Wednesday, March 5, 2008

My First CVS Trip

Ever since I was a little girl, I remember clipping coupons. I thought that it was neat that you could save money on the items that you would purchase. My mom did not actually use the coupons, but I had fun cutting them out.

I still clip coupons, and now that I am an adult and shop for my family, I do use them. I like to save money on the things that I purchase - the more that I save, the more that I can purchase and/or save.

Recently, I have been reading some blogs that are all about saving money - where coupons are available online, where sales are, etc. It is pretty cool, because some of these sites actually do the legwork for you - so I don't have to look very far for coupons. I just click on the link and there is the coupon - very cool. I still am not sure which blogs I like the best, but the ones that I have been checking out at this point are: Coupon Mom, Money Saving Mom, The Motherload, and Freebies 4 Moms. I don't know how some of them have the time to post all that they do, but I am glad that they do!

From these blogs, I have been encouraged/inspired to try out CVS. Why would I want to shop at CVS? I have always felt that I could get a better deal at Giant. Well, then I started to read and understand more about the Extra Care Bucks.

If you look in the Sunday flyer, you will see that they have some items on sale, and then you can also get some Extra Care Bucks back after the purchase (it prints out at the bottom of the receipt and you tear it off and use it like a coupon). That part of the receipt is sort of like cash - you don't want to lose it and you can use it to make future purchases. Another cool thing is that you can use coupons at CVS too.

So, this past week, I have made two trips to CVS and I spent about $11 for $74 (nonsale price) worth of stuff. Pretty cool, eh? I still have about $18 left in extra care bucks, and my plan is to try and only purchase things at CVS that I have a coupon for and that will give me some ECB back as well - I am hoping at this point that I will have to invest very little money of my own to purchase items there. We will see how this goes.

Below are the trips that I made to the store: (all items are on sale, so you are not seeing the original full price)

First "Trip"
2.99 Colgate Total Toothpaste
2.99 Colgate Total Toothpaste
2.99 Colgate Total Toothpaste
1.50 Reese's peanut butter eggs
1.50 Reese's peanut butter eggs
3.97 Hershey's Pot of Gold (this was a little gift for my mom - original price 8.95)
0.99 Cadbury Mini Eggs
0.99 Cadbury Mini Eggs
0.99 Cadbury Mini Eggs
0.99 Cadbury Mini Eggs
3.29 Russell Stover Private Reserve (I had a BOGO coupon and heard that there were ECB back)
3.29 Russell Stover Private Reserve
26.48 Total (before coupons, etc.)
-1.00 Colgate Coupon
-1.00 Colgate Coupon
-1.50 Colgate Coupon
-1.50 Buy 3 Hershey's coupon (Mini eggs are made by Hershey)
-1.50 Buy 3 Hershey's coupon
-3.29 From Russell Stover BOGO
-5.00 CVS coupon off of a $15 purchase
11.68 spent out of pocket

Extra Care Bucks Received:
$5 from buying $10 worth of Hershey's
$2.99 from Colgate
$2.99 from Colgate
$2.99 from Colgate
$3.00 from Russell Stover purchase
$16.97 ECB received

Trip #2
When I realized that the Russell Stover's did get ECB back, I decided to use my other coupon right then:

3.29 Russell Stover Private Reserve (I had a BOGO coupon)
3.29 Russell Stover Private Reserve
$6.58 Total
-3.29 BOGO coupon
3.29 new total
-3.00 ECB from last purchase
$0.29 spent

$3.00 ECB received (so, no loss withe the ECB, but I did receive two more Russell Stover items)

This CVS did not have the razors that I wanted to get, but another one did. I was not going to drive there on Sunday (when I did these transactions), but we would pass by it on Monday, and I would wait until then.

Trip #3
7.99 Gillette Mach 3 disposable razors
7.99 Gillette Mach 3 disposable razors
2.99 Colgate Total toothpaste (may as well stock up!)
18.97 Total
-3.00 razor coupon
-3.00 razor coupon
-1.00 Colgate coupon
-8.97 ECB
-3.00 ECB
0.00 total owed

$12.99 ECB received back

So, I am really excited to see how this works. I am going to try and only purchase an item if I have a coupon and I will receive ECB back - so, we will see. I am glad that I thought through what I wanted to do before I went to the store, because, they did not have all of the items marked with the sale price - so, it was good to have my list and also a circular.

So, going to CVS and getting the most for your money is what some bloggers have referred to as CVSing it. Some people would think that it is nuts and overwhelming, but I think that it is sort of fun, challenging and obviously rewarding - I will let them give me all of my toiletries if they would like to! :)


The Gang's All Here! said...

AND CVS is very involved in the whole Extreme Home Makeover movement this year - they give back! Thanks for sharing this - I'm working on getting this together for us, too. Plus, we have a benefit where The Boss works that allows us to have some of this stuff paid for out of our flexible spending account - medicines and over the counters. Very cool!

Classic MaMa said...

This is great! What a wonderful way to be a good steward of what you have.