Saving At CVS

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It wouldn’t be fair to start the new year without sharing my other big savings secret: CVS!

When I first tell people about CVS they always question me saying it is too expensive but I feel just the opposite! With a little work and planning CVS will be THE place to shop for all of your toiletry needs (often food too)

Here’s what I picked up today:

DSC_0324

My total spent: $11.50 or $0.96 for each item!
My total saved: $46.86
My total ECB’s earned: $16.00

So, in one sense everything you see here was FREE!

To put my savings in perspective – the total for just the Neosporin if you went in and paid full price would be $11.49 and that’s what I paid for everything in the picture!

How did I do it?

Using coupons of course but more than that. At CVS a large number of products each week earn you ECB’s or “Extra Care Bucks” – these are coupons that print on the bottom of your reciept that can be used like cash on your next purchase – actually, $10 of my savings on this purchase was from an ECB I earned last week.

The best way to use your ECB’s is to roll them from one purchase to the next. You could use your ECB’s to buy anything in the store (other than the pharmacy) but you could also hold them for another transaction that earns you more ECB’s – this can be a transaction in the same day, the next day, the next week, etc. until they expire.

My deals this week:

Multi-Grain Cheerios

Regular price: $4.19/box
Sale price: $3.33/box (3 for $10.00)
Earn: $3.00 in ECB’s
Used: 3 $0.75/1 coupons printed from Swagbucks (or coupons.com)
Total not including ECB’s: (what I pay out-of-pocket the day I buy them): $7.75 or $2.58/box
After ECB’s my total is: $4.75 or $1.58/box

This wouldn’t be the best deal for me if I didn’t already have ECB’s but since I did it brought my price down quite a bit.

Colgate Toothpaste

Regular price: $3.99/each
Sale price: $2.99
Earn: $3.00 in ECB’s
Used: 2 $1.00/1 coupons from SS 01/06 (SmartSource in today’s paper)
Total not including ECB’s: $3.98
Total after ECB’s: $0.98 for both or $0.49 each

This is a great deal whether I have ECB’s from the week previous or not

Neosporin

Regular price: $11.49
Sale price: none
Earn: $2.00 in ECB’s when you spend $10.00 on Neosporin and/or Band-Aids
Used: $2.00/1 from SS 01/06 (SmartSource in today’s paper)
Total not including ECB’s: $9.49
Total after ECB’s: $7.49

Not the best deal and you may be able to put together a better deal with coupons but this is what I picked up.

The Stayfree pads are not part of an ECB deal but they are the best kind of deal you can get from CVS: flat out FREE!!

Regular price: $4.19
Sale price: Buy 1 Get 1 Free
Used: 3 Buy 1 Get 1 Free coupons from SS 01/06
Final price: FREE

YES! That is CVS policy – you can use a buy 1 get 1 free coupon on a buy 1 get 1 free sale and get both items FREE – even better the computer will automatically take off the maximum price the coupon allows – even though the pads were only $4.19 the computer took off $4.49 for each one so that “overage” applied to the rest of my order and saved me an additional $0.90. Not a lot but every bit helps 🙂

What I love about CVS is how I can use the ECB’s on even more deals and they can be used with other coupons (or stacked) – a deal like the General Mills Cereal deal wouldn’t have been that great if I didn’t already have ECB’s from last week but even if I didn’t and I wanted that deal I could either just go ahead and get it and use the $3.00 ECB’s on my next order OR I could purchase some better deals and “roll” those ECB’s on to the cereal deal.

Getting the hang of CVS takes a little bit of time but once you do it is so worth it!

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