Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Did I Really "Save" Over $400 in May Shopping at CVS?

My totals for money saved and money spent for my CVS shopping in May 2010 were:                   Saved:  $438.00
Spent:  $8.04
While shopping the CVS deals for the month of May I only had out of pocket cash expense of $8 and I saved $438 off the regular CVS shelf price of the items I purchased.  But did I really save that $438 from my budget?  No, I did not.

First of all, I didn't need all of the items I bought.  Probably 15% of them were above what my family needed so found homes in the houses of friends or were donated to charities.  So right off I need to take 15% off that $438 total which brings it down to a savings of approximately $373.  But I still didn't shave $373 off my budget.

If it weren't for the great potential of savings at CVS with the weekly deals of combining sales, extra bucks, CVS coupons and manufacturer coupons I would not normally buy these items at CVS because of the higher list price.  In my small town I would shop at the least expensive grocery store which has prices approximately 15% below CVS prices.  So shaving that 15% off of the $373 brings me down to $327 in actual budgeted savings.  So when I look at my $3000+ savings last year from CVS shopping I really can only claim approximately 75% of that or $2250+ in budget savings.  This is assuming I would shop and would not use coupons or sales at all--this is the savings I get from using these items.

If you look over the things I bought in May you will see a lot of the same items:  deodorant, shampoo and body wash for instance.  Obviously we didn't need all of these in this month, but they will be used over the next few months and I will not have to worry about buying any of these items at full price because I have them stockpiled.  And when the next month brings CVS deals on toothpaste and paper products, for instance, I can work on stockpiling those items so that I never pay full price for them again.  That is the beauty of using coupons to save money you can always have several months to a year's worth or more of non-perishable items and never pay full price again, or in many cases never pay for them at all.  You can read more about stockpiling here.

So yes, my frugal way of shopping for CVS deals saves me hundreds of dollars of my budget each month, but it is not all it appears to be.

I coupon to stretch my husband's paycheck since I am a homemaker, but I found an interesting blog of a gal who coupons and saves her budgeted savings for a trip to Disney each year.  A neat concept.  You may enjoy looking at her blog.  You can find it at Couponing to Disney.

If you want to begin on the road to saving money, CVS is a good place to start.  Check out the step by step lessons in CVS 101.


a busy mom getting through life said...

NIce ppost.
I would like to be able to take what I save and put it toward our debts. That would be huge help, but I can not match the amt. OOP. Does that make since? I am hoping and beleiving that after I walk in the spring with my assoc. degree that, I can get a nice job with benfits and nice pay to start making a bigger dent in our debts. I plan on still doing cpn and saving bc it does help so much.

a busy mom getting through life said...

I read her story and seen her on hcw and others. She is doing good! I can't take out $150 of our budget for groc each week. We would be in worse shape _LOL
Maybe next yr. after get out of school and get a job.
I am $152($76 week) so far this month. I went over last month. I count pet food, cleaning, personal stuff , people food, etc.

Anonymous said...

You've done really well. I'm also on my way with the whole stock piling thing. I've got plenty of soap, body wash, deoderant and toothpaste to laste quite a while. When other items go on sale, I'll start stock piling them as well. CVSing may not pay off big at first, but after a short while, you no longer have to spend money on so many items that you have stock piled. That in itself is a savings. Not having to buy toilet paper or soap that you don't have a coupon for or it's not on sale! I'll check out the Disney blog too, that sounds very interesting! - Dusty

JRFrugalMom and Family said...

That is fantastic Cheryl, but I am not surprised. I have not been doing my CVS shopping for a while now, and since I am on vacation at the moment there is not much savings at all.

Carolina Girl said...

I LOVE that you look at this realistically. If I look at it from a real standpoint in my house, we are actually even with our budget! :) Before couponing, we weren't able to afford things like body wash, shampoo, deodorant, etc. I either made my own (baking soda makes an all-right deodorant) or did without (soap can be used as shampoo - it's not recommended, but it can). So coupons have afforded me these things. So thank you for teaching me to be able to buy these things so my family no longer has to go without!
My grandest day... I got to "buy" a lipstick yesterday! Can I tell you how long it has been since I have had such a little pleasure?!
God Bless.

Cheryl @ Simply Shoeboxes said...

Busy Mom, that totally makes sense you need to take what you DO save and put on your debt whatever amount it is. Each family's budget will be different, but whatever it is you actually save from your budget from CVSing is what you can apply.

Hang in there and keep up the good work on your schooling. I will be excited to hear when you do walk.

Cheryl @ Simply Shoeboxes said...

Dusty, you are right--once you have a stockpile you can be very particular in what you buy and know you will never pay full price, and often very little for all your basic needs.

Cheryl @ Simply Shoeboxes said...

Frugal Mom, my whole family has heard how you were off the internet a few days--my imagination was going wild about what could have happened to you or one of you dear boys, I was never so glad to see you post to your blog:-).

Cheryl @ Simply Shoeboxes said...

Shellie, it is comments like yours that make all the hours put into this blog worthwhile. And you represent exactly what I like to point out--there are different levels of saving while shopping at CVS but any shopper can save: whether it is cash in hand or providing what was not formerly possible. My girls and I are amazed at our shelves with name brand hair, skin and make up products--more than we need, which is great because sharing is so much fun.

If you keep at it you will eventually be saving on your budget, too. Oh, and it is a great place to get gifts. Eventually you will have extra beauty products which make great shower gifts or stocking stuffers or gift baskets for any occasion.

Please keep commenting when you have time, it is encouraging.

Anonymous said...

Thanks cheryl , you are a blessing to so many people, thank you for all that you do aand have done to help so many.

Cheryl @ Simply Shoeboxes said...

Thank you for the kind words, Anonymous, they keep me going. I love to help others and teach so it is fun, though a lot of time and effort goes into it.