I have been asked to give step by step examples how I do my moneymaker scenarios to help people understand better. The first one I did with CVS didn't involve using Extra Bucks, but the one I did today did. This is what I did:
1. I had a $5 off a purchase of $30 coupon that I had received when I scanned my CVS card in the in-store machine (this is something that I do on every visit to CVS because you are never sure what type of coupon will pop out). My goal was to reach $25 in free / nearly free goods so that I could use the remaining $5 to purchase anything I wanted.
2. I looked at this week's CVS deals from what Niki had put together.
3. The first deal was a Complete Multi Purpose Contact Solution 12 oz Extra Buck moneymaker when using the 5/16 Red Plum Sunday newspaper coupon insert. Complete Multi Purpose Contact Solution 12 oz cost $7.99, but upon purchase you received $7.99 in Extra Bucks to use on your next purchase. The Red Plum coupon was worth $2.00 off which meant you paid $5.99 and received $7.99 in Extra Bucks back for the $2.00 moneymaker. I pulled the 5/16 Red Plum Sunday newspaper coupon insert off my shelf, found the coupon and cut it out:
4. The second deal was for a John Frieda Products moneymaker when using two John Frieda Root Awakening coupons from the 6/6 Smart Source Sunday newspaper coupon insert. John Frieda Root Awakening products cost $6.99 each or $10.00 for 2 and I would get $5.00 in Extra Bucks Back. The John Frieda Root Awakening coupon from the 6/6 Smart Source Sunday newspaper coupon insert was for $3.00 off which meant that if I used 2, I would paid $4.00 and received back $5.00 in Extra Bucks making it a $1.00 moneymaker. I pulled two 6/6 Smart Source Sunday newspaper coupon inserts off my shelf, found the coupon in each and cut them out:
5. I calculated where I stood. Adding up the above products came to $21.97 ($7.99 + $6.99 + $6.99), so I needed $3.03 more to hit my $25.00 target.
6. My hope was to be able to take advantage of the M&Ms Pretzel rain check and coupons I had which would have added $8.90 to the total, but would be free for me:
7. Knowing from experience that there was a good chance that the items I wanted to purchase might not be available, I also prepared some other alternative scenarios to reach the $25.00 goal.
8. The following items were all available with no manufacturer coupons needed which could help me reach the $25.00 goal:
Bausch & Lomb Biotrue Multi-purpose solution, 2 oz. – $2.99
Buy 1, Receive $2.99 Extra Bucks: Limit 2
Final Price: FREE!
CVS Pantiliners 22ct. – $0.50
Buy 2, Receive $1.00 Extra Bucks: Limit 3 free
Final Price: 2 FREE
Caliber Scissors – $0.99
Buy 1, Receive $0.99 Extra Bucks: Limit 1
Final Price: FREE!
PaperMate Pens 10 ct – $0.99
Buy 1, Receive $0.99 Extra Bucks: Limit 1
Final Price: FREE!
10. I decided to also prepare to use the Gillette Pro-Glide Razor deal with coupon from the 6/6 Proctor & Gamble Sunday newspaper coupon insert. The Gillette Pro-Glide Razor cost $9.97 and I would get $5.00 in Extra Bucks Back. The Gillette Pro-Glide Razor deal with coupon from the 6/6 Proctor & Gamble Sunday newspaper coupon insert was for $4.00 off which meant I would pay $5.97 and received back $5.00 in Extra Bucks. While not a money maker, the cost was relatively small and combined with the other moneymakers, I still would have about $5.00 to spend on anything. I pulled the 6/6 Proctor & Gamble Sunday newspaper coupon insert off my shelf, found the coupon and cut it out:
11. With coupons and various possible ways to reach $25.00, I set off to CVS.
12. M&Ms Pretzels were still sold out so that immediately ruled them out as an option.
13. The Complete Multi Purpose Contact Solution 12 ounce was available so I put it in the basket.
14. The John Frieda Root Awakening products were available so I placed them into my basket.
15. The Bausch & Lomb Biotrue Multi-purpose solution, 2 ounce and CVS Pantiliners 22 count were both sold out.
16. The Gillette Pro-Glide Razor was available so I added that to put me above my $25.00 target.
17. I decided to get 2 loaves of 100% whole wheat bread with the overage I had (I am happy that I have been able to eat 100% whole wheat bread this entire challenge — although not a specific requirement, my sister said that she didn't want to see me eating white bread the entire time)
18. While it wasn't necessary in this case, I asked the cashier not to total the transaction until after she scanned the $5 off $30 purchase coupon. This is just a good habit to get into so that it is easier to hit these purchase targets. When the cashier hits total, all the CVS discounts get taken out which can sometimes bring the total below the amount you need for the $x.xx off a purchase of $x.xx coupon to work.
