Thursday, June 24, 2010

"CVSing"



My very first trip to a CVS Pharmacy . . .

I headed out the door with my Wal-Mart coupon organizer and CVS Sunday ad in hand. As I walked in I scanned the store looking for an employee who could help me sign up for the Extra Bucks CVS reward card. Standing in line I remember thinking. "This is a memorable moment. Someday it will be a fond memory of the day I started making money off of CVS." And then I took a tissue and dabbed at my tears while I composed myself.

OK, most of that didn't really happen. But I was excited to finally give this CVS goldmine a try! It was fast and easy to sign-up for the card and the cashier even gave me my very own card right away. It came with 2 key chain versions as well.

Next, I headed for my target: a 64 count box of Huggies diapers on sale for $19.99. With the CVS card, the price went down to $9.99. And did I mention I had coupon for $3 off? Oh yeah. That brought my total down to $6.99. Seriously? $6.99 for a BOX of diapers? That's almost half the price of the Target brand I usually buy!

When I arrived at the cash register I kind of felt like a teenage guy asking out his first date. Do I hand them the coupon first? Are they going to roll their eyes at yet another Mom using coupons to get free stuff? Turns out you first hand them your CVS card, so they can ring up your sale purchase. If you have any coupons to use, hand them over next. On my receipt, there was a bar code at the bottom and a note that said I earned 10 extra care bucks(ECB's). Woo hoo!

I was feeling very ambitious now. So I thought about toiletry things I needed but haven't yet bought because I didn't have coupons. I went back down the aisles and grabbed a few items totaling $7.

When I arrived at the cash register for the 2nd time, I was excited to use the ECB's to purchase these things and then get more ECB's back! Turns out I was wrong . . . I COULD have used my ECB's to purchase those things, but the amount needed to equal at least $10. Darn it . . . So I talked to the cashier and asked questions to make sure I understood the whole system correctly.

When I arrived home, I read the CVSing guide on http://www.southernsavers.com/ which explained what I'd missed: The first time you buy an ECB item, you pay real money. You can then use those ECB to buy other ECB items. AND, you'll get the new ECB bonus. So they just keep rolling over! You can use ECB to pay for normal items, which I'm sure I'll use once I get a better hang of this. But you get the real things for free when you use ECB to purchase other ECB items.

Whew. I'm so glad I got my first CVS trip done. I may have felt like a fish out of water but now that I understanding it more, I can't wait to keep rolling those ECB!

Anyone else a CVSer? What deals are you finding?

UPDATE: Thanks Kaci for the tip about Money Saving Mom. I check her blog frequently but I didn't know that she listed the specials for ECB's each week at CVS! Click here if you want to read more about it!

4 comments:

J. et K. said...

Okay, I don't even like on the same continent as a CVS but I loved this post. I believe you've found (one of your) true calling(s) as a coupon blogger!

Jennifer said...

It's funny that you posted this because I also made my first CVS trip yesterday. You might also check out http://kingdomfirstmom.com/ if you don't already. She does a weekly post about how many ECBs you can get for $5.

kaci jo said...

I'm sure you've seen this blog, but she posts the weekly deals she gets at CVS and also links to the coupons she prints off-line

http://moneysavingmom.com/tag/cvs-deals

There's actually a coupon you can print to get cereal for free this week. Much better than your 4 boxes of cereal and gallon of milk for $6 :)

This has always looked like a really fun challenge, too bad there are no CVS's in Des Moines.

Mar said...

Hi! I started reading your blog since before you went to spain. Regarding CVS, you should see all the stuff I've gotten for free. I have 2 cards and take advantage of the freebies every week. Have you visited "I heart cvs" ? it shows a preview of the upcoming weekly circulars for you to prepare your coupons and be ready.

Hasta luego, Julie.