Saving and Giving has moved to! I hope that you'll all join me over at Saving & Giving's new home. I'm planning some fun giveaways to kick things off. I'm still working on the site, and I'd love to hear your input. Let me know which features you want me to keep. You can email me at If you're currently an email subscriber, you shouldn't see any change in your daily email newsletter. I switched the feed over so that you should continue to receive your daily updates.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Start Saving Part 8: Store Specifics

In this Start Saving series, I'm trying to share some of my experiences and advice with people who are new to the couponing world. If you missed the first 7 parts of this series, you can catch up by clicking one of the topic links below.


We've already talked about the specifics of shopping at CVS (HERE), but what about some of the other stores that you might frequent? Grab a cup of coffee and some chocolate, because this is going to be a lengthy post! Today we will cover Target, Rite Aid, Wal-Mart, Kroger, and Kmart. As you read, keep in mind that store policies may vary regionally. If you have a specific question, it's best to contact your local store.


Oh how I love Target! Our closest Target store is about 35 minutes away, so I don't get to go there as often as I would like. My favorite thing about Target is that you can stack manufacturers' coupons and Target store coupons for extra savings. (For more information about "stacking" coupons, read the post HERE.) A couple of months ago, Target had Goldfish crackers on sale for $1.66 each. There was a $1 off 2 manufacturer's printable coupon available, and there was a $1 off 1 Target coupon available. The scenario looked like this:
Buy 2 Goldfish crackers for $1.66 each.
Use 2 Target $1 off coupons.

Use 1 $1 off 2 coupon.
Total out-of-pocket: $0.32 for 2 bags

Target is also good about offering gift cards back for when buy certain items. Last week I posted about a Special K deal that Target was offering. If you bought 5 Special K products, you got a $5 gift card back. Here's how the scenario played out for that one:
Buy 5 Special K cereals for $2.39 each.
Use 5 Internet printable $1 off manufacturer's coupons.
Pay $5.95 out-or-pocket.
Get back a $5 Target gift card.
That's $0.19 per box!

I usually wait to go to Target until they're running several promotions like this at once. If you have a Target store nearby, you're fortunate enough to be able to snag the deals from week-to-week.

Rite Aid

I absolutely love Rite Aid! I just started shopping there a few months ago, and their rebate program is top-notch. Rite Aid runs sales just like other stores do, and you can use your manufacturers' coupons there. Some Rite Aids are also accepting Internet printable manufacturers' coupons. Mine is not. They only accept printed coupons with the Rite Aid logo on them. So be sure to check with a manager (not a cashier) before you shop your local Rite Aid.

Rite Aid runs a Single Check Rewards (SCR) program. Throughout the month, you shop their sales and buy items marked as SCR items. You can use your coupons on these items, making them even cheaper. After each shopping trip, log in to the Rite Aid rewards website (HERE) and enter your receipt information. The website automatically knows which items on each receipt are eligible for SCRs. At the end of the month, log in to the website again and request that your SCR check be processed. You may only make a check request ONCE each month (thus the name SINGLE check rewards). Your rebate check will arrive within a few weeks.

The first month is the most expensive one. You're paying out-of-pocket for the items you're going to earn SCRs for. But, if you shop the sales, you can keep your out-of-pocket to a minimum. For example, a couple of weeks ago, Rite Aid ran a deal on Huggies GoodNites pull-ups. The mega packs were $8.99. That's not a bad price to start with. I had a $2.00 off coupon, bringing the price down to $6.99, an even better price. I submitted my receipt for a SCR for $3.00. Including the SCR, the pull-ups were $3.99... a really good price!

Watch the SCR limits. Sometimes there is a limit of 1 per household, and other times you can get up to 5 SCRs for a particular item.

Rite Aid is also great about putting out $5 off any $25 purchase coupons. You'll find the most current coupon HERE. This applies to your purchase BEFORE coupons, so be sure to hand it to the cashier before you hand over your manufacturers' coupons.

