I’ll walk you through the process:

CVS. Okay, I know you’ll get bored if I keep posting about CVS – but I wouldn’t want you to miss out on free Colgate toothpaste!

Every so often, my fiancé accompanies me to the store.  I thought it was about time to teach him my saving ways so he follows suit.  To start, I made him sign up for his own CVS ExtraCare card.  Without that, you mine as well throw money down the drain.

His first trip to the in-store kiosk was pretty rewarding – it printed out a $3 coupon for linking his new card to the phone app, and a $2 instant coupon off of Colgate toothpaste (everyone gets one this week).  It also printed a $1 off any P&G product, but we saved that one for later (we’ll be going back to buy Tide).

For this particular shopping trip, we had two coupons from home – $1 off any Colgate toothpaste and $1 off any Colgate mouthwash.  These came in the Sunday newspaper.  Another set also came in my mailbox on Thursday with the local town paper (so I still have two more coupons for another time!)

I’ll walk you through the purchase, just as I explained it to him:
The Colgate toothpaste this week was on sale for $3.00 and the Colgate mouthwash was on sale for $3.99, plus $1 back in ExtraBucks for buying one.  When we combined the $2 instant toothpaste coupon with the $1 toothpaste manufacturer coupon – it was free.  Then when we combined the $3 coupon for linking his card with the $1 mouthwash manufacturer coupon – that washed out the mouthwash.  He actually, technically “lost” a penny – you win some you loose some. Just make sure you win more than you loose.

Overall, 100% savings with a $0.00 receipt total – plus a $1.00 coupon on the bottom for his next purchase!  If these items were not on sale, without coupons he would have paid $9.48 – yikes!

As the cashier bagged his items, she said “It always feels good when it’s free!”.  Yes, good is an understatement.

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You can get your own free toothpaste until CVS closes Saturday night
(September 5th)!

Don’t forget – the CVS website has a “sneek peak” of the full flyer for the upcoming week.  Before you buy something, make sure there wont be a better deal in a few days!

‘Till next time, keep saving!

The Difference: Extreme Couponers VS Me

I recently saw an instargram photo from a self proclaimed “extreme couponer” – it showed an entire table full of junk food, over 30 sticks of deodorant and over 15 bottles of off-brand shampoo that she paid a few measly dollars for.  Unless this person was going to donate all of the food to a local food pantry, and donate all of the personal care items to a local shelter – I think they wasted their time.  This same person also posted a photo of an entire living room floor completely covered in coupons – how do they even get those (dumpster diving?!)  Some couponers spend hours, even days planning their purchases.  A trip to the store could take them hours.  I’m not an extreme couponer, and I’m totally okay with that!

I have a very active lifestlye, I have absolutely no time to be an extreme couponer – nor do I have any desire to be.  But, I do want to save as much as they do – and I think I’ve proved that I can through my past posts.  Instead of getting cheap shampoo that I would never dream of washing my hair with, I want to get the same deals with the high-quality, brand name products that I use daily.  I don’t want things to go to waste, and I certainly don’t have a “storage room” for years worth of products – I will never give up my craft room!

Maybe I’m picky.  Or maybe I buy certain brands because I absolutely have to.  Having struggled with chronic seborrheic dermatitis and contact dermatitis my entire life, I know what I can, and what I can’t use.  One load of laundry washed with scented detergent will cause irritation and discomfort for days, even weeks.  Same goes for any beauty products, lotions, soaps, hair care – you name it, I probably can’t use it.  Spraying aerosols or harsh cleaners can easily prompt an asthma attack.  My point? The list of products I can safely use is limited – very limited and they tend to be extremely overpriced.   So, I have a dilemma – I either break the bank buying products I need to use on a daily basis, or I buy cheaper products that are going to cause side effects.  I don’t like either of those options, so I make sure I can always get what I want, and what I need, for a fraction of the cost.

Yesterday, I did just that.  I didn’t spend an hour, or two, or five searching for deals.  I literally spent 20 minutes quickly skimming through the flyers in the Sunday newspaper (which you can also easily find online…) to find the items that were on my shopping list!  CVS had ALL Laundry Detergent (including the scent free version) on sale for 2/$7.  It is normally priced $7.79 each.  There was a manufacture coupon in the newspaper for $2 off when you purchase 2 – so I could use that.  Every time you fill 10 prescriptions at CVS, you get $5 back in rewards – I had just hit #10 last week.  So as soon as I walked in the store, I scanned my card at the coupon Kiosk – and out came the $5 coupon to use on anything in the store!

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Overall, I had exactly $7 worth of coupons.  Since the detergent was on sale for 2/$7… well that’s easy math.  Without my ExtraCare card and coupons, I would have spent $15.58, but instead I didn’t even open my wallet (tax is on the price after coupons, and there’s obviously no tax on $0!).  100% savings – and I wasn’t even in the store more than five minutes.

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So, I got what I wanted, what I use, what I needed – for free.  Maybe I do have one thing in common with extreme couponers: I LOVE the feeling I get when I leave a store with full shopping bags in hand – that I didn’t cost me a cent!

‘Till next time, keep on saving!

Act Fast – Free Item Alert!!

I’ll get to the point and make this post short and sweet.  If you don’t like free stuff, then move on to another blog – otherwise keep reading, then head over to your local CVS.

This week (until August 1st) at CVS, the 33.8oz bottle of Colgate mouthwash is on sale for $4.79. You’d be crazy to pay $4.79.

If you received the Sunday newspaper, cut out the $2 Colgate mouthwash manufacturer coupon.  If you didn’t get the paper, I’m sure one of your neighbors or family members did – so snatch theirs.

As soon as you walk into CVS, scan your Extracare card at the kiosk and a $2.79 coupon will print out automatically.  I’ve already harped upon getting this free card – but if you haven’t taken my advice yet (why not?), you can easily sign up for one within a minute at the front desk.

