This week I will be sharing 10 more ways that our family saves money on household expenses. Today I am going to focus on two more methods of saving money on things that you need for your home.
#1- The Art of CVS'ing
CVS is a great place to save money on health and beauty items, cleaning supplies, and paper goods, and even some grocery items. But you need to understand how their “system works”. Tiffany from www.mylitter.com is the world's greatest expert (as far as I am concerned anyway) on how to “work the deals” at CVS. On her website, Tiffany offers a CVS 101 lesson for all of us. Here is what Tiffany has to say:
“Ahh CVS how I love thee! Just kidding, kinda… CVS is really the best place to start couponing at a drug store. It is pretty easy to understand and the cashiers are mostly helpful.
The very first thing you need to do is have a CVS card. You can get one online or right in the store and use it that day.
CVS has a rewards program called the Extra Care Bucks or ECB program. They reward you by giving you ECB’s back on specially marked purchases that you make. ECB’s print out on the bottom of your receipt, they are like cash or a gift card so don’t loose them.
ECB’s can not be used on alcohol, tobacco, or on prescriptions. They can be used on everything else in the store. You also earn back 2% quarterly on everything that you spend pre-coupons in the store.
The first thing to do when you walk into the store is scan your CVS card at the red box that looks like a price scanner, well, it is also a price scanner. CVS has it’s own store coupons and they will print from there. You want these because they can be combined with manufacturer coupons for an even better deal.
Now you start shopping, take a look at the ad and find the items that give you ECB’s back. Then find coupons that can be used along with these sales. OR, check my blog on Saturday mornings and I do the match-ups for you! There are limits on the deals so pay attention to that, or you won’t get the ECB’s back if you buy too many. You also can not use another persons ECB’s on your purchases, they are tied to your card only. The bottom of your receipt will keep track of your purchases and your limits for you.
To make the most of your trip you will want to make a few transactions. Yes, you will actually place some items on the counter, pay for them and then right then do another transaction. I will either tell them I am making multiple transactions, or if it is busy I will go to the back of the line and wait my turn again. The reason that I am doing this is because I am “rolling” my ECB’s onto the next purchase to help pay for part of it.
How Deals Will Look On Blogs for CVS
Buy 1 Crest Pro-Health Toothpaste, Rinse, or Oral B Floss at $2.99, Get $2 ECBs (Limit 1)
Use $0.50/1 coupon from the 6/7 P&G insert
Total: $0.49 after coupon and ECBs
In the instance above, you’ll spend $2.49 plus tax out of pocket, if you have the coupon. After you checkout, an ECB for $2 will be on the bottom of your receipt that you can use on your next order. Now, since this is only a limit of 1, you cannot buy this deal again and have the ECBs print out.
Buy 1 Schick Quattro Titanium Razor or Trimmer at $7.99, Get $3 ECBs (Limit 3)
Use $4/1 coupon from the 4/19 RedPlum insert
Total: $0.99 after coupon and ECBs
In the instance above, you’ll spend $3.99 out of pocket, if you have the coupon. After you checkout, an ECB for $4 will be on the bottom of your receipt. Since this deal is a limit of 3, you could do this deal two more times and ECBs will print out. If you did the Crest deal before this one, you could have used the $2 ECB on this order, making your total out of pocket only $1.99 plus tax. This is called “Rolling ECBs.”
CVS is really fun to shop at when you get the hang of it! Don’t give up and start small. The very first time you go just purchase 1 thing that gives you ECB’s back. Then try a little more the next week.”
Tiffany took her video camera with her to CVS one evening, and filmed exactly how she goes about conducting these transactions!
#2- Saving money at Target
It used to be that I couldn't walk into a Target without dropping $100…. and it would always be on stuff that “I didn't even know that I needed”. Sound familiar to anyone? But Target can be a great place to score some deals and save money on things that you really do need!
- If you want to save money at Target, then go into the store with a specific list of your intended purchases- and stick to it! If something exciting does catch your eye- make a note of it on your list- and go home and think about it. Many times I will decide that it is just not worth spending the money…
- Make sure that you have a Target credit card, and that you use it for all of your Target purchases. You will get a 10% off savings pass just for signing up, and you will be added to their mailing list and will receive exclusive coupon books that are targeted to you based on your past purchases. After you spend a specified amount, you will receive another 10% savings pass in the mail. If I need to make a large purchase, such as around the holidays, or patio furniture, etc- I try to wait until I have earned that 10% shopping pass first.
- Target allows you to combine a Target coupon with a manufacturer's coupon to “sweeten” the deal. Before heading out to Target, always check their website www.target.com and look in the bottom left hand corner for Coupon savings. Target offers tons of great coupons, and changes their offerings regularly s be sure to check back often.
- Lindsey Knerl from the Dealista website offers some great insight on how to save money at Target by knowing their markdown schedule (who knew?). Check out Lindsey's post here!