Success, failure, and a change of plans at Rite-Aid today

Well, this is what happens when you think you have a plan. Anyway, I forgot to mention something really important before. One of the main reasons I picked Rite-Aid to help me with my re-stockpile project is because if you check their website, you can load coupons online right onto your card. That way, if you forget, or you are in a hurry, or if you just don’t have the wherewithal to put together a coupon plan, you can just load them onto your card and the amount is automatically taken off at the register when they scan your Wellness Plus card. Easy!

Anyway, things didn’t go like I planned, but here’s what happened.

  1. Miscalculation number One – wrong cat food coupons. I didn’t buy any cat food, and I went to the two closest Rite-Aids close to me. There are others in town, but I think I’m going to find about the same thing. Here’s what happens with small stores like this: they don’t have a lot of room to dedicate to stuff like pet supplies and school supplies, because they are mainly a pharmacy and beauty/health supplies store. You will see maybe three or four different brands of cat food, and about five of each flavor in each brand. Not much to choose from. The cat food coupons I had were for varieties of Fancy Feast and Friskies that neither Rite-Aid carried, so that was a no-go.
  2. Miscalculation number Two – wrong soup coupons. The soup coupons I had that would match up perfectly were for a different variety of Campbell’s soup than what was available in the store. However, I didn’t do too badly there. I had a coupon for $1 off of five cans of “great for cooking” condensed soup, and a coupon for $0.40 off of 3 regular condensed soup. I was able to get the ones the coupon mentioned and I was very lucky because I got the last ones of some of the flavors. They just don’t have a depth of offerings in that area, it is one little part of one shelf and there were only a few of each flavor to begin with. On only the second day of the sale, they were already almost out. Anyway … five plus three equals eight, which was enough to get back two $2 Plus UPs. I paid $10 minus $1.40 in coupons for the eight cans, and got $4 back.
  3. Miscalculation number Three – Arm and Hammer products went fast. Like I said, it’s only the second day of the sale, but Buy One Get One Free grabs people quick. Plus, there is only a few of each variety available, so if you get just two or three shoppers in a market after the same thing, person #4 is out of luck. I was fortunate that the store was cooperative in letting me purchase items that didn’t have a match – you are supposed to pick out two if you get the Buy One Get One Free, but if only one is on the shelf, you have to ask them to adjust the price to 50% off. I did at least have the correct coupons for this buy. I bought two A&H soda boxes for $1.19, a spinbrush refill for $1.89, two sensitive toothpastes for $4.79, two whitening toothpastes for $3.99, two other sensitive toothpastes for $4.99, had $6.00 in coupons, and got back $5.00 in plus UPs and I have $5.66 towards the next reward (have to spend an additional $4.34 and will get another $5.00 back).
  4. This went right though – the Scunci deal for the 18-pack of hair bands worked, they still had plenty available. I bought two of them, since there was no coupon available, I paid the full $1.99 each, but also got back two $1.99 Plus UPs.
  5. And a caution – watch out if you are getting the Wet n’ Wild cosmetics deal. The reason is because that one is not a straight “buy one get one”, it is “buy one item get a second OF EQUAL OR LESSER VALUE for 50% off”. That’s totally different. What you have to do is only buy items that are of identical price, otherwise you’ll get less of a discount than you expect. Let’s say you are going to get eyeshadow for $4.99, eyeliner for $2.99, and two lipsticks for $0.99 each. Here is what the register will do … it will have you pay full price for the eyeshadow and eyeliner, and charge you half price for the two lipsticks (lowest of the prices). You can see that won’t save you much. So what I did was get four eyeliners from the first Rite-Aid, at $2.99 each, meaning I paid $2.99 for two of them and $1.49 for two of them. Then, at the second Rite-Aid, I bought the two lipsticks for $0.99 each, expecting to get the $3.00 back in Plus UPs since that would put me over $10 ($8.96 for the eye makeup and $1.48 for the lipsticks). It didn’t print, and the running total on my cash register receipt also had not updated and only showed the $8.96. I checked on the Rite-Aid flyer and it didn’t show any exclusions like “not including lipstick” or anything like that, so I will call the 800# and see if I can get it straightened out. They always are very helpful online and will mail me a Plus UPs if for some reason it doesn’t work at the store.

OK, so here is where I am at so far. I wasn’t able to follow the plan, but I still have a lot of stuff at a great price, and I will be able to go back next time probably without spending any cash.

Spent – $18.24 at one store and $12.14 at the second, total of $30.38
Coupons/savings used – $23.62 at one store and $18.47 at the second, total of $42.09
Plus UPs remaining to be used next time – $5.99 at one store and $9.99 at the second, total of $15.98

And here’s what I now have in my stockpile:

  • 36 hair bands
  • 6 tubes of Arm & Hammer toothpaste
  • 2 boxes of Arm & Hammer baking soda
  • 8 cans of condensed soup
  • 2 spinbrush refills (we have a few of the spinbrushes!)
  • 4 liquid eyeliners
  • 2 lipsticks

Not bad at all. That’s a little over $70 worth of merchandise for around a net paid out of less than $15. I’ll call tomorrow and ask about the $3 Wet N Wild credit that didn’t print out, and then I’ll have a little more seed money for the next sale.

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