Publix and Kroger shopping and transferring prescriptions to get FREE money!

My goal for the next month is to spend only $25 out-of-pocket per week in groceries/household/etc. Earlier this week, I hit up CVS and Walgreens and spent a total of $1 out of pocket.

I made a quick trip to Kroger yesterday, hoping to pick up a prescription (but it wasn’t ready), and got milk, 2 dozen eggs (for the zucchini breads!), a bag of fresh peaches, and grape jelly, spending a total of $12 and using no coupons!

When I went back to Kroger to pick up the prescription today, using a coupon for $25 in groceries when you transfer any prescription, I realized that I didn’t have my Kroger card. My Kroger card doesn’t have a phone number attached to it (or at least I can’t figure out what number it IS!), so when I forget my card, I enter my grandparents’ phone number to use their card. I don’t usually spend enough at Kroger to get much gas benefits anyway, and I don’t forget my card too often, so using their card once in a while isn’t a big deal. However, this coupon automatically credits your Kroger card with the $25 instead of giving you a physical gift card, which I DID NOT know. So… I needed to use that $25 immediately before anyone else used that Kroger card!!!

After formulating a last-minute plan, I stocked up on a few essentials that don’t have coupons. They’re the kind of items that we consume a lot of, and they’re the cheapest I’ve found, even without coupons!

I got two 12-packs of Kroger-brand cola (for my husband’s office), two big containers of non-dairy creamer, a huge bag of carrots for the guinea pig, a bag of marked-down bread for french toast, some baking powder, a bag of tater tots and 5 lbs of hamburger meat for my son’s birthday party this weekend. I spent a total of $7 out-of-pocket after the $25 credit for the transferred prescription. I was hoping to have a gift card to use later in the month, but I’m going with the flow!

I did the same prescription transfer at Publix, using the same Kroger coupon. Publix’ new coupon policy states that their pharmacy accepts competitor’s prescription coupons (which I double-checked with the store manager) and DID get a gift card this time!!! It pays to take the extra time to make some money with these prescription transfer coupons!!!

I used it to get:
4 bottles of V8 Splash juice
1 Publix greenwise double roll toilet paper (penny item!!!!)
1 bunch of bananas
1 12-pack of Miller Lite (my husband’s been wanting some!)

The cost before sales/coupons (I only had a few) was $28 and the cost after was $15, so I saved 40%, but since I paid for it with a FREE giftcard, I saved 100%!

I still have $10 left on the giftcard, so I’ll use some of it with my $25 next week for a big deal I’m putting together on a couple of stock-up items.

So…

My out-of-pocket total for the week is up to $8!

Transferring prescriptions to ‘make’ money can be a great tool! They do have restrictions, so read the coupons carefully. Transferring prescriptions has two possible downsides: One is that, unless you’re transferring all your prescriptions at a time, your prescriptions aren’t all at the same pharmacy to check for possible drug interactions. This is very important, because even if you always go to the same doctor, they can miss a possible drug interaction when they prescribe a new medication. I only do this because my husand’s been on the same medications, all of which were at the same pharmacy, for a few months now, so I know that he’s not having any problems.

The second downfall to transferring prescriptions is that it can be a hassle. It takes some time to transfer them and usually some time at the counter to get the coupons all figured out. It also apparently annoys some of the pharmacy employees. I’ve had times when the cashiers were rude and obviously annoyed at me for doing it. I’ve even had a manager make some rude comments to me once. Most of them don’t like doing the extra work that it takes to transfer a prescription, and I’ve heard one pharmacy tech say that they look down on people who do this. The way I look at it is this:

With my husband’s monthly prescriptions, the pharmacies are getting about $1200 worth of business from me each month. We pay nowhere near that (thank you Jesus for giving us good health insurance), but we pay for the insurance, the co-insurance, and the co-pays, as well as our insurance paying the remainder. The pharmacy is making a LOT of money off of my family. Drugs are a HUGE business and they want my business, so much so that corporate is willing to put out these coupons and/or accept competitor’s coupons to get that business. Even if they only get that business for a few months out of the year, they’re making thousands, and giving me a fraction of that in gift cards. They know that the money they’re making is worth the coupon.

So, if I can spend a little extra time every couple of months to save a little extra, it’s worth it to me! I can handle the cashier’s annoyances, smile, thank them, and continue on with my day, happy to have made a little money for my effort.

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