I have to admit to being a bit of a Boots addict (aswell as and advertisers dream, anything with a gimmick, gadget, nice bottle or freebie attached) but aswell and spending a small fortune in there I have also saved by using their Advantage Card. The Advantage card works on a points system. You collect 4 points for every pound that you spend, and sometimes extra points for buying items on special promotion. You can also collect extra points in larger stores by making use of the Advantage Point. One point is equal to 1p which isn't bad as last I heard (On that new BBC1 Morning Show the other big contenders cards - Nectar/Tesco etc - only equal about 1p for every pound) You can spend your points straight away in store - no coupons through the post for shaving foam when you are a woman, or tights if you are a bloke. There is a little machine at the till in which they insert your card, this shows you how much you have (1530 points for example is worth 15.30). You need to have enough points to pay for a whole item and cannot take 15.30 off a 23.56 bill, anything purchased with points goes through as a separate transaction to what you pay cash for. You pay for your items with points and are left with the balance on your card. The balance stays on your card until you use points to pay for something else, they have no expiry date or timescale within which they must be used. They can also be saved up and used for things like spa days or hair cuts in Toni & Guys. Not everything is redeemable. Items which I have found are generally not are medicines, and some baby items. There is usually a note or star on the price ticket to let you know things can be bought with points, but I generally just tend to take my stuff to the till and ask them to put through what they can on points. The Advantage Point is a kind of big computer found only in the larger stores. You insert your card and use the touch screen to navigate the menus. The Advantage P
oint gives you- -Extra points and offers normally not available instore -Information on new products and services available instore -Hints and tips on collecting and spending your points -Notification of your current Advantage Card points balance -A printable list of offers in the store you are in, ie. 3 for 2?s and Buy One Get One Free You normally get three options once you card in inserted - Your Offers - New Products and Services - About Advantage Card Now I am going to admit to never having visited the 'About....' option, and only very rarely the 'New Products...' I normally just head straight for 'Your Offers'. This is where you can find all the extra points and money off coupons. Within the 'Your Offers' section you are given sub categories to browse through ie healthcare, bath, baby. So if you are speed shopping or only going in for thing you can easily locate any special offers within the area you are shopping in. Beware of the power of special offers though I have learnt the hard way that I shouldn't really buy corn plasters to get 150 extra points when I don't actually have corns! If you don't find any offers on the things you want to buy there is always the 'Total Spend' coupons which offer 75 or 150 extra points if you are spending over 15.00 or 25.00. They also, if you sign up for it, send out their Health & Beauty magazine to 20% of their customers who use their cards most. The magazine is really quite good and has lots of interesting articles on products and services from Boots. Also included within this mailing are extra vouchers offering extra points coupons and special offer coupons (the latest included a free soluable vitamin C cold & flu defence tablets and free face scrub when you purchased another item from the same range. At Christmas I got free wrapping paper and a double points voucher which could be use
d twice) A few months ago I got a free Mach 3 razor through the post (hey I'm not fussy about using a blokes razor for my legs and armpits) and a voucher for extra points if I bought blades in the future. I have, for years, had one of their Advantage Cards and have done pretty nicely from it with the odd nail varnish here and a bottle of perfume there, but with the arrival of baby 18 months ago and the discovery of the Advantage Point I have made a fortune and been able to buy things for myself that I might not have been able to afford otherwise. There is always something more important to buy when you have kids so nappies and babygrows usually come before that new lippy you have seen advertised on tv or the latest hair straighteners. Thanks to Boots Advantage Card I have been able to use my points to make 'me' purchases just for buying the things I need anyway. You can get hold of an Advantage card for free by filling out a form in store, or by applying at www.wellbeing.com. I know that nothing in life is free and sometimes Boots can be more expensive than your local supermarket, and that the information they collect to market things to you is probably worth more points than you could shake a stick at to Boots themselves. However I still think the Advantage Card is great, and if they want to send me a free razor to get me to buy some razor blades then that's OK (and if you're wondering - yes I did - told you I was an advertisers dream. But to be fair the razor was a goodun) and I can also choose to buy those things which are more expensive from Sainsbury's if I want to!! If you don't already have one of these little gems and shop even occasionally in Boots I would reccomend getting one, and if you already have one take a nose at the Advantage point next time you are there, earn some extra points and treat yourself to something nice.
I think this is just a Scottish thing but SemiChem is the cheapest place to get shampoo and conditioner in my town. Big name brands are frequently around £1.30 for a large bottle of conditioner and when you get through as much as I do that’s pretty good. I went in there before I went on holiday as well and filled up a basket with stuff. It only came to £5 in total and then I was given two free hairsprays as well. The stock is sometimes quite limited, they don’t always have every type of product in a range and some things are discounted more according to supply. “Savers” have now opened a shop in my town across the road from SemiChem so with any luck this will start a price war... The layout is basic. In my local store it's a rectangular room with all walls covered in shelving and one central shelf unit. They stock shampoo, conditioner, styling products, washing stuff, suncream, first aid basics and other bits and bobs. The brands depend on availability. Frequently stocked are Organics, Pantene, Herbal Essences, Fructis and Alberto Balsam. Has anyone seen one south of the border, if so, can they tell me where?