Monday, October 5, 2015
Retirement Remedies: My CVS Shopping This Week
I earned $10 in ECB (Extra Cash Bucks) rewards a few weeks ago and I've been scanning ads ever since trying to determine how best to spend them. I missed a golden opportunity last week but I just couldn't make it over to the store and so I decided I'd see what was coming up. I knew I had a few more days to spend before they expired on October 15.
John and I discussed this yesterday as I looked over the Sunday paper. I explained that if I didn't spend the ECBs I might just as well set fire to a $10 bill, because it was essentially earned store credit that I just let the store keep rather than get any value from it myself. I'll just bet there are loads and loads of ECBs that don't get used by folks and I was determined to use mine. I resolved this year to make my money work harder for me and letting rewards go unused is not making it work hard. It's just a clear sign that I've grown lazy!
I knew added to my CVS card two high value EBCs this past week as well ($2 quarterly earnings and $5 off $50 beauty club purchases), so I planned to spend $17 in ECBs and numerous high value coupons on items. I planned to purchase 1pkg of razors, a Powerade, a bottle of detergent and a toothpaste and left a question mark beside the deodorant I noted was on sale. The ad didn't list price and I was unsure I could manage that within the funds I had to spend. You'll note looking at the picture that I doubled up on the razors and bought two packages of soap and a doll. Good reasons for all.
I printed coupons at the kiosk when I arrived. At the end of my store coupons was a ledger of what rewards were on my card. I'd completely forgotten an added $10/$40 purchase coupon that I'd added last week. It expired today, October 5. I scanned my card again. A new batch of coupons printed out, which included a -$1.50 instant coupon on a $6 purchase of soap and a -$4 off $10 razors purchase. I'd planned to buy Irish Springs soap (2 - 3 packs/$6) but the Dial soap was 2- 6packs/$8 and offered $2 ECBs as incentive. I purchased 2 packages of 6 bars, getting 12 bars for $6.50 plus the $2 ECBs reward.
Bic razors were on sale for $6.99 for disposables. I had a -$2/manufacturer's coupon and the -$4/$10 razors purchase kiosk coupon. There was an ECBs incentive of $2. I decided to purchase two packages for a total of $7.98 for the two packages. I earned a $2 ECB reward for that purchase.
Colgate Max Fresh toothpaste was on sale for $2.97, I had a $.50 off any Colgate toothpaste manufacturer's coupon. Cost: $2.47 and earned $1.50 ECBs.
The Powerade is a 32 ounce drink. I had a MyCokeRewards coupon for a free Powerade (up to -$1.79). Cost: $.08.
A 40 ounce bottle of Tide detergent was $2.94, I had a manufacturer's coupon for -$1. Cost: $1.94
The Ban deodorant was on sale for $5.25 each. I had a kiosk coupon for 30% off any deodorant purchase (-$2.61) and a -$1 manufacturer's coupon. There was a $4ECBs incentive for purchase of 2. Cost: $7.89 for the two deodorants.
The doll pushed my total neatly over the required $40 mark so the extra $10 was knocked off my total. I paid $22.85 out of pocket, which was what the cost of the doll plus tax . That money will come from our gift fund. It will negate the spending as far as the check register is concerned. I SAVED $55.25, which includes sales savings, manufacturer coupons, store coupons, and the ECBs I had previously earned ($17) and the spending incentive coupon ($10/off $40 purchase). Everything I purchased except the doll ended up being FREE. AND I earned another $9.50 to spend in ECBs which won't expire until November 4, 2015. I plan to use those ECBs to earn more ECBs and get $9.50 worth of FREE product in my home.
Now I want to share one thing. We needed to stock up on soap, as I don't think John has even one bar of soap left (I have an ample supply of Camay from Granny many years ago that I'm still using), but we didn't need razors. However, razors for FREE beats having to pay any price, even sales price, on razors later on.
Razors don't expire. They have no definite shelf life. We will use razors for years upon years to come. I suspect I have about an 8 month supply at present, not including what I purchased today. I like to buy the girlie pretty razors too but razors truly are non-gender. I don't think John would much care if he used a pink razor to shave with as long as it was sharp. I certainly don't mind using one of his men's razors to shave my legs.
Soap is pretty much the same. It doesn't expire. In fact, the older it gets the more it hardens, the longer it lasts. So by all means when you can get soap for very little buy it and put it aside. It's not going to spoil!
Laundry detergent is another item I didn't 'need' but again, it's not going to go bad on me. Yes, it is cheap to make your own, but FREE is cheaper still, isn't it? So I stock up on detergent for as little as possible.
On the other hand, I am cautious about deodorants. Much as John loves his gel deodorant it will harden and essentially become useless if not used in a certain time frame. I try not to stock more than two or three ahead on those. I've tried to get him to use a solid but he's very much against it. So I under stock his deodorant and for myself, I switch brands and types depending upon what I can get for free. My only mandate for deodorant is that it be unscented, which is easily found in solid, roll on, spray or gel in nearly all brands available.
I've got a list of items I hope to purchase from CVS in the future, but my goal is to be pay nothing from pocket for as long as I can manage it and to have a constant supply of ECBs to turn over into more ECBs. This is one area where I've tended to have feast or famine attitude but I am sure if I shop and spend wisely I can manage this. We'll see how well I do.
If you want to see a real CVS maven in action, check out Rhonda's blog. She is the one who has inspired me to be more diligent with my CVS shops. And by all means, don't limit yourself to her CVS skills. This friend of mine is skilled in many areas of thrift and frugality and has a beautiful home that she's lavished her skills upon. Poke around her blog a bit and see if you don't come away inspired.
Now I'm off to do a bit of housework then I mean to sit down and see what I can do with MyCokeRewards now that I have a reliable internet connection once more. I've a ton of codes to enter into my account. That's my next plan of attack on my budget: to get the utmost from MCRs points. There's a lot of saving to do!