Learn the Coupon Lingo

OOP - out of pocket BOGO - buy one get one
WYB - when you buy CRT - cash register tape
ECB - extra care bucks (CVS) mannie - manufacturer coupon
peelie - coupon located on merchandise Q - coupon

Search & Win

February 28, 2009

Month of February Review

Here is the breakdown and final numbers for the month of February for CVS:

Value of Merchandise: $626.21
Coupon Total: $331.15
Tax Paid: $8.58
Total Cost: $303.64
ECBs Used: $209.83
ECBs Earned: $200.81
Total OOP: $102.83

I will be starting the month of February with $14.97 in ECBs to roll. I did spend quite a bit more OOP this month compared to January but I did buy at least 5 containers of formula (which retailed for $23.99 each) so when you figure that in it was still a very good month!

CVS 2/28

We have a brand new CVS here in our town and I love it!! It is set up much nicer than the other one. We'll be getting another new one sometime this spring, that one will be closer to me so that will be great. The other great thing about the new store?? This one is open until 10 pm on Saturdays which means that I can now shop after 6 pm for the Sunday sale! I drug my husband with tonight so he could do a transaction for me. Of course we had problems with the wipes coupon so I don't think he'll be going there with me again :) Here are the two transactions:

1 playskool wipes $2.50
1 playtex sippy cups $5
1 pampers $10
1 slimquick energy $4.99, get $4.99
1 carnation instant breakfast $4.99, get $4.99
-use $.75 off carnation coupon
-use $2 off wipes coupon
-use $1.50 pampers coupon
-use $5/$25 CVS coupon
-use $9 ECBs
=$9.62 OOP, received $9.98 ECBs

1 playskool wipes $2.50
1 playtex sippy cups $5
1 pampers $10
1 carnation instant breakfast $4.99, get $4.99
-use $2 pampers coupon
-use $2/$10 coupon
-use $13.97 ECBs
=$4.61 OOP, received $4.99

I'll be running to CVS tomorrow to get 2 more containers of the wipes. I'll use 2 more $2 off coupons and then I'll get my $5 in ECBs for each of the cards. I also need to check out the monthly deals to see if I need to grab any of those tomorrow.

I am going to be doing a charity in a couple of weeks. I would like to know if anyone would be interested in posting what they are donating to their local charities, shelters etc? I'm going to put a Mr. Linky up for it - please let me know if you would like to participate. Thanks!!

February 26, 2009

I went to the other CVS the other day and I bought the last two Renuzit's that they had. I picked up some more Nyquil too (it's the most effective medicine for me when I'm sick). Here is my transaction:

bought 2 Nyquil - $9.98, get $5
bought Vicks cream - clearanced to $2.12
bought 2 Renuzit - $5.49 each, get $4
bought 2 Aquafresh - $.88 each
bought Cadbury egg - $.49
-use (1) $1.50 off Nyquil coupon (only had one)
-use (1) $1 off Vicks coupon
-use (2) $.75 off Aquafresh coupon
-use (2) $4 off Renuzit coupons
-use (1) $5/$25 CVS coupon
=$9.55 OOP, received $9 ECBs

So with the transaction and my one from the other night I at least have some ECBs again. Hopefully they have some good stuff on sale in the coming weeks.

CVS Results (2/23)

Ugh, to say I'm disappointed with the CVS ad this week is an understatement! My Mom & I went tonight - we didn't get too many things. Here is my one and only transaction. I will be going tomorrow morning to see if they have the Renuzit's at the other location.

bought 2 nyquil $9.98
bought 1 Kotex $1.49
-use (2) $1.50 off Nyquil coupons
-use (1) $.75 off Kotex coupon
-use (1) $2/$10 CVS coupon (received for grand opening of new store here)
=$6.29 OOP, received $5 ECBs

February 23, 2009

Kmart 2/23

Logan modeling Noah's hat (and yes, the mittens are still attached)

I had a great trip to Kmart tonight. Before I went I had pulled all of my high dollar coupons out - I was hoping to use a lot of them. I had read through some blogs before I went and saw that many people had a rough experience at their Kmarts. Luckily, for me, I did not. My transaction went perfectly. I do recommend though watching as they scan the coupons to make sure they go through. A couple of times as he was scanning the coupons his screen was stuck on "server busy". If the cashier keeps scanning the coupons when the screen says that it will not take them. Make sure and print out the $5/$50 purchase coupon! Give the cashier that coupon first and you'll save even more :) Here is what I got:

