‘CVSing’



Is there are CVS in your area?  If so, you must start shopping there if you’re not already!  Conveniently, CVS is the closet store to our house.  So, with motivation from other savvy saving/frugal bloggers, I decided to try my couponing hand at CVS. 
The best thing about CVS is their Extra Care Bucks (ECBs) reward system.  If you’re not familiar, ECBs are essentially reward money that you get to spend at CVS.  Each week in the ad there are certain products that will yield you ECBs.  What many people (and now I) do is pay “x” amount of dollars up front (called a primer trip) and then get “x” amount back in ECBs.  Then, you attempt to “roll” your ECBs, meaning that for subsequent CVS purchases, you use your ECBs to purchase other items that will yield you more ECBs.  By doing this correctly (it does involved a fair amount of math), you could potentially not ever spend a dime again at CVS. 
{Pause…at this point, if you are unfamiliar with CVS or have no idea what I’m talking about, here are two good references both called, “CVS 101″.  For the long version, click here and for the condensed version click here.}

I did my first primer trip in August and through some serious good luck, managed to only spend $8.26 out of pocket for everything pictured above!  Here’s how:
We got a coupon in the mail from CVS the other day for a $25 gift card when you fill a new or transferred prescription.  So, we transferred the little guy’s Zantac prescription over and got a $25 gift card! When dropping off the prescription, we scanned our CVS card at their little coupon printing machine (always do this!) and got a coupon for a $5 off a $15 purchase.  Sweet!  
So, I did this in two transactions: 
In the first, I purchased the razor and the blink eye drops.  I had coupons for each and used my $5 off coupon. I paid with the gift card and that transaction alone gave me $12.99 in ECBs.
Then, I purchased everything else in the second transaction.  I used the $12.99 in ECBs that I just got.  Plus, 75 cents – $1 off coupons for every single item.  I used up the rest of the gift card and owed $8.26 out of pocket.  That’s the price of just one of the CoverGirl lip sticks!  
All that stuff would have been a great deal anyway.  But, what makes it crazy good is that I got another $20 in ECBs to use again. My goal has been to see how far I can make that $8.26 go!
Since that initial primer trip, I’ve been back two more times.  My second trip looked like this:

For that trip, I spent nothing! :)  I used my $20 ECBs & manufacturer’s coupons and didn’t even spend one penny!  Plus, I got back another $18.97 in ECBs.
Then, the following week I rolled those ECBs (combined with coupons) and I got this:

Sadly, I did have to pay out of pocket for this trip…a whopping $1.53!  Now I have $17.80 in ECBs, plus another $25 gift card!! That should make for some GOOD shopping! :)
To help you in your CVS endeavors, moneysavingmom.com and iheartcvs.com are really  good sites for planning.  

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