Sunday, April 27, 2008

This week - quiet quiet quiet

I didn't get anything today except the Sunday paper. I've kind of painted myself into a corner with the experiment-card's large ECB, so I'm waiting for the May deals to kick in to roll it and split it up.

I know there are deals this week but I don't need Just for Men haircolor nor Post It notes/flags. I toyed with a deal involving more Sunsilk (I have done that deal twice so far, 5 things each time because they were on sale a few weeks ago...) and either a Softsoap SPA (the large size) or Bic razors, but my favorite store didn't have the razors or the Softsoap and, well, I don't need either of those anyway.

I currently have the $4/$20 beauty coupon and the $3/$15 Washington Post coupon kicking around. Check back with me after May 1!

Monday, April 21, 2008

...My other card...

I liked this deal, so I'm sharing it here.

I started out with $11.97 in ECBs (one big one).

I bought 2 lipsticks, a box of Alavert (the bonus box with 18 pills), and a Speed Stick deodorant.

I used $1 off the Speed Stick, 2 $2 off the lipstick coupons, and $4 off the Alavert. Those plus the $11.97 = 64 cents out of pocket (63 cents of which was sales tax) and $13.99 back in ECBs, broken up into a $6, a $4, and a $3.99.

THEN I went back and got a tube of fancy Skin Effects face scrub and 2 bottles of dishwashing liquid. I used the CVS $2 off Skin Effects coupon (beware - this has been reported to ADD $2 to your total rather than take it off, and that's what happened to me but luckily the cashier and I both caught it and she fixed it - seems like faulty programming to me and it's a PAIN) and 2 25 cents off the dishwashing liquid coupons. I handed over the $6 in ECBs and 11 cents. Got back $5 in ECBs.

Net gain in ECBs, $1-ish, plus all that stuff for free! My YTD savings on that card = $835.96, and I've spent approx. $40 out of pocket to get there. (My spreadsheet, linked on the right, isn't complete because I can't find the receipts for the first few trips of the year.)

Back to the experiment!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

By the way...

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Day Five - Trip One

(Technically trip two - my usual CVS didn't have anything I was looking for sale-wise so I used my other card to get some things I needed, then went to another store.)

2 bottles of Herbal Essences shampoo (BOGO - $4.29)
2 bottles of Herbal Essences conditioner (BOGO - $4.29)
4 boxes of CVS rapid release pain pills ($3.99 each - see, I got them after all)
1 24/7 Speed Stick deodorant ($3.99)
1 EOB gift bag ($1.49)

Used 2 coupons for $3 off 2 Herbal Essences, 1 coupon for $1 off Speed Stick, 1 CRT for $2.50 off a $10 CVS brand purchase, $14.99 ECBs, $4.99 ECBs.
Paid $1.07 OOP (53 cents tax).
Received $15.96 and $3.99 ECBs ($19.95 total)

THEN, went back and got 2 EOB lip butters - 2 for $5

Paid with $3.99 ECBs and $1 ECBs.
Paid nothing OOP.
Got back $5 in ECBs (lip butters + gift bag from earlier)

CVS 4-20-08


Current tally:
Total OOP: $2.20
Total merchandise: 5 boxes of Excedrin, 5 boxes of CVS pain relief, 1 roll of CVS TP, 5 Softsoap SPA bodywashes, 1 diabetes monitor (donated), 1 EOB gift bag, 2 EOB lip butters, 2 bottles Herbal Essences shampoo, 2 bottles Herbal Essences conditioner
Current ECB status: $20.96

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Day Four - Trip One

Bought one Ascencia Contour diabetes monitor - $14.99.
Used one coupon for up to $30 off the Contour, adjusted to $14.99.
Paid zero.
Received $14.99 in ECBs.
Gave the monitor to someone who needed it, so I don't have it (so no picture).


Current tally:
Total OOP: $1.13
Total merchandise: 5 boxes of Excedrin, 1 box of CVS pain relief, 1 roll of CVS TP, 5 Softsoap SPA bodywashes, 1 diabetes monitor (donated)
Current ECB status: $20.98

Friday, April 11, 2008

Day Three - Trip One

Bought 4 Softsoap SPA bodywash (the exfoliating ones). $4.99 each.

