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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Rite Aid: Free Cold and Flu Medicines

Rite Aid has been very kind to me lately. Last week, it was the awesome deal on Dove line hair care products. Read about that HERE. This week it is the place to go for cold and flu medicine, sore throat spray, cough drops, chapstick and hand sanitizer. And, most of it is FREE.

My husband, Sean and I, are a team when it comes to couponing, finding sales and saving money. When it comes to the actual shopping, though, it is usually me at the register figuring out in what order to buy things and how to group my transactions to use the least amount of cash possible. I don't mind that because it can get confusing when more than one mind is trying to put things on the counter and keeping track of RRs. But, yesterday, I challenged Sean to go to the Bucksport Rite Aid solo and come home with the best deal he could find. He did GREAT! With no coupons to use and no RRs to start with, he brought home this: (4) bottles of Hand Sanitizer, (1) Burt's Bees Cough Drops, and (1) box Cepacol Sore Throat Drops. He spent $2.85 and brought home $3.50 in RRs for a PROFIT of .65¢. I'd say he successfully completed that challenge!

Transaction #1:
He bought (2) Hand Sanitizers for $1.00 each, with tax, cost out of pocket= $2.10. He paid with cash and earned (2) $1 RRs. Total cost .10¢.

Transaction #2:
He repeated this purchase exactly, except he paid with $2 RRs. Cost out of pocket= .10¢ and he earned (2) $1 RRs. Net cost. $1.90 money maker.

Transaction #3:
He purchased the Burt's Bees Cough Drops for $1.49, with tax= $1.56. He paid with $1RR and .56¢ out of pocket and earned $1.49 RR. Net cost= .93¢ money maker.

Transaction #4:
Sean bought the Cepacol Sore Throat Drops for $2.50. He paid with $1 RR, $1.49 RR, and .09¢ out of pocket and earned a $2.50 RR. Net cost= $2.41 money maker.

He paid a total of $2.85 out of pocket and left with $2.50 RR and $1.00 RR, so he made a profit of  .65¢ buying his items. I will gladly admit it: he did better than me! I spent money on my shopping trip, but I am still pleased with the overall results.

I purchased (6) bottles of Hand Sanitizer, (2) Chloraseptic Sore Throat Spray, (2) Defend (liquid) Cold & Cough Relief, (3) Comtrex: Cold & Cough, Severe Cold & Sinus, and Cold & Sinus, (3) Burt's Bees Cough Drops, (3) Cepacol Sore Throat Drops, (3) Blistex Medicated Lip Ointment, and (1) Zarbees all-natural Children's Cough Syrup.

When I reviewed the flyer online, I knew that I was going to want to stock up and that my friends and family may need some of these products in preparation for winter's cold season. Most of these items had a limit of one, except the Hand Sanitizer (which had a limit of 4 per reward card) This meant that I needed to call on my friends and family to see if I could use their reward cards. This saved them from having to shop and allowed me to stock up on more than the limit allowed. With four reward cards in hand, I was ready to visit the Broadway, Bangor Right Aid. I was going to have to be very careful to keep track of which cards and items I used together.

I started with a $5 RR (from Dove last week). My shopping was broken into seven transactions that went like this:

Transaction #1
I purchased one Defend Cold & Cough Relief for $5.99. I paid using my $5RR and $1.30 in cash. I earned a $5 RR. Total cost out of pocket $1.30.

Transaction #2
I purchased one Chloraseptic Throat Spray for $3.99 and one box Comtrex Severe Cold/Sinus  for $3.99. I paid with $5RR and $3.38 out of pocket and I earned (2) $3 RRs.

Transaction #3
I bought three Hand Sanitizers at $1 each, one Blistex Lip Ointment for $1.49, one box Cepacol Sore Throat Drops for $2.50, and one bag Burt's Bees Cough Drops for $1.49. I paid with (2) $3RRs and $2.91 out of pocket and I earned: (3) $1RR, (2) $1.49 RR, $2.50RR. (Total RRs $8.49.)

Transaction #4
I bought one Chloraseptic Throat Spray for $3.99 and one Defend Cold & Cough Relief for $5.99. I paid with the $8.49 RRs from the previous sale and $1.98 cash out of pocket. I received $5 RR and $3RR.

Transaction #5
I purchased one Comtrex Cold & Cough for $3.99, one Blistex Lip Ointment for $1.49, one Cepacol Sore Throat Drops for $2.50, and one Burt's Bees Cough Drops for $1.49. I paid with $5RR and $3RR and $1.95 out of pocket. I received $3RR, (2) $1.49RR, $2.50RR.

Transaction #6
I repeated transaction 5 for items purchased. I paid with $3RR, (2) $1.49RR, $2.50RR and $1.47 in cash and I earned $3RR, (2) $1.49RR, $2.50RR again.

Transaction #7
I purchased three Hand Sanitizers for $1 each. I paid with $3RR and .15¢ out of pocket. I earned (3) $1RR.

When I had completed my purchases, I had spent a total of  $12.68 out of pocket. I left the store with (3) $1RRs, (2) $1.49RRs, & $2.50RR =$8.48 RRs total. My net cost was $4.20 for everything I purchased.

These are the items which cost me NOTHING to purchase, I only had to pay the tax on them.

I also bought a Zarbees all-natural Children's Cough Syrup for $5.99. This item has a Single Check Rebate of $5.99, so it was free, too.

We are all stocked and ready to go for cold season. I sincerely hope that we avoid the flu again this year, but if we become ill with a sore throat or a cold/cold & sinus thing, we will have the medicine on hand to combat it.

One additional thought that I wanted to share. I had seven transactions to complete. I was not the only Customer in Rite Aid shopping. When another Customer was ready to check out their selections, I paused and moved aside and waited for them to complete their purchase. Did I have to do that? Wasn't I a Customer, too, and in line first? Well, yes, you could reason that way. But, I consider this to be in a similar vein to NEVER clearing a shelf at the store. Read more about it HERE.  It is just good manners and it is the right things to do. Most Customers are coming in for a couple of items and need to get on their way. I, too, don't want to be in the store longer than necessary, but I also choose to save money by breaking things into smaller transactions, so I can roll my RRs and use them to the best advantage. Please, readers, be considerate to others.

One additional perk to kind behavior: in my experience, the cashiers really appreciate it and I cannot repeat this enough, you WANT them on your TEAM.

Sonja ♥

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