1 Spiderman hat/mitts set for Noah $3.99
4 Secret deodorant $4.29 each
1 Halls cough drops $1.50
1 Band Aids $2.99
1 Diego style band aids $2.19
1 Dixie napkins $3.29
2 Scott toilet paper (12 ct) $5.50 each
4 boxes Post cereal $2.50 each
-use $5/$50 Kmart coupon
-$2 off instant savings wyb 4 boxes of Post cereal
Following coupons were doubled:
-use (4) $2 off Secret deodorant coupons
-use (1) $.50 off Halls coupon
-use (2) $1 off Band aid coupons
-use (1) $1 off Dixie napkin coupons
-use (2) $1 off Scott toilet paper coupons
-use (2) $1/2 Post cereal coupons
=$15.59 OOP

If I had not bought the adorable hat/mittens set for Noah I would have paid less than $12 for all of that! There are some great deals at Kmart this week which is nice since CVS is a disappointment!!

*To put my savings really into perspective - I spent less on all of these items than I would have if I had just walked in and bought the 4 Secrets (without using the coupons).

CVS Week of 2/22

This looks to be a pretty slow week at CVS. Unless I see some great things on other blogs this will be my one transaction this week:

buy 4 renuzit triscents starter kits $5.49 each
buy 2 nyquil $4.99 each
-use (4) $4 renuzit coupons
-use (2) $1.50 nyquil coupons
-use (1) $5/$25 CVS coupon
=$8.72 OOP, receive $13 ECBs

I started out this week with no ECBs (I had used all mine up last week when I bought formula). For some reason I thought Pepsi was going to be on sale at CVS 5/$10 - I'm not sure where I saw that. If someone knows when/if that sale is happening please let me know. Thanks!!

February 20, 2009

Super Doubles at Kmart Again!

Thanks goes to My Frugal Ways! Some Kmart stores will be doubling coupons this next week (2/22 - 2/28). Click HERE to see if your store is participating. Mine will be so I'll be going through my coupon stash to see what I might be able to get for free/cheap :)

February 19, 2009

Coding Problem

If you grabbed my button you'll need to copy & paste the new code. I had an extra " in there so it was not working.

Baby Blanket & Stuffed Animal

Thanks goes to Thrifty Mama for this one! Click HERE to fill out the form to get a free stuffed animal and blanket. This would make a cute baby gift!!

February 18, 2009

75% off at Target!

My Target store has their Valentine's Day stuff at 75% off. I got some really cute plates & bowls for Logan and Noah. I paid just $.99 for the plates and $.74 for the bowls. I bought two of each of the designs in the pictures. Logan already used his turtle plate today. If you have a girl they have some really cute tops marked down. I did look at the candy but none really caught my eye :)

February 17, 2009

$1 easybakeware *Update*

Thanks goes to In Good "Cents" for posting this great deal! Go HERE to find some great deals on bakeware! I just ordered a set of the collapsible measuring cups and will be paying $1 for the set!

*Please make sure and read the fine print. You must call to cancel your "trial" membership within 7 days or you will end up paying a $19.95/month fee.

**Update - I just called to cancel my membership. It was simple to do and I didn't even have to talk to a live person - it was all automated!!

CVS - Getting Started

1. Get an Extra Care Card
This is the very first thing you need to do! By getting an ECC you will be able to take advantage of all the great deals and begin to build up your Extra Care Bucks. CVS frequently has items that earn you ECBs when you purchase them. They have these items as part of their monthly and weekly deals. CVS also keeps track of your spending for the quarter - you earn 2% back. You'll get those ECBs at the end of every quarter.

2. Plan your trip
I'm very lucky - in ND stores (excluding gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants) are not able to open until 12 pm on Sundays. I'm usually able to sit down on Sunday mornings and plan out my trip. I also get a chance to look at the Sunday paper and clip out my coupons. As I've mentioned before I also pick up a copy of the Minneapolis Star Tribune to get their great coupons. I'm going to sign up for a subscription - I just checked out their website and realized that I can save over $7 by having it delivered!!

There are some great sites out there that can help you plan your trip ahead of time. One that I always use is i heart cvs - Erica posts the upcoming ads weeks in advance so you can have plenty of time to plan. I have also downloaded her helpful spreadsheet - it's how I am able to keep track of what I've spent vs. what I've saved. I also check out A Full Cup to help me find coupons. It is a free website to use but you must register.

Write out your scenarios so you will have an idea of what your OOP will be. I have downloaded Briana's helpful CVS spreadsheet - I use this almost every time I plan my trip to CVS.

