The Drugstore Game Saves Money (and Links)

Secrets to saving a lot of money, from a reformed coupon hater.

I tried, I really did. The coupon thing seems so smart, just cut out the coupons, bring them to the store and save money. Here’s how I would do it. Cut out the coupons and go to the store without the coupons. Or bring coupons along and leave them in the car. Or even worse yet, put coupons in my purse, go to the store and forget to take them out of my purse.

I was a horrible couponer!

the drugstore game

The Drugstore Game Inspired Me

Frugal Confessions, Amanda Grossman just launched a money-saving ebook, The Drugstore Game. This book lays out how to combine free CVS dollars (which CVS awards when you buy certain items) with store and manufacturer coupons to save big. I decided to commit to the strategy and see if I could do it! I tried it with the idea of only looking at coupons that could be redeemed at CVS, so as not to overwhelm myself.

The first week I concentrated on buying the items from CVS I needed and which gave me cash back. I didn’t have any coupons so I didn’t save much the first week. But, I did earn almost $20 in “free CVS money” due to the items I bought. Then, I got the newspaper and cut out only a few coupons for products I could buy at CVS.

The next week, armed with a fantastic 25% off everything coupon (which I got just for signing up for CVS rewards), my $20 free CVS bucks from last week, a $5 off coupon for makeup (I needed moisturizer), a 2 for 1 pack of Gillette disposable razors, and another manufacturers coupon, I saved $40 on a $60 bill! That’s a 66% savings.

I was so excited and motivated. I think I can continue accruing enormous savings by following the simple guidelines in the Drugstore Game. It does take a bit of prep time, but not too much. I picked up a folder and stuck the coupons into 4 categories; household supplies, personal care, food, and restaurant (that’s not at CVS). I keep the free money in the file too. I’m keeping the shopping simple by only buying a few things at once and only items my family will use. This week I didn’t need anything that offered extra bucks, but my daughter wanted Physicians Formula make up and that product had a $6 free CVS extra bucks offer with a purchase of just $10. I told her I’d reimburse the $6 extra bucks if she bought the makeup at CVS. It won’t be a saving for me, but it helped out my daughter a bit! (Isn’t that what moms are for?).

The book is cheap, only $3.97. Trust me, if I can implement this money saving strategy, anyone can.

I’m amazing at investing and growing wealth, but up until now, a real amateur at using coupons. Give it a try and save!

Barbara Recommends

Check out these new and older articles from across the web. Save, invest, and build wealth.

J. Money at Budgets are Sexy has a great list of ways to make extra cash in his Side Hustle Series. Check it out for inspiration and ideas.

Stacking Benjamins shares insights from across the web in How to Become a Great Saver. There are some real nuggets here (even one by me).

Oblivious Investor writes about Index Funds vs Active Fund Investing. Count me on the Index Fund side, along with the empirical research!

The Finance Buff writes about The Portfolio Diversifier; REITS vs Precious Metals. We have REITS and international REITS in our family portfolio. I’m not a fan of precious metals myself, others may disagree. I think we get enough commodity exposure in developing markets index funds.

Work at Home Mom Revolution has a wealth of jobs for those that want to work in their pjs. Not just for moms, these are real jobs, updated regularly. Tired of the 9 to 5? Check out the work at home job opportunities.

Everything Finance Blog hosts Natalie Pace of You Vs. Wall Street in the 10 Rules of Becoming Rich. This is not your standard “list post”. There’s real meat in this article, with tips to live by and act upon.

John at Frugal Rules hosts a guest article by Edward Antrobus; Saving Money with Comparison Shopping. All of these small saving strategies add up to real money.

Bite the Bullet Investing; Legends-Should You Follow Them? William shares examples of the “so called” investment gurus and evaluates their true worth.

Brick by Brick Investing, in Forces-Saving Money ties in the art of war with consumerism and importance of saving. He reminds us that investment returns are great, but if you aren’t saving enough, good returns won’t make up for an inadequate savings rate. 

Wise Bread has something for everyone. If your in the home buying market (and with low interest rates, now is a good time to buy), check out 7 Financial Must Haves for the First Time Home Buyer by Kentin Waits.

Reach Financial Independence posted an inspiring read, Snatch Opportunity Like a Trapdoor Spider by guest contributor CJ Renzi. This one talks about the importance of answering when opportunity knocks. My personal belief is when an opportunity comes along, grab it, and figure out how to implement later. Life is too short for regrets.

Barbara Friedberg Personal Finance Mentions

I’m in the running at My Personal Finance Journey‘s  2013 Tour de Personal Finance Competition. with my Money and Success article.
Carnival of Retirement at Frugal Rules
Carnival of MoneyPros at Mo’ Money Mo’ Houses
Yakezie Carnival at Mo’ Money Mo’ Houses
Finance Carnival for Young Adults at Master the Art of Saving
Finance Carnival for Young Adults at Finance Inspired
Carnival of Retirement at Mo’ Money Mo’ Houses
Yakezie Carnival at Making Sense of Cents
Carnival of Financial Camaraderie at Mo’ Money Mo’ Houses

What’s your best money saving strategy? Coupons or not?

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