The Fru-Gal

Rewards: Don't leave a drugstore without them

Contributing columnistDecember 30, 2012 

The Fru-Gal Deborah Morris

  • Wisely use coupons in today's newspaper

    CVS deal: Spend $30 on participating Procter and Gamble items to receive $10 in ExtraCare rewards. One scenario: Buy Dawn detergent for 99 cents and use the 25-cent coupon; buy two Pantene shampoo or conditioners for $7 and use the $3 coupon; buy Tide detergent for $5.44 and use the $1.50 coupon; buy two Gillette body washes for $7 and use the $1 coupon; and buy two Head and Shoulder shampoos for $10 and use the $2 coupon. You pay $22.68 and receive $10 in Extracare rewards.

    Rite Aid deals:

    ■ Buy two Pantene shampoos or conditioners for $7. Use $3 coupon and get $2 in +UPs rewards.

    ■ Vicks Nature Fusion is $6.99. Use $1.50 coupon and get $1 +UPs rewards.

Many stores have rewards programs that give bonuses when you shop. If you are planning on buying anything in a store that has a rewards program, sign up for it. You will be amazed how many surprises that the store will send your way.

Let's start with one of my favorites, CVS.

It's no surprise to regular readers of this column that I like to shop at drugstores. If you are a beginner drugstore shopper, CVS is the best store to start with.

CVS has rewards that are called Extracare bucks, accumulated when you buy specific items using your shoppers card. (As with most stores, the card is available at the register.)

Your Extracare bucks will print out at the end of the register tape. Each one has an expiration date, but CVS will often accept them after that deadline.

Look in CVS's flier for items that give you Extracare bucks when you purchase them. For example, Oral-B Pulsar toothpaste is now on sale for $5.99. When you buy the toothpaste, you receive $2 in Extracare rewards, lowering the price to $3.99. To go further, you can use the 75-cent coupon in Sunday's paper to make the final price $3.24.

When you enter CVS, scan your Extracare card at the red kiosk in the front of most stores. You will get bonus store coupons that many times make items free.

Tip: Scan your card twice or until the kiosk says you have no more coupons.

Register your Extracare card online at Cvs.com. This is an additional way to get savings sent to your email.

Here are some other drugstore rewards programs.

RiteAid: RiteAid's program is called Wellness+ and makes you eligible for what the store calls +UP rewards.

Sign up with a cashier and then activate your card online to receive access to coupons that can be loaded onto your card.

Also, +UPs rewards are loaded on your card so when you make a purchase, the +UPs rewards will automatically come off your total.

Being a rewards-program member can also make you eligible for benefits like a 10 percent off shopping pass, free magazines, 20 percent off the entire store for a year plus many more. Check out Riteaid.com to see the point system.

Walgreens: Walgreens has a card called Balance Rewards. Just ask your cashier for a card and activate it online.

If you have an AARP card, you can link your memberships and use your AARP membership card to receive rewards. AARP members receive 5,000 points when they spend $25 in a single purchase. You can redeem your points when you acquire 5,000 points, which equal $5, or you can accumulate them for additional savings.

Points expire 36 months from the day you earn them, but they expire sooner if you don't have any account activity for six months.

Walgreens also offers a program called Walk with Walgreens, giving you 10 points for every mile walked when you join that program.

Through Feb. 14, whenever you spend at least $30 on participating beauty products at Walgreens stores (using your Balance Rewards card), you'll be able to score a free sample box filled with beauty products and coupons.

Read next week's column for my tips on other rewards programs.

Fru-Gal Tip: Many of your coupons will expire Jan. 31. Now is the time to go through your coupon binder and clean it out. Start the new year with a binder all ready to save.

Deborah Morris' weekly column, The Fru-Gal, can help you get through these economic hard times a little more easily. If you know of a way to save some money, feel free to share it on The Fru-Gal blog on BluegrassMoms.com and visit her Web site, Fru-gal-friends.com.

Lexington Herald-Leader is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service