June 27, 2008

A little off topic....CVS deals

About a year ago, I had heard about some ladies we know who were getting all kind of deals at CVS. I didn't look into it too much, but it seemed too good to be true the types of deals they were getting. Actually, I had been to CVS a few times and hated the store. I was so used to Walgreens and thought that CVS was so backwards and hated the fact that you had to use a card to get good deals. After hearing talk of the CVS deals again, I decided to check it out.

Here's a little background. CVS has a program called Extra Care Bucks (ECB). ECBs are almost as good as cash, except that the ECBs are only good for four weeks after you get them and cannot be used on prescriptions, alcohol, tobacco, lottery tickets, stamps, gift cards, money orders, and prepaid debit cards, including prepaid phone cards. Each month, CVS puts out a booklet that lists the ECBs you can earn all month. Each week they also put out a weekly flier that lists other things that you can earn ECBs on for that week only.

Here is an example. In the monthly ECB booklet for June, one of the deals is on toothbrushes. If you buy a twin pack of Oral B CrossAction Manual Toothbrushes at $6.99, you get $6.99 ECBs. Basically, the toothbrushes were free because the next time I went to CVS, I had $6.99 in ECBs to apply towards my next purchase. These aren't just cheap toothbrushes either. They're the Cadillac of manual toothbrushes. Another deal was on Listerene SmartRinse. It was on sale for $3.49 and you got $3.49 ECBs back. Another freebie. I made this deal even sweeter though. I had a coupon for $1.00 off, so I really made a $1 on that deal. The best way to make it really good is to have a coupon to use in addition to the ECBs.

Tonight I had $14 in ECBs to use from our past purchases. Here is what I got tonight.

1 - 12 pack of Charmin Ultra
2 - 8 packs of Bounty paper towels
2 - Palmolive dish soaps
1 - Colgate toothpaste
1 - Listerene SmartRinse
1 - Aussie Conditioner
2 - 9 volt Duracell batteries
1 - birthday card
1 - tube of CVS hand lotion
2 - Dove deodorants
1 - pkg 40 count bandaids
2 - bottles of All laundry soap

The big ECB deal this week was on the toilet paper, paper towels, and batteries. If you purchased $20 in Charmin, Bounty, and/or Duracell, then you got $10 ECB back. I also had a coupon for $0.25 off the toilet paper.

The Colgate was on sale for $2.49. I had a coupon for $1.50 off. I also earned ECBs on it.

The CVS lotion was free after coupons.
The bandaids were $1.99 and I got $1.99 ECBs.
The All laundry soap was $6.79 for one. It was buy one get one free. I used two $1 coupons (one for each bottle). So, I got two bottles for $4.79.

Here is the grand total.

Price before coupons: $73.38
Price after coupons and CVS card discounts: $43.92
ECBs used: $14.99
Total Out of pocket: $28.93

The best part, we earned $25 ECBs for our next trip.

I know some people think this is crazy. Why would you need to stock up on things you don't need right away? Well, we didn't buy anything that we wouldn't need eventually. Everyone uses toilet paper (or at least I hope they do!). We all need toothbrushes, deodorant, laundry soap, batteries, etc. So, why not buy it when it is on sale?

I'm already planning my next trip to CVS to see if I can decrease my out of pocket by using the $25 ECBs I have and scavenging the internet to look for more coupons.

Here are some useful sites to learn more about this.

Deal Seeking Mom How-To
The "Cent"sible Sawyer
Hot Coupon World forums -- you can view future CVS ads here and plan your strategies.

While I am not nearly as skilled yet at this as some people, I think we are doing pretty good!


John and Heather said...

Well I just came across your blog...I didn't know you had one! I'm lovin' your post though; I could sure learn a few things from you. As much as I need to be a deal finder I'm just not very good at it! Thanks for your tips I'll have to check it out. How is the adoption going? You'll have to do an adoption update post to update me;) Glad I found your blog!

Debbie said...

Okay, I need to check out the CVS deals now. I need something else to obsess over. Ha, ha, ha!!!!

Jina S. said...

I have been doing CVS deals for two years and it is amazing what you can get for almost nothing. Best advice is to save all coupons because you never know when you may need them. Sometimes you will need to buy something you may not need just to roll your bucks because it won't cost you anything. Just wait until Thanksgiving--I had almost half a cart last year and paid almost nothing. Have fun!!!

Jina S. said...

I have been doing CVS deals for two years and it is amazing what you can get for free or very little. My best advice is to save all coupons you can get even if you don't use the item. You never know when you may have to buy an item just to roll your bucks because it isn't a good week. Wait until Thanksgiving--last year I had almost half a cart of stuff for very little out of pocket. Have fun!!!