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Best deals on personal care products may not be at local grocery stores

CVS, Walgreens coasts coupons, rewards memberships

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Josh Elledge knows exactly what he is going to buy long before he walks into the store, thanks to circular ads.

"I do not miss a single week at a Walgreens or CVS because every single week there are deals you can get for next to nothing," Elledge said.

[WEB EXTRA: Video: Coupon savings | Click here for more tips | Click here to see how Local 6 saved money ]

Elledge's first piece of advice, stop buying what you need.

"You have no negotiating power when you do this," he said. "Instead, only buy the absolute best deals."

Believe it or not, some of the best deals on personal care products, medicine and cleaning supplies aren't at the grocery store, but drug stores like CVS and Walgreens.

For instance, Mucinex costs $ 7.50 minus $5.50 in Extrabucks Rewards minus another $2 from a manufactures coupon, and it even tells shoppers on the flier where to find the coupon. It's like getting Mucinex for free.

Elledge's next tip, find coupons for the products on sale. 

"We are not talking 10-cent coupon or 25-cent coupon the coupons today are $1, $2 or more value and that is worth my time," Elledge said.

Another benefit to drug store shopping --  Reward Memberships. So tip No. 3 is to layer your coupons with those rewards.

CVS uses Extrabucks rewards, which are attached to your receipt and have cash value. Walgreens uses register rewards, a point system where points equal discounts.

"I've actually had deals where I've applied four different discount types to get a product for free or next to free," Elledge said.

Ever panic when you've run out of milk, but think it will be way more expensive at corner drug store? Not so.

A gallon of milk at CVS is on sale is $3.79. Add the "dollar off" at the register and it's only $2.79.

Last week at Publix, milk was more than $4

Dental care is one product you can always find coupons for. With a registry reward you find out your Crest toothpaste is 99 cents and you have a $1 coupon.  Guess how much money you just paid for that toothpaste? Nothing!

So in this shopping spree Elledge, picked up Mucinex, deodorant, toothpaste, all totaling $40. However it's $90 worth of merchandise and Elledge received $20 more back in extrabucks rewards.

In short, Elledge tells everyone, "If you know how the system works, you win!"