I have been dabbling in couponing for about a year now. I’m no expert by any means, but I feel like I represent the average couponer. I don’t spend countless hours clipping, printing and gathering deals just so I can stock up on useless items I’ll never use (i.e. TLC). I try to use couponing realistically to save on things I would use anyways. I already shared with you how I use couponing to save on groceries, and today I had a great CVS trip I wanted to share.
CVS is a health and beauty store…if you’re not familiar with it it’s similar to Rite Aid. First off, you have to sign up for the Extra Bucks Card. Many stores like this one have a membership card (Rite Aid has the Wellness card). Extra Bucks allows you to receive rewards (actual coupons for dollars off) for buying certain products to use on future purchases. The thing I like about CVS is you can use the Extra Bucks the SAME DAY by doing multiple transactions and see your savings right then. Rite Aid caught on to us couponers and is now making us wait until 6 am the next business day to redeem rewards. Yeah, I can always go back the next day, but it’s annoying and I need INSTANT SAVINGS!!!!
You can always use websites like I am THAT Lady to find CVS coupon match ups……however her match ups and transaction ideas usually feature tons of products that
a) I would never use
b) I didn’t bother to cut the coupon for because I would never spend money on it
Yea, it’s cool to get stuff for free just because, but I really have no interest in spending countless hours matching up deals and cutting out coupons for stuff I would never use just so I can get free Depends, stool softener and Pepto Bismol.
Instead, I use the match ups and Extra Bucks rewards more conservatively and realistically. I might not get that 65 packets of heartburn medicine for 2 dollars….but I’m pretty pleased with the deals I do get. Here are some steps to use these deals realistically:
1) Cut coupons for things that you regularly use, not just brands you like. For example; cut all coupons for things like toothbrushes, toilet paper, paper towels, toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, conditioner and body wash even if it’s for a brand you don’t usually use. You can’t be a brand snob while couponing!
2) Start looking for deals BEFORE you are out of the items. The more desperate you are, the more you will spend on an item. There’s nothing worse than realizing you’re out of toothpaste and running down to the corner store and spending $4. Or just getting the cheapest toilet paper at Wal-Mart because you’re out. I start looking for items when I know I’m down to 1-2 of them in my storage.
3) For each CVS trip, pick 1 –2 items that you need, have a coupon for that also give you Extra Bucks Rewards. For example, this time I picked toothpaste. It was on sale for 2.99 (regularly 4.49) and I had two coupons for $1 of one. So I got two toothpastes and used my coupons AND the deal was get $1 extra bucks for each.
4) Pick 1-2 more things that you need, that are on sale that you have a coupon for that don’t have Extra Bucks rewards. Use the Extra Bucks Rewards PLUS the coupons in a second transaction. Just tell the cashier you want to pay for the Extra Bucks items first (in my case the toothpastes), cash out, then pay for the rest of your stuff.
You could obviously pick way more than just 1-2 items for each transaction. I am THAT Lady has huge lists of detailed transactions that make my head hurt. I do it this way because it’s simple, I’m not wasting money on stuff I don’t need, and I don’t make the cashier and everyone in line too mad at me. Two transactions with a couple of items is fine with me!
Today, I got all this stuff for $12! It doesn’t look like much, but each of those mascaras retails for $9! And the toothpastes were 4.49 at first!
So once you have your coupons, open up the CVS circular and see what you can get! Let me know how you do!