Wednesday, September 26, 2018

How I Play the Rite-Aid Game

A reader, Wendy, asked in one of her giveaway entries......
"I would love to know how much time you spend each week planning out your deals. You are so good at it and I would like to hear about your "process" and what you do to prepare."

Ok, I'm game for this.

Let's take this week's ad and I can try to talk through how I approach planning my shops at Rite-Aid.

My philosophy for shopping at Rite-Aid is......get stuff that is free or cheap, get stuff you need or want or can give away to someone who can use it, pay with Bonus Cash instead of real cash, and buy items that meet all these criteria that also give back Bonus Cash so you can roll your BC.
Sometimes an item hits all those criteria, sometimes just a couple of them.

I sort of know what types of items I can get cheap/free at Rite-Aid from past experience.  Once a week I peruse Coupons dotcom and see what Qs I 'might' use in the coming month on deals at Rite-Aid or the grocery stores I go to.

I may end up printing off Qs I don't ultimately use but that's ok.  I have a printer that takes toner so I buy a high yield cartridge which is much cheaper than printer ink and buying colored ink and a black ink cartridge.
 I look especially for any high value Qs as those are the most valuable and the most likely to get you larger discounts on items you buy.
Plus our area hardy ever gets the "good" Sunday inserts so using internet printed Qs(IPQs)are my go-to coupon.

The Qs in the photo above I printed off 2 weeks ago.  They are $2/1 Degree men's deodorant ones(good for both solid/roll on and dry spray types).
They are high value coupons.
It's an item I would buy if it's cheap enough.
Hubs is not picky about his brand of deodorant.
So if combined with a nice sale(that hopefully gives back BC at R-A)before they expired 10/31(long dated Qs to boot!)I'll have 4 to use and get some cheap deodorants.

Another example, I saw  $3/1 Rimmels awhile back so I printed those off from 3 different computers here and had a set of 6 of those $3/1 Qs.  I knew I could use those 2 weeks ago at R-A on a Rimmel sale because I had seen an advance copy of the sales ad.
Last week that $3/1 Rimmel Q reset so I printed off another set of 6 Qs and you'll see why later on in this post.  ;-)

First off I know in advance what is coming up in the next sales ad.
How?  Well I get sales flyers in advance from the cashiers at my store(generally the stores get boxes of ads in 2-3 weeks in advance of the sales).  It never hurts to ask for the next week's ad.

I then frequent a site online called "IHeartRiteAid"(just add dotcom to it and you don't need to capitalize anything).
It's run by someone named Erica.  She also have a Walgreen's and a CVS site.
She has photos of the sales ad pages a week-three weeks in advance of the sales.  Erica also will post which "deals" are worth doing(meaning you can get items for cheap or free)and what currently available coupons match up with that deal.
Readers will also post comments about that week's sales......if they see something good folks aren't aware of yet, if there is a coupon nobody thought of yet to make a deal better, if they did a deal and how it went, if something goes wrong in their transaction so you can avoid the same problem, etc.
Stuff like that.

So I read the upcoming ad and go to Erica's site to see what she found, and then I am ready to get to work.

The first thing I see is this deal.......

I got a rain check a couple of weeks back for Sparkle towels.  They were on sale for $4.99 per 6 pack and wyb2 you got $1 BC back, so with the rain check I can get 2 packs for $8.98 or $4.49 each.
But they were out of that item so I got a rain check for 4 packs so they will be $4.49 per pack when this is cashed in.

Now this week the Sparkle is giving back $5 in BC wyb4 and it's on sale BOGO.  Regular price is $10.99 at my store so that means if I buy 4 this week, it's $21.98-the $4.25 in Qs I have-the $5BC means I'd spend $12.73 + tax on this Deal or $3.18....if I didn't use the rain check.

Using the rain check I'll pay $4.49 per item=$17.96-$4.25 Qs=$13.71-$5BC earned means I'd spend $8.71 + tax on 4 items, which amounts to $2.18 per package, a much better deal with the rain check.

The only problem here is my store probably won't have 4 packages of this item in stock.  I put this on my "maybe buy" list and move on to see what else I can score this week.

Herbal Essence and Head and Shoulders shampoos are on sale and part of the Get $5 BC wys $20 on P&G items monthly deal(all that Crest and Oral-B weekly deals earlier in the month was also part of this monthly deal).  This isn't a "great" sale price(know this from past experience)and I only have a $3/2 Head and Shoulders L2CQ on 1 account.  If I had more $ tracking toward the $20 I might cobbled something together to get to that amount to earn another $5 BC.  But I don't.

The Suave professional type shampoos are 2/$6 this week and it's the last week of the monthly Suave deal(Buy 2 Suave items/Get $2 BC back, Limit 4 deals).  I still can do 1 Suave deal on son's card/account.  IF I got the Suave 'poo Qs in this Sunday's inserts I could buy 2 professional 'poos, use 1 x $3/2 Suave insert Q, pay $3 in BC and get back $2 in BC, meaning 2 bottles of 'poo would cost me $1(in BC).  But I didn't get these Qs(we don't get many of the insert Qs here)and the only IPQ for Suave currently is for kid's poo for .50¢/1. 8-(
So moving on........

