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Sunday, December 21, 2008

How I play The Drugstore Game: CVS example

As I mentioned yesterday, CVS is having a fabulous sale today and tomorrow with lots of free after ECB items. I started off with quite a few ECBs from Thanksgiving week, and I was able to roll them into even more ECBs than I started with.

Before I lay out my transaction, I want to note for anyone who might be starting out in The Drugstore Game that it's just an illustration of how I made money (so to speak). Your own transaction should depend on what coupons you have and what you need. I'll explain after I tell you what I bought:

1 Listerine 500 ml @$2.99
1 Zantac 150 8-count @$4.99
1 Halls Naturals @$2.59
1 Excedrin Express Gels 20-count @$3.99
1 EAS Advantage bar @$1.69
2 Crest Pro Health toothpaste 4.2 oz @$2.99 each
2 Arm & Hammer Essentials Starter Kit @$2.99 each
2 L'Oreal HIP Duo Eyeshadow @$6.99 each
1 Benefiber Drink Mix @$7.29
Total before coupons: $52.61

Coupons & ECBs used: $1 off Listerine from CVS diabetes booklet (available at pharmacy; mine is actually in Spanish, LOL); $1 off Zantac from 11/09 SmartSource; $2 off Excedrin (printable); 2 $1 off Crest from 11/30 P&G insert; 2 $1 Arm & Hammer from 12/14 SmartSource insert; $2 off L'Oreal cosmetics from 10/5 RedPlum insert; $1 off L'Oreal cosmetics from 11/2 RedPlum insert; $2 off Benefiber from 9/21 SmartSource insert; $17.98, $9, $5 and $4 ECBs

Total after coupons & ECBs: 79 cents

I received $47.60 in ECBs, as follows: $2.99 Listerine; $7.29 Benefiber; $2.69 Halls; $3.99 Excedrin; $4 Crest; $1.69 EAS; $4.99 Zantac; $13.98 L'Oreal; $5.98 Arm & Hammer, for a total profit of $10.83.

My favorite store was out of the Thermacare Heat Wraps that are free after ECB. Those are a limit of 5, and I had three coupons, so I lost out on $3 profit there. But I probably won't make an extra trip to pick those up since I don't need them.

And speaking of needs, my transaction is a good example of combining things I do need with things I don't need for maximum profit. The only thing I bought that I would have made a special trip for was Listerine, since that's pretty hard to get for free. And we'll use the Halls, Excedrin, and Crest. I bought all of the other items solely because of the profit I made off them, because I had coupons for them. And they definitely won't go to waste. I'll give them to friends or donate them to the local food pantry, which takes non-food items as well.

Even if I hadn't had coupons for some of the profitable items, I might have bought them anyway if I needed to "roll" my ECBs to make sure they didn't expire before I used them. So that's always an option to keep in mind when you're playing The Drugstore Game at CVS.

Do you have any Drugstore Game tips to share?

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  • At 12/22/08, 8:26 AM, Blogger Dr. Mom said…

    Here's my tip:

    Always have a few coupons for cheap items with you in case you need to push your total up to reach the $$/$$$ coupons. I find that Johnson & Johnson Buddies Soaps and Malt'O Meal Cereal work the best.

  • At 12/23/08, 7:12 AM, Anonymous lulugal11 said…

    I don't like Listerine but I bought it and gave it to a friend who likes it. I needed to roll my ECBs, otherwise I would have just walked straight past the Listerine. :-)


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