth. But I haven’t felt it necessary to point out that every Amazon link is an affiliate link because I figure people already know. However, after reading Brandchannel‘s post, it appears that failure to do so may violate the FTC’s new blogger guidelines. I think the easiest thing for me to do is create a tag for “Affiliate & Sponsored Links.” I will continue to disclose such links in the posts themselves, but this will give me an added safety net where the FTC is concerned in case I forget.

    You can read the complete CFO disclosure and disclaimer here. And as always, please contact me if you have any questions or concerns about what you read here at CFO.

    Now back to our regularly scheduled programming . . .

    Computer crisis

    Marc and I are a good team in a lot of ways, and one thing we have in common is our financial goals, including being frugal and not spending money frivolously. However, sometimes we aren’t completely on the same page. So although I’ve told him for the last couple of months that we can afford a new computer and that he should get one, he insisted that he was getting on fine and would be able to wait until the holidays.

    But on Sunday evening, his monitor greeted us with the BLUE SCREEN OF DEATH. His computer hasn’t turned on fully since, so he’s pretty sure something burned out inside.

    Unfortunately, we’re not very savvy when it comes to hardware, and we don’t have any computer savvy friends we can call upon to take a look inside. He’s going to take it somewhere to get looked at, but he didn’t waste any time ordering himself a new computer either. (Assuming the old computer is easy and cheap to fix, we’ll be taking it over to his parents’ house. Fortunately, Marc is good about backing things up, so we didn’t lose anything of importance.)

    We’re not huge fans of Dell to begin with, and I had really wanted to avoid Dell after reading about PaidTwice’s monitor nightmare. But there just wasn’t a compelling alternative. So we ordered a Dell, which should arrive in about 10 days.

    In the meantime, I’m sharing my computer with Marc so I’m spending a lot less time on it. Which is good, in a way. But it does mean that I’ll be slow to respond to emails and comments, so I apologize in advance and thank you for your patience and understanding.

    And stay tuned. The I Spy a Pumpkin giveaway ended tonight, but I’ve got another giveaway planned already.

    Image credit:

    Welcome Baby Cheapskate Readers!

    Many thanks to Angie at Baby Cheapskate for highlighting my series on selling your stuff via Marketplace. As I mentioned on Saturday, BC is one of my daily reads, and I highly recommend it if you don’t already know it.

    If you’ve found Chief Family Officer for the first time via Baby Cheapskate, WELCOME! My favorite topics to discuss are family finances, cooking, and parenting. With prices on the rise, I’ve been working hard to keep my family’s expenses from rising along with them. I share my tips here at CFO, along with my thoughts on family finances, original recipes, and reviews. A good place to start exploring here is the Best of CFO.

    I just posted a comment at BC and wanted to reiterate it here: Do be cautious about selling baby gear. Many of the items are super heavy, and shipping costs will probably make reselling such items at a distance unprofitable. On the other hand, I’ve found that baby-related books, CDs and DVDs are in demand and sell fast. I’ve sold some of these items within hours of listing them, and at good prices. I do recommend trying to sell them while they’re still the current edition, and doing your best to keep them in fairly good condition.

    If you like what you see here at Chief Family Officer, why not subscribe to new posts via RSS or email? You’ll get the latest on CFO delivered right to your inbox or favorite feed aggregator. Thanks for stopping by!