Jun 30, 2008

The Drugstore Game Illustrated

Drugstore Game scenarios show you how to get a lot of stuff for just a little money, which is a concept that's easy enough to grasp. However, it took me a little longer to understand that buying more things can often cost less. Here's a good example:

I wasn't planning to go to CVS this week, but I realized on Sunday night that I am running out of overnight pads. So I started crafting some deal scenarios for today, the last day of the June deals. (I ended up not being able to go, so these deals are now entirely hypothetical.)

If I scanned my card at the front of the store and got a $3 off $10 CVS brand purchase, I could have done a great transaction. I used to be able to take those coupons for granted, but I haven't scanned my card for a couple of weeks now, and I've been reading about a reduction in scanner coupons, so I'm not sure I would have gotten one. However, if I had, I would have done the following deal:

1 CVS brand overnight pads - $2.69
1 CVS brand cotton swabs - $3.19
2 CVS brand petroleum jelly - $3.98
1 Gold Emblem candy - 99 cents
1 Huggies body wash - $3.49
Subtotal: $14.34 ($10.85 CVS brand items)
Coupons: $3 off $10 CVS, $2 off CVS skin care, $1 off Huggies
Total after coupons: $8.34, paid with $8 ECB and 34 cents on a gift card
Receive $8 in ECBs: $2 for the cotton swabs (monthly deal), $2 for the Huggies (monthly deal), and $4 for the petroleum jelly (hidden deal via A Full Cup)

In essence, I could get all of the above for 34 cents.

My back-up scenario was as follows:

1 CVS brand overnight pads - $2.69
1 CVS brand cotton swabs - $3.19
Subtotal: $5.88
Coupon: $2 off CVS skin care
Total after coupons: $3.88, paid with $3.49 ECB and 39 cents on a gift card
Receive $2 in ECBs for the swabs

I would lose $1.49 in ECBs in this scenario, which isn't bad, considering I'm buying something I really need, but it's definitely not as great as the first scenario, thanks to the $3 off $10 CVS brand purchase coupon.

And that, my friends, is why playing The Drugstore Game is so fun and rewarding: you can spend less and get more.


Gina @ MoneywiseMoms said...

And that is why it is SO frustrating when we go weeks and weeks with no $/$$ coupons! Some people's cards don't trigger the CRTs at all (including moi). Don't know why. My husband's card just got a $10/$50 but I'm trying to figure out how to spend that much without having to turn cash into ECBs.

Chief Family Officer said...

@Gina - Yeah, I've never gotten a $/$$ CRT. The reason I stopped using the scanner was to see if I'd get any good ones since the one time I did get a good one (new prescription CRT) was when I didn't scan my card. But I just keep getting CRTs for products I have no interest in that aren't moneymakers so they're perfectly useless to me. Ah well, I'm still saving money at least!