Save Big at Drugstore.com on Household Supplies
You know by now I do almost 100% of my shopping online, because it’s convenient, it offers cash back from a portal, and it generally offers lower prices than a physical store. My friends often joke that I even buy toilet paper online, but it’s no joke – I do buy toilet paper and all my household supplies online at Drugstore.com. I’ve shopped there ever since I was in college and along the way, I’ve learned a lot of tips and tricks that when combined together, will really pile on the savings.
Tip #1 – Shop Through a Cash Back Portal
If you are not familiar with cash back portals, read my introduction to cash back on everything, a tutorial on how to get cash back when shopping online. With Drugstore.com, however, you will want to go through the cash back portal that gives you the highest cash back AND lets you take advantage of the new customer promotion for $10 off $50 for your first non-prescription order. This part is key for tip #2 explained below. As of this post, Mr. Rebates and ShopDiscover both offer 10% cash back AND the new customer promotion.
DO NOT use Top Cash Back for Drugstore.com even though it offers 10% cash back, because it does not advertise the new customer promotion.
Tip #2 – Use the New Customer Promotion Every Time
Order exactly $50 worth of household supplies or as close to $50 as possible since that will maximize your new customer promotion of $10 off $50. You may be thinking that this tip is useless after the first time since you will no longer be a new customer, but that is not true.
Drugstore.com’s order management system is a bit . . . outdated (to word it kindly). Your customer status is based solely on your email address and not your name, shipping address, or a combination of those. As a result, you simply sign up with a different email address each time you have $50 worth of items to purchase, right? It’s even easier than that! Just use your same email address but with dots inserted in different spots, and Drugstore.com’s system will think it’s a different email address.
For example, my first order as a new customer might be from firstname.lastname@example.org. My second order as a “new customer” could then be from email@example.com. My third order could be from firstname.lastname@example.org . . . Notice the different placements of the dot? Each time, I will qualify for the promotion to get $10 off $50. If you are not aware, adding dots to an email address does not change anything about an email address except how it looks. Try it for yourself.
Tip #3 – Free Two-Day Shipping Via ShopRunner
While you will get free shipping for being a new customer and ordering more than $25 anyways, you can get your order even faster with ShopRunner. Previously, I wrote about how you can get a free ShopRunner membership. Having free two-day shipping will make ordering from Drugstore.com for all your household supplies a lot more realistic for those who don’t plan as far in advance. In addition, it’s a key component for tip #4.
Tip #4 – Combine Drugstore.com Dollars with ShopRunner for Free Stuff
Drugstore.com has their own rewards program called Drugstore.com Dollars. Essentially, you get 5% of what you spend back in the form of Drugstore.com Dollars at the end of every quarter. You will then have one month to spend those Drugstore.com Dollars. That means 5% of your orders between January and March will be awarded on April 1st, and you will have until the end of April to use those Drugstore.com Dollars. For April to June, you will be awarded on July 1st. July to September, you will be awarded on October 1st. And for October to December, you will be awarded on January 1st.
But wait! Each time we order from Drugstore.com, we will want to create a new account and be a new customer in order to get the $10 off $50 promotion so how will we ever spend the Drugstore.com Dollars since they will be sitting in our existing accounts? That’s where ShopRunner comes in since it lets you get free shipping regardless of how much the order is. Let’s say you spend $50 on a Drugstore.com order. You will receive $2.50 back in the form of Drugstore.com Dollars. Normally, that $2.50 would just go to waste but with ShopRunner, you might as well buy something for free using your $2.50, such as toothpaste, and get free shipping on it. If you place a lot of $50 orders throughout the quarter, those multiple $2.50 can equal a lot of free stuff.
Tip #5 – Use a Bonus Category Credit Card
Plenty of credit cards give bonus miles and points for shopping at drugstores. Drugstore.com is coded as a drugstore and in the past, I’ve always used my American Express Hilton HHonors credit card, which offered 6 Hilton HHonors points per $ spent at drugstores. Unfortunately, the card recently stopped offering bonus points at drugstores, and Hilton HHonors points have become less valuable due to a devaluation of the program. But some cards, such as the Citizens Bank CashBack credit card, offers 5% cash back on gas, grocery, and drugstore purchases for the first 90 days. More credit cards exist that offer a bonus when spending at drugstores, but that’s a topic for another post.
The Main Point
By combining all five tips above, I am very certain you will save money when buying household supplies especially compared to buying overpriced items at your local drugstore or grocery store. When you make a $50 purchase at Drugstore.com, you will get $10 off for being a new customer, $4 cash back via a cash back portal (10% of $40 remaining balance), $2.50 in Drugstore.com Dollars, and $2 cash back if you use a credit card that gives 5% cash back at drugstores. These numbers do not factor in taxes, which is small, so your final total will be $31.50, a 37% saving! Yes, even after all the savings, I still sometimes find a better deal at Amazon or another online retailer but in general, I make the majority of my household purchases at Drugstore.com. After you get married, you may be arguing about which brand of toilet paper or toothpaste to use, but you won’t be arguing about where to buy them from!
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