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Coupon Abbreviations
  • SC = Store Coupon
  • MC = Manufacturer Coupon
  • SS = Smart Source
  • RP = Red Plum
  • PG = Proctor and Gamble
Coupon Terms
  • WYB = When You Buy
  • B1G1 = Buy One Get One Free
  • .75/1 = 75 cents off one item
  • .75/3 = 75 cents off three items
  • EXP = Expiration Date

Going Nuts? I can help you understand coupon terms and abbreviations

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B1G1 50 Percent Off

One question I often get asked is how to make the most of a B1G1 50% off deal at the drugstores. 

My short answer? Don’t!

While the three major drugstores fill up pages and pages of ads with Buy One Get One 50% off deals – these really aren’t anything we want to focus our attention on. They are just there to distract you from the things that really are on sale. You’ll notice that I don’t even include them with my matchups unless there is a reward deal or some other promotion to go along with it.

Buy One Get One Fifty Off

Why is B1G1 50% off NOT a deal?

They’re common. Buy one get one 50% off really works out to 25% off the normal price. Our goal is always to shoot for 40% off and then add on a coupon. If it’s a grocery item, run away even faster. Grocery items tend to be slightly marked up at drugstores so they are even less of a deal at B1G1 50% off.

You can do better. Items that are B1G1 50% off will also go B1G1 or have rewards deals attached to them some time in the near future. I promise. No need to waste your coupons or your money on a not-so-great sale.

Your B1G1 coupons are worth more on other sales. If you have a B1G1 coupon, there is no real point in using it with a B1G1 50% off sale. Let’s say you buy two items and one rings up full price and the second one rings up half price. Most coupons say you’ll get the item of lesser value for free (not the higher priced one). Now you have paid full price for one and gotten the half price one for free. Well, you could have done that without the sale and just used your coupon!

If you need more tips on how to find the best deals in your ad, I have a whole section about it in my free online coupon class!

    • Alyssa L.

      I have not found this to be the case at CVS, personally. The B1G1 coupon takes off the higher value, and I have not run across a coupon for shampoo & conditioner (which is what I usually am buying in such a scenario) that requires the lower price be taken off. So, you end up with two products for half the price of one — 75% off! I guess, it’s good to be mindful, but just see how it ends up working out at your store and what the coupon requires.

    • Kelleeey

      Thank you for this explanation! Could you also do a post on rainchecks? This is something I do not understand very well. Thank you!

      • Savinmavin

        Rainchecks are given by the cashier when an item on sale is sold out. Usually they will have the item in within a week or so, but if not just hold on to it. Sometimes your coupon expires before you can get the item, but i have learned that there will be another coupon for the item soon. The best place to get rainchecks is Harris Teeter, hold on to them for Super Doubles, then use your coupon for the sale price and the deal is even sweeter. I hope this helps.

    • Abbey

      Thanks for this!

    • I just have problems in general with drugstore pricing. They are just so much more expensive than Wal-mart or other discount stores. Now, I’m partial to Wal-mart because I work there, but I frequent CVS because of my prescriptions. Just today actually, I checked at my Walmart before I left for the Maybelline luminous eyeshadow, but we’re out of the color that I want. We sell it for $4.97. So I leave, and go to CVS to get my meds. I check there, they have the color I want but it’s 8 bucks and some change!! I’m carrying around this $1.00 coupon for it too, but I’ll be danged I’m not buying it at CVS! Oh, and they’re running a sale like you talk about, Buy 1 get 1 50% off. I do very good sometimes with extra bucks there, but for the most part, I’d just assumed buy the item elsewhere and save “real” bucks, instead of racking up on their bucks. If that makes sense.

      • Julie

        I agree with you that their “regular” prices on things seem ridiculously higher than Walmart and Target. I only shop CVS for the extreme deals using sales, coupons and ECBs. If you stick to shopping only those deals and rolling your ECBs from week to week you can make out like a bandit! ( :

    • Lisa

      I always ignored these sale items too. Glad to see my thoughts confirmed!

    • SAD

      Anyone that Knows me or lives in my house, that Knows my phone number can go to the register, and put in my phone number, and spend all my rewards I was saveing up. IS THIS TRUE?

      • Jenni P.

        With Rite Aid, which has the load to card feature, this is a danger. You can fix that danger by having your UPs PRINT out instead of being loaded to your card. THEN, if someone tries this, all they will end up doing is adding to your point total.

    • Mary S

      Boy, now I feel guilty for getting CVS brand acetaminophin B1G1 50% yesterday. :) I thought it was a good deal, though, because of other factors–the coupon center printed me a $1 CVS pain meds coupon, buying it got my total up high enough so I could use a $4/$20 coupon, I wouldn’t have saved much by buying the store brand elsewhere, and this was the first sale I’d noticed on acetaminophen since I found out I’m pregnant. Plus I had a headache yesterday…isn’t that a good enough reason to run out and buy pain meds if you’re pregnant and all you have at home is free Advil? :) So…just saying that I totally agree with this post overall and rarely do those B1G1 50% off deals, but sometimes it works when the stars all align and you’re in a pinch!

      • It’s always better to save something rather than paying full price! When you are pregnant, you totally get my permission to get a B1G1 50% off deal if it makes things a little easier :).

        • Mary S

          Ha ha, thanks. :) And thanks for all the tips on diapers–I’m busy stocking up! Btw, I moved from AL to AZ this summer but still get the daily emails and go through the drugstore matchups here. I love this site and wish I could find something this good for the grocery stores out west!

    • Jenni P.

      I agree. The only time I use these sales is when I need the item, and at least with 25% off, it’s about the same price as anywhere else, and the purchase helps get me to my 20% gold discount at Rite Aid.

    • Jerry

      The article is completely right about B1G1 50% off. If you are a Gold level customer at Rite Aid, you get 20% off of regular prices. That is already like B1G1 40% off. There were times that something was on sale for B1G1 50%, and I bought 3 of them, since it was a better deal than buying the 4th at 50% off. For example, if there is a $5 +up reward for buying $20 worth, and the product costs $10, and is on sale at B1G1 50% off, then I can buy 3 for $18 ($10 + $5 + $8 (20% off for Gold level), minus $5 +Ups rewards). Buying 4 would cost me $25 ($10 + $5 + $10 + $5, minus $5 +Ups). So, 3 units are $6 each, but 4 are $6.25 each, even though the fourth unit is half-price.

    • canes1999

      there are always some exceptions to rules, like this week for instance the Bic razors are B1G1 1/2 off……….with coupons its actually a MM.