Posts Tagged ‘Walgreens’

4th Annual Pumpkin Carving Party!

Friday, October 29th, 2010

For the 4th year in a row, we turned our living room into pumpkin carving central!  We invited family and friends over for some good old fashioned Halloween fun. 

Oliver played with his friend most of the night, but was dying to help me carve out my pumpkin.  He liked playing with the lid and squishing around in the guts.  Notice my floor is covered in plastic, so he was able to experiment all he wanted.

 

We managed to eke out 6 pumpkins tonight with 6 more to go before Sunday.  It was great catching up with friends and taking a break from the upcoming baby madness. 

Here are some ways that we saved money at our party and some other tips to throwing a fun pumpkin party:

1) Be first in line on November 1st at your local drugstores to pick up discounted Halloween goodies for next year.  We love Walgreens, because they usually discount their items 75 percent off.  We always pick up bundles of pumpkin carving supplies, templates, and decorations for a fraction of the normal cost.

2) Have the party after dinner time and offer snacks.  This cuts down on the amount of work you have to do and the amount of money you have to spend on food.  Also, by offering snacks you get more time to carve the pumpkins versus eating a meal.

3) Pick up plastic sheeting at Lowe’s or Home Depot to cover your floor.  I bought mine for a buck or so in the painting aisle.  They are plastic drop cloths.  Also, line several bowls/pots with plastic grocery store bags for the pumpkin guts.  Clean up is a breeze once the carving is done.  We literally roll up all the garbage in the drop cloth and we are done.

4) Don’t be afraid to ask your friends to chip in either with food, drinks, or supplies.  The spirit of the party is to get everyone together for a good time.  I know many people who think hosting a party means spending tons of money and “wow-ing” the crowd.  Here’s how I hosted this event:  I provided the venue and the pumpkin carving supplies.  I also provided snacks (chips, veggies, dip, and brownies), water, ice, and paper products.  I asked everyone else to bring the beverages and their own pumpkins. 

That’s about it!  With minimal fuss and money spent, we had a great time.  Sometimes the best nights “out” are nights in with family and friends.

Walgreen’s beats CVS for deals

Thursday, July 8th, 2010

Previously, I had waxed poetic about my love affair with CVS.  Well, there’s a new beau in town and its name is Walgreeens. 

I noticed in the Sunday paper that Walgreens and CVS had many of the same items posted in their flyers.  They also had many of the same items on sale.  In general, Walgreens tended to be less expensive than CVS item per item.  What really got my attention were the items at CVS that had Extra Bucks tied to them.

At CVS they have a program called Extra Bucks.  The idea is that if you purchase a product that has extra bucks listed for it, you will “earn” those extra bucks to be spent at a future purchase.  The difference between Walgreens and CVS is that Walgreens gives you the savings up front and doesn’t make you come back in to “use” your saved dollar. 

For example: CVS charges $2 for Puffs Plus and gives you $1 in extra bucks for your next purchase.  They say it’s like purchasing Puffs Plus for $1.  That’s splitting hairs.  You have to give them the $2 and then you have to come back and “spend” that $1 savings on something else.  You have to keep spending money to keep earning your savings rewards.  At Walgreens they just give you the savings up front, no strings attached.  Sounds easy enough.

So I gave Walgreens a try.  I picked the items that were on sale via Walgreens specials/coupons and matched my coupons to them.  Here’s what I purchased:

This all cost me $40.56 pre-tax post coupons, discounts, and specials.

This seemed a little high to me.  I was worried that the drugstores were jacking up the prices so they could “discount” them to get people in.  To soothe my penny pinched mind, I went to WalMart to do price checks.

FYI – Last year I created a spreadsheet of all the grocery stores in the area to compare prices of our commonly purchased items.  Aldis and WalMart tied for #1 cost savers with Aldis slightly higher.  I chose Wal Mart for my Walgreens price check because they would have comparable brands.  (Aldis has their own brand)

Here’s what I found:

Item for item sans any sales/discounts/coupons, Wal Mart was $3.17 less expensive than Walgreens.   

WalMart = $67.66  Walgreens = $70.80

However, AFTER sales/discounts/coupons, Wal Mart was $27.10 more expensive than Walgreens.

WalMart = $67.66  Walgreens = $40.56

Final analysis?  Walgreens is actually less expensive IF you buy the items that are on sale and use Walgreen’s coupons from the Sunday paper.  The savings amplify when you match those sale items with manufacturer coupons.

Frugal Tip of the Day:  Love drugstore sales, but Beware!  Only buy what is on sale or discounted.  An extra bonus if you have a manufacturers coupon to match that sale item.  Many items that were NOT on sale were outrageously more expensive than a grocery store.  I’m guessing that they hope you make some impulse buys once you get in there to buy the sale items. 

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