Thursday, October 6, 2011

Looking for My Long Lost Love: The Joy of CVS Shopping ~ A Confession

This post is a confession of sorts of my apathy towards CVS shopping over the last several months.  Have you ever truly enjoyed something and looked forward to it regularly, planned for it and thoroughly enjoyed the process?  That is how I was with my CVS shopping.  It was great fun, a hobby, a break from the routines of life.

I was always sharing my knowledge and excitement with anyone who would listen or seemed to want to learn.  I found myself spending quite some time sending emails with the deals friends should get and where to find the coupons, etc.  I was on Gather.com at the time and shared my trips with friends there and eventually started a group on the site for CVS shopping and shared lessons and deals.  It was while doing that I was encouraged to start up my own site and share with whomever happened upon it how to save weekly at CVS.  So, Simply CVS was born.  And gradually my joy in CVS shopping
waned.

While I brought lessons, tips and deals to readers I found myself too busy to even digest what I was presenting.  Whereas I used to look over the ad as early as I could find it--and dozens of times before the sale week came, collect coupons, plan how many papers to buy, even contact companies and request coupons for upcoming sales, I have now become lethargic in my preparations.  I shop on Monday afternoons and it is 10:00 a.m. Monday before I look over the ads and deals and prepare.  Even when I share a hot printable coupon I have found myself not taking the time to print it.

So, I am now determined to get back to back on track.  "Stop and smell the roses" or the Extra Bucks as it were.  I want to once again enjoy the full process of CVS shopping instead of dreading it.  I am working on my "Little Black Book" for CVS shopping today and will soon share my organization for CVS shopping in the Step by Step to CVS Shopping Lessons.  I am also getting my printable coupons and my insert coupons organized and will share those methods with you, too.  I want to be organized, stay organized, start saving more and enjoying my whole CVSing experience again.

I would love to hear from some of you who love CVSing.  Give me some incentive thru your own exciting experiences.  You guys can be my cheering section and help me get back in the game!

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

I completely understand you! I loved loved loved shopping with coupons, so much so I was able to save enough money to pay for my upcoming wedding in cash with the leftover grocery/toiletries budget money I saved for almost 2 years. BUT.. Lately, I've been lazy... but as we know laziness with coupons literally means a hit to your wallet and I sooo don't like that. All the new policies have really discouraged me, but, I guess that's the reason they established them to begin with - discourage the masses. I say, we stick with it, push through this hiatus and keep plugging along with safeguarding our hard-earned money. Sincerely - your Orlando, FL fan :)

Julie said...

Probably not what you wanted to hear right now, but my honeymoon with CVS is long over. I, too, used to try to see the ad early and plan my trips and get excited about what to bring home this week. I guess it was a combination of other things going on in my life plus lackluster sales (on products I didn't really need or want). I'd love to get the magic back.

Cheryl said...

How great, Anon, about your wedding money!!! I agree, let's stick together and stick with it and find the joy we used to have, even if it is step by step. I am already excited to have my "little black book" all organized and ready to keep up!

Cheryl said...

Julie, maybe we can bond together here and be determined to find a way back to the joy we once had for it. I know earning the CVS gift cards online so all I get is free has helped me in the past and I am working harder than ever to keep in GCs so they are free.

If you haven't started earning online yet check out this post for some different places you can earn:

http://www.simplycvsshopping.com/2011/08/earn-free-cvs-gift-cards-online-thru.html

Maria said...

The reason I fell in love with CVS was because of you and this site. When I starte Q'ing back in May I went in head first and started shopping at Wags which I dread. I ran into a few not so nice experiences and gave up on drugstores all together, until I found your site. Thanks for all you do. I appreciate it.

Cheryl said...

Maria, I am sooo glad to hear that, thanks for sharing. I am happy to have helped you find your way into CVSing. Just as you fell in love with it, I am going to fall in love all over again with it!

Anonymous said...

