What store should I shop at???This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for more details.
When you first start couponing, it is easy to look like this. I encourage you to start slow. Pick one store and figure out the system. When you’re comfortable, move to another store until you have reached the limit of stores you would like to achieve. There’s no right or wrong way to coupon, do what works best for you and don’t stress yourself out.
- Publix (This is one of my favorite stores. Not only can you get some super cheap items on their buy one get one sales, you can also get overage on coupons. (i.e. If the item you are buying is $.75 and you use a $1 coupon, the other $.25 can be applied towards the rest of the items you’re buying.)
- Kroger (Something I like about Kroger is that their sales usually run for about two weeks. So, if you missed something the first week, you can pick it up the next. You can also get a lot of great deals when they have their mega events.)
- Walmart (Before couponing, this was the only store I would shop at. Now, I mainly go here for dog food and items I need that I don’t have a coupon for. I usually go here a couple times a month, at the most.)
- CVS (To get the deals, you must sign up for their store card. They have the Extra Care Buck (ECB) system. Here’s how it works. You pay $4 out of pocket for an item, then you get a $4 ECB back (prints at the end of your receipt). Not all of their items are “free” after ECB but they do have quite a lot. Plus, you can use coupons (sometimes making the items a money maker). ECB’s don’t expire for a month. So, just keep rolling them and getting those free items.
- Rite-Aid (They have a rebate check system. You pay full price out of pocket but get reimbursed for it at the end of the month through a check in the mail. Sometimes you can get money makers here too!!!)
- Walgreens (Out of all the drug stores, this one is the most complicated. They have Register Rewards (RR). I usually have to think really hard when putting my deals together for Walgreens. Their RR’s expire in two weeks. Here’s the tricky part. You have to do separate transactions for each item in order to receive your RR’s. For instance, if you want to get three packs of gum that have a $1 RR, you have to do three separate transactions. Also, you cannot use the RR from the first transaction to pay for the second and third transactions. That’s why I say that it’s very confusing when rolling RR’s. All that said, you can get some great deals at Wags.)
If you’re interested in starting to coupon at drug stores, I would suggest that you start with CVS. Their system is the easiest to wrap your head around.
Most stores will accept a store coupon and a manufacturer coupon for each item. When shopping at Publix and Walgreens, you need to remember that you cannot have more coupons than items. So, if you have four coupons and three items, you will need a “filler” item (the cheapest item you can find in the store). Keeping this in mind will save a lot of headache at the register and will keep you from looking stupid.