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Archive for the ‘deals’ Category

CVS Tips

I’m not going to make my blog all about CVS, I promise. But for those of you interested in giving CVS a try, I thought I’d share some tips with you. I suggest that you read Southern Savers CVS tutorial and also Money Saving Mom’s CVS 101. They give some useful advice. My tips will summarize what they say and also give you a couple of tips that they don’t share.

  • Use sites like Southern Savers and Money Saving Mom to give you ideas each week of what to buy at CVS. They give good scenarios and coupons you can use.
  • CVS has monthly deals, weekly deals, and 2-day deals. Make sure to check out all of them.
  • There are often CVS coupon booklets when you first walk into the store. Look for it and snag one when you can.
  • If CVS doesn’t have one of the sale items you want, tell the cashier. My CVS writes a raincheck, so I can come in another time to get the item. I even get the ECBs that go along with it.
  • Save all your receipts! They have your ECBs on them, and they also usually have good coupons on them as well.
  • Your ECBs print seperately, not all in one lump sum. So if you earned $14 in ECBs from 3 different items, you’ll get 3 seperate ECBs, like $9, $3, and $2. This comes in handy because then you don’t have to use them all at once.
  • If you use a $9 ECB receipt and only buy $5 of stuff, the other $4 is gone, so you’ll want to coordinate it so you don’t waste them.
  • ECBs have an expiration date. I think it’s a month.
  • You often have to do multiple transactions in order to maximize your free stuff. The first time I did it, I planned out 5 seperate transactions so I could keep using ECBs that printed out to get my next items. I felt dumb, but the cashier acted like it was totally normal. (Example: I have $4 ECBs, and I can buy lipgloss for $4 and get $4 in ECBs. Limit of 3 lipglosses. I would do 3 transactions in order to get them all for free.)
  • Sometimes, in order to get the most ECBs, you may be getting free stuff you don’t really need. Some people aren’t comfortable with that. I look at it this way: I can give the stuff to someone I know who needs it or even donate it to a shelter or charity organization. You can still do CVS without getting stuff you don’t need, but you will maximize the deals if you do.
  • Plan your transactions in advance, but bring calculator to the store with you. If they’re out of an item you want, it can mess up your whole plan!
  • You may make a mistake or two with this. I’ve made several, but they’re still awesome deals, and I figure I’ll get better at it over time.

Feel free to ask me any questions you want to. I was very intimidated by CVS at first, and I’m still no expert by any means, but I’m very happy to share what I know. If you’re nervous, start small and build up to doing more. Though with the awesome deals coming up next week, you may just want to jump right in!

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My CVS experiment

Are you a CVS shopper? That is to say, do you get tons of free crap from CVS on a regular basis? If you don’t, you might want to try it out. I’m new to the whole CVS world, but I plan to use it to stock up on some of our essential items (like toothpaste, toilet paper, deodorant) for free or nearly free. And look at all the stuff I got from CVS the first time I tried it:

CVS crap

There was more stuff, but my husband drank some of the evidence (another coke and gatorade). But you get the idea. This is $120 worth of stuff, and I paid only $20 for it. (I would have paid even less, but I screwed up a little.)

Anyway, the best part about it is that now that I’ve put some initial money into it, I will keep getting free or nearly free stuff indefinitely because of ‘Extra Care Bucks’, or ‘ECBs’, as the lingo goes.

Basically, CVS has different ECB deals each week, where if you buy an item, you get a certain number of ECBs back. ECBs are essentially the same as cash. So for example, one of their deals this week is contact solution. You pay $8.99 for the solution, and you get $8.99 in ECBs back.

Because I already have ECBs from last time, I simply walk into the store, pick out the contact solution, and give them my $8.99 in ECBs. They give me the same number of ECBs back, and I walk out with contact solution for free, with ECBs to use for next time.

What makes it even better, though, is coupons. You can go here to get a $2 off coupon for the contact solution. So they will ring up the contact solution for $8.99, and I give them the $2 off coupon. I can then use those extra $2 to buy anything I want. I’m planning to buy a Powerade with those 2 extra dollars. Powerade costs $1.59, but I’ll get $1.59 back in ECBs. So in that transaction, I will give CVS $8.99 in ECBs, and get contact solution, a Powerade, and $10.58 back in ECBs to use next time.

The more coupons you have, the better the deals get! If my explanation isn’t making sense, Southern Savers has a great CVS tutorial. Check it out if you’re interested in getting into the CVS thing. And then go to CVS and sign up for their card.

And do it soon! Because on the 21st and 22nd of this month, you will be able to get a crapload of free stuff from CVS. Seriously. Check it out here. Most weeks are NOT this good – most of the time there are just two or three totally free items. The really sad part is that I will probably be miles and miles away from any CVS on those days. So if you can take advantage of it, do! And then tell me how it went in the comments. Because if I can’t do it, I want to know that someone did!

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