Tuesday, September 6, 2011

My CVS Shopping Trip for the Weekly Ad of 9/4/2011 ~ The Challenge Begins (Saved 91%)

Paid $2.89 including tax.
So I jumped back in this week after a four week CVS Shopping sabbatical.   It was a great week to begin on my Beginner's $50 CVS Gift Card Challenge.  As I explained in an earlier post, I got a new CVS extra care card to work with so I can truly show what a new CVS shopper can save when just starting out.  So I was able to spend under $3 for over $30 worth of  products.

After getting my card I registered it with my email address so I was able to receive a $4 off $20 total purchase coupon for signing up to begin my shopping with.  Since there were great coupons printing last week at the
scanner I had Sarah scan my card the two times she stopped in so I would have them for this week. With a new card I only receive the two coupons available to everyone who scans their card. As I continue to shop I will receive more coupons based on my purchases.  Hopefully, I will also receive some of those elusive (to me anyways) $5 off $25 total purchase CVS coupons.

So here is my first trip back to CVSing.  I also received a nice welcome from my favorite cashier and one of the managers who were working Monday morning when I went.  The manager reprimanded me for skipping out on shopping and my cashier came around the counter and greeted me with a hug.

$50 Beginner's CVS Gift Card Challenge Balances:

Total Saved:  $ 33.65  (including tax)
Total Spent:  $ 2.89 (including tax)
Total Value of Products Purchased:  $ 34.19 (without tax)
Gift Card Balance:  $ 47.11
Extra Buck Balance:  $ 1.99 (I began with no extra bucks with this gift card)

This week's trip's details:

Saved:  $ 28.07 + .87 tax = $ 28.94 (94.5% before tax; 91% after tax)
Spent:  $ 1.63 + $ 1.26 tax = $ 2.89
Beginning Extra Bucks Balance: $ .00
Total Extra Bucks used:  $ .00
Total Extra Bucks earned:  $ 1.99
Ending Extra Bucks Balance:  $1.99

NOTES:  I do not figure in the extra bucks earned in the % saved, I will figure those in the week I use them.  Because I often do multiple transactions my total extra bucks earned may differ from the ending extra buck balance and the total used may exceed the beginning balance as I use some from one transaction on another.

Transaction #1:

2 -- Carefree Pantiliners @ $1.00 each get $1.00 extra buck (LIMIT ONE)
       Used 2 -- $.50/1 Carefree Manufacturer coupons (1 from a recent insert, 1 printed online)
        Received one $1 extra buck back
        Even tho I couldn't get an extra buck back on the second one, it did ring up on sale.  So with the extra buck back on the one and the two $.50 coupons the two of them were basically free and the extra $1 helped me reach the $20 I needed to use the $4 off $20.

1 -- Alway's Infinity @ $3.99
       Used a $.50/1 manufacturer coupon from recent Sunday Insert. [$3.49--but I counted the $4/20 towards this so Free]
       This is one of those must have items ever since we got them free after extra bucks.  There are few brand loyal items we have, but this has become one of them.  So the $4 off $20 helped to cover the cost of this.  When I used to get the $4 off $20's regularly I would try and make my own sale like this on needed items.

1 -- Skintimate Shave Cream @ $1.99
       Used a $1 CVS printable coupon (available @ CVS.com) and a $1 manufacturer coupon from a recent Sunday Insert. [Free]

1 -- Suave Deodorant @ $.99
       Used a $.50 manufacturer coupon from a recent Sunday Insert. [$.49 but I counted the $4/20 towards this so Free]
        This is one of the things I look for when I have the $4 off $20's--items that are under a $1 after coupons but help get the total up to the $20.

1 -- Dove Dark Chocolate Bar @ $.79
       Used the Free Scanner coupon printing this week at CVS. [Free]

2 -- Hershey's Air Delights @ $.99 get $.99 Extra Bucks Limit One
       Used a B1G1 Free Hershey's Air Delights manufacturer coupon from a recent Sunday Insert. [ - $.50 overage--the cashier accidentally entered $1.49 in for the free because she looked at the price of the gum, she tried to change it but it wouldn't let her so she let it go thru this way]
      Received a $.99 extra buck back

4 -- Orbit Gums @ $1.49 buy one get one free sale {goes in my Operation Christmas Child stockpile}
        Used two CVS scanner coupons for $1/1 Orbit gum and a $.50/2 manufacturer coupon from a recent Sunday Insert. [$.48]