Here another Deal.  Cover Girl is BOGO50% and wyspend $30 you get $10 BC back.
There are Qs available to pair with this deal but spend $30 get $10 BC isn't a great deal so unless you really 'need' make-up or a particular CG product I'd pass on this as you will be spending more OOP/or of your BC than you need to.(I only buy make-up to fill giveaway boxes.)

A better CG Deal would be spend $30/Get $15 BC or Spend $10/Get $5 BC, both of which R-A has had this year, so I'll wait for a better deal on this brand.

 Here's a moneymaker deal. Tums 28-96 ct. are $3.99 this week.  You get $1 BC back for each container you buy(limit 2 Deals).  So it's $2.99 per item after BC.
Check your Load2Card Q account and clip the $2/1 Tums sugar-free Q.  Now you are down to it "costing" you .99¢(plus any tax in your state).

Now go check your old receipts for any coupons and you might find this one.......

$2 off sugar-free Tums products.  These receipt Qs can be stacked/used with reg. manufacturers Qs so now you will get paid $1.01 to buy a bottle of Tums.
$3.99-$4 in stacked Qs =.01¢ moneymaker and you get back $1 in BC so a $1.01 moneymaker.  Just make sure there is something else in your transaction if you buy this and stacked the Qs because R-A won't give you $.01 in change. ;-)

Here's a food Deal-buy $10 worth of select foods/drinks, Get $3 BC back.
If you need these snacky foods and you can pair Qs with the deal it might be worth doing.  Personally I don't need these foods right now.  The 'cheapest' was to do this deal would be if you have a Kellogg's Reward account with enough points in it, you could print off 5 x $1/1 any Kellogg's cereal coupons, Buy 5 Kellogg's cereals for $10, use $5 in Qs and pay $5 for 5 boxes and get $3 in BC back, making 5 boxes of cereal cost $2 or .40¢ per box.  8-)))

Here is one of the Deals I WILL do this week............

Rimmel cosmetics are 40% off reg. retail price this week and wyspend $12 you get $6 in BC back.
There are $3/1 Rimmel IPQs on coupons dotcom to pair with this deal.  Now be aware that these $3/1 Rimmel Qs always beep!  Some store may take them, some may not....YMMV.  Use them at a store that doesn't mind pushing through beeping Qs.
This deal will make for some free or moneymaker Rimmel cosmetics after the BC earned!

This is also a good Deal.....

Chobani yogurts are 2 for $2($1 each).  When you buy 2 in the same transaction you get $1 in BC back making them .50¢ each.
Better still there was a $1/4 Chobani ManuQ a few Sunday's ago so buy 4, use that Q, pay $3 and get $2 in BC back, making each on "cost" you .25¢ after BC earned.

I also saw this on the shelf............

There has been a monthly Deal for September on Hello Toothpaste, the activated charcoal one only.
The limit is 4 Deals for the month(which runs through this Saturday), Buy one and get $5 BC back.  If you have 20% Wellness discount level(and depending on the reg. retail price at your store)you will pay $5.83(or so)and get back $5 in BC.  If you go to the company's website you can print off a $1/1 Hello product Q and you'll pay $4.83 and get $5 BC back so a moneymaker.

This would also be a good item to buy if you need to "roll" your Bonus Cash forward, if you have BC expiring soon.  I have been waiting ALL MONTH for my store to get this item back in stock.  Finally!

Now this same product gave the same $5 BC back upon purchase in a weekly sale deal back in July...........

Back then it was a Deal limit of 2 and my store quickly ran out so I got 2 rain checks(each rain check good for 2 items free).
I believe I used 1 of the freebies on one of my rain checks in August so I still have rain checks good for 3 free tubes of this toothpaste.

Now if I use those rain checks before the monthly deal is over on Saturday I'll get 3 free tubes AND $15 back in BC when they get rung up automatically.....which is like getting paid $15 in BC to take these home.  8-)

How much time I spend on figuring out the deals each week varies.  If I see little that will achieve my goals(cheap or free, rolls BC, needed)that week I spend little time on figuring a deal....maybe just reading the ad and a quick look-see if there are any current Qs that will get me something for cheap/free.  I'd say 5 minutes or so total time used.
But other weeks!.....other weeks I spend a good 15 minutes to a half hour.  And then if deals pop up(others report in on something they found)I'll spend more time when I see that.  If it's a bountiful Deal Week I'll recheck Erica's website and I might search more fully during the week for other Qs I can pair with the deals.  A stupendous week I'll spend upwards of 2 hours on hunting the deals.  The actually buying takes up little of my time. ;-)
And since I get the ads before the sales week I have lots of time to prepare beforehand.

Lastly, I like to write down the scenario BEFORE I go to the store if possible and have all the Qs I'll be using pulled and separated and ready to go.  What I end up buying may change once I'm in the store(if something is out of stock, etc.).  I can always rewrote a deal on the fly or just let it fall apart and let it go/don't buy something.  I try to have a back-up plan if possible.
And if something is out of stock, GET A RAIN CHECK!  Great advice this.

So I hope this helps a bit and feel free to ask any questions.

And come back tomorrow and I'll show y'all what I ended up buying at Rite-Aid this sales week.



  1. That was a lot of work for you to type out, Sluggy. Thank you for doing that. You do such a great job with the Rite Aid deals.

  2. Both our RA left. But, I can guarantee the employees would not push anything through. What are the sites for CVS and Walgreen deals?

  3. Wow! That is amazing. I know that must have took quite some time to write out, thank you! You are a pro for sure.


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