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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Drugstore Game Padawan Update: CVS deals this week

If you're just tuning in, I'm mentoring Nicole in The Drugstore Game. If you've always wanted to play but weren't sure how to get started, follow along with Nicole as she becomes a Drugstore Game Master. You can read all of the posts in this series here, in reverse chronological order. Please read my Drugstore Game Primer and Common Sense with Money's FAQ to get an overview of the Drugstore Game and definitions.

I haven't been in touch with Nicole yet, so I don't know if she's done any transactions this week yet. We haven't planned anything out, so she'd be coming up with the deals on her own - something I think she is actually quite capable of doing, at this point.

A few things to know about CVS when you're getting started: most stores have a red scanner box that prints out coupons when you scan your card. (You can also scan UPC codes to check prices, but it won't tell you if the item is part of an ECB deal.) Most stores have the scanners pretty close to the front door. Some people get fabulous coupons all the time, like $3 off a $15 purchase. Others, like me, just get the last two coupons that everyone gets - and once you get these, you won't get anymore coupons for the rest of the day. Lately, the coupons have been for $1/2 Gold Emblem Nuts/Pretzels/Crackers and $1/1 CVS pain relief. You may also get the same type of coupons printed at the end of your receipt. These CVS coupons are often called "CRT"s, for "Cash Register Tape."

Also, CVS has a promotion going on right now - Centsible Savings has details on how to get double ExtraCare Bucks. While I'm obviously a big fan of bonus ECBs, I'm not crazy about how this particular promotion works - largely because it seems designed to trick their most loyal customers. You have to sign up or make sure that the double ECB UPC is scanned in order for your card to be eligible for the bonus ECBs, and I can't even tell from the fine print if you have to have the UPC scanned every transaction or if once during the promotional period is enough. (The UPC code is in this week's ad on page 13.) Plus, I've only had one cashier scan the UPC sua sponte without my asking about it. Having said all that, of course you don't want to miss out on any extra ECBs so have that special UPC code scanned as soon as possible. The promotion ends 3/15.

Now, onto this week's deals. . .

Unfortunately, there wasn't a new $/$$ coupon this week, so unless Nicole gets one from the magic scanner, we're only working with the coupons she already has. One thing that makes planning her deals tricky is not knowing if her store will get more Oust in - being able to work in the Oust would be helpful, since it's $2.01 overage per transaction that can help pay for other items.

Ideally, I think something like this would be great since Nicole said she wanted Dove deodorant and Almay makeup:

2 Oust $3.99 each
2 Dove Ultimate Deodorant 2/$7
1 Almay $5.99

- $3.99 B1G1 Oust from 1/3 SS
- 2 x $2/1 Dove printable coupon
- $6 + $6 ECBs

Pay: 98 cents + tax
Receive: $6 ECB for Oust, $2 ECB for Dove, and $4 ECB for Almay

Nicole had also mentioned that she's interested in the Revlon and Fiber One deals, and those are deals we're going to have to discuss further. We can certainly get them this week, but I think we could probably find the Fiber One for less at a supermarket, if she's able to wait for a sale. And I don't know enough about makeup to know whether the Revlon deal is a good one, although I have the feeling that unless she has great coupons, it would be worth waiting for a better sale to come along. Again, these are just some things that we'll need to consider before deciding whether to pursue these deals this week.

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  • At 1/26/10, 2:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    There is a $1 manufacturers coupon for almay on the target website. It will probably beep but it will work because it is for eye make up. This makes the deal even better!

  • At 1/26/10, 4:13 PM, Blogger Camille said…

    LOL @ "sua sponte" being used in a post about CVS!! :-) I actually did a double take...

  • At 1/26/10, 5:31 PM, Blogger Adrienne said…

    You only need to scan the "Double Bucks" coupon ONCE during this period.
    -CVS employee

  • At 1/27/10, 8:58 AM, Anonymous CJ said…

    I got a $2 EBC coupon out of the Extra Care machine the other day! And today I got a $5 EBC coupon for doing a CVS Advisory Panel survey.

  • At 1/27/10, 2:02 PM, Blogger Chief Family Officer said…

    Thanks, Anon!

    @Camille - And I used it perfectly, don't you think?

    @Adrienne - Thank you!

    @CJ - Now I'm just envious ;)

  • At 1/30/10, 9:16 PM, Anonymous Jeff said…

    This is a great series of articles - thanks for taking the time to post them. I have a quick question - it seems like many of the deals you plan use older ss or rp coupons. For someone new to this, or someone looking to do one deal a few times, what's the best way to get ahold of older or multiple copies of these coupons?


  • At 1/30/10, 9:31 PM, Blogger Chief Family Officer said…

    @Jeff - I'm glad you're finding it helpful! To get older newspapers, you can buy the coupons you want or perhaps full inserts. I've never bought coupons myself, but the places I've seen mentioned the most on the coupon forums and blogs are eBay, Coupons and Things by Dede, and Coupon Clippers. You could also just start slowly using the coupons you DO have, and buy multiple Sunday newspapers to gradually build up your coupon stash.


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