Sunday, January 16, 2011


I've recently transformed myself from casual couponer to determined saver.  My goal is to recoup via coupon savings at least 1/3 of the additional tax burden the great failed state of IL just placed upon its fair residents.  Since IL is taking an additional 3K from my husband's checks this year, I'm looking to save about $1000 via couponing.

I don't want to be a crazy coupon lady, but I find myself enthusing at people who did not ask about coupons and telling them my deals.

Like any addict, I've tried to set boundaries I will not cross.  One boundary is time--I only want to devote about an hour a week to planning my purchases.  So, I read two main blogs (here and here) that tell me the store deals, what to buy and where the coupons for the deals are located.  The other self-imposed limit is which stores I frequent.  I don't want to run all over town going to 5 different stores.  Walgreens is on my corner and CVS about a mile away, so those are the stores that I coupon at, even though there are many other stores and deals listed on the two blogs I read.

I hit a great money maker deal at Walgreens today.  Be sure to take advantage of this TODAY and certainly by Monday as they will definitely run out of this offer quickly.

Purchase the trial size ThermaCare Heat Wrap on sale for $2.50 at Walgreens.  No, it doesn't matter if you need it or not.  Donate them to a nursing home or other rehab facility.  Resell them at a garage sale.  Whatever.

When you purchase the item, the register will kick you out $2.50 in Register Rewards.  This is good on a future Walgreens purchase.  If you live in the Chicagoland area, all Jewel grocery stores take Walgreens' Register Rewards because Register Rewards are manufacturer coupons.

Ring each wrap you buy as a separate transaction as only one register reward will print per transaction.

But that just puts you at getting the item for free.  Where's the money maker come in?

Before you go to the store, print multiple copies of the $1 off 1 ThermaCare found here.

Using this coupon, after tax you will pay $1.68 per ThermaCare Heat Wrap and get $2.50 in Register Rewards.  I did this 12 times in three shopping trips at two stores.  I netted 82 cents x 12 = about 10 bucks.

While I can't think up $30 of Walgreens items I need, I will take these coupons to Jewel and shop their loss leaders using the Walgreens' Register Rewards.  You need to make sure you have an item per coupon at Jewel, so I'll need to purchase at least 12 items to use my 12 printed Register Receipts.  Also, the coupons are not good on dairy, so bear that in mind.

Every little bit helps!



  1. Okay, that's a little too algebraic for me!

    A caution...there are many how to work with CVS extra bucks coupon blogs out there. My son is working his way through grad school at CVS and is often greatly frustrated by the cheating and "working" of the system that goes on. I think it's important to follow the rules of the company to a T, or it's the same as lying. (For instance, many blogs will advocate getting two cards, when the rule is one per family.)

    My son tells me folks like these make every day errands hard for others to complete because they're spending so much time at the register...

    Am I venting for him? I think so!

  2. And by the way, if you saw the story from the seats video this weekend at The Compass, that was my husband and me...

  3. Hi, Ellie! I did see that video, but didn't know it was you!

    I agree that using coupons reveals character and one needs to preserve their witness in all circumstances. While I'm new at this, I do try to go to the stores at less busy times, use the photo or make up counter check-outs, offer to let folks go ahead of me when I am doing multiple transactions, be gracious when stores impose limits etc. I smile a lot and thank the cashier a lot. Some are definitely more gracious than others in return. There is a great post on the Get Rich Slowly blog from a couple of days ago called "I'm NOT Stealing" in which a couponer explains the hostility she's encountered from cashiers despite following all the rules. So, I guess it goes both ways and the mantra for both couponers and cashiers should be" try not to be a jerk."

    As for the algebraic nature, it's simple, really. I use a coupon to get a sale item for $1.68 but the register kicks me out a $2.50 off coupon for a future order every time I buy one. I'll probably hit 3 more Walgreens in my errands today and buy 3-5 more of the item at each of the stores if they still have supplies. A doc friend can use the ThermaWraps at a medical clinic she volunteers at, so it's all good!