I was so excited about my trip to Walgreen’s on Tuesday. I was going to use a bunch of Bayer and Aleve coupons to help get my low dose aspirin for free, plus get a $10 Register Reward. Additionally i was going to grab a couple of Coppertone Sprays at $9.79 with a $5 off coupon from smartsource last weekend and pick up another $10 RR. i would spend $5 on 2 cans Sunscreen and get a 6 month supply of aspirin. I was so excited about the trip and writing up this article. I arrived, grabbed the Coppertone and well on my way to victory. Unfortunately, i let myself i forget the first rule of couponing.
Couponing Rule #1
Read and Follow the Rules – Failing to follow the rules means you’ll not get your discount and you may pay a lot more than you planned. Read the coupon and follow the rules.
Well I knew the rules, “Buy $20 of 32 ct or more Bayer and/or 20 ct or more Aleve” and generate a Register Reward of $10. My problem was i wasn’t prepared to find less than i needed. there were only 4 low dose aspirin and i had 5 $3 off coupons, i needed one more to use the last coupon, but 3 more to hit the $20 threshold. I was checking out all the different packages of Bayer, hoping to find a few more “$3.xx” bottles to keep my costs down. I was starting to panic, i should have stopped and reassessed, but i didn’t. I rushed my decision and messed up my buy. Which leads to Rule #2
Couponing Rule #2
Have an Alternative Plan – Know what you’re going to do if you don’t find what your expecting. Either have alternative plans, come up with a plan right there in the store or just walk away from the transaction. The point is saving money, not making a transaction. If it’s not going to save you, just walk away.
In my panic to find an alternative i quickly grabbed 2 boxes of standard coated aspirin at $3.49 but i was still a few cents short of $20. I had $2 off advil, but it would have left me with a cost of over $3. I then recalled that there was a Register Reward for Bayer Advanced Aspirin. With the $3 reward (i couldn’t find the coupon i had for it) so that it would cost me just $1.
Couponing Rule #3
Write It Down and Bring the Flyer – Take the sale circular with you and write down the notes you need to ensure you follow the rules.
So my instincts were almost correct. Unfortunately the 2 bottles of standard aspirin were only 24 count and the advanced aspirin was only a 20 count so they didn’t count toward my $20 purchase Additionally, i was wrong on the Advanced Aspirin. The coupon i couldn’t find was $3 and the RR was just $1. Had i taken the 4 Bayer at 3.19 (12.76) and 2 Aleve at $5.95 ($11.90) with a $2 off coupon for each, i would buy $24.66, have $16 of coupons, meaning i would have paid $8.66 and received the $10 Register Reward for $20, leaving a cost of -$1.34. for 4 bottles (128 pills) of low does aspirin and 2 bottles (40 pills of Aleve) and get paid $1.34 for doing it.
That’s how it was supposed to be done. I feel like a moron for messing up, but i’m used to the feeling by now. Don’t let this happen to you. Remember the rules:
1) Read and Follow the Rules
2) Have an Alternative Plan
3) Write it Down – Carry notes and sale circulars