2 -- Bags Starburst Jelly Beans @ $2.99 each
       Used a CVS Scanner coupon for B1G1 Free and it came up for the full $4.29 off
       Used two $1/1 manufacturer coupons I had printed earlier that are now no longer available. [When I see a great coupon for a item often on sale at CVS I print them when I see them and file them away for later use--this was just that case.]  [ - $.32 overage--by combining CVS coupons and manufacturer coupons you can often receive overage on a product if you have more in your transaction to cover it, in this case, as is often, CVS coupons scan for the full value even if the product costs less]

Used a $4/$20 CVS coupon from signing up for emails

Spent:  $ 1.63 + $ 1.13 tax = $ 2.76
Extra Bucks used:  $ .00
Extra Bucks earned:  $ 1.00, $ .99 = $1.99

Transaction #2:

I did this second transaction because sometimes CVS coupons are limited to one per transaction and I had heard of others having that problem on this product this week.  So I did this one for that purpose, but I often do them to roll the extra bucks from one to another for less out of pocket.

1 -- Skintimate Shave Cream @ $1.99
       Used a $1 CVS printable coupon (available @ CVS.com) and a $1 manufacturer coupon from a recent Sunday Insert. [Free]

Spent:  $.00 + $ .13 tax = $ .13
Extra Bucks used:  $ .00
Extra Bucks earned:  $ .00

Check out these and all of this week's deals.  Also, read how I have learned (from others) how to "stack" the coupons in the right order to pay for tax.  Some states have to pay tax on extra buck usage and some don't so it may or may not affect your CVS shopping.  And if you don't have any, or many, extra bucks check out how to have the least out of pocket cash when beginning or check out these scenarios for spending less than $5 or $10 out of pocket for several items.

You can read about all of my CVS shopping trips or check out readers' trips.

Step by Step CVSing for Beginners

I will be starting a step by step lesson series this week on how to begin CVS shopping as I am beginning as a new shopper this month and will share what I am doing.

Readers' Gift Card Challenges

If you haven't joined us in the Simply CVS gift card challenge we'd love to have you do so.  Check out the details in this introductory post:  Join the Simply CVS Gift Card Challenge.  I will be putting up a CVS Gift Card Challenge Post at the end of each week for reports and will include a linky for those who blog about their challenge.

Earn CVS Gift Cards Online

If you haven't worked on earning free CVS gift cards online yet, now would be a great time with Holiday shopping just around the corner.  Click the banner below and you can see a few different sources I earn CVS gift cards from, along with free Paypal, to help with my CVS shopping (they offer other prizes, but CVS gift cards are my favorite).  If you'd like to learn how to earn more Swagbucks towards your prizes check out the Index to the Swag Bucks 101 Series of posts.


Crystal said...

so jealous that you can still get starburst jelly beans! they only sell them in stores here at easter time!!!

Cheryl @ Simply Shoeboxes said...

Oh, Crystal, that is funny because I didn't want them but that is all they had for the coupons I had--I will be donating them someplace, I just haven't figured out where. Wish you were nearby I'd share :-).

Crystal said...

i wish i was too!!!

-Carol said...

Thanks for sharing. You did great.

I did the b1g1 skittles last week and got the full amount taken off. Then this week I had three store q's b1g1 Skittles, the cashier adjusted them down :(

Cheryl @ Simply Shoeboxes said...

It's strange, Carol, you never know what some of these coupons will do.

-Carol said...

I have a questions about your tally since I would like to try to follow the same format

Total Saved: $ 33.65 (including tax)
Q1: Is this the amount on the receipt at the bottom "Today you saved" plus the tax?

Total Spent: $ 2.89 (including tax)
Q2: Is this cash/gift card total; not figuring in ECB's

Total Value of Products Purchased: $ 34.19 (without tax)
Q3: This differs from Total Saved, how do you figure the value. And is the value price full price? Another words let's say the Carefree normally sells for 1.59 but was on sale for 1.00. Would you put down 1.59 as value of product or 1.00,

Thanks for all your help. I am looking forward to taking the challenge, but a little nervous too!

Cheryl @ Simply Shoeboxes said...

Carol, I have never included tax when figuring savings before but since I am using the gift card it will be included in the amount spend so I thought I should do the tax. So here is I figured (I plan on putting a post up about it). I will use round numbers as examples:

Spent $1.00, plus $2.00 tax (total $3)
Saved $100.00 (amount on receipt)--total of products I add saved plus spent before tax = $101. Tax at (for ease of example) 10% on the full value I would have had to pay $10.10 in tax. So I paid $2 of that and saved $8.10 in tax. Total savings then would be $108.10. [I know sort of complicated.]

