Saturday, May 3, 2008

My Name is Shelley, and I'm a CVS Addict

Hey, guess what? They have some sort of WiFi at the skating rink where Kylie is having her lesson. And here I thought I was just going to have to write in Word, or play solitaire or something.

I'm going to copy a post here from my other blog, Getting Serious About Getting Out of Debt. I don't know how quickly we're actually getting out of debt, (picture a snail or a really slow turtle), but if you're interested in bargain shopping or couponing or saving money, you might want to click over there and take a look. There are some good website links there, like I Heart CVS and Money Saving Mom.

And if you're not interested in couponing and stuff, don't look. See if I care.

My Name is Shelley, and I'm a CVS Addict

I might as well just admit it now. But if there's a 12-step program, I don't want any part of it. :)

I went to CVS twice yesterday. I had two $4 off a $20 purchase coupons, people! I had to figure out how to make use of both of them. They both came in my email, and one was $4/$20 beauty purchase which expires 5/3 (yes, that's today), and the other one just came on Thursday, and it expired tomorrow.

I was actually planning on just using one of them, and letting the other one go. But here's what happened:

Yesterday morning, I got:
2 Adidas deoderants, $4.99 each
2 Aquafresh Extreme Clean toothpaste, $2.99 each
1 Colgate 360 toothbrush, $3.99

This adds up to $19.95. I need a small filler to get up to $20. Guess what they sell at CVS?

Oh yeah, these little bottles are $1.29. Perfect.

I used my $4/$20 Beauty coupon (because guess what? My favorite CVS cashier said it didn't really matter whether they were beauty products or not!)
I also used 2 - $1 off Aquafresh and 1 - $1 off a Colgate 360 toothbrush.
I paid with my $10.97 in ECBs (Extra Care Bucks), and owed $3.76, which I put on my gift card. Total OOP (out-of-pocket) = $0!

And, I got $9.98 in ECBs from the Adidas, $5.98 ECBs from the toothpaste, and $3.99 ECBs for the toothbrush for a total of $19.95. I practically doubled my ECBs! Yay!

Seriously, this was all I was planning on doing. I was just going to let the other $4/$20 coupon go. Really, I was.

But then last night, oldest daughter wanted me to take her to Fry's to get some tanning oil. (Please, no lectures about tanning oil. I made her get one with at least a little sunscreen in it, and let's face it, teenagers are going to lie out and tan themselves no matter what we say about skin cancer when they're 60.)

I was aghast at the idea of going to Fry's to get tanning oil, and I of course suggested going to CVS. You see, she was planning on paying for it, and I knew I could get it free. :)

So I quickly conjured up a little scenario in my head, verified that I did have $1 off coupons for Banana Boat products, and off we went.

Here's what we got:
1 Banana Boat tanning oil with SPF 4 (I know!) $8.89 (yikes!)
2 Colgate 360 toothbrushes, $3.99 each
1 Adidas deoderant, $4.99

I used my other $4/$20 coupon, 2 - $1 off Colgate 360 toothbrushes, and $1 off any Banana Boat product.

I went to use my $9.98 and $5.98 in ECBs, but that put me over the total. So I told daughter to grab some mints and added that to the total. I owed $1.07, which went on the gift card. Once again, my total OOP was $0.

I received $4.99 in ECBs for the Adidas, and $7.98 for the toothbrushes, so I still have $16.96 in ECBs.

In case anyone is wondering, I received a $25 gift card for transfering a prescription of Steve's to CVS. I've been using that for my OOP (out-of-pocket) totals. There's only about $3.50 left on it right now, but he has one more prescription that I might be able to transfer, and there was a coupon for a $25 gift card for a transfered prescription in the newspaper last Sunday.

Also, when I say I used a $1 off Banana Boat product coupon or $1 of a Colgate toothbrush coupon, those are all coupons that are found in the Sunday newspaper inserts.

ECBs are Extra Care Bucks. CVS has weekly and monthly ECB specials. You can see their circular online here. There are also always a few products that are free after ECBs. For example, the Colgate 360 toothbrushes, the Aquafresh Extreme clean toothpaste and the Adidas deoderant are May ECB specials. These products are free after ECBs. In other words, if you purchase one Adidas deoderant @ $4.99, you receive $4.99 back in ECBs on the bottom of your receipt. ECBs are just like cash at CVS.

They also have other deals. A past example would be, buy $20 worth of Cover Girl products, get $10 back in ECBs. When you combine these deals with manufacturer's coupons, you get get items for very little out-of-pocket, and sometimes even free. There is an initial investment when you make your first purchase, then the idea is to just keep rolling over your ECBs.

Since I assume most of you are completely bored by now, I'm going to shut up.


Anniepants927 said...

I was SO not bored reading that...I am intrigued! That is AWESOME, seriously. I could become obsessed with doing just what you described on this post! It would be like a game for see how little or how "nothing" I could spend. lol Thanks for posting. :-)

Greta said...

For's Big Lots. I feel your pain.

Mary said...

Wow. I should maybe go to CVS someday and check it out.

You kinda lost me when you said you went to Fry's. Here Fry's is a huge Electronics store and I take my toddler there to look at the huge tropical fish aquariums there. Yeah. Electronics warehouse store with huge fish tanks as decor. Thats where I buy my geeky stuff.

Shelley said...

Mary - I guess I should have clarified. We have Frys Electronics here too, but usually when people refer to Fry's in Arizona, they are talking about our local Kroger chain. I believe yours is Ralph's. :)

If anyone is interested in learning how to make CVS work for them, Money Saving Mom has a pretty good tutorial called CVS 101 here:

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I actually work for CVS Pharmacy and I don't rock the discounts the way you do!

Lish said...

Awesome deals! We don't have a CVS nearby us though. :(

I did get Gogurts for 5 cents a box the other day though. at Meijer. ;)

Diesel said...

Wow, bored doesn't even describe it. I had to take three naps and I still skimmed the last part.

Meijer rocks! Wish we had those out in CA.

Alice said...

I need to work some of my CVS bucks, I keep not using them and that's bad of me. :/

I need to check you're get out of debt blog. We're going to finally be out of credit card debt in June of next year and that will be liberating. :)

Anonymous said...

So is Fry's doing the $300 gift card, get 10% extra added on like Kroger is? I assume since they're a Kroger chain they are. I decided since Kroger gets most my business anyway this was good for me and I went ahead and bought one. And, I will keep buying them until the offer runs out. Why not? Essentially 10% off groceries!

I was looking at that savings blog and I noticed that lots of coupons mentioned were printed coupons. Unfortunately, most stores around here won't take printed coupons. Thanks scammers. :/ You ruined it for everyone. Asshats.

Shelley said...

Alice - Fry's is doing that gift card thing. I guess you buy a $300 gift card and then get $330 on it? If I had an extra $300 laying around, I would totally do that. :(

Yeah, luckily most grocery stores around here still take internet coupons. I know a lot of places have stopped doing it though, because of people making 50 copies of one coupon. I alway just use either the 1, 2 or 3 they let you print, but like you said, as usual a few asshats have to ruin it for everyone. That sucks.

Anonymous said...

We put all of our expenses on Amex and pay it off at the end of the month, so buying a $300 gift card all at once wasn't going to make a difference in our budget. We were going to spend $300 on groceries in this billing period anyway.