Friday, December 2, 2011

My CVS Shopping Trip 11/27/2011 Ad: Saved $195 ~ Trip #14 of the $50 Gift Card Challenge

Not pictured: 11 more toothbrushes.
One GC is for $10; one is for $20.
I had a late trip to CVS this week and had to do several transactions to make this work.  But I got hooked on these toothbrushes when CVS had them free after extra bucks for whole month with no limit several years ago.  I have been struggling to keep them in my stockpile very cheaply so I knew when I saw this Gift Card deal I just had to collect all the coupons I could and stock up:  the whole deal ended up costing me just under $4 in my CVS GC challenge balance.

Because P&G coupons can only be used four per transaction I had to do several transactions.  My store only had six toothbrushes and I wanted
17.  I found out a couple of years ago that some CVS stores will ring up items as if in stock and write a rain check that says "paid" and you can pick them up when in stock. So I asked at  my store and the manager found out they could do this--so that is what I had to do in order to get all I wanted.

EDITING TO ADD:  I was asked if I would have taken all 17 toothbrushes if they were in stock--would I be "a shelf clearer."  I had thought I should mention something about that in this post and forgot, so I am coming back now to add my answer to the question:
"No, Anon, I would not have. I have never gotten such a large amount--even the six is large for me. Since my store will issue the paid rain checks, I ask them to do it even if they have stock so I DON'T take all of it--the rare times I do  want a large quantity of one. They appreciate that--and then the next week if they haven't sold it all I can pick it up right then. I thought I should come back and explain that in this post. I will go in and edit it."
Those readers who are used to seeing my weekly trips probably have noticed I rarely buy many of any items. And if I know ahead of time I will be wanting a large quantity I ask them to order extra for me.

I also had printed two of the $2/2 Glade CVS coupons and my hubby printed two for me, also, so I was able to get 8 free Glade products and it went toward my total needed for the free GCs.  I was thrilled when I went and my store was super stocked with this item.  I thought being later in the week it would be cleared out.   So I was able to get my 8 items and leave plenty for others.

I used up nearly $4 of my "CVS spending power" balance from last week, but I got something I really wanted.  I also cleaned out my whole stock of extra bucks.  But I basically rolled them into gift cards which is actually better because I need "cash" at CVS to pay for the tax to keep the gift card challenge going.  But it is sooooo painful to not have a near zero sub-total when paying at CVS.  It will take me a while to build my extra bucks back up.  Also, note that one of the gift cards in the picture is a $20 gift card.  The cashier accidentally scanned one card twice so it added both of the $10 to it for a $20 total.

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.  The challenge will end when I run out of gift card and cash to be able to pay the tax.  I will  most likely have extra bucks left over, but without cash to pay the tax they are basically useless so this challenge will end.

$50 Beginner's CVS Gift Card Challenge Balances:

Total Saved:  $  967.32 (including tax)
Total Spent:  $ 41.89 (including tax)
Total Value of Products Purchased:  $ 745.23 (without tax)
Gift Card Balance:  $  30.56*  (began with a $50 GC earned on Swagbucks)
Gift Cards Earned Balance :  $  27.55* (these are CVS gift cards earned on deals purchased with this $50 GC)
Cash from Rebates Balance:  $  9.56* (from rebates sent in on products purchased with this gift card--less stamps)
Extra Buck Balance:  $ .00* (I began with no extra bucks with this gift card)
*Total CVS Spending Power Balance:  $67.67 (all in gift cards & cash)

This week's trip's details (I am not going to post each transaction individually, but the overall trip:

All items counted towards the Spend $30 get $10 gift card and I did several transactions:

7 -- Glade Sprays @ $.99 each
1 -- Glade Plug In Holder
Used 4 -- $2/2 any Glade Product CVS printable coupon (no longer available)

17 -- Oral B Pulsar Toothbrushes @ $ 4.99 each
Used 17 -- $3/1 Oral B coupon from recent P&G insert (I had lots of these thanks to many people who share their coupons with me (including Simply CVS Reader Elena, who gave me one free subscription to her coupon clipping service:  Florida Coupon Clipping )

Saved:  $  195.41 + $ 7.74 tax = $ 203.15 (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)
Spent:  $  6.02 + $ 5.86  tax = $ 11.88
Beginning Extra Bucks Balance: $ 21.82
Total Extra Bucks used:  $ 27.82
Total Extra Bucks earned:  $ 6.00 ($5 Beauty Club Reward and $1 Green Bag Tag)
CVS Gift Cards Earned:  $30.00

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.