Yes, that is the total spent on the gift card--I count extra bucks just like coupons when I use them--I don't count the ones I earn as savings.

I am using the full value of the product--as that way I can just use the total saved today at the bottom of the receipt instead of having to add up all the sale prices.

I wrote a post quite a while ago about "did I really save $$$?" You can see it here: http://www.simplycvsshopping.com/2010/06/did-i-really-save-over-400-in-may.html . As I know I wouldn't pay full price for the items.

I am nervous taking the challenge, too. I've made a spread sheet to keep the tally--hopefully I can find a way to share that here, too.

Crystal E. said...

Cheryl! I thoroughly enjoyed this post. Welcome back to CVSing!! I hope things are going better for you. Last I remember reading you were having some medical issues and you came back from vacation to a bit of a mess. My only question is: How can you use 2 mfr coupons on the starburst/skittles/lifesavers bags? Aren't you not supposed to use a coupon on a free item? I was going to do this deal, but using 1 mfr coupon and the bogo wasn't a good enough deal for me, so I passed and I really wanted the jelly beans. haha! Looking forward to your response. : )

OH! Just remembered, the skintimate coupons aren't inactive. I just printed 2 today from the CVS website. Not sure if I put the zipcode in, but I'm in 95670. I printed it from Folsom, CA though at school, and I can't remember the zip up there.

Cheryl @ Simply Shoeboxes said...

Crystal, because it was a CVS B1G1 free coupon on the skittles two manufacturer coupons can be used. It is a CVS coupon and manufacturer coupon per item as always. If it were a CVS B1G1 sale then, no, I could not have used two manu. qs.

Thanks on the Skintimate.

J Rodney said...

What a great way to get back into CVS'ing Cheryl. I hope it was fun shopping again.

My Starburst BOGO coupons have been adjusted down to, but to less than the actual BOGO.

-Carol said...

Thanks for the info Cheryl. I'm setting up my spreadsheet now :)

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure if this is true for all CVS stores or not, but I was recently told by 2 of the CVS stores I frequent that they no longer accept cvs/pharmacy coupons and manufacture coupons on one item. I tried to do the skintimate shaving cream deal and was told by my favorite cashier that they changed the policy. They will only be accepting one or the other. I asked the manager at the second store that I frequent and she agreed. =0(

Cheryl @ Simply Shoeboxes said...

wow, that's a new one to me, Anon. I will have to research that some more. Thanks for that input.

eva said...

no problem. i really wish that cvs would come out with a formal coupon policy. it would really help in situations like these. if you find out anymore info, please make a post. i like following the rules, but this was just weird to me. it's one of the main reasons i like cvs besides the extra care bucks program.

Cheryl @ Simply Shoeboxes said...

Eva, I, too, want to follow the rules--if they would just post them. Even within the same store you can get different answers. They are supposed to put them in writing soon, but I doubt each scenario will be covered. I searched on a couponing site and pm'd a mod there with this question you put forth and the one about using the BOGO and the manu. qs (not a sale, but a coupon). They had called and talked to someone at CVS and had posted what I had before, but I wondered if these were covered and thought I'd start there before I move on to CVS customer service--because even there you can get two different answers on the same day. Maybe next week when I am in I will ask the manager if she has heard anything about a change.

Dee said...

Since you are starting with a new card are you getting a green tag for the account. That 1 ECB after 4 swipes comes in handy.

CVS does not seem to enforce the tag. I've had cashiers swipe it then put items in their plastic bags.

Cheryl @ Simply Shoeboxes said...

Yes, Dee, I am using the one I had--they are all the same, so I can keep using what I had.

Crystal said...

i went to my cvs tonight to look and see if they had starburst jellybeans and they DO!!! apparently they are now sold year round instead of just at easter!!! :)

Cheryl @ Simply Shoeboxes said...

Grrreat to hear, Crystal!! Enjoy!! I was thinking of you yesterday when I saw my bag.

candice.qpn said...

Looking forward to seeing how far you stretch that $50! Series like this are so great because they prove that even beginners can get phenomenal deals. :) Way to go on your first week!

Cheryl @ Simply Shoeboxes said...

Thanks, Candice, that's what I hope the show and to help many beginners start saving big, Simply.