Worth it? You decide. I'm going to break down my short trip to Walgreen's from today. Keep in mind that during the last few months I learned about fantastic things like "multiple transactions" and "coupon matchups" and other extremely time consuming and embarrassing endeavors all in the name of savings.
Total Items Purchased (quantities in parenthesis):
(4) 2-liters Pepsi products
(2) Gillette ProGlide Razer
(2) Pill Glide Spray
(2) Jumbo Pk Pampers
(4) Vicks Drops
(6) Bagged "W" brand candy
(6) Kraft Home-style Mac and Cheese
Total cost of all items before sales/discounts/coupons: 99.39
Total Walgreen's Advertised Savings (including store coupons): 23.52
Total Manufacturer Coupons: 39.00
Total Savings: 62.52
Out of Pocket expense: 36.87
Now here is where I really bank because Wags does this thing called Register Rewards which works like cash back to use on your next purchase. Every week they offer new RR deals and I scoop up as many as possible! This is where multiple transactions come in as most are limit one per customer. Well, if I check out twice that makes me 2 customers :)
Total RR generated this trip: $23.00
If I apply the RRs to my savings for this trip it works out to be $85.52 in savings for $99.39 in merchandise or said another way: paying $13.87 for $99.39 worth of merchandise.
The other advantage to Wags is the catalina coupons that print with the RRs. Today I generated an additional $14.00 of coupons- but I won't add those to todays savings because I haven't used them yet.
Sounds awesome right? Well the truth is yep, I am pretty awesome. And I really did save tons today but I DID spend $36.87 out of pocket, and the Register Rewards are great and help make up for that BUT you have to actually use them! And like all other coupons they do have an expiration date so if I forget to take them with me or they expire before I have a chance to use them then the savings isn't really so great. And that my webbies is where the stores win. They count on you to forget or not use the RRs because they get to keep that money.
Maybe I need to devise another way of accounting for savings- like not including RRs until I actually use them in a transaction. That way I only factor in my "real" savings. Hmmmm, deserves some thought.
On and end note: Tons of my Facebook peeps keep asking HOW DO YOU DO IT??? So maybe I will sit down and write a tutorial on how to coupon. Advise.