Special Report: Max Couponing 2

By Zaneta Lowe  - bio | email

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - It's where folks pick up toothpaste, pain relievers and all those unmentionables!  But food at the drug store?  It's one of the latest secrets of super savers!

Amber Barefield shops traditional grocers, but also hits up several drug stores a week.

"Sometimes I have to go from drug store to drug store, because one might not have what I need," says Barefield.

She hates missing a deal.  "It's almost turned into a game."  One Amber likes winning.  "I wouldn't even say $10 a week," says Amber about the amount she spends at drug stores.

Like most couponers, Amber spends a couple hours a week planning. She scopes out sales, scours blogs for bargains, then clips coupons she needs. "And then I put my coupons with the list and make my shopping trip."

We tag along to two stores, Walgreens and CVS.  At Walgreens, Amber picks up traditional items, like a razor.  "These are buy one get one free, so the price on these is gonna be $8.99."  But two, manufacturer coupons for $3 each, shaves $6 off the price.  "So the razors total will be $2.99, that's a $1.50 a piece," adds Amber.

Similar to grocery stores, the rules are the same.  You watch for sales and combine them with coupons. At drug stores, though, the discounts go deeper.  That's because of store rewards.

At CVS, you join the program and it pays Extra Care Bucks.  At Walgreens, they're called Register Rewards.  "That is Walgreens money, that's what they give you to get you to come back and buy some more stuff," explains Amber.

So it's essentially used as a coupon, but almost like cash.  Amber takes advantage of a reward card deal at CVS for Dove products. "The deal is buy 15, get $5 back."

Of course, she's not paying full price for any of it.  "I'm actually gonna pay for two of them and I'll get two free."

You may not think of buying your breakfast food at the drug store, but stores like Walgreens and CVS have gotten heavily into the grocery game, expanding their selections and offering more of an opportunity for couponers to save.

We watched as Amber gets a deal on cereal.  "The sale price on this is $3.99, buy one get one free and then I have two, $0.70 off coupons that would be $1.40 off."

That means Amber pays around $1.30 for each box of cereal.  She scores another steal on Raisin Bran.  Buy ten boxes and you get a $10 rebate in the form of a gas card.

Amber buys two, but only pays $2.74 for both, plus, she's closer to getting extra cash to fill up her tank.  "So once again, I saved there," she says.

Amber ends up getting some Campbell's Soup for no charge at all, she has four, "free" coupons.  "I won't be paying for these, the manufacturer will be picking up the bill on that one."

The same is true for a pack of Planters buts, and all Amber did was like them on Facebook.

"So here, I'm saving $3.69."  Amber also gets soup at Walgreens, but the chips are even cheaper.  They're on sale two, for $3.00, but Amber has two, $1.00 off coupons.  "I get $0.50 a bag for the chips."

So how much did she spend and how much did she save?  At Walgreens, Amber's initial total is $42.72.  After coupons and redeeming Register Rewards, Amber's total out of pocket was only $3.23.  Plus, she got $10 in Register Rewards for her next trip.

At CVS, Amber only spent $22.12 and saved more than $70.  She also walked away with $19.50 in Extra Care Bucks.  Just how good is that?  "Very huge, very, very huge," exclaims Amber.

Copyright WTVM. All rights reserved.