- Don't chase every deal. It's hard to resist a great deal, especially at the beginning, but as we've discussed before, chasing every deal can lead to burnout. It's okay to spend a little more money if it means not driving yourself crazy.
- Don't use intentionally misuse coupons. I'm not referring only to obvious misuses like altering a coupon. I mean, don't try to use a coupon on an item it's not intended for. One example is the Dawn 2 for $2 after ECB deal at CVS. Some shoppers were planning to use a $1 off Dawn Simple Pleasures coupon, even though Simple Pleasures was not part of the deal.
- Be kind to the employees. Even if they have a bad attitude. I'm quite lucky, in that I have enough drugstore options that I can avoid the stores that seem to be unfriendly to coupon users. But even so, every once in a while, I'll run into an unpleasant cashier who huffs and puffs about my coupons. I try to be cheerful, even if the cashier isn't. I know I'm not doing anything wrong, so I don't have a problem standing my ground. If a deal didn't quite work, I politely inquire about it (for example, when my ECBs didn't print).
- If I'm not satisfied by the store's employees, I can escalate my issue to the corporate level. Find executive information at the Consumerist and A Full Cup.
- Experiment with your coupon organization. I started out with one multi-pocket folder and now I have two. But for the same reasons as Money Saving Mom, I am considering not clipping coupons I'm not sure I'll use and switching to the binder system. (FYI, A Full Cup also has a coupon database where you can look up coupon sources.)
- I only keep as much as I have storage space for. Even if something is a fantastic deal, I don't buy it unless I have space for it. Unless . . .
- I am donating it. I do buy many things I don't need or don't have space for if they are free or almost free and I have someone to give it to.
- I will only play the Drugstore Game if I am having fun. I keep track of my savings in a simple spreadsheet, and I get a real kick out of seeing how much I've saved each month. But if it ever stops being fun, I'll dramatically reduce the amount of time I spend planning my trips and visiting the stores.
Jul 28, 2008
My Drugstore Game Philosophy
Now that I've been playing The Drugstore Game for almost six months, I've developed an informal philosophy that I thought would be worth sharing: