Thursday, July 3, 2008

Frugal Friday: My CVS Trip Broken Down

This is a quick post as we will be on our way to Gettysburg Friday morning with my family for vacation. This week was not my best at CVS but I did 3 transactions, so I thought I would use this as an example of how the CVS thing works. I know it is hard to get used to but the trick is to buy things that you may not need to get what you will use or need. So, here it is... I started with $2 in ECB (Extra Care Bucks) Transaction #1 CVS After Shave Lotion $2.59 Bic Soleil Razor $6.99 Mascara $7.99 -$2 coupon for the after shave from the internet -$4 coupon for the razor from newspaper -$3/$15 CVS coupon -$2 in ECB So, I spent $7.29 (not that great but bear with me) - I got $1 & $7.99 in ECB back... Transaction #2 CVS Bandaids $1.99 CVS Hair color $6.29 Soleil Razor refill $6.99 -$1 in ECB from above -$7.99 in ECB from above -$3/$15 CVS coupon -$2 printable coupon for the Soleil refills Total after coupons & ECB = $1.51 (And I got $5, $1.99 and $2 in ECB back) Transaction #3 Excedrin Back & Body $4.79 -$1.99 in ECB -$2 in ECB from above Total paid in cash = $.86 I didn't get any more ECB back but I have a rebate to mail in to get the $4.79 back. so the grand total is... $10.36 paid in cash -$4.79 that I will get back in the rebate -gain of $3 in ECB (I still have $5 from above) = $2.57 actually "spent" for all the above stuff and most of it we will use at some point even though we didn't actually "need" it right now - anything we can't use, we will find someone that can. So, that's how CVS works. Unfortunately, in July there are not very many deals on the ECB (which was one of the reasons why I went ahead and did the Excedrin rebate instead of saving it for later)... Everyone have fun celebrating our nation's independance day! Have a safe and Happy 4th of July!

2 comments:

Julie said...

I'm still not getting the ECB thing - I got a CVS flyer this week and it says how many you'd get if you bought a certain product none we ever use) but do YOU know ahead of time or do you just "hope" when you get there? Can you get ECB on everything? And are they on your CVS card or do you have to keep track of them like receipts... did you make 3 transactions in one shopping trip or was it 3 trips? AND - last question, does that mean that Mike colors his hair??? or is that one just for "future need" too =) ~ See ya tomorrow! We'll talk more then.

Jen said...

Some weeks are better than others. ECB print at the end of the receipt like a coupon and they have an expiration date (it looks like 1 month from when they print out). The ads tell you which things you will get ECB back on. You do have to pay attention that it is exactly the right one but usually there is a sale tag that shows the sale prices/ECB where the product is on the shelf. If I'm not sure I ask a salesperson. They are always nice about checking if it is the product that prints out the ECB (and also ringing up multiple transactions). There is also a monthly book with deals that are good all month (not all of them are printed each week in the weekly ads). The way that you can actually "make money" is to use a coupon on top of the deal for the ECB. (For example, this week there is a Kodak digital scrapbook for $7.99 get $7.99 back - I have a coupon that was in the newspaper a couple weeks ago for $3 off so I could either pay the $4.99 out of pocket or use ECB from before and then I would get another $7.99 ECB print out.) I can then apply this "profit" to things that I would normally buy at Walmart and therefore get the things I need at a lower price. I know it is complicated. I read the Money Saving Mom blog a lot to get ideas and hints. The other ways to earn ECB is on prescriptions and you also earn 2% on whatever you actually pay out of pocket each quarter. This quarter I got $2.50 on my purchases. The final thing is the $3 off $15 coupon or $4 off $20 coupon. These really help alot. They print off on your receipt with other coupons but it varies so you may get good ones and you may go for a long time without any. Yesterday I got a coupon for a free CVS brand hand sanitizer. You also can get the $4 off $20 coupon when you sign up for an email online account. In answer to your question about the post I did 3 separate transactions but sometimes I do make more than one trip in a week if I "discover" a new deal after I did my initial shopping of if I'm still deciding on whether it is a good deal (our CVS is just a few blocks away). If it is a really good deal they will probably be out of it toward the end of the week or month so I try to go on Sunday or Monday for those. It works best to have a CVS (or more than one) near enough that you could go at least once a week for it to work well. If you want to try it, give me a call. I would be glad to explain it more...