I don't know if this is true for every Rite Aid or not, but my Rite Aid has FABULOUS makeup clearance deals. The best part is that you can still use your manufacturers' coupons! Many times I can get nail polish or lipstick/lip gloss for under $1 when I use my coupons. And these are name brands like Sally Hansen, Almay, and Cover Girl. They must cycle through their products often (which I truly appreciate!), and they get rid of the older products. I love grabbing these great deals for Christmas and birthday gifts!


I have to be SO careful when I walk into Wal-Mart. There are so many items in that store that I somehow didn't realize I needed wanted! They cry out to be put into my shopping cart. Wouldn't that bath mat look much better than what we're currently using? Wouldn't those cups come in handy? Doesn't Emma need a couple more pairs of shorts for summer? EEKS! While my husband appreciates having everything from spark plugs to boxer shorts in one location, it can cause me to overspend in a heartbeat!

My only purpose for stepping inside Wal-Mart these days is to shop for things that are free or almost-free. I scour the blog sites that mention Wal-Mart deals, make my list, and go in armed with my coupons. I try to hunt down the items on my list and then leave. The only exception to this rule is if Emma truly does need some shorts, shirts, tights, etc. I like to shop for quality, but for play clothes and socks, Wal-Mart is the place for us! I try to do this in a planned manner though, helping me avoid impulse buying and overspending.

Wal-Mart accepts manufacturers' coupons and manufacturers' Internet printable coupons. The only time they won't take the printables is when the coupon value exceeds the cost of the item. They will not adjust the coupon down to make the item free, even if it is only a few pennies. So, double check the cost of the item and the value of the coupon before you check out.


I love Kroger!! There are two main grocery stores in our area, and I go to Kroger 99.9% of the time. They are the only store that doubled coupons, and they run great sales.

Our local Kroger doubles manufacturers' coupons (including Internet printables) up to 50 cents. I know that in some areas coupons up to 99 cents are doubled, so check with your store on its specific policy. Kroger also partners with several eCoupon companies.

  • Cellfire - Cellfire sends coupon deals to your cell phone. I don't have text messaging, so I entered my home phone when I registered. It said that they sent me a text message with my login code, but I was able to just go back to the site the next day and log in without using my cell number. Create an account HERE and enter your Kroger card number. Then choose which Cellfire coupons you want to add to your Kroger card. When you check out, the savings will automatically be deducted from your total... no coupon clipping required!

  • - This site works just like Cellfire. Register HERE, add your card, and choose your coupons. Scan your Kroger card at checkout, and the coupons come off automatically.

  • Proctor & Gamble eSaver - This is another eCoupon company that works with Kroger. Register HERE, add our card, and choose your coupons.

I've read several blog posts about the ethics of using eCoupons stacked with manufacturers' coupons. This is not the way that these coupons were intended to be used. They are to take the place of your paper coupons. So you may want to print a list of what's loaded on your card so that you can avoid double-dipping. You can read more about the ethics of eCouponing at Mommy Snacks (HERE).


I've been loving these Super Double Coupon events at Kmart! My store has only participated twice so far, but I was able to get SO much free stuff last time. (See my posts with pictures HERE and HERE.) I have noticed that their regular prices are a big higher than Wal-Mart or Kroger, but you can get many inexpensive items if you pair sales with coupons that are doubled.

Kmart accepts manufacturers' coupons, now including Internet printables. They just started accepting the printables not too long ago, so that makes the deal hunting even better. Kmart also has an email list that you can sign up for HERE. Signing up for this list allows you to print a $5 off any $50 purchase. This is $50 before coupons, so give this coupon to the cashier before you hand over your manufacturers' coupons.

If you find out that your store is participating in the Super Double Coupon event, check the blogosphere (or this site) to see what you can get free or almost-free.

WHEW!!! You made it through all of my stores! You'll notice that I haven't discussed Walgreen's. I don't have a store nearby, so I'm not very familiar with how they operate. If you have a Walgreen's, I would highly recommend reading Money Saving Mom's Walgreen's 101 post HERE. They're supposedly building a Walgreen's by my office, so I'm hoping to get to do a little shopping there in the near future!

Stop back tomorrow when we'll be talking about budgeting and avoiding overspending.