Today I had my first successful experience shrewdly using CVS's ExtraCare Bucks (ECBs). I've been meaning to get into it for over a year now, but I haven't for one reason or another.
My pastor's wife had a seminar in April on how to coupon & save at least 50% on your monthly grocery/toiletry expenditures. At one point, she passed around some receipts to show particular CVS bargains, and I noticed on the bottom of one receipt where it said she'd saved over $1000 so far this year (and this was APRIL), and she had already told us that she had spent $0 out-of-pocket this year at CVS (because of some deal where you get a $25 gift card for a new or transferred prescription).
This really motivated me to try to save some money at CVS. Ben's last CVS purchase generated $3.50 ECBs and I was determined to use them (before they expired) in a way that generated more ECBs and used minimal out-of-pocket change.
1 single serve cup of Honey Nut Cheerios -$0. 99
1 Gillette Fusion razor - $7.99
$1/1 Cheerio coupon
$4/1 Gillette Fusion razor coupon
$3.50 in ECBs
I paid 1.04 cash, and even though that seemed like a good deal for my purchase, I knew it was too much. I checked out the receipt when we got out to the car.
AL 10% tax: $0.55
Montgomery County has a 10% sales tax, so my tax should have been 5 cents, but apparently the cash register multiplies every subtotal by 1.10 to find the total, when it should make an exception for any transaction under $1.
I approached the cashier and explained it to her. I told her I know it's just fifty cents, but that's double what I should have paid, and I'm sure it happens to every customer who picks up a piece of candy or gum. She picked up a phone, turned her back to me while whispering something into the receiver, hung up, opened the cash register and handed me two quarters.
So after all this, I spent $0.54 for a few Cheerios & a nice razor for Ben. AND, I almost forgot, it generated $4 in ECBs for me to spend on my next CVS shopping trip. I think the goal is to keep a minimal out-of-pocket expense, all the while growing the amount of ECBs I generate. We'll see how I do next time!