3. Organize
You'll realize once you begin clipping coupons you will need to find a way to organize them. You'll need something portable that you can take with you. When I first started out I tried to just take the coupons with me that I was going to use, but unfortunately sometimes the scenarios don't work out so you'll need a back-up plan. When I first began clipping coupons I used a recipe box to organize them but it would not fit in my purse. For my birthday I received the Coupon Wallet - it's not a perfect solution but it works for me so far. I can fit it in my purse and it's not as bulky as the recipe box. I bought some alphabetical index cards to further organize the coupons. It's easy when I need to find a Huggies coupon - I just go to the letter H :)

4. Don't wait
I'm not sure about your CVS but if I don't get there by Monday night they are sold out of most of the items that produce the most ECBs.

5. Raincheck!
If they are out of the item make sure to ask for a raincheck! This way you can come back the following week and pick the item up. CVS is now able to manually print out the ECBs which means if the item you got the raincheck for is no longer an ECB promotion you can still get them!! This is a great thing to remember to get for the monthly deals. Last month I received a raincheck for the Children's throat coolers that were free after ECBs. I also had a coupon for BOGO free. I waited until the beginning of February to go and pick them up so I was able to buy 2 at $4.99 but with my coupon I earned $9.98 in ECBs :)

Ok - I think those are all my tips to help get you started. Let me know if you have any questions - I'll be happy to help!


Are you new to CVSing? Need help with all the lingo? Click here to find out how to start!

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Last Trips for the Week (Hopefully!)

I made a couple of trips to CVS today. I'm pretty sure I'm done shopping there for the week :)

2 gillette shampoo $9.98, get $6
2 natural dentist mouth rinse $19.98, get $8
1 CVS aspirin $1.99
-use (2) $1 gillette coupons
-use (2) $2 natural dentist mouth rinse coupons
-use (1) free CVS aspirin CRT
-use $5/$30 CVS coupon
-use $10 ECBs
=$9.86 OOP, receive $14 ECBs

1 enfamil formula $23.99
2 natural dentist mouth rinse $19.98, get $8
-use (2) $2 natural dentist mouth rinse coupons
-use (1) $5 enfamil check
-use $5/$25 CVS coupon
-use $14 ECBs from first transaction
=$16.03 OOP, receive $8 ECBs

I will also be mailing off for two $10 MIR for the mouth rinse. Thanks goes to Deal Seeking Mom for posting this great deal! I have a total of $18 in ECBs left for next week. I didn't really build them up too much but I did manage to get 4 containers of formula for less than the price of one! Those containers should last him at least a month. I used up all my formula checks but hopefully I'll get some more soon.

I've been throwing an idea around in my head and I would like to know if anyone would be interested in participating. When I started CVSing back in December I had no idea that I could get so many things for so little OOP. I have started donating items to local charities in my area. You can view my contributions so far by clicking on the charity label. So far I've donated over $300 worth. I thought that maybe once a month I would do a charity post where everyone could leave their link showing what they were able to donate for the month. Please let me know what you think of this idea - thanks!!

I thought I would do the first "official" charity post at the end of the month.

February 16, 2009

Monday Trip - Great Moneymaker!!

Thanks to Deal Seeking Mom I was able to get formula for free! I love finding these deals online - thanks to all the other great sites out there!! I could have made $2 more off the deal but I forgot about my $2 Neutrogena CRT that I had :( Oh well. Here is my transaction:

2 Neutrogena facial bars $5.98, get $10
1 container formula $23.99
-use $5/$25 CVS coupon
-use $13.98 ECBs
-use $5 formula check
=$5.99 OOP, received $10 ECBs

February 15, 2009

Sunday Trip 2/15

I did three transactions today at CVS. I used up quite a few of my ECBs but I paid less than $1.50 for a pack of diapers and a container of formula so I can't complain too much!! Here are my deals:

2 colgates $5.98, get $5.98
4 herbal essence shampoos $11.96, get $4
1 gillette gamer razor $7.99, get $4
-use (2) $1 off colgate coupons
-use (2) $3/2 herbal essence coupons
-use (1) $4 off gillette razor coupon
-use $5/$25 CVS coupon
-use $7.99 in ECBs
=$1.72 OOP, get $13.98 ECBs

1 pack of huggies $8.99
1 container enfamil formula $23.99
-use (1) $1.50 huggies coupon
-use $5 formula check
-use $5/$25 CVS coupon
-use $20 in ECBs
=$1.48 OOP

