I'm still on my CVS high after making my purchases today, so I thought I'd share some tips that I have learned over the last couple of months.
First, always make a detailed list! I like to price everything out before hand, so I know exactly how much I'll be spending and if I have enough ECBs. It also helps me keep track of which coupons I need to clip.
Here's an example of what I do with my list. It tells me where to find the coupon, a description of what I'm getting (Colgate Proclinical vs. just any old Colgate toothpaste), how much I'm paying out of pocket, how much it's on sale for (so I can compare to the sale tags at the store), where to find it, how many I'm buying, and all the totals for price and ECBs. The list especially helped today since they hadn't finished putting all the sale stickers up in the store.
So today, I had a store coupon for $4 off a $20 purchase. You use that coupon first, so I needed to make sure my subtotal before the other coupons came to at least $20. The mistake I made was that my excel sheet was calculating the subtotal AFTER the coupons...so I didn't actually need as much as I bought. I should have left off the Dial soap (which I didn't have a coupon for since I had used it previously). So the lesson is, make sure your excel sheet is doing the right calculation! Or else!
Also, the coupons for the Lady Speedstick were internet coupons, and sometimes you can only print one per computer. So I got Paul's computer to print the second one. But, oops!, I forgot to make sure the printer was set up right and it didn't print. But the website thought it did. So I couldn't end up printing it at all. I should have only gotten one Lady Speedstick, since I only had one coupon and I didn't really need two to reach the $20 minimum purchase. And next time I will make sure the printer is all set to go before I hit print!
Anyway, here's my loot for today.
Blade 5 Razor System: $6.99 total, $6.99 ECBs
Herbal Essence Shampoo and Conditioner: $2.99 each - $1 coupon each = $3.98 OOP and $4 ECBs
Lady Speedstick: $2.99 each - $0.75 coupon (but I only had one!) = $5.23 OOP and $4 ECBs
Colgate Proclinical: $3.99 each - $1 coupon each = $5.98 OOP and $4 ECBs
Dial Bar Soap: $1.88 total, $1 ECBs
Subtotal $24.06 - $18 ECBs that I had from last week = $6.06 - $4 store coupon = $2.06 (+tax).
Total ECB: $19.99!
So I managed to get more ECBs back again this week. Yay!
CVS definitely has a little bit of a learning curve, but I feel like I am doing better every week. And having fun at the same time! Having fun + saving money = a winning combo for me!