Friday, September 23, 2011

A Simply CVS Reader Shares How She Uses Rebates in Her CVS Gift Card Challenge

Pat, a Simply CVS reader, is doing a personal CVS gift card challenge and has found a way to add to her savings:  rebates.  She sent me this guest post to share with us how we can save more at CVS, too.  She records her weekly trips on her personal blog, Moving Up the Food Chain.  Thanks, Pat.  In her own words:

I started my own CVS gift card challenge 9 weeks ago because I thought it would be the best way to learn how to shop smart and save money.  I considered for a "class" the $25 I put on the gift card was pretty cheap!   I was, and still am, more focused on stretching the gift card as far as I possibly can and put buying the things I want on the back burner.  For me, it's all about the challenge!  I look for the things I can get for free, nearly free, and in some cases a small money-maker (meaning I paid less than the item cost after coupons and ECB rewards).  Later, I'll take
what I've learned and apply the same principles to buying the items my family needs at the best possible price.

What intrigued me the most about Cheryl's first CVS challenge was that she was able to stretch the gift card for so many weeks and even then, still had Extra Care Bucks left when she ran out of money on the gift card.   Who knows how long it would have lasted if there was only a way to turn some of those ECB's into cash to help pay the little bit out of pocket each week?  So, the first thing I thought about when I started was "how can I turn Extra Care Bucks into cash?".  Technically, I can't.  But, there IS a way, it's legal, and it's something that's been around for a long time.  I decided early on to add it to my CVS strategy along with all the other things Simply CVS has taught me to use.  I'm talking about REBATES!  Companies have offered cash-back rebates for years to get consumers to try their products.

I know a lot of people don't care to send in rebates because sometimes they don't pan out if you don't follow the rules on the rebate form to the letter.  I considered that as long as I was keeping a comfortable amount of ECB's to roll over each week I'd gift it a try.  I'd spend a few ECB's buying products that would reimburse me for my purchase.  So far, it's worked out well and I've already had several checks arrive in the mail.  The best ones are those that only cost a couple of dollars and the company rebates the entire purchase price (before coupons).  Not only do I have a few extra dollars to use with my gift card, but I've made a little more than I spent increasing my total purchasing power.

Earlier Pat shared with Simply CVS how she figures out how to use the $5/$25 CVS coupons in her challenge.

2 comments: said...

I did the deal with 3-in-one with the coupon and they did pay the refund.

Latrell said...

Rebates is one way, I help stretch my dollars on my shopping trips. Just like I roll my ECB', I roll my rebates check and gift cards. Keeps more cash in my pocket!