I started couponing early this year (~Feb) and your website has been a TREMENDOUS help, for ad previews, deal ideas, printable links for coupons... everything to help me come up with meticulously planned/calculated trips. I also love seeing your trips and others who link up to your site. It's a great way to learn and I so appreciate you taking your time to provide this wonderful site. I hope you re-kindle your love affair with CVS! One thing that makes me ridiculously happy is organizing and re-organizing my stock pile, maybe try that? I'll rediscover shampoos and makeup that I forgot I had. Right now I'm into finding stocking stuffers for Christmas, like makeup deals and such :)

Cheryl said...

Anon, that is just what I need to hear--your excitement shines thru your comment! It is contagious! Thank you. Re-organizing the stock pile is a great idea. And maybe I should get my Christmas stocking box down and see what I have in there to get in the spirit more. I am working on getting all my stuff out for Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes and that is getting me anxious to see what all I can get at CVS throughout the next year for next year's boxes. Thanks again for your excitement.

Julie said...

I totally feel ya on this one! I used to have so much time to spend deal hunting, but I went back to work this year and I have had to cut back drastically. All the deals I'm missing seems to make my paycheck look a lot smaller because I know I have been actually paying real money for personal care items *gasp*. I still shop CVS, but had to drop Rite Aid, and I have found myself looking longingly at the Rite Aid ad, thinking "if I only had the time". Then, sometimes when I am bone tired from work, going over the CVS ad just feels like another chore. I'm with you on getting back into it though...maybe if I find the joy again it will become a welcome distraction from the stress of my job.

Anonymous said...

I absolutely LOVE CVS!! I had sworn off of them 2 years ago because I felt ignored and was fed up with the pharmacy in my local store. I started couponing in June and CVS shopping is now my favorite, though I still don't care for the pharmacy. No other business sends me so much love in the form of coupons! I love getting emails from CVS as they always send me an incentive to come in. They are the only store that I know of that will give a rain check not just for the sale price, but also for the extra bucks. My stockpile is just where I need it, so now I have an even better incentive to find the deals because I am supplying products for my church pantry as well as a half-way house. I love being able to send quality, brand-name supplies to them. My suggestion to re-invigorate your CVS shopping desire is to find an individual or a local home whom you can share with. But look for someone that can thank you when you bring the items. Not because you want the thanks necessarily, but because you will personally see how appreciative they are and you can develop a relationship where they count on you to "come through" for them. If you just drop the items in a box, you may not get the feeling that you are doing a great service for them and it will be easier to slack off with your provisions.

Cheryl said...

Julie, that is so true, it can seem like a chore. Maybe we can work hard at looking at it as a fun hobby--we know we can skip it, so it is not a necessity like going to work or washing the dishes, it is something we can do for a break from the routine. Even if the deals are slow some weeks, we can work at finding at least one or two things and enjoy the hunt and success.

I don't like to hear of others being discouraged, too, but it is encouraging to hear that others, like yourself, though discouraged still want to find fun in CVSing. We can sort of have a group here of those who want to get back to the basics of CVSing as fun and games.

Cheryl said...

Anon, you are right, donating is one of the most exciting things about CVSing. I used to get several things a week to share, but as I got bogged down and the deals were fewer it was harder to pick up donations. But that is a way to get my spark back. I already have plans for Operation Christmas Child for next year (I have this years stuff all over the dining table so it is on my mind) and that is getting me a little more excited about CVSing.

I love your idea of actually seeing the recipient when donating. So much more tangible. Thanks for the great comment all around.

B. said...

Cheryl,

I started CVS shopping early last year. It lasted about 6 months before I realized the deals I was getting weren't nearly as good as they used to be and I got frustrated an stopped. Plus, I already have about a 2 year stockpile on most health/personal items and I have no need to keep going (well, maybe when I start to get low again).

This probably isn't what you want to hear, but sometimes things just run their course and then it's time to move on. I bet your life would feel a lot less stressful and carefree if you just didn't CVS shop anymore. Maybe not forever. But just try it and see if you don't feel so relieved like I did. It's a great feeling.

Of course, others made good points about donating items if you don't need them, but I think it was the actual making time to go to CVS and planning/prepping that was stressing me more than anything.

I still try and save money other ways and I am still couponing although not to the extreme I used to. I got burned out. And we all need a break sometimes.

Good luck to you. You aren't alone in your feelings!

B.

Cheryl said...

