Tuesday, August 18, 2009

CVS--Here I Come!

I've been reading about the great deals to be had at CVS Pharmacy from Money Saving Mom and Life as Mom for quite awhile now.....but since we didn't have CVS around here, I'd just sigh with envy and move on.
A few months ago, however, CVS decided to invade our area (despite the multitude of Rite Aids and Walgreens we have...I mean...how many pharmacies can there be in a town, anyways?) and I was delighted! Now I could play the CVS game and score incredible bargains with all these other ladies around the country!
There are actually two CVSs nearby...although the closest one isn't open yet. Should be soon.
I've been perusing their weekly ads for about a month now and pondering if I could muster up the guts to jump in and just do it. It takes a bit of practice to get used to their system of Extra Care Bucks (ECBs) and to figure out all the math to make the most of your money. (Basically, ECBs are CVS store credit....so you can come back within a month and spend the credit as cash. Every week they have items that you can essentially get for free.)

Today I took the plunge.

One thing I failed to take into account was how prices are different around the country....so the deals that one lady got in California won't necessarily be the same deals I get here.

I'm sure there could have been more savings somehow for me, but for my first try, I feel pretty decent about how I did.

First, I went here and filled out a short survey to get a $5/25 coupon. Easy breezy.

Then I searched through my coupons and found that I had 2 $3.00 coupons for Huggies diapers.

Armed with these and my ad, I went to CVS, filled out my paperwork for my free ECB card, and got to shopping.

What I got:
2 packs of 150 sheets of filler paper - $.99 each, with $.99 ECB each
2 pencil boxes - $1.99 each, $1.99 ECB each
1 Phillips Earhook headphones - $6.99, $6.99 ECB
2 packs Huggies diapers, $11.99 each (more expensive than I anticipated)
1 set Playtex Insulated cups - $7.99 (not planned purchase...saw them and loved them...we needed them anyways.)

Total: $44.92 + tax

Coupons Total: $11.00

I Paid: $35.92

ECBs - $13.00 (printed on my receipt and I have until 9/17 to spend it)

Final: $22.92

Not great.....but not too shabby either. Upon reflection, I could have done 2 transactions, getting the ECBs to print on the first one and using them to help purchase the diapers on the second one. Then my out of pocket would have been less....but I wouldn't have the ECBs to spend next time, so I guess it all evens out. The idea is to use those ECBs to buy more things that earn you ECBs and therefore you end up spending very little out of pocket, once you get into it.

We'll see how I do next week. Hopefully the ads will be good, and I'll get some more good coupons to help lower my costs.

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