Used $4.99 ECB each time, did 4 transactions (asked first, the cashier was happy to oblige). Paid nothing. Zero!

Received $4.99 ECBs at the end.

(It occurred to me that I could've done this first with the pain pills, when I had $3.99 ECBs - done 4 transactions, paid nothing, gotten 5 packages for free. But I got the 5 with my other card and one with this card, so I didn't really need them. But if you are following along and want to copy me, you could do that.)


Current tally:
Total OOP: $1.13
Total merchandise: 5 boxes of Excedrin, 1 box of CVS pain relief, 1 roll of CVS TP, 5 Softsoap SPA bodywashes
Current ECB status: $5.99

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Day Two - Trip Three

Bought 1 Softsoap SPA bodywash (the moisture one). $4.99.

Used $3.99 ECBs, $1 coupon. Paid 7 cents (tax).

Received $4.99 ECBs.


Current tally:
Total OOP: $1.13
Total merchandise: 5 boxes of Excedrin, 1 box of CVS pain relief, 1 roll of CVS TP, 1 Softsoap SPA bodywash
Current ECB status: $5.99

Day Two - Trip Two

Bought 1 Excedrin (Migraine). On sale for $1.99. (Maxed out this deal.)
Bought 1 CVS brand pain relief rapid release gelcaps. $3.99.
Bought 1 CVS brand toilet paper (filler/way to spend the 50 cent ECBs*). 89 cents.

Used $3.99 ECBs, 50 cents ECBs, $2 Excedrin coupon. Paid 54 cents (37 cents for the TP and 17 cents tax).

Received $3.99 ECBs and $1 ECBs.

*Yes, there are other ways I could have worked this, but yesterday I went to a different CVS and tried to just buy the CVS pain relief ($3.99) and the cashier couldn't figure out how to adjust my ECBs by a whole penny. Today I went to a different CVS and wanted the trip to go smoothly (although I suspect the cashier could've handled it - she handled the $2 coupon for the $1.99 Excedrin!) - AND wanted to turn that 50 cents - which were sort of skewing my experiment - into something else anyway. And who doesn't need TP? ;)

Excedrin, CVS pain pills, TP

Current tally:
Total OOP: $1.06
Total merchandise: 5 boxes of Excedrin, 1 box of CVS pain relief, 1 roll of CVS TP
Current ECB status: $4.99

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Day One - Trip One

Bought 4 Excedrins (24 count, 2 Extra Strength, 1 Back and Body, 1 Tension Headache). Each on sale for $1.99.

Used 4 $2/off coupons.

Paid 52 cents. (Sales tax.)

Received 4 ECBs.

*Also still have the original 50 cents in ECBs. Oops. Will use them soon.
4 Excedrin

Saturday, April 5, 2008

CVS CVS oh how I love CVS


I'm a new stay at home mom (to a 9 month old) and a freelance writer - so of course I REALLY like to save money these days (though who doesn't?). I've actually been doing the CVS thing (buying things with Extracare Bucks - or ECBs - and then getting more ECBs in return..rolling those, and using them for both essentials and fun things) for several months (started it while I still was working full time, I'd go to CVS on Sundays and buy the paper and then scoop up the deals) - and I've blogged about it elsewhere. So why blog here?

It turns out that I have access to a second card - my husband's. So here, I am going to chronicle using HIS card to see just how far I can go spending as little out of pocket as possible (sales tax only would be nifty).

I will be starting out with 50 cents in ECBs, his Winter 08 earnings. And I have a plan for my first few purchases as well.

I may also mention the deals I get with my other card, but this isn't really about that as I use that card for non-deals too (the Sunday paper, things on sale without an ECB return, things that come up that I need to buy that aren't on sale, etc.). This is going to be a chronicle of how much I actually pay out of pocket over time and what I get in return.

Watch this space.