Do you do ECBs? If you don't then you should...
So what is an ECB? It is an "Extra Care Buck"... that is CVS lingo for a cash back coupon that you can spend on anything in their store... just like the good 'ole green stuff.
I used to be a big couponer and got busy and got away from it. I am glad to say I am back in the game. I always have at least $12-15 in coupons at the grocery store (I shop at HEB)... and that is great- I go about every 10 days so that is a $36-45 savings per month on stuff I would buy anyway. But that is not where you save money... it is CVS- but you have to know how to play it.
The first thing I do is print internet coupons. You can get most of the ones from the Newspapers online except for the Proctor & Gamble Brandsaver which comes out about once a month. Phil can usually snag that one for me from the office. I also subscribe to "All You"- it is a great magazine with lots of money saving tips and tons of coupons... I also like their fashion sections-- real clothes for real sized women (their models actually eat!) who the heck is a size 2 anyway??? But I digress...
I separate out my coupons and then when the CVS ad comes out on Sunday I either stop in and get one or browse online at www.CVS.com. I work to match my coupons with their sales for good deals... but the GREAT deals come when you can match coupons with the items they are offering ECBs on. So you buy the item, give the clerk a coupon, pay the difference and then get a coupon for the ECB amount back on your receipt. A lot of times I get things for free or MAKE money on the deal. Really? Yes, REALLY! When you can really do well is when you "roll" your ECBs... meaning use ECBs to pay for your purchase and then get just as many or more $ in ECBs back for next time. The only real investment should be your first purchase to get those first ECBs. Don't forget to be eligible for savings and ECBs at CVS you HAVE to have that ExtraCare Card!
Ok... let's talk proof here. Last week I went into CVS and I think I spent out of pocket $19 and some change. I got 2 spray on Coppertone sunscreen (price $8.97 each) and had 2 $2 off 1 coupons, plus they offered a $10 ECB when you bought two Coppertone sunscreen. So my price was 17.94 minus $4 in manufacturer's coupons = 13.94, and then I got $10 in ECB back. Total for two Coppertone sunscreen= $3.94! I also bought Panetene shampoo and conditioner on sale for $6.97 for 2- I had a manufacturer coupon for $2 off 2. I paid 4.97 out of pocket and then they were offering a $2 ECB when you buy two Pantene products. So overall on this trip I spent:
4.97 (2 Pantene)
13.94 (2 Coppertone Sunscreen)
18.91 + tax and got $12 in ECBs! Not bad!!
So this week's ad comes out and I went in to CVS yesterday... this is what I got:
2 Gillette Body/Hair Wash @ $4 each = $8
1 Gillette Fusion Pro Razor @ $9.97
2 pkgs of Silly Bracelets (shouldn't have taken Sydney!) @ $2.99 each = $5.98
I had the following coupons:
$4 off Gillette Fusion Pro Razor
Buy one Gillette Body Wash, get one Free ($4 value in this case)
$10 ECB (from Coppertone last week)
$2 ECB (from Pantene last week)
5 items subtotal $3.95
Total paid $4.28
and I got $13 in ECBs back!
$8 from the Gillette body wash ($4 each)
$5 from the razor
Not bad if I do say so myself!
I will continue to post my CVS and other deals (if I find any really good HEB deals) on my blog. I love saving money and building my stockpile!