Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Choice: Disappointing Day at CVS...or...I've Never Been Good at Thinking on My Feet!

Well, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little disappointed. I actually completely planned out my trip to CVS, knowing exactly what I was going to buy, what coupons I needed and how many ECBs I would get back. I even had the items broken into three transactions to better maximize my ECB usage and therefore minimize my out of pocket (OOP) expense.

Here is how I had it planned:
Transaction #1:
(2) Huggies diapers- 8.99 ea
(4) Palmolive dishsoap- .99 ea
(1) Cottonelle TP- 5.99
(2) Cottonelle moist wipes- 2/$4

(2) $2 off Huggies (printed from internet)
(1) $1 off Cottonelle (printed from internet)
(2) $1 off 2 Palmolive
(1) $1 off 2 Cottonelle wipes
(1) $4/$20 CVS coupon
9 ECBs from previous visit
Total OOP (before tax): 10.93
Return ECBs: 15

That was the plan...however, I learned as the lady was ringing up my coupons that they only accept ONE internet coupon PER transaction. Not per item purchased, but per transaction. So, I couldn't use one of my Huggies coupons and my TP coupon. Now, anyone who knows me well from having spent extended amounts of time with me knows that I don't think well on my feet...at all. The exception seems to be when I'm teaching. Had I been able to think on my feet, I would have broken the transaction up and built up to the $30 I was required to spend to get the 15 ECBs. I believe that you are allowed to do that. Additionally, I discovered as I was ready to leave that the cashier also forgot to use my Palmolive coupons. Thankfully, she gave me the cash back for the coupons!

Actual OOP total (before tax): 15.03

Transaction #2:
Sambucol- 12.99
Fructis shampoo- 3.33
Fructis conditioner- 3.33
Tresemme conditioner- 3.34
(2) Colgate paste- 2.39

(2) $1 off Fructis
(2) $1 off Colgate (both printed off internet)
$4/$20 CVS coupon
15 ECBs from previous transaction
Total OOP: 4.77
Return ECBs: 14

I got hung up with the one internet coupon on this transaction, too, so I kept out one of the toothpastes. No big deal. The big thing on this one was that when I went to give her my CVS coupon, I gave this one coupon I had that triples ECBs earned on money spent at CVS. It also took 0.01 off my order. As a result of giving that coupon, I couldn't use my $4/$20 coupon! What a ripoff! Had I known that, I would have bought a piece of candy and used that triple ECBs coupon in a separate transaction. Additionally, again I didn't realize until I was on my last transaction that the toothpaste wasn't printing any ECBs, and it was costing me more than 2.39! Thankfully, the cashier gave me back the money that I overpaid, and told me to call the customer service number to get my ECBs. The best thing about this transaction is that I still have a mail-in rebate for the Sambucol, so I will get all of my money back.

Actual OOP total: 9.46
Actual return ECBs: 10 (with 2 more coming)

Transaction #3:
Covergirl powder: 7.99
Covergirl blush 5.99
Covergirl eyeliner 5.29
Covergirl mascara 4.99

(4) $1 off coupons
$4/$20 CVS coupon
14 ECB from previous transaction
Total OOP: 2.26
Return ECBs: 10

This one didn't end up being too bad. Only difference was I only had 10 ECBs from previous transaction because of the toothpaste goof. Plus, I had to add in one of the toothpastes to this transaction so I could use my coupon and get my ECBs.

Actual OOP: 8.25
Actual return ECBs: 10 (with 2 more coming)

In all, I got all of this:

...for $33.64, and I have (or will have) 14 ECBs for my next visit. Plus, I have a mail-in-rebated for 12.99. I had planned to spend $22.06 and leave with 10 ECBs. I missed out on saving $7. Oh, and I threw in that stuffed lion because it was only $2...
According to my receipts I saved 74.46 off of CVS's original prices (which are over-priced IMO) on my three transactions.
So, lesson to learn from my experience-- If you have internet coupons, plan accordingly for only one coupon per transaction.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You might try a different CVS too. Mine let's me use one coupon per item regardless of if it is an internet coupon or a regular one. Joanna