Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A Reader Shares How She Figures the Best Use of a $5 off $25 CVS Coupon ~ Gift Card Challenge Series

Pat, a Simply CVS reader, has been getting $5 off $25 total purchase coupons like sand on the beach lately.  She just can't seem to use them fast enough. She also is doing a personal CVS gift card challenge and these have helped her stretch it even further.  She records her weekly trips on her personal blog, Moving Up the Food Chain.  In her own words:

I've been lucky to receive CVS "money off" coupons at the store scanner and by e-mail from CVS lately.  They're a great perk when you're working on a gift card challenge and trying to roll over Extra Care Bucks.  Part of the learning process when you're working on a gift card challenge is how to spend those coupons wisely.  At first it's work, you feel like your head might just explode, and it can appear a bit daunting.  But, within a few short weeks it can get exciting when you start finding
your own money-makers that no one else seems to have figured out yet!

When I make up my shopping scenario, my goal is to purchase an item that is as close to free as possible.  I consider EVERY item that offers Extra Care Bucks.  Sometimes what you see in the ad doesn't tell the whole story.  

Keep reading!  You'll be surprised at what happens when you combine the ECB's rewarded with a manufacturer's coupon, and a CVS coupon (ie: $5.00 off a $25.00 purchase).  What looks like a rather high out of pocket item can turn into a money-maker in the overall picture.  The best thing about figuring out these money-makers from what you learn at Simply CVS is they aren't publicized so the items will probably still be in the store when you get there!  Gotta love that!

Note:  Today, I'm considering the Physician's Formula make-up promotion I noticed in the Simply CVS Extra Buck Deals post.  I haven't been to the store yet to see if I can find products that equal close to the $10 required purchase.  The purpose of the post is to share with you what happens BEFORE I get to the store.  

Here's how I determine if an ECB reward item gets to the top of my list of shopping possibilites when I have a $5.00 off $25.00 CVS coupon to spend:
Physician's Formula ~ $7 Extra Care Bucks wyb $10
  • A "$5 off a $25 purchase" coupon takes 20% off each item up to $25 in total purchases.  So, I figure this coupon will take$2.00 off my $10  Physician's Formula item.
  • Next, if the item is a Beauty Club product I calculate another 10% off the price because the Beauty club rewards $5 on every $50 you spend.  The $10 Physician's Formula make-up is going to earn $1.00 in ECB's of that reward (once I meet the total $50 in beauty product purchase requirement.)
  •  I factor in manufacturer's coupons.  I don't have one but I found a friend willing trade one with me! :-)  $1.00 / 1  (Physician's Formula purchase)
  • And, of course the ECB's $7.00  on the purchase of $10  (Physician's Formula) that will print on my receipt.
Those bonuses add up to $11 moving this up to the top of my list!  IF I can find a close to $10 Physician's Formula product, it'll be a $1 money-maker rather than the $3 out of pocket it appeared to be at first glance! 

Thanks, Pat, for sharing.  Pat has said she has had a CVS extra care card for years but never took advantage of the Extra Buck program until recently when she stumbled across Simply CVS. I would say she has learned well how to use the program.


Kansas City Saves said...

Try to find the Physicians Formula that has a try me feel peelie on it so that you get the whole 10.95 back in the form of a mail in rebate! I found one yesterday like that! Also, some of their powders that are 13.99 have a 3.00 off peelie on it, too! I turned mine into a moneymaker this way, without a $5/25 or figuring in the beauty club.

Cheryl @ Simply Shoeboxes said...

Nice, Abby, thanks.

Coupon Clipper said...

Could some help me understand the Beauty Club discount explained in the post?

Apologies. I'm not following.
a. Do I have to register for the Beauty Club? How?
b. Will I get the Beauty Club ECBs printed out at the end of each order?
c. Is there a discount applied to the Beauty Club items in addition to the accumulation of future ECBs?

Like Cheryl, I count the savings from ECBs when I actually use them instead of when I earn them. That way if I lose it or it expires or I give it away, my calculations are still correct. So what I spend out of pocket now is what I consider what I paid. That's why I am trying to figure out the Beauty Club rules.

Thanks so much.

Cheryl @ Simply Shoeboxes said...

Coupon Clipper, check out this post for details on joining the beauty club: .

You do have to register. Once your total reaches $50 of beauty items 48 hours later the $5 ECB will print. No other discounts are applied to the items.

I want to clarify, that I do use the extra bucks back on an item to decide if it is a good deal for me to do or not, though I don't count them as savings in that week's trip -- I hope that is clear.

Dj said...

just signed up thanks1 "Qualifying Beauty purchases include items from the following categories: Cosmetics, Ethnic Hair Care, Fragrances, Hair Accessories, Hair Appliances, Hair Care, Hair Color, Healthy Skin Care, Hosiery, Skin Care and Sun Care. Excludes items from Beauty 360, items from Trial & Travel, gift cards and prescriptions"