Monday, July 7, 2008

The Coolest Store You May Not Be Shopping At

Do you shop at CVS Pharmacy?

Aside from a couple of quick trips there over the years, I didn't shop at CVS. Then I started reading Money Saving Mom's great blog and saw all the terrific savings to be had by shopping at CVS.

CVS like Kroger and Hallmark offer customer cards that entitle cardholders to special savings and deals. You can sign up for one in the store or sign up online. I chose to sign up online.

Each week CVS advertises certain products that offer Extra Care Bucks (ECBs) which is essentially money back on your next purchase. By teaming up ECBs and manufacturer coupons you can get great savings. Experienced CVS shoppers walk out with bags full of products with little or no money spent out of pocket.

A few weeks ago I received my Extra Care Card in the mail and after studying the Sunday CVS advertisement decided to make my first serious CVS trip. I needed mascara and Great Lash was on sale buy one get one free for $4.79. Colgate was $2.99 (plus I had a coupon) and offered 2 ECBs back. I can always use toothpaste. Colgate toothbrushes were also on sale that week and offered $2 ECBs. So, I walked out with two mascaras, toothpaste, a toothbrush and a 20 oz Diet Mt. Dew (shopping makes me thirsty) for $11.28 plus $4 in ECBs to spend the next time. Theoretically, I could have gone back and bought two more Great Lash mascaras for $.79!

Today I ventured to CVS with a carefully prepared list in hand. Proctor and Gamble had a coupon insert in the Sunday paper and CVS had crafted their week's deals around P&G's coupons. How nice of them! I was excited. I had coupons. I had $4 ECBs. I also had a $4 off any $20 purchase coupon that CVS emailed to me just for signing up with their Extra Care program.

Here's what I bought:
39 oz of Folger's coffee for $5.99 (Regular price at CVS $12.49, regular price at Kroger where I would have normally bought this item as I am scrapping the bottom of the can and won't make it to Sam's is $10.49)

2 bottles of Head and Shoulders shampoo for $9. I had a $3 coupon so make that $3 each! Regular CVS price is $5.79 per bottle.

1 pkg Duracell batteries $2.99. I had a $.75 coupon so they were $2.24. Regular CVS price was $3.79

2 pkg of Always pads. I had a coupon for a free small package with the purchase of a larger one. So, I bought a 32 count package for $7.19 and got a free 20 count package. Normal price of the free package would have been $3.89 but they were on sale for $2.99.

After all my coupons, my ECBs, and my $4/$20 coupon, I paid $14.51 for all of the above. I didn't score any ECBs this time but I was still pleased because these were all items I intended to buy somewhere and I definitely paid less for them. I'm also pretty much stocked up now on health and beauty type items so it's one less thing to shop for in the near future.

For a newbie, I think I did alright!

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