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Thursday, June 24, 2010

My CVS plan this week: Multiple vs. Single Transactions

I really miss the days when there was always a $/$$ coupon for CVS. I used to go a couple of times per week, and now I go a couple of times per month. I’m planning to stop by this week because I want to pick up the store brand ibuprofen that’s 99 cents after ECBs. I have $5 in ECBs, and a gift card that I got for transferring a prescription. Because of the gift card, I’m not that concerned about minimizing my out of pocket expenses – I’d rather do one transaction with a larger out of pocket cost than bother with multiple transactions. I’ll just leave with more ECBs instead of rolling them to keep costs down. Here’s my plan:

1 Colgate Total Toothpaste $2.77 (apparently a regional price since I see $2.99 on most blogs)
2 Power Bar Pure & Simple 99 cents each
1 CVS Ibuprofen $3.99

- $1/1 Colgate Total from 6/6 SS
- $5 ECB

Pay: $2.74 + tax
Receive: $2 ECB for Colgate + $1.98 ECB for Power Bar + $3 ECB for ibuprofen


If I wanted to break these items up into multiple transactions to minimize my out of pocket expenses, I would do this:

Transaction #1:
2 Power Bar Pure & Simple 99 cents each
1 CVS Ibuprofen $3.99

- $5 ECB

Pay: 97 cents + tax
Receive: $1.98 ECB for Power Bar + $3 ECB for ibuprofen


Transaction #2:
1 Colgate Total Toothpaste $2.77 (regional price apparently)
1 filler (because my total would be less than the value of the ECB)- usually there’s small candy at the register for 33 cents

- $1/1 Colgate Total from 6/6 SS
- $1.98 ECB from previous transaction

Pay: 12 cents + tax
Receive: $2 ECB from previous transaction


Doing multiple transactions saves me $1.65 in out of pocket expenses, though I walk away with $1.98 less in ECBs. I could also ask the cashier to adjust the ECB down to $1.77 in the second transaction, rather than buy a filler if I don’t want it. I’d "lose" 21 cents but sometimes that’s better than paying 12 cents for something you don’t want.

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