Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Wonderful Wednesday, 12/30: My First CVS Shopping Experience

So, I've read that newbies to smart shopping and couponing should try CVS first, since it's super easy to save money there. The ECB or Extra Care Buck system does seem like a great incentive program. My seasoned counterparts in couponing would probably shake their heads in disappointment or give a half smile of amusement at my adventure today, but I feel like I had a good start.

I had to sign up for the Extra Care Buck program today, since I'd NEVER done that much (ANY) shopping at CVS before. "Sign up" is a pretty inflated term to use, since all I did was say "I need a CVS card before I check out." The cashier replied, "Okay, I'll give you this card." There was no form to fill out or even an email address to be given. Easy.

I did two transactions - because the smart shoppers I'm learning from always do - so here's a break-down of each transaction.

Transaction #1
3 2-liters of Diet Coke
on sale for 3 for $3, plus get 1 ECB

Colgate Total Advanced Clean 4.0 oz
$2.99, get 2 ECB
used a $1 coupon from the December All You magazine

Pantene Styling Products
(Ice Shine hairspray, 11.5 oz.; Volume mousse, 6.6 oz.)
on sale for 2 for $7, plus get 2 ECB
used a coupon for $3/2 products
Total before coupons: $13.97
After coupons: $9.97
Got back 5 ECB

Transaction #2

2 Aussie 3-Minute Miracle 8 oz.
On sale for $2.88 each
Used 2 coupons for $1/1 from 12/27 PG

Total before coupons: $6.20
Used 3 ECB
Total after coupons and ECB: $1.20

Total oop: $11.17
For products valued at: $20.17
And I still have 2 ECB

Here is where those experienced shoppers are respectively shaking heads or half-smiling. $11.17 out of pocket is a bit much, I hear, for a CVS shopping trip. But, hey, I'm an amateur, after all.

A few notes worth, um, noting:
1. I'd read that CVS had a particular Biore product on clearance for $4 and offered 2 ECB's on that purchase. I wasn't able to find that product, so I missed out on a great clearance deal as well as 2 ECB's.
2. I had a $.50 coupon for Dawn Hand Renewal, and Dawn is on sale at CVS for $.99. I could have purchased the product for $.49 (and I have 3 coupons, meaning I could buy 3 products for the $.49 price). That item was out-of-stock at my CVS.
3. I'd read that I could use the $1 coupon for Ivory soap from 12/27's PG insert to purchase the Ivory soap on sale at CVS for $.99. The manager said I couldn't use the $1 coupon for the $.99 product. I don't really understand that, since Ivory (or PG) would reimburse CVS for $1 no matter what. But, whatever. I didn't buy the Ivory.
4. My town has several CVS's (?) so I will try for the Dawn and Biore at a different store, and I'll probably try the Ivory as well, just to see what happens.

1 comment:

  1. I forgot to include:
    Average spent per item:$1.40