3 suave body washes $6, get $2
2 colgates $5.98, get $5.98
1 gillette gamer razor $7.99, get $4
-use (1) $1/2 suave body wash
-use (1) try me free suave coupon
-use (1) $1 off colgate coupon
-use (1) $.75 off colgate coupon
-use (1) $4 off gillette gamer coupon
-use $9.49 in ECBs
=$2.36 OOP, get $11.98 ECBs

Since I have over $25 in ECBs remaining I will probably get a couple more containers of formula for Noah. I'll have to build up my ECBs again but getting formula for practically nothing is worth it! Want more great scenarios? Visit these websites:
IN Good "Cents"
Money Saving Mom

February 12, 2009

Getting started

I am going to begin working on a post on how to get started CVSing. It should be up in the next week or so. For now my biggest piece of advice is this - begin cutting any/all coupons that you come across! Even if it might not be something that you will use. The reason I say this is sometimes CVS will have something on sale that will be free after ECBs BUT if you have a coupon for it you will make money by buying them! I have done this several times in the past and then I usually donate those items to shelters in the area. It is a great way to build up your ECBs!

Also, like I said in my last post, consider buying a major newspapers Sunday edition. They get great coupons and it has been worth it (so far) for me to buy the Minneapolis Star Tribune that costs $2.25. I have always been able to save at least that by using the coupons.

You should also get familiar with some very helpful websites. The ones that I have listed on my left sidebar are ones that I visit almost daily. Make sure and register at A Full Cup - that is a resource that I use all the time. If you ever want to find out if there is a coupon available for a product you can type it in the AFC coupon database. You do have to register but it is completely free. I visit AFC all the time and always check it before I go to CVS. There is also a Target coupon generator on the site that I use. You can print out the Target coupons and use those on top of manufacturer coupons. It is a great way to get Ocean Spray and yogurt for a great price right now!

February 9, 2009

A Comparison

I just wanted to let you in on a little secret - sometimes it is worth it to buy a newspaper even if you do not plan on reading it. For example, the newspaper for my city absolutely sucks when it comes to coupon inserts. This week we received one insert with under 20 coupons in it that totaled less than $30 worth of coupons. I bought another cities newspaper (Minneapolis Star Tribune) and that paper had four inserts this week with over 200 coupons and over $275 in coupons! Sometimes it is completely worth it to spend an extra $2.25 for a newspaper you do not plan on reading!!

This week is a very slow week at CVS. I only plan on going there once this week which is not normal at all :) Here is my one and only transaction:
buy 2 packs of Pampers $19.98
buy 1 Dawn $.99
buy Madagascar 2 $4.99 (with qualifying purchase)
-use (2) $2 off Pampers coupons
-use (1) $.50 off Dawn coupon
-use (1) $3 off Madagascar 2 coupon
-use $5/$25 CVS coupon
=$14.57 OOP

I don't plan on using any of my ECBs for this purchase. Logan will enjoy the movie and Noah will be using the diapers :) I hope next week is better!!

BTW - my CVS FINALLY got the magic scanner machine - I am beyond excited!!

February 7, 2009


*My Dad will be pleased with this post since he cannot stand shopping at Walmart.

I am done shopping there and do not plan to go back unless I absolutely have to. Today was the last straw. I'm tired of getting treated like a criminal there just for using coupons. Isn't the point of using coupons to save money?? At one of the Walmarts here you would think you were taking money out of the cashiers pocket when you use a coupon. I gave them three chances and today I guess they struck out. They pushed my last button when I used some formula checks and the cashier left to ask her supervisor THREE times if she could take them. I'm sure they see these checks all the time since anyone can request them and the formula companies encourage you to use them! It's not like the checks were worth more than what I was buying. I spent over $40 after the checks!! So until I begin to hear good things about Walmart and their exception customer service (good luck with that!!) I will avoid them as much as I can.

February 6, 2009

CVS Moneymaker

If you have any of the Contour glucose meter coupons and a $5/$25 CVS coupon this could turn into a great moneymaker!! I needed to pick up some essentials so I wasn't too concerned about building my ECBs. Here is what I got:
-Contour glucose meter $30
-Gillette shampoo $4.99, get $3
-dinner napkins $3.59
-sweet n low sweetener $2.19
-use (1) $30 off Contour meter coupon
-use raincheck for Gillette shampoo (free w/purchase of gillette razor)
-use $5/$25 CVS coupon
=$1.11 OOP, received $3 ECBs

I have one more of the Contour coupons but they are good until 11/30/09. I might just wait to use the last one.