It’s as easy as this:  Bring the mouthwash up to the register.  The cashier will scan your Extracare card, ring up the sale-priced mouthwash,  scan your $2.79 CVS coupon and then scan your $2.00 manufacturer coupon.  Total: $0.00 Free. Free. Free.  

  

Lets just say you didn’t get the newspaper, and you don’t know anyone else who did…. you can still print off a 75 cent coupon from the Colgate website.  Combine that with the $2.79 CVS coupon and you’d get the mouthwash for $1.41 (including CT sales tax)!

‘Till next time.  Don’t wait too long or they’ll be sold out!

Another day, another CVS haul… $30.47 down to $1.97

A little over a week ago, the unimaginable happened.  I couldn’t squeeze another dollop out of the Colgate tube and my normally full stash had diminished to zilch.  Completely shocking.

Even more shocking, I woke up on Sunday, July 12th with the assumption that the CVS app and website had both gone haywire as my drowsy morning-eyes read an error stating “no deals available in your area“.  After cursing technology, I realized it couldn’t be a huge coincidence that the paper boy also forgot to slip a CVS flyer in the Sunday paper.  I had to accept the fact: there were actually NO sales.  Say WHAT?! I unfortunately lived in one of the many test markets that tried a new marketing technique – one week without any sales or promotions. Guess what CVS: it didn’t work for JCPenny, and it will not work for you.

Anyway, since I wasn’t about to go pay full price for toothpaste, I’ve been relying on those tiny travel-sized tubes stashed deep in the pockets of my suitcase for the past week.  Luckily for the long-term vitality of my pearly whites, CVS reinstated their sales yesterday and I was able to replenish my stockpile of oral hygiene products.

After a weeklong hiatus from CVS shopping, I strolled in, flyer & coupons in hand: A $10 ExtraBucks coupon from buying P&G Products a few weeks ago and $4 worth of manufacture coupons for Colgate products and Arm&Hammer Laundry Detergent (one of only 3 brands I can use for my extra-sensitive skin).

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There were some great in-store deals too: for every $10 you spend on Colgate, you get $5 back, plus the detergent is B1G1Free! So to make the most of my money, I decided to split my purchase into two transactions.

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Todays outcome: two tubes of Colgate Total, one bottle of Colgate mouthwash and two bottles of Arm&Hammer laundry detergent.  Without sales and coupons, my total would have been $30.47.  And I paid $1.97 total for both of my transactions combined! That’s less than what the cheapest item in my shopping bag would have cost!  Not too shabby.

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‘Till next time, keep your wallet full and your shopping bags fuller!

From $71.95 to $23.73, all with that little red ExtraCare card…

When I was waiting in line at CVS tonight, the woman behind me asked “is all that stuff [in your cart] on sale?”.  She must have gazed through the flyer.  I said yes, then added “I have coupons too and I’m getting the $10 gift card deal”.  Her response? “I’ve seen people do that on TV; you’re going to be a millionaire one day”.  Well, lets hope she’s right.  She was only buying one greeting card so I let her know I was making two transactions and offered to let her cut me in line.  She refused – she had to see it to believe it.

So, I’m going to stray away from the fashion theme today and talk about one of my favorite non-clothing stores: CVS.  All you need to do is get an ExtraCare card (it’s free) and you’re on your way to saving.  A lot.

Knowing I should spend at least $30 pre-tax (advertised promotion this week: get a $10 gift card when you spend $30 on select products), this was the shopping list I created: Scott toilet paper 12 pack, normally $11.49 on sale for $6.99 (I’m getting two packs because I’d never want to run out and this is the only brand I like); Hefty Garbage bags 45 count, normally $10.49 on sale for $6.99; Degree Clinical normally $9.99 on sale for $7.99 and two bottles of Ajax dish soap normally $1.67 on sale for 88Cents.  All of these sale prices totaled $30.72 (pre-tax, pre-coupons).

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I also have 4 bottles of Lysol bathroom cleaner on my shopping list – they’re normally $5.79 or $3.49 depending on the type, but they’re on sale for $2.50 each.  I didn’t add these to my first total because I’m purchasing them during transaction #2.  You’ll see why.

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ExtraCare coupons? $6 off a $30 purchase, and $3 ExtraBucks for linking my ExtraCare card to the CVS app on my phone.  When the coupons were scanned, my total became $23.10 with tax.  Swiped my credit card, the cashier handed me my receipt and the $10 gift card I earned, almost done!

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Time to make a second transaction – for those Lysol cleaners I left in my cart.  At $2.50 each they come to $10 plus tax… used my $10 gift card from my first transaction and paid… $0.63. (that’s the tax on $10)! Unfortunately, I had to pay the tax since I used a gift card.  Had it been a $10 coupon instead of a gift card, the total would have been $0.00.

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So, lets go back to why I bought two bottles of Ajax dish soap for 88Cents each.  I don’t really love Ajax for myself (I go for Palmolive free & clear….) but I can bring it to our community kitchen at work.  Those two bottles of Ajax brought my total JUST above $30.  Had I not spent the $1.76, my total would have been $6 more, and I would not have received the $10 gift card.  Spending $1.76 saved me $16 – that’s worth it to me. Catching on yet?

Oh, I almost forgot! When I swiped my credit card, I used my Discover – which currently gives me 10% cash-back on CVS purchases.  I can put that cash-back directly towards my statement, or redeem it for gift-cards! Here’s a photo of everything that would cost $71.95 (total with tax) if you bought separately at full price without an ExtraCare card.

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My FINAL total: $23.73.

So, if you don’t have a CVS card, go to the store and get one ASAP. It honestly can’t get any easier.