I love getting free stuff. The more I get into couponing, the easier I find, it is to get super super cheap, or free stuff. Yes I do get things I wouldn't normally buy like candles or tons of air freshner...but its because I am paying literally a few pennies for them, depending on how you look at it. I saw thing one interview with a couponing "master" and she said that she believed everyone should be able to buy things at a price they feel like they should pay. I thought that was an interesting concept. Although I'm not sure it means I can and will get every item for free just because I don't think I should have to pay for it (lol) I think if you watch the sales, and use coupons, play the waiting game a bit...you can get what you feel is a really great deal. Especially if you already comparison shop and do the grocery shopping for the house--you know what the "normal" (inflated) prices are. Truth be told, it's kind of a mind game. They mark things up normally to be able to afford to mark them down occasionally/frequently (depending on the item).
So I'm working on a deal right now, it's a two part deal...considering my cvs was out of about half of the items I wanted, i didn't do as well as I planned, but still not bad at all.
Right now @ CVS if you have your extra care card, you can get some amazing deals. One thing I am having to get used to is the Extra Care bucks. If you look at the weekly ad that comes out in the Sunday paper, it will advertise various deals-one of which being the ability to earn back extra care bucks. What those are are this--here is a scenario:
Buy $20 worth of selected items, get $5 back, or get $10 back. You don't get cash back, but for every different scenario where you earn them, they all print on the bottom of your receipt, so don't throw it away!! You can only earn one per scenario (at all, not just per transaction) though. So like this morning, they had various cleaning products and airwick air fresheners by $20 get $10 back. They are smart to do this, because #1 people will come in to buy it simply because it is a gimmick, #2 they know most people will not remember to save their receipts or will lose it, #3 those who do, are at least (more than likely) going to be leaving and coming back in the store--unless like me, you turn around and do another transaction immediately. They know if you leave, and come back again later, you are more likely to buy additional things than what you came for or spend more money than planned.
That's where you have to be smart. Shop with a list and only buy what you came for. If you buy things you weren't planning to buy, especially if you are a coupon shopper, you will end up spending more than you planned--like I did this morning. What happened this morning, was arguably not my fault, but I could have been better prepaired and paid even less out of pocket.
Ok, so right now, one of the extra care bucks deals they have going on is this--buy $20 worth of select products, get $10 back. You have to buy the correct product/brand to get the deal. The good news is, the price is before your coupons are applied. Sometime in the past week (sorry I can't remember exactly which ad, I think it was red plum though...don't quote me!) they had tons of coupons for airwick products. From what I can tell, air fresheners are one of those products that they are constantly putting coupons out for. So right now, it just so happens that several of the airwick products are included in the CVS deal. There also were several cleaning products coupons out recently as well.
The `CVS sale I am talking about is this:
$3-Lysol power toilet bowl cleaner, all purpose cleaner, or wipes (only certain sizes) OR Finish Electrosol powerball dish tabs or Jet Dry rinse gelpacs.
$4-the 12.5 oz Lysol disinfectant spray
$5-Airwick scented oil refills (for the warmer), or freshmantic or i motion refill cans
$6 -Lysol neutra air or Airwick Freshmatic Ultra kits
Of course you can mix and match, but you have to purchase at least $20 of some combination of these items to get the $10 EC bucks. Not too hard right? Ok, so like I said, that total is before they take your coupons off.
I had coupons for just about all those items, so the challenge was to find out what would minimize my money spent up front out of pocket. I decided just whatever got me closest to the 20 without going over too much would be the best deal--too much math makes my brain hurt, lol.
So I had 2 sets of coupons for most of the items, because I've asked my grandma to save per coupons for me. The airwick ultra kit was $6 and I had 2 coupons that would take $4 off--so I wanted to buy 2 of those. I also had buy 1 get one free airwick spray refills. and I had buy any scented oil refills get a free warmer. I also had a $1 off finish coupon, and a $2.25 off finish coupon. I also had $1 of 1 lysol spray, and $1 off 2 spray, and $1 off 2 toilet bowl cleaner. So lots of coupons that corresponded with the sale.
The problem was, when they went there, some lady had just come and bought their already meager supply of the Airwick kits, so I will have to go back to a different store, or check with him Thursday when his delivery truck gets in.
Oh, and they also had an Extra Buck deal on candy that made them free. I got a kingsize (really small though) "Reeses minis" for $1.59 and a snickers for .89 and they printed off extra bucks for that exact amount on my reciept as well, so it's like I got them for free.
Here's what I ended up purchasing these are the sale price that count toward the $20:
2 Airwick spray refills @$5 each --$10
2 Lysol disinfectant sprays @$4 each- $8
1 Electrosol finish dish tabs @$3 each- $3
1 reeses minis KING SIZE @1.59-$1.59
1 snickers @$.89 -$0.89
now we took off my coupons
-$1 for the finish (I plan on using the $2.25 as well)
-$5 for one of the air fresheners
-$1 off the lysol--this is where I screwed up. I had a second lysol spray coupon for off of 2, but I hadn't planned on buying 2. I could have saved more if I had been more organized.
My total was $16.48 or $18.12 after my state tax was added. Now, that in it self was not so great in my opinion. It says I saved $16.25 btwn the "sale" prices and my coupons. BUT, when you consider I get $10 back towards my next purchase, It's like I got those items for $9 after tax. Which really isn't bad at all.
So, I am still on a hunt to find the 2 airwick kits, because after coupons those will be $2 each. And I want to get some of the lysol wipes which 2 of them will be $5 after my coupon, and then I will probably buy 1 oil warmer refill for $5 (and get the warmer itself for free). I also want to take advantage of the renuzit air fresheners...Those are on sale for .88 cents, and I have a buy 3 get 3 free coupon. So for
$6 airwick ultra kit x2
$3 lysol wipes x2
$3 toilet boil cleaner x2
$3 finish powerball tabs
$.88 Renuzit x 6
-$1/2 lysol wipes
-$1/2 toilet bowl cleaner
-$2.25 for the tabs (because I only used the $1 off earlier)
-$8 for both of the airwick $4 coupons)
-$2.64 for the 3 free renuzits
-12.48 from the extra bucks
I'm left to pay $3.15 out pocket (plus tax) I think you have to pay tax before the coupons and everything come off but still... that would only be $2.14
That's $5.29 including tax
Let's recap. I spent $18.12 earlier and I'm spending $5.29 now. That's a total of $23.41 for
2 Lysol disinfectant spray
2 Lysol toilet bowl cleaner
2 Lysol wipes
2 Airwick ultra air freshener spray kits (comes with 1 can already)
2 refills for the Airwick Ultra kits
2 packs of Electrosol Finish powerball dish tabs (20 count each)
6 Renuzit adjustable air fresheners,
1 snickers bar
and 1 reeses minis
and a very clean smelling house!
Also if you noticed, you might be able to get the deal again if you had a nice friend who let you use their cvs card since my 2nd transaction also included over $20 worth participating items before coupons and discounts. You just wouldn't be able to use your extra care bucks on this purchase (obviously) since you can only use the bucks towards purchases with your card.
When I make my 2nd trip, I will definitely post about what I ended up doing. It's worth noting that they also have several deal on cleaning supplies and I will probably take advantage of those.
Hope all of that makes sense, but feel free to post questions if you have any. Also one more tip. I am relatively new to CVS shopping, so I checked with the store manager this morning. Unless it specifically says, you do not have to purchase two items, to get a 2/$4 price. You can purchase 1 for $2. They write it like that so you will not want to ask, and assume you must buy 2, spending more money.