Sunday, January 22, 2012

Saving at CVS



I wanted to share some tips and tricks on couponing at CVS. CVS is my favorite drug store to use coupons at. It seems to be super easy to use coupons there. There are a lot of great promotions each week that you can stack with store coupons and Manufacturer coupons to get many items for free. I know the most about CVS and their policies but I am still not an expert. I will show you how I only spent a few dollars on the products in the picture above!

First off…you need to have a CVS card. This will keep track of all your purchases and will allow you to get all the Extra Care Bucks(will talk about that in a bit) and keeps track of other savings. The cashier will almost always ask you for your card..but make sure to is a big help in saving at CVS. The first thing I do when I shop at CVS is go straight to the Red Coupon Machine. It is an amazing machine that prints out a few coupons each week with just a swipe of your CVS card. A few coupons will print out like a receipt and are usually good for a few days and sometimes longer. Some sites know which coupons are printing each week and a simple Google search should allow you to find them if you want to know ahead of time. I like to print these first because sometimes there are some surprises and make my transactions even better than I anticipated.

Now to take a few steps back and discuss how to plan your trip. I rarely plan my own trips. If I have some time then I will start from scratch and match coupons with the deals going on but I usually check with all the coupon sites that I follow and see their matchups for CVS each week. KCL(The Krazy Coupon Lady) has a great matchup each week found here. They also have a CVS 101 found on the same link that you should read first to know the CVS coupon policy.

The key to shopping at CVS is to get items where you will get Extra Care Bucks(ECB). These are printed on the bottom of your receipt. You don’t get this savings right is for your next transaction. If you prefer to roll your transactions you can do it all in one trip. So, you would be doing a few transaction all in one trip..instead of waiting to use those ECB on another trip at a later time. I am too chicken to do the rolling. I found that many times other couponers already cleared the shelves and I have to redo my game plan so that is hard to adjust. I just hold onto my ECB for another trip.

Let me show you an example with the items in the picture above.

I bought:

1 Colgate Advance Toothpaste- 4.69…on sale for 2.77 plus 1.00 ECB which would make it 1.77(I take into account the ECB even though I won’t use them until the next shopping trip) plus I had a –1.00 MFR(manufacturer)… coupon for Colgate Advance…so the grand total for the toothpaste was .77centsSmile

1 Almay Mascara 8.79….on sale for 5.99 plus 3.00ECB minus 2.00 MFR coupon making it .99cents. Now this was a bummer because there was also supposed to be a 3.00 coupon that printed from the Coupon Machine but I did not get it and forgot about it until after..but .99 is still a great price. Now, if I would have had the 3.00 store coupon as well it would have been…5.99-2.00MFR making it 3.99 minus the 3.00 store coupon making it .99 oop(out of pocket) and I would have also received the 3 ECB making it a 2.01 MM(money maker)…bummerSad smile

1 Carmex Moisture Plus 3.29 on sale for 1.50. I used a coupon from the previous week that I got from the Coupon Machine for –1.50 off making it free!!!!!

3 American Greeting cards…this is my favorite promotion CVS does. I have a large stack of free cards! When you buy three you get 3ECB…and it works on their .99cent cards. So I bought 3 for .99ea making it 2.97…there ended up being a –2.00/3 cards MFR Coupon that came out and so I paid .97cents and got back 3ECB!!!!!! Score!

Finally I bought 1 package of Huggies diapers. They were 12.49(crazy) on sale for 9.50…I messed up and thought I was getting 1 ECB but you had to buy two..another mistakeSad smile gotta be careful. Anyways, I also had a –2.00 MFR coupon making it 7.50. This is not a great deal but I had a 5.00ECB from the previous week that I applied to this transaction.

Let me break it down a little betterSmile

Colgate 1.77oop

Almay 3.99oop

3 Amer. Greeting Cards .97oop

Carmex-free dtmp(don’t touch my pocketsSmile)

Huggies 7.50oop

total……14.23 minus the 5ECB from previous trip equals 9.23 then I received 7ECB making my total trip 2.23 plus tax!!!! Now if I would have got that extra coupon for the Almay I would have made money but oh well 2.23 for a transaction that included diapers is alright by me.

