Today’s subtitle is CVS VS RiteAid deathmatch.
I used to be a casual CVS shopper. Bath tissue, toothpaste, the usual stuff. Then I met (on line, of course) Erica who hearts CVS.
And after following her site for a bit, I upped my game. By knowing as many as 3-4 weeks ahead of sale, it was easy to plan visits for the best deals. Her forum also offers the T’s&C’s for coupon redemption, and strategies to maximize your saving. Not too far from my house there are also a number o Rite Aid stores. Fear not, Erica hearts Rite Aid as well.
Now and again, I’d go to Rite Aid as well, and the time seems good to offer a few comments to contrast the two. A friendly ‘deathmatch.’
Let’s start with Rite Aid – The rebate deal is called +Up Rewards. For example, the weekly ad might have toothpaste on sale for $2, with a $1 +Up reward. The reward isn’t taken off the price at the register, it’s loaded to your Rite Aid card, and is redeemed on your next purchase. The reward will expire after 14 days if not used.
CVS – A similar rebate method, the reward is called ExtraBucks, but it’s given as a coupon, i.e. a piece of paper you have to present to use it. It has an expiration date about 30 days out, although the two CVS stores closest to me both said they honor these up to six months after expiration. The ExtraBucks are also valid immediately.
It’s a close call. Easy to lose an ExtraBucks coupon, but also easy to forget your +Up Rewards are expiring. This makes CVS the winner for me. I’ve caught great sales at Rite Aid only to find my +Up Rewards have no good sale coming up in the next two weeks. With CVS, the Extrabucks are set aside for the next deal, not spent for the sake of using them up.
These purchases are all for household needs, the bath tissue, toothpaste, laundry soap, bar soap, etc. So long as you know what the normal price is for these items, you can time your purchases to catch a sale, and use some Sunday paper coupons. I’m aware of the extreme coupon folk that have made the news. Safe to say, I’m not that obsessed. 5 minutes with coffee and the Sunday paper and the good coupons are set aside. Another few minutes each week to look at the next weeks sales and see what I’ll buy on the way home Monday. The ten minute effort can be $25 in saved grocery money. (Note – the images above from Erica’s site link back to her. Click the image to see what deals she’s finding this week.)