Thursday, August 11, 2011

Guess How Much?

It’s time to play every cheapskate’s favorite game…. ‘Guess How Much?’  Personally I love this game.  If you’re sick of it, please let me know and I’ll stop. 

Incidentally, this post will be a little bit about me bragging about my good deals but more about offering some little tips on how to get good deals at CVS.

So--- on with it!

Guess How Much?  FYI--all of these items were purchased at CVS (in case you didn't get that from the above reference)

OK—I’m going to make you wait a bit to actually find out because each item purchased needs a little explaining.

First on my list was the Herbal Essences Shampoo and Conditioner. 

It was on sale 2/$4.97 (regular retail price $4.79 ea.) PLUS purchasing this deal this week also got me $1 extra care bucks (I’ll explain those in a minute), AND I had a manufacturers coupon for $1.00 off any Herbal Essences shampoo or conditioner product.  So, if you’re playing along that means technically I got both of these for  $2.97 (or $1.49 ea)  Good deal!

I love the name of these—  Hilarious!

Next deal:

Skintimate Shave Gel on sale for $1.99 (original price $3.49).  You guessed it—I had a coupon for $1.00 off one.  Total:  $.99

And I must've been in quite the mood yesterday because not only did I buy matching shampoo/conditioner and shave gel, but this one also sounds a little sassy!
did you know mangos could be flirty?  This was news to me.
Now for the biggie.

Schick Hydro 5 Razor: 

On sale for $8.49 (from $9.99) AND receive $5 in extra care bucks (wait for it).  I had 2 coupons for this one—one that was $3.00 off and one that was $2.00 off.  I wasn’t sure which one would work so I handed the cashier both.  Usually when a coupon doesn’t work, when the cashier scans it, it gives him/her a message and they say—‘this coupon isn’t working’ and they’ll tell me why.  I kinda let them do the work for me—it only takes an extra second for them and I don’t have to think too hard.

TIP:  it’s ok to play be dumb sometimes—it may just work to your advantage!

Yep—they BOTH worked!!  So if you’re counting here’s where we’re at with the Schick razor purchase:

On sale $8.49-- Get $5 extra care bucks  = $3.49  + $3.00 off = $.49 + $2.00 off = +$1.51.  Yeah—I totally made money on this one!

In the end, I paid $8.98 at the register BUT I got $7.00 in extra care bucks back (almost time...) so TECHNICALLY, all of this loot only cost me $1.98.

One more thing before I reveal my CVS secrets- just so you don't think I spend every waking hour scouring stores for deals...  Every Sunday I quickly review the CVS circular to see if there are any AMAZING deals that stand out or anything that’s already on my list that I need where CVS might be the best price that week.  Then I kinda sit back and let my favorite couponing sites (mentioned here) let me know if there are any “harder to find” amazing deals—then I head to the store.  Not time consuming at all—I’m a lazy couponer if I’m nothing.

OK-- Let me explain a few CVS secrets:

First the Extra Care Card:
It’s the free store card (just like any other store rewards card)—you just sign up for it at the register.    I still haven’t learned all the tricks of the card, BUT I did learn that if you scan your extracare card at the ‘check your price here’ machine (often times referred to as the ‘magic coupon machine’) it will print out unadvertised CVS store coupons.

TIP—scan it twice because many times it will print out more than one coupon!

Sometimes the coupons are AWESOME—like for free chocolate bars (hello!—FREE chocolate!) and sometimes not so much.  I got 4 coupons on this trip—none of which I will use before they expire—you usually only have a week or so—but all it took was a few seconds of my time so…

(oh and p.s.—TIP  new coupons print out every day so if you have to go more to CVS more than once in a week—check the machine again!)

A lot of times CVS offers deals that include extrabucks.  These “gift certificate coupons” (as I call them) print out on the end of the receipt.  They are good on your next purchase at CVS.  On ANYTHING.  Basically the next time I go in to CVS I have $7 free dollars to spend.

Most of the time, I don’t get sucked into these—because you still have to put more money out up front—and usually for me that’s a deal breaker.  BUT because I KNOW I’ll be back at CVS in the near future, I went ahead with these.  (FYI—RiteAid has a similar program, but there isn’t a RiteAid that is convenient to me, so I don’t ever make a special trip there for this type of deal)

Just be sure if you’re going to take advantage of a deal like this, that you’ll actually have the opportunity to use the “gift certificate coupons” before they expire—usually only a few weeks later-- otherwise you haven't saved much.

And the Green Bag Tag:

I only learned of this because one of the first coupons that printed for me on the ‘magic coupon machine’ was a ‘Get a Free Green Bag Tag’—so… I asked.  If it doesn’t print for you from the ‘magic coupon machine’, I THINK it’s like $1.99 to purchase.    (Usually it comes with a little toggle thingy on the end so that you can attach it to a reusable bag, but since I always use a different bag, I took it off of mine and keep in in my wallet with my CVS extracare card.)   Every time you bring your own bag—have them scan the card.  After 4 visits with the card, $1.00 extra care buck prints on the bottom of your receipt.  Apparently this was my 4th visit - thus making my total extra care bucks for this trip $7 (instead of the $6 I specifically laid out before)

So… there are a few secrets that I’ve learned over the past few months of shopping with coupons and the store cards at CVS.  I hope they might also help you. 

Holy wordy post—sorry.

1 comment:

Samantha said...

I've heard of all the awesome coupons at CVS, but they don't have them near me.
Guess how much i paid is my favorite game to play with my boyfriend. He thought I was crazy when I got into coupons. Finally I dragged him to the store loaded up on his favorite food and watched his eyes bug out of his head when I paid $3.50 for everything and saved $29. He sat in the car reading the receipt over and over again.