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CVS: Trip #2

Our first CVS trip of this week (on Memorial Day) was a near-disaster and since I like to keep things positive here, I’ll spare you the details of the difficult cashier. Needless to say, we have moved on to greener CVS pastures and will not be returning to that store. 🙂

(For all you newbies, let me reassure you that this has only happened to us twice in our history of hundreds of CVS transactions, so please know that it is a rare thing. And both times it has been the case of a cashier/manager completely misunderstanding the ECB program.)

We went over to a friend’s house for lunch on Tuesday, so we did CVS trip #2 on our way home. It was a much better trip and it helped re-energize me regarding the wonderful CVS deals. (I was almost considering quitting there for all of two seconds after the trying ordeal we went through on Monday so a great CVS run was exactly the antidote needed!)

Here’s what we got:


(Just overlook the fact that one of the waters is almost empty; I was thirsty after all that shopping! And the waters are surprisingly good!)

1 package of Playskool diapers – 10.99
1 3-pack of rolaids -$2.19
4 Sobe Life Waters  -$1 each
2 double-packs of Excedrin – $1.99 each

Used $3/15
1 $2/1 Playskool coupon
2 B1G1 Sobe coupons
2 $2/1 Excedrin coupons
Paid with the remainder in ECBs
Spent $0.95 out of pocket
Got $2 and $2 ECBs back

You can find more info on these deals and coupons here.

I’m making at least one more trip this week to finish out the May ECB deals and the Playskool deal and then it’s on to June!

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  • says:

    I am getting the hang of things…I posted my deals from my Wednesday trip on my (very new and inexperienced) blog with a reference to your CVS 101! Couldn’t have done it without you!

  • love3c says:

    I have a feeling my Monday CVS trip was similar to yours! Glad today went better for you! I’m still looking for the friendly employee CVS in our area!

  • Mommy Koala says:

    What a great deal! I am just starting out….so forgive my dumb question. Where do you get the coupons (i.e. Playskool, excedrin)?

  • says:

    Crystal, I had a tough time on my last visit at CVS, too! I didn’t put the full details on my blog, either, but it was definitely a test to see if I’d keep the “personal rules” of shopping etiquette that I’d just posted at my blog.
    I also posted links to you on my page. This site has been such a help! Thank you again!
    Mommy Koala, check out Crystal’s post from 5/26 (CVS deals) for info on the coupons. I’m just starting out, too, and the CVS weekly deal posts help track down the coupons.

  • Jan says:

    I didn’t even make a CVS shopping trip this week- except I ran in one day to get 2 Sobe water- that’s it. Looking forward to June.

  • Karen says:

    Ah, I’m debating whether or not to do another trip tomorrow. I have had one FABULOUS month, thanks to you and your readers, Crystal! 😉 I’ve parlayed about $20 cash into $200 savings. Many essentials are stockpiled, some things will be donated, and I’ve accrued some treats — new make-up (my stuff was disintegrating) and I’ve made a good dent in printing out the photos we took at Disneyworld at the beginning of the month. I’m so excited about June I can hardly contain myself! Thanks, Crystal. 🙂

  • Erika says:

    Aack…I’m sorry to hear you had a crummy CVS trip on Memorial Day…I did too!

    I’m glad your blog is up and running again–I like the new look–and I appreciate your efforts.

  • says:

    Oh, cmon, a good horror story makes us all feel a little better, doesn’t it?

    I brought one of those Sobe waters with me today on a long drive and I have to say I thought it was dreadful. Oh well, I got one with taurine for my brother and hopefully he’ll like it. Not for me, but glad you liked it!

  • says:

    What a great deal that you got on the Excedrin! I have really stocked up on them this month. My store didn’t have any double packs though.

    thanks for all of your help!

  • Heather says:

    Crystal, I have a question. Yesterday I was able to get 2 packages of playschool diapers and 6 packs of wipes for under $4, using coupons and ECBs. However, all last night I had trouble sleeping because I’m wondering if this is taking advantage of CVS? Since playschool coupons, ECBs, and $3/$15 are all CVS coupons, how do they make any money? Do you know if they are reimbursed for any of the ECBs? Thanks so much!

  • faith says:

    I asked myself the same question Heather, but… before I stayed home with my family I was in retail. There are certian advertized items called loss leaders in this business. They advertize these items to bring people into the store. The hope is that shoppers will walk out with items other than the sale items. This is a self control issue. Anyway, if you look at your ecb recipts, they tell you which item you purchased that were reimbursed for. The stores get deeper discounts on items when they can move a large quantity of them. This in turn raises the stock of the company selling the particular item. (ex. excedrin this week) CVS has their stock raised by encouraging shoppers to take more product home and showing an increase in sales. Coupons are reimbursed by (ex. excedrin) as a kickback to a retailer willing to except coupons. Our economy is just not straightforward. CVS is not losing much. Just gaining shoppers…

  • faith says:

    I saved a lot of my ecb shopping for the diaper deal this month. I spent $20 out of pocket. The rest in ecbs, and came out $80 ahead in ecbs over what I put out in cash and ecbs. Coupons are such a blessing if you are willing to do the work. I think this is a God thing! I donated the glucometers, some toothpaste, passed items to family and friends, and took home 10 packs of diapers.

  • Lynn says:

    I too “almost” had a bad CVS shopping experience yesterday. The manager and Cashier were knowledgeable about CVSing and that was very obvious. I bought a few extra items that I really needed (yes I had coupons for) but, it brought my bill up a bit However, I took my bill from 79.00 to 37.00 by using my coupons, ebc’s and competitors’ coupons-saving $42.00. I got back in ebc’s $35.00. Not a bad shopping trip for me. I am still in the learning phase.

    It really helped me to write down my shopping list before hand. Along with my saving from coupons & ebc’s I should get back (sometimes they don’t print out correctly so this helps me to keep track) CVS should make your EBC’s good if you bring it to their attention. They will give you a gift card or something. I used mine off my next order so it made it easier for them.

    Also, a bit of info if you didn’t know. My cashier and manger at CVS didn’t know…They will accept the online CVS coupons that print on your receipt in the store, competitors’ coupons (Walgreens had one for $10 of $30) expired coupons. Keep them all and then you can stack them. I always go to Walgreens on the first of the month and get their coupon book- kind of like the monthly flyer CVS does but their’s has coupons in it and they usually run similar products on sale as CVS and you can double the store coupon (walgreens or any stores coupons with the manufacture coupon and cvs will except it).

    Happy CVSing and thanks for your site. I just love it

  • Great question, Heather!

    I wouldn’t worry about CVS hurting for money. 🙂 They *want* us using the ECB program because it helps their business. Having us be all excited about shopping at CVS, going in sometimes multiple times per week and shopping, and spending money there (even if it’s with coupons and ECBs) that we wouldn’t otherwise spend there because of the ECB program is what it’s all about.

    Of course, they are counting on many of the people buying things not part of the ECB deals by getting us into the store. But we don’t have to buy anything besides the ECB deals and they still will not be hurting because the manufacturers do indeed give them a kickback on the ECB deals we buy and pay them back for the manufacturer’s coupons we use. Like Faith said above, this is all part of marketing–for both CVS and the manufacturers.

    And I for one know that I have been introduced to many products that we now love that I never would have considered buying had it not been for coupons and the ECB program.

    If CVS wanted to quit the ECB program at any time, they could. However, I am guessing with all of the buzz about it, they won’t plan on doing that anytime soon. 🙂

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