This is not all the ins and out of CVS but I hope it helps. Any questions just ask!!!!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Slow Down Old Man

     I have had the urge to run lately. I have had the urge to jog lately. I have had the urge to walk lately. Ok, there we go...that is more like it. There is no denying that I am out of shape! I ache from head to toe. Now I do realize that I am getting up there in age. In just six months I will be the big 30!!! All kidding aside I should not get winded from walking up a small set of stairs. It shouldn't take a few minutes to figure out how on earth am I going to get up off the floor. does and that stinks. 
     With my 30 birthday looming about I can't help but think about how I have wasted my 20's being fat. I look at all the cute clothes that I could and should be wearing but am so far from ever looking good in them. A fat person has noooooo business wearing skinny jeans. It just isn't right. I hate talking about my weight. I try to ignore it and tell myself that I am fine. That I am much happier being lazy and drinking my Dr.Pepper, than I would ever be skinny, WRONG. It is not just about the clothes..but honestly that is a big part of it. It is also just about feeling healthy and being able to sleep comfortably and do thing without getting winded after a minute. So.....back to this urge I have had to walk. I live steps away from one of the prettiest streets in Riverside for walking. It has a walking trail and historic plaques along the way(which I found are good to pretend like you are reading...but really are just trying to catch your breath after you decide to pick up the pace and jog and quickly realize that you are not ready for that). So, today being Monday and it being a New Year and all, I decided no more excuses I am going for a walk. I can't tell you how beautiful it was this morning. It just rained yesterday so it was so fresh smelling outside. It was really cold which is what I like when I walk because I get super hot after about 30 seconds into any activity. I had my mace in hand and my phone. I realized that it was a holiday so there may be a few more people out...but I only passed a few friendly walkers/runners/bikers. I was feeling pretty good....until....I hear a brisk walker coming up behind me. From the sound of the quick steps of this walker I figured the walker to be a young female. I did a quick look behind to make sure it wasn't someone that was going to try to take me down or anything but I was too late the brisk walker was already passing me. I get a look at this person and was an old man:(. An old man in jeans and a wind breaker just passed up this 29 year old girl!!! I have to say he did have professional walking headphones on and black leather gloves that made him look like a pro. His lack of running pants threw me off though. I am pretty sure he has been at this for a long time but, I could totally beat him at a race if I wanted to.I saw a grin on his face as he passed by me and I think I gave him a bit of confidence and so I backed down. I let him win this time..but old man if we ever meet like 2 weeks I totally will crush you...better get those running pants on sir! 
     Anyways...back to reality...I feel great mentally... my shins are burning like fire though. I really need new running shoes. My plan is to run/jog/walk Monday through Friday.  Then I will see what else I can do in addition to that. It is all about baby steps for me. Looking forward to this journey of the new healthier me.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Year of Savings

   I am sure many of you are aware that I started couponing last year. Mid April to be exact. If you are not a friend on may not know. I decided with the new year that I am going to kick it up a notch. It is only twelve days in and I have saved quite a bit. I have to say it is a time sucker. So, with that said...I felt a little discouraged as I felt I would have to give up a few things. It has always been a struggle to find the time to coupon. It is a long process if you want to start a stock pile. So, I had to re-do my game plan. Last year I made the mistake of not keeping my coupons organized in a way that worked for me. So I need to get my binder together and make it work for me. I would forget about many coupons and would lose some as they were all over the place in my office and kitchen. 
   I also realized that many times the coupons listed on sites were different from my coupons. Coupons vary by region and I would make my list, have my plan and go to clip and I would have a coupon for fifty cents of instead of a dollar (ohhhh the horror). I really need to search out that deals myself and not rely on the websites completely. The sites are amazing for those of us that do not have time..but sometimes by the time a deal is posted the products are gone. I have discovered some crazy couponers in my area. One lady was doing the same deal as I was. I spotted her from the next aisle over in CVS. She was clearing the self of the Dawn dish soap that was on sale.....ugggghhhh. She finally left and when I went over to get my three she had only left one! The nerve! I had to redo my plan on the fly and ended up being able to do it..but that could have ruined my whole deal. This was on a Sunday night and I realized if there was a good deal that I had to go on Sundays when the deal started. Sometimes that is not possible and I will just have to hope that it is still there when I can make it or just skip the deal. 
   Couponing can get a little addicting and I do not want that. I love getting a great deal...but if I obsess over it than I need to check myself...before I wreck myself(sorry had to do it). Soooooo....with all that said... I made a quarterly/yearly plan. I wrote down what I expected to need to buy this year. There are always surprise items that I don't know about in advanced....but there are many items that I know I will need every year. For example, I know I need diapers for the little one (hopefully not for long). I need toiletries like deodorant...shampoo/conditioner...soap..etc. There are also events such as birthdays and baby showers that I know about. This is going to be a big year for if there are items I can stock up on and bless my friends who are having children than that would be great!!! I love the deal that CVS had for awhile on their American Greeting cards. If you bought 3 you would get 3.00 back for a future purchase. So, I would buy 3 of the .99 cards and they would be free. I have around 12 cards and it is perfect for this year to use for bday showers..etc. I am a planner so couponing is a great thing to use my planning skills on. If this seems too much you can plan a month in advanced or whatever suits you best. 
Another issue with kicking up my couponing game is the space it requires. I already have too much stuff and not enough space. The Hubs and I took on a New Year project and tackled our garage. It freed up a lot of space and The Hubs even said I could have some area for my stock sweet:). Currently, I have a little spot in my hall closet and some space in my bathroom. I have not started a stockpile of food because I simply do not have the room in my tiny pantry..if you could even call it that. 
    I decided also to blog more about couponing. I love to blog but it is time consuming so I figured I could blog about couponing and kill two birds with one stone that way!So be on the look out for some tip and trick on couponing and hopefully you have a great year of savings.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Catching Up

