The best way to be able to make the most of your money is by "rolling" your drug store Rewards from week to week.
But sometimes you end up in a situation where it's "use or lose" your Rewards. Since Rewards = Money, you don't want to just throw your money in the trashcan, so it's best to spend them on something, anything, but the best thing to do is spend it on items you would otherwise be buying anyway. For instance, toilet paper. When all else fails, I buy toilet paper.
As usual, when looking at the weekly ad, I first look for anything that is going to earn me back more than I spend, no matter what the item is, if I need it or not.
In this case, it was Breathe Right strips. They are on sale for $3.99, get $3.00 ECB (Extra Care Bucks) back.
There was a tearpad of $1.00 off coupons hanging all around this item, which would make them free after ECB, but I had a $1.50 coupon from the 10/13 RP (Red Plum) newspaper insert, so I paid $2.49 and got back $3.00, earning 51¢. (That might not seem like much, but little bits do add up in this game.)
I had a total of $59.93 ECBs to spend.
$9.93 of that was actual cash that I had spent during the Black Friday Freebies day, so I wanted to see if I could at least get that back.
The Breathe Right Strips earned $3.00 back, and also Hershey's Miniatures, and (3) General Mills cereals. So I did earn $9.00 in ECB's back when I was done.
The Hershey's Miniatures are on sale 2/$6.00, with $3.00 back, so that's already down to $1.50 a bag, great price if you're buying candy anyway.
I had IP (internet printable) coupons for $1.10/2, but there was also a Blinkie coupon box with $1.00/2 coupons hanging right there, which made them $1.00 each.
So sad for limit of 1, I would have stocked my freezer with a year's worth of Reese's miniatures. We love those things!
Select General Mills cereals are 3/$9, get $3.00 ECBs, making them $2.00 a box. Meh. I also had IP and newspaper insert coupons for $1/2 and 50¢ off 1 box of Honey Nut Cheerios, which brought them down to $1.50 a box. These go for over $3.00 to $4.00 each regularly, even at the grocery stores.
The other $50.00 was the free $50.00 ECB for buying a $150.00 Paypal gift card (except by the time I got there they were substituting Paypal with MyVanilla Visa cards).
I paid $4.95 for the MyVanilla activation, and it costs 50¢ per transaction (but I only make 1 transaction, turning $149.50 over onto Walmart and other gift cards) so basically I earned $44.55 free and clear from this deal.
But I didn't want to just blow it all willy-nilly just because it was "free" money, so I looked for sales on other items that I would be buying anyway. Spending this "free" money on items I would be buying anyway saves me from having to spend other money on the things.
Kellogg's cereals are on sale for $1.99, and I had $1/2 coupons, making the large box of Corn Flakes $1.49 each.
Kotex items are on sale Buy 1 Get 1 50% off, so I bought a box for $6.99, got the other for $3.49.
CVS Batteries are on sale Buy 1 Get 1 Free. While I have a ton of AA and AAA batteries (and if I'm not mistaken, Staples and/or Office Depot may be in the process of doing the Christmas time free battery promotion right now. I have so many of those batteries already, I just haven't paid attention), we needed "C" and "D" batteries.
(I bought both, hubby took the "C"s to work with him.)
The small little bag of Lindt truffles are 74¢. There's only 3 in the package, and maybe not the best deal ever, but hubby likes them, doesn't need them, and they'll make a good stocking stuffer.
Dorito chips are 2/$5.00. Still a bit steep for my liking, but I bought these as a treat for the boys because they love them.
Total before coupons/ECBS = $66.44
Total after coupons/ECBS = 41¢ + 82¢ tax = $2.23 (which I paid with an old CVS gift card I have been carry around for.ever and wasn't even sure it had any money on it)
$66.44 - $44.55 free money/ECBs - $9.00 ECBs I earned back = $12.89 these items actually cost me.