Friday, July 10, 2009

How I Make CVS Work For Me

As I mentioned previously, I was never a fan of CVS, hate their pharmacy (at least the one here) and thought that the majority of their items were over-priced but I have seen the light!

I started shopping at CVS after being intrigued by the $5.00 CVS Challenge hosted by Keeping The Kingdom First back in April while I was surfing the web for coupons, etc. Keep in mind there is no prize to be won with this Challenge, just some bragging rights and a huge amount of satisfaction when you bring home bags of stuff for very little money out of pocket. To give you an idea of how well I have done since starting on April 12th I have purchased $771.53 worth of merchandise (price before any sales, coupons or using Extra Bucks) and paid only $213.17 out of pocket - a savings of $558.36 purchasing everyday items such as diapers, shampoo, laundry and dish soap, toothpaste, shampoo, etc. Plus I still have $15.00 to spend my next go around!

There are many websites that list the ins and outs of CVS shopping, so I don't want to reinvent the wheel, just explain to my friends and family that have asked, how I make it work for me.

Some of the websites/blogs that I follow are:

Keeping the Kingdom First - Lots of links, coupon match-ups and tutorials
Deal Seeking Mom - Lots more links and coupon match-ups and tutorials
Surviving The Stores - Still more links and coupon match-ups
I Heart CVS - Preview of circular

Here is how I make it work for me:
  • I generally stick to sale items that I have coupons for and items that they are offering Extra Bucks back for purchasing.
  • Usually most CVS stores have a machine towards the front of the store that is a price checker/coupon giver. I always scan my CVS card when I come into the store as you generally get a couple of random CVS coupons. This is usually where I obtain my $3.00 off a $15.00 purchase coupons.
  • Unfortunately, this best deals can be found by making multiple trips which makes no sense to some but once you do the math - it does. My "Challenge" is to get as many household staples and groceries I can with spending very little out-of-pocket by using weekly sales, coupons and Extra Bucks.

    For instance, on a recent trip I bought three rolls of tape at $1.49 each (totaling $4.47) and received $4.47 back in Extra Bucks so in all essence the tape will be free the next time I go shopping. I look at Extra Bucks as like a bank CD per se; you give the store the money today and they will hold it for you until the next time you shop, well that is all fine and dandy except what if I never come back or lose it!!

    The day after I bought the tape I stopped back in and bought some Febreeze products and after sales and coupons my total was $6.50 I used my $4.47 tape Extra Bucks so it only cost me $2.03 out-of-pocket. If I purchased the tape and Febreeze products in one trip I would have had to pay $10.97. This is not the best example but you can get the idea.
  • Although the $5.00 CVS Challenge focuses on spending only $5.00 or less, I sometimes tend to make my purchases total $15.00 before coupons (especially if there are big ticket items) to take advantage of my never ending supply of $3.00 off coupons. The only thing you have to pay attention to is the order that you give the cashier your coupons. Always give the $3.00 off CVS coupon before your manufacturer's otherwise your total would be less than $15.00.
  • Remember, CVS takes Internet coupons!

So this week when you get your circular take a marker and circle all Extra Bucks offers and sale items you are interested in, go through your coupons, check the websites listed above for any internet coupons and their matchups and have fun!

This week coming up is a great week to get started, they have "free" pens and notebooks for three days only - GO GET SOME!

If you have any questions just let me know.


Multiple personalities.. said...

Thanks for sharing this! I love blog posts that could help me save some money. I never think of CVS as a place to shop except for my pharmaceuticals, but your post might just turn me around on that. Hope you're having a fun SITS weekend!

JM - The Princess said...

I am glad I could help!