First up - CVS:
- I haven't done the CVS thing in a few weeks, and I've been contemplating it's value in my life. You see, I did a fine job of stocking up on certain things (toothpaste) while I was heavily CVS-ing, but I began to walk away from the store wondering if I had just spent money to make money. If you know the CVS game, you know what I mean - I was wondering if I had just shelled out money on things we didn't really **need** just to get the precious Extra Care Buck. I know for a fact that this happened more than once (fancy shampoo and make up - make up? I don't even WEAR make-up), and it was unsettling in my overall goal to get us into a better financial position. So, this was weighing on my mind when I went to CVS on Sunday.
- Garnier Fructis shampoo and conditioner were on sale for $2.99 each, and then you got $2 ECB back (limit of 1 offer). It's not a brand I normally use, but it's price was reasonable. Even though it wasn't free, it did correspond nicely with a deal at Rite Aid (see below) so I decided to go for it. I bought 1 bottle of conditioner. $2.99 out, $2 received in ECB.
- Dial body wash was on sale 2/$7 and I had a coupon for $1 off 2. It ended up being $3 a piece after the Q. Nice, but .... Soft Soap body wash was on sale BIGI, and was regularly $5.49 a bottle. That's a 50 cent savings - not much, I know, but it's still 50 cents.
- My big ECB purchase of the week .... Certain Johnson and Johnson products were on sale, and then if you bought $20 worth of those items you would get back $10 ECB. For this deal, I took advantage of some Q's that I had for Sudafed and Tylenol Cold products. I got 3 boxes of cold meds for exactly $20 and had $3.50 in Q's to bring that to $16.50. I then got the $10 ECB on my receipt. Not a money-maker or anything, but those $10 in ECB should be useful next week or whenever I get back.... as long as I get back before they expire, another one of my issues with the CVS game.
- My last deal at CVS was obtained as I took an obliatory spin through the Christmas clearance aisle. I found Ocean Spray cranberry sauce there, regularly $1.69 per can but on clearance for 75% off. I got 2 cans for 42 cents each, and the date on them shows they are good until March 2010. They definately will get used before then. I was quite pleased with this deal.
From CVS, I went to Rite Aid. Very short list here.
- First, the Garnier Fructis shampoos and conditioners were on sale here for $3 and were eligible for $2 in their Single Check Rebates. I tend to like the SCR's better because they come to you as an actual check - it's not "play money" that lures you back into the store. I deposit the SCR checks into my ING "snowflake" account, so I'm actually seeing and feeling the savings. Anyway, that's another story. ..... I bought 1 bottle of shampoo at Rite Aid, since the offer had a limit of 1 rebate. I also used a $1 Q, so after the SCR I will have gotten the shampoo for free. In theory, $2.99 + $3 - $2 ECB - $2 SCR - $1 Q = 99 cents for 2 bottles.
- Second, and last, Excedrin was on sale - either the 80 ct or 100 ct, depending on variety, for $6.99 and you could get another $2 SCR. I also had a $2 Q that I combined with this deal. The Excedrin was originally $9.99.... minus $3 for the sale price.... minus $2 for the SCR... minus $2 for the Q.... equals a 100 ct bottle of Excedrin Migraine for $2.99. Not too shabby at all.
After Rite Aid, it was a long journey across the parking lot to Acme. Acme has tended to be hit or miss for me, but in recent months their deals have gotten better. I think they are trying to compete more heavily with Giant in this area, which could explain some of this. All I know is that I am appreciating their coupons - both in their ads and that they mail to me.
- I bought bread, English muffins, and crackers all on sale, but they weren't anything outstanding as far as great deals go. The BIG deal was ... Yoplait yogurt. Yep, yogurt. It was on sale 20/$10. Now, I know that I didn't HAVE to buy 20 of them, but.... If I bought all 20, Acme would automatically deduct $2 from my receipt. I also had 3 Yoplait Q's, two for 40 cents off 6 yogurts and one for $1 off 8. Acme was nice enough to double both of the 40 cent Q's. So, if you're keeping track, that's 20 yogurts at $10.... minus $2 auto savings .... minus $1.60 in 40 cent Q's .... minus $1 in the other Q. That's $4.60 in savings, or $5.40 in cash outlay. That amounts to less than 30 cents per yogurt!! And THAT'S why I coupon. (Well, I also Q for the stuff I can get free, but getting a good deal feels so awesome!)
From Acme, I drove across the street to Giant. The trip to Giant was more about restocking the cabinets, since they are routinely cheaper overall than Acme, so there weren't really any deals here. The only one worth mentioning was pretty good, though - certain Electrosol products were on sale for $2.99, and I had a Q for $2.50. Yes, a good deal .... until I came home and went to put the Electrosol away, when I realized that we had 2 or 3 bottles of it under the sink. Oy. And THAT'S why I'm no expert at coupon-ing.