I LOVE New Years Day! I am a planner and organizer(not to be confused with a cleaner). It excites me to no end to come up with my New Year budget and plan the year's events. Now that I coupon I really have to step up my game. With that being said...I am still way behind. Christmas comes the same time every year....and every year I can't believe how fast it got here and how fast it went. Tonight Shane and I finally caught up on our Christmas Shows. My house is still a wreck from the Christmas tornado. All decorations were already put away a few days after Christmas, but there are still empty toy boxes and Christmas Tree needles spread throughout my home. 
Our Real Tree:)
About this time I want to get rid of everything. While I was on vacation(for 11 days:)) The Hubs and I decided to clean out the garage. That took up 3 of my 11 days and we still have one full day worth of work left!!! What a chore. I realized we just have so much STUFF. I happily put together a couple boxes of things to donate and filled up many trash cans full of well..trash. The time off was so needed. We received many blessings at the end of 2011. First one..we received a free Christmas Tree this year from some friends from church. We were not going to be able to get one this year since we were not going to get paid until a few days before Christmas and we realized it just wasn't going to work. God heard my cries(more like whining) and blessed us with the prettiest Christmas tree we have ever had! I went to Target that day and got a pathetic looking FAKE tree...gasp!!!! It was shorter than I but it was way it had that going for it. I seriously wanted to cry..but I told myself that a least I have something to hang Shane's ornaments on as well as all my childhood ornaments. I thought alot of nasty thoughts and was mad at everyone...then God quickly reminded me that He is good and that I need to stop with the woe is me attitude and remember that He is the Reason for the Season..not my beautiful real tree. Funny how Jesus gave me a gift on His own birthday...that Jesus is something else I tell ya!
Shane admiring our little fake tree:)                                                                 

On to blessing #2. Free Disneyland tickets!!!! As we all know you could either buy a new car or go to Disneyland. is so expensive. Our friends offered free tickets for Scott and I(Shane is still free). We were all set to go the Monday after Christmas. How exciting. All our closest friends were going...then we got the phone call Christmas Eve. Scott's dad was awaiting an ambulance as he could not breathe! Our worst nightmare. We were sort of prepared as he always seems to want to spend his holidays in the hospital! He had not been feeling well for weeks. Lonnnnnnnggggg story short God is AWESOME(there He goes again being so good) and Gary is now home from the hospital. His kidney's were to blame. While he was in the hospital he had various surgeries/test/procedures done. He has a long road ahead of him so I ask if you would continue to pray for him and my mother in law Jan as she now has to become a nurse. It will be hard on us all but we are so thankful we have the opportunity to have him here still(blessing #3) was a scary time but God never failed us.
Ok...back to blessing #2..after Gary was improving so much each day...we asked if we could still use the tickets for Disneyland and went late last Thursday. It was so crowded the first hour or two..but it was so fun to see Shane's face light up at all the wonder that is Disneyland. Of course. he loved the Buzz ride where he got to shoot Zurg. His first souvineer was a replica of the gun he shot on the ride:)

I was so glad we were able to spend some quality time with Shane. To top off his awesome Christmas and Disneyland night...he was also invited to go to Toy Story 3 on Ice for free(blessing#4) with his buddy Jacob! They got to watch it from box seats and have a bunch of snacks and a super fun day! 
The Boys..I mean Buzz 1 and 2 waiting to go see Toy Story 3 on Ice!

What a way to end 2011 and begin 2012. May God bless you and send you a Happy New Year!!!!