Since FishChick potty trained, I’ve become a little lackadaisacal about buying diapers. Yes, the baby certainly still needs them, but we aren’t running out of diapers every other day like we were. There have not been screaming deals to help me stock up for quite some time. So, it was desperation that got me out the door one night this past week and down the road to CVS. FishPapa even called me while I was there to ask where there were any diapers. I came home to find the baby in a swim diaper. It was that close.
CVS seems to be going strong with their sales this summer. And, they’ve been a little tricksy in offering different sales in California than in other parts of the country. Please don’t confuse me, CVS. My brain can only handle so much.
Anyway, last week I followed a lead from Money Saving Mom and was able to get a $5/$25 coupon from CVS. Here’s how I worked it:
2 Huggies @ $9 each = $18
2 Herbal Essences hair care @$2.99 each = $5.98
1 King size Hershey bar $1.49
1 gallon milk $2.29
Subtotal was $27.76
Minus $5 coupon
Minus $1.50 Huggies coupon
Minus $1.50 Huggies coupon
Minus BOGO Herbal Essences coupon ($2.99)
Total was $16.77 + tax
Paid in cash and ECBs
Got back $9.48 in ECBs, making my total cost $7.29 for all that’s in the picture! Not too shabby, eh?
Are you convinced and ready to start CVSing?
Here’s a primer that will work Sunday through Tuesday of this next week.
1. Go to CVS.
2. Sign up for an Extra Care card if you don’t already have one.
3. Pick up a weekly ad. Check the dates to make sure it’s the right one.
4. Look through the flyers for items that say “free after ECB’s” or those that give back ECBs. Are any of these items that you or someone in your family will use? If so, choose two to three items to start. When you get to the checkstand, make sure you use your Extra Care card and have them run it before they run the items. Don’t forget to double check the ad with the items to make sure you got the right brand, style, and size of the item on sale.
In this week’s ad, there are great freebies. The sale prices are only good Sunday through Tuesday, so plan accordingly. If you’ve got coupons, use them, most certainly. But, I try to make these primers easy for someone just starting out. You should be able to swing a deal without any major coupons.
Purchase the following, after checking the ad for the correct prices and varieties:
Buy Ice Breakers Ice Cubes gum = $1.29
Buy Dibs, Nestle or Haagen-Dazs single = $2
Buy 1 gallon of milk = $2.29
Your total should be $5.58 + tax.
You will pay out $5.58(+tax), but receive back on your register receipt coupons or “Extra Care Bucks” (ECBs) totalling $4.29.You basically got those items for “free” or close to.
The ECBs are good for about a month’s time. Don’t lose them!
Now, if you spend your ECBs wisely, you will continue to save money on your pharmacy purchases. If there are other items on sale that you need or will use eventually, purchase those. If you have manufacturers coupons, so much the better. Try to buy things that you have to have or items that generate more ECBs. This is called “rolling your ECBs.”
Now, you could do the following:
Buy 2 packages of filler paper @$.99 each = $1.98
Buy 2 packages of Paper Mate pens @$.99 = $1.98
Buy some “fillers” to bump your total over $4.29, so that you can use all your ECB coupons. For instance, one ruler $.29 and a portfolio folder $.13.
Your total will be $4.40 + tax
Pay with the $4.29 in ECB coupons.
Pay the remaining $.11 + tax.
Get back another $3.98 in ECBs
This means that after the two transactions, you’ve shelled out $5.69 (+tax) out of pocket. You have 2 packs of pens, 2 packs of paper, an ice cream, a pack of gun, a gallon of milk, a ruler, and folder, and you still have $3.98 in ECBs to spend on future transactions. That is a great bargain!
It took some time and some cash on hand, but you got those items for PRACTICALLY FREE!
You will learn the system after a little practice (and a lot of math). After a few tries, you’ll be gathering all you need in toiletries, OTC meds, and other drugstore items for just pennies.
Check out these past primers. The deals are no longer good, but they will help you to get an idea of how the CVS system works:
A CVS Primer: July 12-18
CVS for Beginners, April 12-18
March 15 Primer
Will You Learn to CVS in February?
How to CVS with Big Store Coupons
May CVS Primer
June CVS Primer
MOM Deals and a CVS Primer
Money Saving Mom regularly reports the weekly deals at CVS, so be sure to check out her site!