19. I handed over $18.50 worth of Extra Bucks that I already had on hand (If I didn't have these, I would have had to pay this amount out of my pocket)
20. The total came to -$1.96, but because of $2.16 in state taxes, I had to pay $0.20
21. In addition I received $18.99 back in Extra Bucks (the extra $1 Extra Buck came from using my green tag for the fourth time).
22. Since I paid out $18.50 in Extra Bucks and $0.20 in cash and got $18.99 in Extra Bucks back, I actually made $0.29 on this transaction which must be used at CVS in the future.
The contact solution, shampoo and razor will all be donated to charities.
This is the current list of food I still have
This is the current list of what I have purchased:
Goal: 100 days eating on $1 a day
Current Money Spent: $46.90
Money Left to Spend: $53.10 ($5.83 must be spent at CVS)
Retail Value of Everything Purchased: $1313.34
The Beginning ::: Day 72: Shopping Without Coupons
Thanks, I appreciate your effort in detailing these transactions.
Thanks again for taking the time to document all of this for us. Because you showed your last transaction in detail, I learned to scan my card before shopping, and today got a $4 off $20 coupon! You can be sure I’ll be using today’s info to take advantage of that.
I also appreciate that you have added that you already are using extra bucks you’ve saved up – it makes the process clearer for those of us just starting (without a build up of extra bucks). I suppose one could either wait and purchase products they would have bought anyway to build up their extra bucks, or spend cash on products until they save enough up and then can use them the way that you have. Either way, you do still come out ahead when it’s all said and done – and I appreciate you showing us step by step how to do it!
Keep up the good work. 🙂
I really appreciate how well written these CVS examples are.
From the last CVS example you posted, I too was able to score a free $4 worth of products. ( I chose to get some Zip-Lock bags), and like you, I used my accumulated extra bucks in order to complete the transaction.
My total out of pocket expense was $0.08, and I even got back $5 in extra bucks so I can do this all over again next week!
Thanks again for the step by step guides!
It appears that the CVS ads are not uniform across the country because the CVS pantiliners were not .50 but .99 and there was no B2G$1 reward buck offer in the Austin area ad. At Walgreens, they won’t take the $1 off cpn on the Pantiliners that were .99 with the their in ad coupon.
Hmmm, I didn’t look closely at the price for the CVS pantiliners (just noted they weren’t in stock) so not sure if it is regional or was a mistake listing.
Walgreens has some strange rules with coupon (another reason I have not used them until recently) where you must have one product for each coupon you use. Unfortunately, I’m not familar enough with the exact rules so you should definitely double check anything I say, but I believe you need to put in a “filler” item so that you can use both coupons.
It appears that the CVS pantyliner are a month long deal – that would mean they are not advertised in the circular. You can check if they are just not marked properly by scanning the bar code in the self scanning machines and see the price that comes up. My guess is that your store just didn’t mark it, but it will scan at $0.50
Great step-by-step to help those just starting out with couponing! Just one question, on the John Frieda coupon, the legal print says that there’s a limit of one coupon per purchase. How were you able to work around this and use two of them on one bill?
“limit of one coupon per purchase” confuses a lot of people and is what usually causes problems when a cashier is new and doesn’t know how couponing works. That is basically wording that is found on most manufacturer coupons which means “only one manufacturer coupon per item” so that you don’t stack multiple coupons for the same product. I does not mean only one coupon each time you go through the register line. In this case, the “purchase” is a single item and the “limit of one coupon per purchase” simply means you can’t use 2 or more of that same coupon on one item. In this case I bought 2 items (thus 2 separate purchases) so using 2 coupons was fine.
You remind me of robin hood with your methods of donating to charities.
I guess it’s great if you have the time to do this and donate the stuff to charity. But most average people do not. Most extra buck deals are worthless, because they lock you into buying product you don’t really need and overpaying for it in the long run, as CVS doesn’t actually ever give you your money back, and you end up paying their exorbitant prices instead of getting a real deal some place else. Also, I will tell you from personal experience, if you do this often enough, the cashiers will start recognizing you and will most certainly hate you for making their lives miserable. Moreover, they will actually start reading all the fine print and checking the dates on your coupons, and if your extra bucks happen to be expired, even by just a few days, guess what, they will not let you use them because you will be known in the store as one of “those customers”. If you are just shopping for your family and trying to save some money, I recommend skipping the extra bucks and just looking through the adds of grocery stores, or places like target and wallmart. Trust me you will save a lot more money this way in the long term. And your karma will not suffer from the things CVS cashiers are thinking and saying about you as you are counting out your hundred extra bucks.