Monday, January 5, 2009

HUGE fun with CVS this week

This is a great week for beginners to get started at CVS. There are quite a few true freebies (even without coupons).

It all came together for me this week: the coupon for $3 off a $15 purchase, the great coupons on January's freebies, and a Sunday paper with 5 sets of inserts this week!

There are a few situations at CVS when you can "earn" ECBs - usually when you have a coupon to use with a true freebie (ie: buy something for 3 bucks and get 3 ECBs back) - if you have a $1 off coupon, you'll pay just $2 and still get 3 ECBs. Usually when I have an opportunity to earn more ECBs than I've spent, I resist the temptation to buy extra (free) items. I'd rather just walk out with more ECBs than I had when I came in, and save them for trips like the one we did on Sunday where Stewart was sent to buy 2 big tubes of Balmex (stat!) for our delicate little flower whose bottom was on fire. Since I buy organic milk and (most) food, there's not too much I can stock up on even when I get the chance.

But! This trip was a winner:

I did 6 transactions to maximize the $3/15 coupon, and used these to save on January's freebies:

  • $4.99 ECB wyb Children’s Throat Cooler Ice Pops 6ct (Limit 2) - this is actually a limit of 5. Buy 2 at $4.99, use this printable coupon for BOGO and you'll pay $4.99 and actually get $9.98 in ECBs! Do it twice and you've MADE 10 bucks on the deal. Pair it up with the $3/15 and you've made at least $13.
  • The Garnier Fructis is on sale for $2.99 and is generating $2 ECBs. Pair it with a coupon for $1 off from the 11/9 RP and it's free! (limit 1)
  • The Soyjoy bars (6-pack) is a weekly, unadvertised, freebie - buy one pack for 6 bucks, get 6 ECBs. Limit is 5! I think they're god-awful, but I keep trying them on Nate and the shelter gets the excess.
I'm not going to lay out scenarios, since you can never be sure which items your CVS will have in stock. If it was me, I'd be doing separate transactions that get you just above $15 so you can use the $3/15 coupon.

One idea: One transaction with 2 Throat Coolers and one NasoGel. Your total will be around $18 before coupons. Give them the $3/15, then the BOGO, and then the $2 off the Nasogel. Your net total will be around $8 and you'll get $18 in ECBs! Do it twice and earn $20 just walking in the door.

Like I said, I'm usually just happy to walk out the door with my items and with more ECBs in my hand, but this time I let myself buy a few extra newspapers. Actually, I bought 19 extra newspapers, and still came out 11 bucks ahead.

Here's what I ended up using (on two accounts):

After turning around and buying the 19 (!) newspapers, I still ended up $11 ECBs ahead.

If you're just getting started with CVS, you can find an excellent tutorial here: Money Saving Mom.

Get out there and get your free stuff!

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