Thanks, B, for the insightful testimony. Living in the "boonies" gives me few options for shopping for items and CVS is actually the closest store to me so convenience plays a part on top of the great extra buck program. I totally get what you are saying--and perhaps giving myself the freedom to not "have to" shop CVS deals will relieve some of the stress even without totally stopping. Thanks again for your comment.

Coupon Clipper said...

Hi Cheryl, I think that many people who are passionate or dedicated to what they do may get to the point of burn-out on that "activity" because we do it to the max, think about it all the time, work on it every extra minute. But since we get committed, there may not be room to stop - like with a busy blog that requires daily attention. So maybe something like apathy takes over for a little while. Then we regroup and find a renewed energy, like we had before, about the "activity". If that doesn't work, sometimes making changes to 'shake things up' a little and try new things to create new found interest. Or, reducing hours and making sure there are big blocks of time off from the work (which may start with a commitment to stay away from the computer, email, texts, ads and inserts, etc. for something like 24 hours at a time. You also had not been feeling well, so that adds strain to the day, even if you love what you are doing. Then it can become exhausting. I think breaks are really important, and only an individual can determine how long a break 'should' be to make it enriching.

Cheryl said...

Thanks, Coupon Clipper, so much for your in-depth thoughts on the subject. you hit the nail on the head in so many ways--I think the combination of keeping Simply CVS up to date and the rough year my family has had and my personal health issues has taken a toll on this for sure. Thanks for the reminder. I was feeling so bad about my apathy--but seeing it thru someone else's eyes clarifies the situation. Perhaps my GC challenges I am giving myself will be one of those things that will 'shake up' my shopping trips to help them once again become fun. Thanks again for the great comment.

Coupon Clipper said...

You are very welcome, Cheryl.

Life gets really tough sometimes, and that's when the usual stuff can become more taxing and overwhelming. So don't forget that it is okay to give ourselves a break.

B. said...

I also wanted to offer another bit of advice for you: obviously, since you're committed to this blog, you can't take a long break like I suggested. But what you can do is get help with the blog to relieve you of some of the day to day work of it. Is there someone you can hire part-time or who is equally passionate who can step in for awhile?

Just a thought!

Cheryl said...

Thanks, B, for the further idea. I really can't think of anyone at the moment. I have been working on finding ways to make it easier--like auto uploads to FB and then most of the Fans were not seeing them on their pages so I needed to go back to personally submitting each post.

I am working on some ideas for more teaching posts which are really time consuming but I really enjoy sharing and teaching so I am thinking the fun of those will help balance things out more.

Already getting my CVS stuff more organized and in a semi-new way has been enjoyable this week. But I think you saying take a break has made me tell myself "I don't HAVE to get the deals each week." Which will relieve some pressure and make it all more enjoyable when I do go.

Thanks again for your comments and taking the time to share your thoughts and advice with me.

Marnie's Coupon-a-ram-a said...

Dear Christy; I used to love CVS myself. It is getting harder and harder to use coupons there, but when I do, I get the best deals ever!! It makes me smile. My hubby told me he didn't want me to give CVS any money, because here in OK, they are rude and not pleasant to deal with. So I made it my goal to shop and not spend any money. So far I have spent about $3.00 only in tax for the last 3 months. I received a $.50 EB this quarter. But I still love the deals and am excited when I walk out with a bag of stuff and only paid for tax. Due to your site I am able to do that. Thank you and I like the simplicity of your site. My hubby says the simpler the better. He is the King of Couponing and blogs great Men deals!! I am not as good as you all and I keep learning from you. I have posted some of my shopping trips on your site and I have appreciated the opportunity! Marnie's Coupon-a-ram-a!!

Cheryl said...

Marnie, I love simple! I try to keep everything here as simple and easy to navigate as possible. Thus the name, too, SIMPLY CVS. Not only it is all about CVS, but it is doing it as simply as possible.

You have done a great job on the last three months--fun challenge.

JRFrugalMom said...

CVS shopping seems to be a bumpy road for me...big highs and deep lows. I need to take a break once in a while, because CVS'ing seems to have gotten more challenging over the years.

I hope you refind your passion!