Drugstore Deals versus Costco Stock-up

I remember one of the first tips I read about couponing / bargain shopping was to have a target price list for the things you regularly buy. I know I already mentioned that it’s important NOT to be brand loyal, but I do have a few things I prefer to be loyal on. Diet Cokes — that’s a must. Charmin toilet paper is strongly preferred. Bounty paper towels are preferred but are not a must. And my detergent must be stink-free — I don’t care what brand, but it must not have scents and dyes. (It is amazing how I didn’t even notice the smells until I switched to scent-free. Now, I occasionally fine other people’s clothing offensive.)

I’m slowly compiling my list, but since I often buy some of these things in bulk at Costco and they do not take manufacturer coupons, I needed to do some research there to determine if CVS / Walgreens / others were offering good deals. So today, while I enjoyed a lovely ladies’ luncheon after church, John trudged through Costo with Caroline and my spiral notebook recording a few prices for me. (Thank you! Love you!)

Costco Price
* price to stockpile other sale / coupon deals
——
12 ct. BIG rolls Bounty paper towels…………….$16.99 (regularly see $2/off cpn)
*less than $1.25 per big roll (YIKES!! We don’t use paper towels that often as I try to use washcloths mostly in the kitchen and cloth napkins at meals and rags for cleaning. But still — I think I’ll work on cutting back even more on the paper towels.)

30 rolls Charmin Ultra toilet paper……………..$17.99 (regularly see $2/off cpn)
*less than 53 cents per big roll

Kirkland Free and Clear, 96 loads………………..$12.99
*anything well below $.135 per load.

Diet Coke (32 12 oz cans) ………………………$ 8.09
*$3 or less per 12-pack

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Last week, Walgreens had a sale on their Coke products, four for $12 / buy four get $2 register rewards, so I stocked up on diet cokes last week. (yes, I realize if I plan to skimp on paper towels that it would make sense to cut out the diet cokes, and I know I had tried that in the fall. I’m really enjoying my vices for a few months here, so cut me some slack!) Between Walgreens, CVS, and Target, I should be able to get my diet cokes at less than $3/pack anytime.

This week, Walgreens has their All detergents (including Free and Clear, regularly ~$6.50) on sale for $3.99. Plus, if you buy six select Unilever products (including All) you get $6 in Register Rewards, making the detergent $2.99 for a 2x ultra doing 32 loads. That came to $.093 per load, so I bought all they had. 🙂

Walgreens is also offering their Charmin Ultra toilet paper (six rolls) 2 / $6. (Bounty is also on sale but didn’t work out for a better deal.) I had a coupon for $1 off one pack and another coupon for .25 off one pack. I bought two packs, totalling twelve rolls, for $4.75 after coupon, which came to $.395 per roll. I only bought the two rolls as I only had the two coupons (and I think there was a limit anyway.)

All in all, nothing FREE this week, but some good deals. Oh, and CVS brand diapers and pull-ups are buy one get one free this week. So I got two 26 packs of pull-ups (Caroline still wears one at night, even though she’s dry about 1/3 of the time the next morning…maybe we’ll be out of pull-ups soon) for $8.99. I like that these just have pictures of little girls and not princesses or other characters, too. Added bonus for Ms. Anti-Marketing-Aimed-at-Tots.

I also used the Walgreens coupon for two Crest toothpastes for $3 and coupled it with a $1 / off two manufacturer coupon I had, getting two toothpastes for .75 each. I have quite a bit of toothpaste here already, so I’m donating those, along with some shampoo and conditioner I got on sale, to a mission our church serves. In my reading about working the CVS/Walgreens deals, I see lots of encouragement to donate your deals because, really, I don’t need to stockpile more than a few months worth of stuff, right? 🙂

3 thoughts on “Drugstore Deals versus Costco Stock-up

  1. HEB’s paper towels rock! They even have select-a-size versions. Very cheap – like $1.60 roll for the select a size, even cheaper for the regular size.

    The girls only wore HEB’s pull-ups. The character is “Clifford” which my girls loved. The HEB brand I thought, was better than the brand names.

    I buy HEB products almost exclusively – except for, as you mentioned some must-haves… Cheeto’s, Coke Zero (but, only b/c HEB doesn’t make it yet!), Baked Lay’s (again, b/c there isn’t a version of baked yet), etc. etc. I even buy Randy the HEB nicotine gum. He prefers it. 🙂

  2. We like a lot of HEB-brand stuff, too. I was just telling my sister today, as I was unloading groceries, that HEB is really smart about how they expose shoppers to their products. Our HEB has samples every day. Today, we tried HEB brand vanilla yogurt — very yummy and much less expensive than name brands. We bought some, of course. The Meal Deals also allow you to try out their products for free (buy X, get Y, Z, P and Q for free). We’ve always like the HEB diapers, too.

  3. I used to like the HEB diapers, too.

    I had to laugh about your “stink free” detergent, lol. We’ve used All Free&Clear for ages. I buy that little bullet size, with the 3X concentrate though. I’ve found that it is SO concentrated that on a big load, I still end up using way less than what they suggest on the cap. It’s often on sale at Target, and I stock up on it there.

    But, in the past six months or so, I have started using Target brand fabric softener in some loads. Mostly Alex loads. That teen funk just needs some more help than what is available via personal hygiene products. Plus, I don’t like the idea of him slathering himself with deodorant multiple times a day, so I compromise and wash his clothes with a small amount of fabric softener.

    But, when I first started, Mike asked if I spilled a bottle of perfume in the laundry or something, he found it so offensive. It was just the tiniest bit and not a strong smelling variety at that, but we were so used to unscented clothing that it was overpowering at first. Funny how you just don’t notice those things until you’ve gone without them for a while.

    So, beware if you’re around Alex, he emits a general puff of Target Spring Fresh when he moves about, but I guarantee that’s preferable to the alternative Alex at twelve hours post shower.

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