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I saved again this past weekend at Shoppers Drug Mart, to the tune of 70%!  Shopping on Sunday was a no brainer since it was the overlap day for the Saturday/Sunday Double Double event and the Sunday/Monday 2 Day Sale Prices.  Unfortunately I was 2 hours too late to get the $20 gift card perk because our store ran out!   The promotion guidelines specifically stated “while supplies last” and since they came in a special twin pack with the $10 Tim Horton’s gift card and $10 Shoppers Drug Mart gift card, it wasn’t a case of the store being able to substitute for $20 in SDM cards.  I was so thankful that the head cashier gave me the heads-up on the way into the store (she knows that I usually only shop during special events … I love my gals at the Rockland, Ontario location – they’ve got my back!)  but she suggested that I take my receipt to another store to see if they’re able to give me one on Monday.  Here’s hoping!

Doing a big shop takes a little bit of preparation before hand.  I spent about half an hour at home organizing my coupons and matching them up to the flyer sales.  On these special events where you need to meet a minimum threshold to earn the perk, I usually do a quick excel spreadsheet to ensure that my subtotal was as close as possible to $75.  The Double Double event (like most Shoppers Drug Mart promotions) stipulated that the $75 threshold be calculated after all discounts and redemptions, but before taxes.  I used $39 in coupons on my trip and saved myself a lot of time in in-store calculations by having my spreadsheet prepared ahead of time.  In addition to having my shopping list organized by the direction I usually cruise the aisles, I also tuck the coupons that I intend to use into a pocket on the inside cover of my coupon binder, and then transfer them to a (sparkly hot pink!) clip as I add items to my cart so that they’re ready to hand to the cashier all at once.  Even with all of the prep, I still allot myself an hour for trips like this, as it takes a longer to ring in the coupons – even the computer needed a few extra minutes to process my total before printing the receipt!

So even though I knew I wasn’t going to earn the perk, there were a number of items that I wanted to get because the sale price coupled with a coupon made the price hard to beat.  (Impossible to beat, really.)  My biggest deal was on Crest White Strips.  They are regularly priced $64.99, but were on sale for $29.99 and I had the $8 OFF coupon from P&G BrandSaver.  And when they rang in at the cash, they came up at $59.99.  It took several minutes and 2 trips through the aisles with the cashier to work it all out and determine that they were indeed the correct product, so I didn’t feel bad about asking her to apply the SCOP discount to compensate for my time. (The Scanning Code of Practice will award an item for FREE up to a maximum of $10 if it scans incorrectly).  This helped take away some of the sting of not having earned the $20 perk and there was nobody in line behind me (I don’t often bother with asking for the SCOP discount if it holds others up).  The strips were 72% OFF in the end, along with two 2L cartons of Almond Drink that were reduced to clear at $.99 instead of $4.99 =81% OFF!  They don’t expire until the 19th either (one of the perks of living near a smaller Shoppers Drug Mart store is that they have a smaller wharehouse area and often have to clear out items when a new shipment is expected). 

I used coupons on these products:

  • Platex 360 – reg $8.99, sale $5.99-$3 Save.ca coupons = $2.99 (I could have saved even more with the printable coupon)
  • Crest Whitestrips – reg $64.99, sale $29.99 – $8 P&G BrandSaver coupon + $10 SCOP = $11.99
  • Gain Laundry Detergenty- reg $7.99, sale $3.88 (max 4) – $2 OFF wub 2 P&G BrandSaver coupon and $.50 OFF coupons = $2.88 for 4 and $4.49 for 3 (I actually hadn’t realized that the last 3 were priced the way they were until I got home.  I might return them, if I’m unable to get the $2 perk on Monday since I won’t need them for the $75 threshold)
  • Honey Bunches of Oats – reg $5.49, sale $2.49 – $1 Save.ca coupon = $1.49
  • Tresemme Shampoo, Conditioner & Putty – reg $6.99, sale $3.49 – $1 tear pad coupon = $2.49
  • Danone Activia – reg $4.99, sale $3.99 – $1 tear pad coupon = $2.99
  • A private pink box (!) – reg $24.99, sale $19.99 – $3 tear pad coupon = $16.99
  • Almond Fresh – reg $4.99 – $4 Manager’s Special peelies = $.99 each

The only item that I bought today without a coupon (and that wasn’t on my orignal list) was 3 bottles of Soft Soap refill – reg $5.49, sale $1.99.  I hadn’t noticed these in the flyer, and they were on my “will need soon” list!

And today I learned another time saving trick for purchasing gift cards to earn double Shoppers Optimum Points.  Instead of purchasing a gift card on my way into the store for my estimated total with taxes like I usually do, the cashier offered to ring everything up, hit total, then suspend the transaction so I could purchase a gift card in the exact amount.  It worked like a charm and I didn’t end up with a gift card in my wallet with $2 or $3 leftover like I usually do. 

Here’s what my trip looked like on paper:

  • I paid: $86.32 by using $39.50 in coupons and $89.94 in savings from sale prices
  • I earned 3080 Optimum Points which will be worth $8.01 when I redeem them at the Mega Redemption event in December
  • I saved 67% before points, 70% with points calculated in, and would have made it to 78% if I hadn’t missed out on the $20 gift cards

I learned a lesson that when 1 of the days of really great 2 day sale prices that overlap with 1 of the days of a really great perk (the gift cards made everything automatically 26% OFF before even factoring in sale prices and coupons) – don’t wait until the evening to do my shopping!  That being said, I do enjoy the quieter pace of shopping when the store is empty and the cashiers aren’t stressed about processing my coupons under pressure of a long line-up.  Sometimes the “plus” outweighs the “perk”!  And for the naysayers who feel that all of this couponing just takes too much time and isnt’ worth it, I’m quite happy with my $117/hr savings rate this evening.  Worth an hour and a half of my time?  Yuppers!

Happy Couponing!

Christa Clips ~ October 15, 2012

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