Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Rite Aid Shopping

I decided to try shopping at Rite Aid for the first time last week...to see if it was worth it for me. I figured I would check it out for a month and see what I think. So far...there's a lot to like! If you have never shopped at Rite Aid before, the first thing you need to know about is their AWESOME Single Check Rebate(SCR) program. It is a wonderful program where you get rebate checks for the items you buy in the store...a lot of times, these items are FREE even BEFORE coupons. Add on a coupon, and you can even MAKE MONEY! (You get the full rebate amount, regardless of whether or not you use a coupon)

The program is SOOO easy to use. You just sign up online (HERE) or they have brochures at the store that you can fill out and mail in. When you buy an item that is eligible for rebate, you take the receipt that has the item(s) on it and simply enter the information from the receipt and submit. No need to send in receipts or proofs of purchase. Just submit the receipt information and at the end of the month request your rebate check. You will then receive your check by mail within 2-3 weeks. Super easy.

The thing to note with this is that, initially, you will be paying for the items out-of-pocket, but as long as you continue to roll those rebate checks you get back on more rebate qualifying items each month, you will soon be using no cash out of your own pocket. You will just roll these rebates and get tons of FREE (or close to free) items.

Another great thing about this program is that most items have a limit of one rebate per account/household/address, so you can rest assured that, most likely, the items you want will be in stock! People don't clear the shelves since they can only get one rebate. I can't tell you how many times I've gone to Walgreens, Target, or Albies and they are completely OUT of the items I want. So, that was a big appeal for me.

Here is an example of my first shopping trip, to give you an idea of how this works:

I purchased these items in two separate transactions for the price given in parenthesis, minus the coupons listed.

Transaction #1

5 - Duracel battery (2pk D) ($3.00/ea)

2 - Tag Body Spray ($2.99/ea)

1 - Zantac 150 (8ct) ($4.99)

My total came to $25.97. I used a $5 off $25 purchase internet printable coupon found on coupons.com bringing my total to $20.97. I then used 5-$.50/1 Duracell coupons and 2-$2/1 Tag coupons. My total paid out of pocket was 11.47.

Transaction #2

1 - Venus Embrace Razor ($7.00)

1 - Duck Easy Start tape ($1.49)

1 - Tag Body Spray ($2.99)

1 - Crest Pro Health Toothpaste ($2.79)

1 - Renu contact solution twin-pack ($9.99)

1 - Grandma's Chocolate chip cookie pack ($.79-I did this because I needed $.74 to reach the $25 so that I could use the $5 off of $25 purchase)

My total came to $25.05. I used another $5 off of $25 purchase, bringing my total to $20.05. I then used 1- $2/1 Venus coupon, 1-$2/1 Tag coupon, 1-$2/1 Renu coupon, and 1-$.75/1 Crest coupon, bringing my out of pocket to $13.30.

Upon returning home, I logged onto my RiteAid SCR account and entered my receipt information. It automatically searches my receipts and applies all rebates I qualify for to my total monthly check amount. These are the rebates I qualified for...

Duracell $5.00 (for buying $15 worth of Duracell products)

Zantac $4.99,

Duck Brand $1.49

Renu $9.99

Gillette $5.00

Crest $2.79

That's a total of $29.26 that I have so far in rebates for the month...if you take away the total of $24.77 that I've paid out of pocket, that leaves me MAKING $4.49 after rebates! Now...as if that isn't good enough...Zantac has a separate rebate to try Zantac for free, so I have also mailed in for a $5 rebate from the manufacturer that I should receive within 8 weeks. Total for all of these items? I MADE $9.49! How awesome is that??

Now I can continue doing any Rite-Aid shopping this month that I want to do, continuing to enter my receipt info after every purchase (I would do this immediately upon returning home or you run the risk of forgetting!) You do NOT submit for your rebate check until you are positive you will not be doing any more shopping for that rebate month. You can only submit ONCE per month! If you submit and do more shopping and buy qualifying rebate products afterward, but before the start of the next rebate month, you will lose out on rebates! Also, note that the rebate "months" do not run from the first day of the month to the last day of the month! They generally straddle two months. For example, the month of August rebates must be purchased between July 26th and August 29th. You must request your check by September 28th. So, for myself, I will submit for my check on August 30th.

This check is in the form of a real check...you can deposit this into your bank account or cash it at your bank. It is not like a register reward or catalina that can only be used at the store from which it was received. I definitely like THAT!

Just a few other random things worth mentioning:

*There are frequently coupons on coupons.com for 10% off your purchase or $5 off of a $25 purchase, so definitely use these to get more bang for you buck!

*A lot of the coupon blogs have weekly match-ups for you, so you don't even have to do the work! Go HERE to see athriftymom.com's RiteAid match-ups for the week...hip2save has great matchups too, but there is no direct link, you just have to click HERE to go to the main page and along the right side column you will see a list of stores and you can click on "RiteAid" to get the weekly deals.

*It's always a good idea to go over the ad yourself, as you never know what you may have a coupon for that you got from other sources that someone else might not have, or you never know when they'll miss a really great match-up!

*If you want to see the current rebates for any given month, you can do so online HERE or you can pick up a book at the store that lists them.

*Remember that some items have month-long rebate periods, while others only qualify if you purchase them within specified dates (usually on a particular week that will coincide with a sale). Always be sure to double-check the dates so that you don't buy an item outside of it's qualifying time frame and not get the rebate.

*RiteAid sales run Sunday-Saturday.

Alright, so...I guess that is all for now...I am learning this as I go, so if I come across anything else, I will be sure to share. I definitely think that I am going to enjoy shopping RiteAid! It's just so simple and the possibility to actually MAKE money shopping...well, what's cooler than that?


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