Originally Posted by dancinmama
If you can't find them for free, just look for the very best sale between now and the time when you have to have them and only buy (2). Hopefully that will tide you over until you can stockpile a few for free.
My mom said that several years ago, trash bags of all sizes were free all the time. She would look at the ads and think, "Free trash bags....AGAIN!!" But eventually the trash bag freebies stopped and she ran out a lot sooner than she thought she would, wishing that she had stockpiled more while she had had the opportunity to do so. So it seems as though some products will eventually totally fall off the freebie list entirely.
Shampoo, conditioners, and stylers is another odd one. For two or three years it seemed as though we could get them for free all the time. Then there was a fairly long lull where there were no shampoo freebies (in my area anyway). Then all of a sudden Pantene was free. Shortly thereafter Dove was free. Then CVS offered a $2/1 any shampoo CRT (generic) which offered a smorgasbord of opportunities to get free shampoo and even overage if you used the coupons to buy VO5 (which I use as liquid hand soap). Having seen the previous lag, I didn't take those freebies for granted and stockpiled all that I could based on the coupons I had and the limits imposed by the retailer.
Another good example is the Gillette Fusion series of razors. They used to be a pretty decent MM almost every month...month after month after month. Gradually the Fusion deals became less and less lucrative until one month they were "only" free (after coupon and reward). I happened to have (19) Fusion coupons that month and second guessed whether or not I should buy them, since I had so many "for profit" Fusion razors in my stockpile. Eventually I decided that since they were non-perishable, it couldn't really "hurt" to buy them (besides having to put out OOP for sales tax) and I used all (19) coupons. That is the last time that I can remember them being completely free after sale, coupon, and reward.
So some things will continue to be free occasionally and some things will completely drop off the list of items that you can get for free. The problem is that no one knows one from the other.
Now it seems to be body wash that is increasingly harder to get. I am so so sooooo sick of all of these razor deals. I thought it was just a "spring" cycle for razors but I guess not. OP, I stocked up on toothpaste/toothbrushes with CVS and Wags. My Walmart price matches after ECBs and RRs because it says "with card" which Walmart will match per their coupon policy. I donated most of mine and am waiting patiently for a toothbrush sale. I am hoping to really stock up because the sales are few and far between and the toothbrushes will not go bad. I don't want to have to pay for a toothbrush down the road lol.