Jenny Martin is a pro at saving money at drugstores like CVS, Rite Aid, and Walgreens.
"I think a big thing for drugstores is, a lot of us look at a bottle of shampoo and go wow, it's $5.00, I can't touch a drugstore. Yes, the regular priced items can be way, way expensive but those sale deals are awesome," said Jenny Martin.
She noticed the deals were so awesome four years ago that she created www.southernsavers.com as a way to share some tips with her friends. Now, she helps 1.5 million people find great deals every month.
"You're gonna get an amazing deal focusing just on the sale items. The three major drugstores all have a rewards system," said Martin.
The secret of sorts is using those rewards programs, and piling on the savings.
1. Start with manufacturers' coupons that you can clip from the newspaper or find online.
2. Then find the stores' coupons on their websites: www.riteaid.com, www.cvs.com, and www.walgreens.com. With Rite Aid and CVS you can load them right to your store card. You can also find a special coupon booklet inside Walgreens stores. And inside CVS you can print coupons from their coupon center kiosk.
3. Then, here's where you can really cash in: When you pay, they'll give you back coupons, kind of like pretend money that you can spend on your next purchase for whatever you want.
For example, Jenny bought an Almay makeup product at CVS that cost $5.99. She used a coupon that she found inside the store. She also got back $3.00 in CVS' "ExtraBucks® rewards" at the register. In the end, she paid $1.99. And she says the deals can get even better than that. She gives an example of a "box of chocolates on sale for $4.00 and the store is gonna give you a $4.00 coupon back. They've just made it free! The fun part is that you have a $1.00 off coupon, so you're gonna pay $3.00 and get $4.00 back, so you just made money to buy chocolate and that is a good day!"
But Jenny says sometimes you have to act fast. All new deals start on Sunday and at 24 hour stores some savvy shoppers treat 12:01am Sunday like "black Friday." She says if that happens, each store treats it differently. CVS will give you a rain check. You have to ask the cashier and they should give you a rain check to get the deal on the same product at a later date. She says Walgreens will usually substitute a similar product.
Jenny says Rite Aid does not have a store policy in this event, but that a lot of store managers will still try to make the customer happy.