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Grocery Geek: Learning from My Mistakes at CVS

Posted By Jessica Fisher On May 12, 2008 @ 1:11 am In Grocery Geek | 6 Comments

Oh woe is me! I left my little stash of ECBs at home today. On our way home from a very fun outing, we stopped by to get my hubby a little sore throat relief. I had my coupons, but not my ECBs, so I had to do without. When five kids are waiting in the car ready to go home, you don’t say, “Honey, I need to go back home and get these coupon things.” Well, maybe you do. But, I chose to just roll with it today. We’d had such a fun day, I didn’t want to throw a wrench in it.

I bought:
Cepacol drops 4.99
CVS throat spray 4.79
2 papers 2.50
1 Intuition razor 8.88

The total was 21.16 + tax
Minus $3/15 coupon
Minus $4 Intuition coupon

I paid $14.16 + tax out of pocket which was a major bummer after my great deals last week.
But, I got back $6 in ECBs, so it was like getting all the above for $8.16 which is not bad since they included things we really needed.

Now, since I am all about learning from my mistakes and hopefully not repeating them. My goal is to reduce my out of pocket CASH to be as little as possible with each transaction. This is what I would do if I did it again.

Transaction 1:
Intuition razor $8.88
1 Johnsons buddies soap $.99
360 Toothbrush $3.99
1 Colgate toothpaste $2.99

This subtotal would have been $16.85 + tax
Minus $3 coupon
Minus $4 Intuition coupon
Minus $1 Johnson’s coupon
Minus $1 Colgate TB coupon
Minus $1 Colgate Tpaste coupon

That would have been $6.85 OOP (+ tax)
With a return of $6, $2, and $3.99 in ECBs.

Then I would have done Transaction #2
Cepacol drops $4.99
CVS Throat spray $4.79
2 papers $2.50
Colgate Toothpaste 2.99

This would have been a subtotal of $15.27 + tax
Minus the $3/$15 coupon
Minus $1 Colgate Tpaste coupon
The total would have been 11.27 + tax
Minus the $6 ECBs
Minus the $3.99 ECBs
I would have paid $1.28 (+ tax) out of pocket.

So, if I had been thinking more quickly on my feet, I could have paid $8.85 and would still have $4 in ECBs. I suppose the end result is not that different, except I’d have about $6 more real money in my wallet — and a lot more stuff.

It may seem really wierd to even consider this alternative, but I think if we’re going to follow a strict budget, $6 makes a difference. I’ve shrugged off too many $6’s in the past. (That is a Chipotle burrito, after all.)

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