I would just like to take a moment to thank our two little tax write-offs! I e-filed our taxes tonight and I'll just say I was MORE than pleasantly surprised and happy at the amount that we'll be getting back. I still have to do the state ones (I'm too cheap to pay $15 to e-file them!) but I'll pick up the forms tomorrow and hopefully have them done by next week.

February 4, 2009

February Charity

Here is what I accumulated for part of the month of January. I dropped these off at one of the shelters here in town.There are a total of 54 items in the picture:
-15 toothpastes
-9 J&J buddies soaps
-14 bottles shampoo/conditioner
-3 body washes
-3 razors
-3 aspirins
-2 nose sprays
-6 pack of soap
-4 boxes Kotex products

Wednesday Trip

Transaction #1:
bought Contour glucose meter $30
bought 2 bodiheat heat pads $3.99 each, get $3
bought cotton swabs $3.49, get $1
bought L'Oreal towelettes $5.99
bought L'Oreal cleanser $5.99, get $10
-use (1) $30 off contour meter coupon
-use (1) $3 off L'Oreal skin care coupon
-use $5/$25 CVS coupon
-use $11.99 ECBs
=$3.85 OOP, received $17 ECBs

Transaction #2:
bought L'Oreal towelettes $5.99
bought L'Oreal cleanser $5.99, get $10
bought CVS chewable aspirin $1.99, get $1.99
bought 10 ct. Excedrin $2.49, get $2.49
-use (1) $3 off L'Oreal skin care coupon
-use $11.99 ECBs
=$1.74 OOP, received $14.48 ECBs

I'll be donating some of these as part of my monthly charity donations. You can check out my January donations HERE.

February 2, 2009

Monday Trip

My Mom called me tonight to go and walk around the mall tonight and I figured since I was there I might as well stop at CVS :) I returned the Bayer aspirin that I bought on accident yesterday so I got a credit of $2.96. I picked up the L'Oreal that turns out to be a moneymaker also. Here is what I got:

bought 3 Hershey's candy bars with almonds $1.50
bought 3 Hershey's dark chocolate candy bars $1.50
bought 1 L'Oreal revitalift cleansing cloths $5.99
bought 1 L'Oreal revitalift cream cleanser $5.99, get $10
bought 1 EaRinse $7.99, get $7.99
bought chewable aspirin $1.99, get $1.99
bought Bounty paper towels $5.99
-use (3) BOGO free Hershey's coupons
-use (2) $2 off L'Oreal skincare coupons
-use $5/$25 CVS coupon
-use $19.48 in ECBs
=$1.36 OOP, received $19.98 in ECBs

* I could not find the children's chewable aspirin. The adult one though printed out the ECBs.

February 1, 2009

Sunday Transaction

Here is my transaction that I did today:
bought 2 bags of Hershey's candy 2/$3
bought Earinse $7.99, get $7.99
bought 10 ct. vial Excedrin $2.49, get $2.49
bought 2 pkgs. stayfree pads $3.49 each, get $4
bought Excedrin $6.99, get $3
bought children's bayer aspirin $2.79 (*mistake!)
bought colgate $4.89, get $2
-use (2) $1 off Hershey's candy
-use (1) $1 off Excedrin
-use (1) $1 Excedrin CRT
-use (1) BOGO free stayfree products
-use (1) $1.50 off Colgate
-use $5/$25 CVS coupon
-use $16 ECBs
=$5.93 OOP, received $19.48 ECBs

*after looking at my receipt I realized that I bought the children's Bayer product instead of the CVS aspirin. I'll be returning these sometime this week and hopefully they will still have the CVS brand to pick up.

Scenarios for 2/1

I'm hoping to do one transaction tomorrow when I get off work. I'm hoping that since it's the first day of the month I'll be able to snag these deals.

buy 4 Reese's whips 2/$1
buy 6 bags of Hershey's candy 2/$3
buy 6 Hershey's candy bars 2/$1
buy 10 ct. vial Excedrin $2.49, get $2.49 ECBs
buy children's aspirin $1.99, get $1.99 ECBs
buy 2 pkgs. Stayfree pads $3.99 (approx.)
-use (2) $1 off 2 Reese's whips coupons
-use (3) $2 off 2 bags of Hershey's candy coupons
-use (3) BOGO Hershey's candy bar coupons
-use (1) BOGO free Stayfree product coupon
-use (1) $1 Excedrin CRT
-use $5/$25 CVS coupon
-use $7 ECBs
= $0 OOP, get $8.48 ECBs

Not a bad way to start the month off. Wouldn't you agree?

*thanks to iheartcvs, bargain briana, and southern savers!!
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