I kept an eye on the clock last night and it took one hour to totally plan & organize for my CVS trip. I know that sounds like a lot of time, but I think it's not so bad to earn over $20 worth of free products for my family. And I keep telling myself that it'll take less time the more familiar I am with the process.
Side note #1: I'm really happy with my new method of coupon organization (alphabetical by brand name, in a large index box). I think it cut out a lot of time, too.
Side note #2: The manager was my cashier today, and he was super friendly. I asked again this week if it was okay if I made two transactions and he, with a big grin, asked me if I was "working the system." As I checked out, we chatted & laughed about other people we each know who have also drank the coupon koolaid.
Okay, here's all that I got:
Hot Pocket for $3
$5 ECBs when you buy $10 in participating Nestle products (the ice cream & hot pocket)
Revlon fingernail polish for $3.99 earning $3 in ECBs
Tone bar soap (2-pack) for $1.88 earning $1 in ECB
Total before tax = $15.87
$3 off $15 CVS coupon (printed out from a previous purchase)
(2) $1 off Edy's coupons
$0.50 off Hot Pocket coupon
$1 off Revlon Color Cosmetic Product coupon
$1 off Tone Coupon $9 ECBs (collected from previous weeks)
And (somehow) with tax I paid 46 cents and got back $9 in ECBs!
Colgate Total Advanced toothpaste for $2.99 earning $2 in ECBs
(2) Schick 2-ct (trial sized) razors for $1.29 each = $2.58
a Montgomery Advertizer (our newspaper, for the coupons!!) for $1.50
Total before tax: $7.07
$1 off Colgate Total coupon
(2) $1 off Schick coupons
$3 off any CVS purchase coupon (got it in an email for Ben's birthday!)
$1 in ECBs (from Transaction #1)
And with tax I paid 38 cents and got back $2 in ECBs.
In summary, I purchased $22.94 worth of products, paid 84 cents out of pocket, and received $11 in ECBs. I didn't use all of my ECBs from last week though, so next week I have $17 in ECBs to work with!