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How To Properly Stock Your Medicine Cabinet - On The Cheap!

Originally Posted: February 02, 2012

Teri Gault

You need to learn to “Stack the Deals.” (Courtesy Photo: whatisthetrend.net)

Southampton - Something got the best of me last night. By 3 a.m. my sniffles had turned into a full blown coughing miserable flu of some sort! But I won the battle - I was able to break open a brand new bottle of one dollar night time cough syrup, and slept like a baby! Yep you heard that right - only a dollar for brand name cough syrup regularly priced at about $7 or more. Just last week, I did my usual "investing" and stocked up on $42 worth of cold/flu meds for $5 and change, and THAT my friend, is the number one tip - Be an INVESTOR in over the counter meds, groceries, and everything else in life. Why wait until you need something and have to pay full price? And besides that, who wants to jump and run for cough syrup at 3 a.m.?

If you aspire to be an "investor" like me with a medicine cabinet filled for 75 percent off and even get free bottles of Ibuprofen, you need to learn to "Stack the Deals." We start with a sale and combine that with a manufacturer coupon either from the Sunday paper, or printed off the web. The next deal to add into a single purchase would be the "store coupon," which is usually found in the store's sales circular. And last but not least, "Instant Rebates." Drugstores have them and so do supermarkets. Some come out of the register to be used like cash on a future purchase, and some just come off the total! Sweet! So, in review, yes, you can stack the deals and you should. On a single item for your medicine cabinet, you may stack in: sale + manufacturer coupon + store coupon + instant rebate = BIG savings, a/k/a.,a $7 bottle of cough syrup for a buck - or even free.

The next step is to play your coupons like a card shark. The best deal stacking doesn't usually involve using a coupon the week it came out in the paper. Most of the deals that Grocery Gamers cash in on every week are stacked up with Sunday paper coupons from weeks or months past. That's because the week you get the coupon for antibiotic ointment may not be the week that the tube is on sale. But don't despair. It all comes together. Most coupons have an expiration date of about three months out. At some point, a sale will hit, and that's when you make your move!

The sales circular can be a good place to start, but don't miss unadvertised sales, especially at the supermarket. Some of the best deals on OTC meds are not advertised, and typically, those are the free ones. The freebies at the supermarket usually happen when you use the coupon on the smallest size permissible, and when it's on sale. When the 50 count Ibuprofen goes on sale for $2, and there's a coupon for $2, that makes it free! And that little bottle comes in handy in your purse too! My medicine cabinet is a trophy case of free aspirin, acetaminophen, and more, mostly unadvertised sales at the supermarket combined with a coupon. By the way, 62 percent of the deals at www.TheGroceryGame.com are unadvertised - so go get 'em!

For all of the above reasons, don't expect to fill your medicine cabinet for 75 percent off all in one week. As an "investor" in discounted OTC meds, you'll be buying as you see the deals, some this week, some next week, and so on. The number one rule is to buy low, which is usually before you actually need it!

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