I had someone email me about how I CVS after I posted a link on The Grocery Cart Challenge's Recipe Swap. This is the email I used to reply. I'm actually quite glad she asked b/c I've been meaning to post this for quite some time.
I love lists so I'm going to break it down as easily as I can.
1)Get the Sunday paper, join coupons.com to print coupons, and sign up for free samples b/c a lot of them come with coupons.
2)I read a couple of different blogs that help me decide what the good deals are and which coupons to use.
Money Saving Mom
Making CVS work for you
Be Centsable (people post their deals)
3)My sister in law sums it up nicely here.
4)Get a CVS Extra Care Bucks card and a weekly sales paper and figure out how you can combine it with the coupons you have on hand.
5)The first time I went I bought a Soliel razor and a pack of 4 blades for $6.99 each. I had a $4 off coupon for each product so I paid $2.99 each. CVS gave me $5 ECB that I could use like cash the next time I purchased something. The next thing I did was buy 2 sunscreen products. I bought the least expensive item I could find (2 face sticks at $4.97 each) and I got $10ECB back. Now I had $15 that I could spend at CVS that was basically free money. The way that I got the deals on my original post are as follows:
CVS sent me a sheet of coupons for $5 off any $15 purchase, free 2 liter Pepsi product, and $3 off any CVS pharmacy product. Gain was on sell for $2.99 and you got back $2ECB. Excedrin had a deal where you would get back $10ECB if you spent $20. I stacked my coupons.
First I had them total everything and it was right around $30. Then I gave them the $5 off $15 coupon (we're down to $25), then I had $6 worth of Excedrin coupons($19), then the $3 coupon for the antacids ($16), free Pepsi coupon ($15), and then I used my $15 in ECB to pay for the rest. The only thing I paid out of pocket was the tax of $.47 give or take a little. After my transaction I still had $12 in ECB to use the next time I shopped at CVS. It's a great thing and once you get the ball rolling, you aren't going to be able to stop.
This totally kills my need to shop bug and I get so excited by what I can actually get basically for free.
The next thing I did was use Rite-Aid's rebate program.
The shampoo you saw was on sale, buy one get one free, and I also had 2 BOGO free coupons so all that shampoo was free. The toothpaste was on sale for $2.49 and I got $2.49 in rebates plus I had a $.50 coupon. The Electrasol was $2.99 with $2 in rebates and I had 2 $2.25 coupons. Even though I had to pay approximately $4.75 out of pocket at the time, I just submitted for my rebate check last night and I'm getting back $4.49 in the form of a check which I will deposit in the bank.
So there you have it...hopefully this is not too confusing. The main thing is to clip coupons and sign up for blogs that will tell you which coupons to use and what the sales are. I work full time so there is no way that I could do this w/o the blogs. If you don't have Google Reader, I suggest you learn how to use it. I just go there and read the blogs I've subscribed to instead of having to remember to go to each individual blog each day. My best friend, Google Reader