Tuesday, October 11, 2011

My 10/9 CVS Shopping Trip: Week #5 of $50 Beginner's CVS Gift Card Challenge, Saved 97%

This was my first trip out of the house after my fall--and I am feeling the affects, but it was good to get back in the CVS saddle.  It was bitter sweet, though, as my favorite cashier had sad news to share. Her father passed away the weekend we were away visiting my brother in law in the hospital.  It was sweet she missed me and said she really wished she could have talked to me that week, but it was sad that I then also missed the next week because of my sore tail bone and she was just now able to share the news with me.  It was time for her break shortly after I arrived so we were able to spend a few minutes of uninterrupted sharing and crying.  It is amazing how CVS shopping can reach so far--when you see the same employees week after week, month after month they almost become family.

This was another one of those weeks when most of my purchased items will go to others.  The Dial was for my hubby, so that is staying, and the
Thermacare, well, I am anxious to try it out on my sore lower back and tailbone, so that stays.  The Crest will go in our Operation Christmas Child stockpile (almost time to fill those boxes this year).

The M&M's will reach many.  My husband's cousin loves the pretzel ones so those are packed away for an expected Thanksgiving trip where we will see her.  The plain we will use in baking cookies for my nephew who loves them and also for our Christmas cookie gifts--we give dozens of people cookies at Christmas, from my husband's co-workers to the UPS man making deliveries.  And the peanut ones I am going to send in as gift for the gals at my husband's office who are always sending me coupons.

Finally, the cards were fun to get.  They will go to a great aunt recently moved into a nursing home (with some family photos tucked inside--printed at CVS of course), a widower we know from church and the last, well, to my "nephew," a boxer, for his birthday (actually he belongs to my husband's cousin who will get the pretzel M&M's, but it is her "only child" and her and my husband were close as children so she is an aunt to our girls--so I am an aunt by marriage to the boxer).

I am currently doing a $50 Beginner's CVS Gift Card Challenge seeing how much I can get for a $50 gift card I earned on Swagbucks with a new CVS Extra Care Card just like a new shopper would be able to get  (I began with $50 GC & zero ECB's).

$50 Beginner's CVS Gift Card Challenge Balances:

Total Saved:  $ 192.80  (including tax)
Total Spent:  $ 10.46 (including tax)
Total Value of Products Purchased:  $ 19.41 (without tax)
Gift Card Balance:  $ 39.54
Extra Buck Balance:  $ 12.67 (I began with no extra bucks with this gift card)
Total CVS Spending Power:  $ 52.21 (GC balance and ECB balance combined)

This week's trip's details:

Saved:  $ 29.85 + $ 1.08 tax = $ 30.93 (some of my tax is paid on coupon values, this is the tax on the total product less the tax I paid--that is all I saved on tax by buying products on sale with coupons/ecbs)
Spent:  $ .13 + $ .94 tax = $ 1.07
Beginning Extra Bucks Balance: $ 13.67
Total Extra Bucks used:  $ 14.00
Total Extra Bucks earned:  $ 13.00
Ending Extra Bucks Balance:  $ 12.67

NOTE:  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:

4 -- Bags M&M's @ $2.50 each, spend $10 get $3 Extra Bucks
Used 1 -- $ .50/1 M&M's CVS Scanner coupon that printed last week
Used 2 -- $ 1.00/1 M&M Pretzels Coupons from recent Sunday Insert
Used 1 -- $1.50/2 M&M's printable coupon no longer available
(a nice bonus was two of the bags had 10% more free)

3 -- Hallmark Cards @ $.99 each, buy three get $3 Extra Bucks

Spent:  $ -.03 + $ .39 tax = $ .36 (because my manufacturer coupons were scanned after my extra bucks it paid for a little of the tax and thru my sub-total negative)
Extra Bucks used:  $ 9.00
Extra Bucks earned:  $ 6.00

Transaction #2:

1 -- Dial 3 pk @ $1.88 get $1.00 extra bucks

1 -- Crest Complete w/Scope 2.7 oz @ $2.49 get $2.00 Extra Bucks (an Unadvertised Deal this week)
Used a $2/1 Manufacturer coupon from a recent Sunday Insert

1 -- Thermacare @ $3.79 get $3.79 extra bucks--when you use a rain check the extra buck that prints is rounded up to the nearest dollar, so I received $4.00 (used a rain check from an earlier week)
Used $1/1 manufacturer coupon I received in the mail

Spent:  $ .16 + $ .55  tax = $ .71
Extra Bucks used:  $ 5.00
Extra Bucks earned:  $ 7.00

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 CVS Shopping for Beginners

I started a step by step lesson series on how to begin CVS shopping as I am beginning as a "new shopper" with a new card and no extra bucks 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.  If you have joined already, leave a comment below with your most recent trip and/or totals.  If you blog about your challenge trip leave a link below directly to your challenge shopping trip or the post introducing your challenge.  I would love it if you would add the Challenge button like the one here in your post or on your blog so your readers can join us and see what everyone is doing on their challenge (the code can be found in the right hand side bar at the bottom).

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.


Anonymous said...

This is awesome!! You did great

Newbie Couponing said...

I just found your site and want join in on the gift card challenge. I am on week 5 of my $5 CVS Gift Card challenge and I would like to post my challenge link.


Cheryl @ Simply Shoeboxes said...

Great, Newbie! Welcome to Simply CVS.

mtrentham said...

Cheryl, I can't wait to share this funny fact. I am an aunt to a boxer mix. An aunt by marriage. I just about could not stop laughing that we have the same kind of "nephew". I'm going to look for something special to coupon for him this holiday season. Maybe a donation of items to an animal shelter?

Cheryl @ Simply Shoeboxes said...

Too funny, mtrentham!! Great idea on the donation in his honor.

AllThoseThingsILove! said...

Thanks Cheryl! I've learned so much from you!

-Carol said...

That's great!!!