Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Recent Trips to CVS


Last week sped by so fast that I never got the chance to make a trip to CVS, so I decided that I would take care of that Saturday morning. Shawn was glad to come, mainly because I promised him a trip to the hardware store afterward :D. I can't recall exactly how I fashioned my deals for that particular trip, but I do know that after $2 in manufacturer's coupons, a CVS coupon for $3 off a $15 purchase, and $12.98 in ECB, I only owed them 99 cents in actual cash. As we were walking out of the store, Shawn said to me, "I can't believe they make any money with people like you." And there in lies two key points surrounding the CVS game:
  • The vast majority of people who shop at CVS are NOT people like me. Perhaps CVS is convenient for them. More convenient in the hustle and bustle of errand-running than a cheaper alternative. Perhaps they don't have the time or energy for matching coupons with sales and ECB offers. Perhaps they've not seen the savings that can be gained by playing this game. Perhaps no one has shown them how. In any event, CVS is a successful business, so you have to know that the vast majority of its shoppers are not shopping the way I shop.

  • CVS is overpriced. There, I said it. The only way for me to make it worth shopping at CVS is to do these deals. If it weren't for having learned the game and how to get things for free/cheap, I would not be shopping at CVS.
    1. So, after that successful trip, with a few more ECBs in my hands, and a few leftovers set to expire this week, I couldn't wait to get my paws on this week's CVS ad. I stopped by the store last night, and this is what I came away with.

      • Pantene was on sale 2/$7. If you bought 2, you could get $2 ECB. I had $1 coupons for one of their new varieties. So, I used 4 coupons and got 4 bottles. $14 for the sale price, minus $4 in coup's, minus $4 in ECB returned to me, equals $6 for 4 bottles of Pantene. That equals $1.50 per bottle. Not too shabby for Pantene.

      • Dry Idea was on sale for $2.99 and you could get $2 ECB in return. I had a $2 coupon that I printed from a link I got at Money Saving Mom. That made my deodorant FREE, plus OVERAGE! That means that they basically PAID ME to take the deodorant.

      • True North Nuts were on sale 2/$6, with some varieties on clearance for $1.75. Quaker oatmeal and granola bars were on sale 2/$5. If you bought a combined total of $15 worth of products, you got $5 ECB. I bought two of the full-price nuts, and one of the clearance nuts, along with 3 boxes of granola bars. (Side note: the nuts are OK with South Beach, the granola bars are for Shawn's lunch - I'm not a big fan of granola bars, so there isn't much danger of me snatching one.) So, if you're following along at home, that's $15.25 in product. I had three $1 coup's for the nuts, and one $1 coup for the bars, which brings the price down to $11.25, but since CVS bases their ECBs on the pre-coupon price, I still got my $5 ECB back. That means I got 3 packs of nuts and 3 boxes of granola bars for $6.25, or something like $1.04 per package.

      • Irish Spring was on a three day sale. It was $4.99, and you got $4.99 back in ECB. There was a coupon in Sunday's paper, but in my area it was for $1 off two bottles. That would have made the product CHEAP, not FREE. Considering that Shawn already has an impressive stash of body wash, thanks to CVS-ing, and considering that FREE is better than CHEAP, I skipped the coupon.

      • BandAid and Neosporin products were on sale for various prices, but if you spent $7 you could get $3 back in ECB. I had two $1 coupons for BandAid products. I tried to do this one as absolutely cheaply as possible. I got one box of SpongeBob BandAids and one box of Hello Kitty BandAids, for $3.59 each. So, $7.18 at sale price, minus $2 in coups, minus $3 in ECB, equals $2.18 for the two boxes, or $1.09 each. And yes, I am cool enough to sport a SpongeBob or Hello Kitty BandAid.

      • Dove products were on sale for various prices, and they also had the "buy $15 worth, get $5 ECB" promotion. Shampoo and conditioner were $4 each, and I had two coupons for $1 off any Dove haircare product, as well as two coupons for $1.50 off any Dove conditioner. So, I got two shampoos and two conditioners, for a total of $16, minus $5 in coupons, minus $5 in ECB, for a result of $6 for four bottles, or $1.50 each. Very good for Dove haircare products.

      Anyway, the final tally was that the total of my purchases was $60-65.

      My coupons brought that down to something like $35-40.

      My ECB that I was redeeming dropped it to $20.65.

      I then used two $10 gift cards that I got thru MyPoints (which I will write about in another post - Promise!!).

      I gave the cashier 65 cents. That's the only cash I put out for all of that. And in return, I got $24 in ECB and a receipt that was longer than I am tall. When the kid was pulling my receipt and it just get coming. and coming. and coming. he said that it must have been some kind of a new record.

      I just laughed and said, "That's how I get 60-some-odd dollars worth of stuff for 65 cents!!"

      1 comment:

      saras said...

      what is an ECB?