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 in a comment 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 ink for the code can be found in the right hand side bar).

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 in full swing.  Click the banner below and you can see a few different sources I use to 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...

Shouldn't u have gotten ecb on the toothbrushes with ur rainchecks

Cheryl @ Simply Shoeboxes said...

I didn't use rain checks on them in this trip. They gave me rain checks, and attached my receipts, that say "paid" on them. I just can trade them in for the free toothbrushes. I did get the Gift Cards that were part of the deals the toothbrushes were one. Does that make sense? It's hard to explain.

Kristen said...

What a coincidence. I just replaced one of the brushes for my oral-b toothbrush and realized I was running low. I have been so out of the loop these days that I didn't even realize these were a deal this week. Wish I had extra coupons. I can at least pick up a couple. Thanks, Cheryl

Cheryl @ Simply Shoeboxes said...

Great, Kristen! I am thrilled I was able to gather so many coupons.

Krisha said...

I was always intimidated to even try using coupons at CVS (the whole Extrabucks thing just threw me off and seemed too complicated) but I tried it for the first time a few days ago and got $48 worth of merchandise for $9, so now I'm hooked and it's probably my new favorite store. Not bad for just beginning. But I was wondering, you said you got the Glade stuff for free but it went towards the balance to get your free gift cards. I didn't try to spend the $30 to get the gift cards because I thought that it was the total you spent AFTER coupons and didn't know how to stretch it that far. Is it the total before coupons? So let's say before I scan all my coupons I got $30 worth of stuff, but then after the coupons it was only $5, I would still qualify to get one of the gift cards?

Cheryl @ Simply Shoeboxes said...

Exactly, Krisha. As long as your sub-total before tax for those products is $30 you can use all the coupons you want (and extra bucks) and still get the gift card. Same with extra buck deals where you need to spend $XX amount. that's the beauty of CVSing. Welcome aboard! There are lots of lessons and tips and tricks posts here at Simply CVS. You can find the links in the right hand side bar. And ask any questions you have--myself or other readers are happy to answer.

Deal Seeker said...

Nice job Cheryl.

Anonymous said...

Wow, Cheryl. Congrats on such a great haul!


Amie said...

My stores were out of the Oral B toothbrushes so I asked if I could pay in advance and pick it up with a rain check. It was the last thing that I needed to get to my $30 limit to get the $10 gift card. I was told no so I saw no alternative but to buy 6 Mars singles. ;) Sure, I could have bought Puffs or Dawn or something practical like that, but I opted for some treats and stocking stuffers. I used a lot of my extra ECBs that I earned off the Black Friday sale, but I was happy with my haul.

Anonymous said...

Not to sound rude but would you have really taken 17 toothbrushes if they were there??? Seems a bit greedy to me. I'm sure there were a lot of other people who would have liked to have done this deal too. I'm disappointed that you encourage shelf clearing. I hope I don't live near you LOL!!

Cheryl @ Simply Shoeboxes said...

No, Anon, I would not have. I have never gotten such a large amount--even the six is large for me. Since my store will the paid rain checks I ask them to do it even if they have stock so I DON'T take all of it--the rare times I do want a large quantity. They appreciate that--and then the next week if they haven't sold it all I can pick it up right then. I thought I should come back and explain that in this post. I will go in and edit it.

Cheryl @ Simply Shoeboxes said...

Love the candy "save," Amie. I tend to do the "practical" saves!

Tamishia said...

Cheryl, sounds like a great haul...I will remember to ask my CVSs in my area if they allow that as well. I wanted to also take advantage of such a great deal on the toothbrushes and found myself driving around everywhere to find them in stock as they went pretty fast. And seeing that CVS does not offer rainchecks on the GC deal I felt the! We too love these toothbrushes and I did end up with a bit more than that but it was from 4 stores and the last store had two big bins in the front full of them. They must have had a good 100-120 of them on Thursday evening so I grab my last 11. As I picked my colors, several other ladies came in looking for the same thing. We all ended up at a GREAT store with plenty of overstock. A great addition to my stockpile. Also, thanks for talking with your readers. I go to so many the comments...and you never hear from the owner of the blog after they put the info up. You are awesome!

Cheryl @ Simply Shoeboxes said...

Wow, Tamishia, you really hit the jackpot! What a great store! Thanks for the compliment, too, I enjoy my readers :-). It is very time consuming, but I sort of feel like I am inviting my readers into my living room and we are all discussing our joy of CVSing! Thanks for joining in with me today :-).