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Coupon Abbreviations
  • SC = Store Coupon
  • MC = Manufacturer Coupon
  • SS = Smart Source
  • RP = Red Plum
  • PG = Proctor and Gamble
Coupon Terms
  • WYB = When You Buy
  • B1G1 = Buy One Get One Free
  • .75/1 = 75 cents off one item
  • .75/3 = 75 cents off three items
  • EXP = Expiration Date

Going Nuts? I can help you understand coupon terms and abbreviations

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cvs trip christmas eve

This morning I couldn’t sleep so I got up at 6 am and started cutting coupons (isn’t that what you do?).  My mother was laid off from her job last week and figuring out what to give her for Christmas has been challenging.  She doesn’t need things that are fun (though they would be great) she needs money.

I decided this morning to give her a stocking stuffed with everything she could use.  Practical I know, but she doesn’t coupon (believe me I’ve tried to teach her) so while I spent nothing on all of this, she really would have spent the $130 retail.

I went in armed with two store coupons that really made this a fun trip.  The coupon center also printed a few that came in handy.

40% off CVS Housebrand items, sent by email late last week
$3 off $15 Beauty Care items, sent by email
$4 off $20 oral care, CVS coupon center
$3 off $15 Hair care, CVS coupon center

For anyone getting started this should make you happy… I did it all in one transaction!  The store was very busy for 8 am on Christmas Eve and I thought it the nicest thing to do.

I Bought:

(1) Cadbury Large Bar, $1.99
(1) Tide Free & Clear, 50 oz, $5.94
(1) CVS Hand Sanitizer, 99¢
(2) CVS Toothbrushes, 3 pk., $3.19
(1) CVS Bar Soap, 2 pk., $3.29
(3) Colgate Total Advanced Toothpaste, 4 oz, $3.99
(1) Colgate Total Mouthwash, 1 L, $7.99
(2) Almay Lip Balms, $5.99
(2) CVS Sensitive Skin Body Wash, $5.75
(1) CVS Men’s 5 Blade Razor, $6.99
(1) Gillette Fusion Razor, $9.49
(1) Nuance Shampoo, 10 oz, $7.99
(1) Nuance Conditioner, 10 oz, $7.99
(2) Neutrogena Naturals Facial Cleanser, 6 oz, $8.49
(1) Physicians Formula Foundation, $14.99
(1) Bic Cristal Pens, 10 ct., $1.49
(2) Essence of Beauty Hand Lotions, 1 oz, 99¢

Subtotal: $138.68

Used:

-40% off CVS Brands coupon (took off $47.02)
-$3 off $15 Beauty Care items, sent by email
-$4 off $20 oral care, CVS coupon center
-$3 off $15 Hair care, CVS coupon center
-$2 off Tide detergent, excl Pods and trial size, PG 12/01 (exp 12/31)
(3) -$1 off Colgate Total  toothpaste, 4 oz+, SS 12/15 (exp 12/28)
-$2 off Colgate Total or Optic White mouthwash, 1 L or 33.8 oz printable
-$5/2 Almay cosmetics including makeup removers printable
-$3 off Gillette Fusion ProGlide razor, excl trial size, RP 12/15
-$2/2 off Neutrogena cleansers printable
-$1 off Bic stationery item printable

-$33.65 in ECB from Black Friday week

Total Due: $30.01

That may seem high… but then the ExtraCare bucks started printing!  I got $52 ECB’s back!

$10 ECB from $20 in Colgate
$4 ECB from (2) CVS Toothbrush multipacks
$5 ECB from Gillette Razor
$3 ECB from $10 in Nuance products
$10 ECB from $15 Physicians Formula
$5 ECB from (2) Neutrogena
$4 ECB from $12 CVS Brand cleansers
$1 ECB from Cadbury Bar
$5 ECB from CVS Razor
$5 ECB from (2) Almay

I know the out of pocket would have been lower with multiple transactions, but I’m quite pleased.  A $22 money maker trip is pretty awesome!

A few personal notes:

  • Make sure you are signed up for CVS emails!
  • We rarely see deals on Women’s Razors so get comfortable using Men’s.
  • Remember that you can be a few pennies short and the reward will print.  I have $19.96 in Colgate and $14.99 in Physicians Formula, but both rewards printed.
    • Claudia McMillan

      Such a considerate present for your Mom! Hope she finds a new job soon :)

    • ant0288

      not to be picky or mean, but this wasn’t a 22 dollar money maker and actually cost 9 dollars. still a great trip, but not a money maker. you can’t count the ECBs from previous week’s trips because that’s just like spending actual cash and you then discounted the ECBs earned today. so the 33.65 in previous ECBs have been counted twice in accounting (once this week and once in Black Friday week postings).

      • I see what you are saying. For me I actually never really think about the ECB when I spend them but more savor in them when they print :) So as I replay the morning it is more what I spent out of pocket and what I got back.

      • Georgia

        I agree. This was not a money maker. It cost $11.66 ($33.65 in ECB plus $30.01 = $63.66 total paid less $52 ECB received back = $11.66 paid for all of this. This is still a great deal for all of the items bought, but I hate it when she misleads people like this, especially new couponers. I have commented on a couple of posts like this where she has mislead people with transactions as money makers. It would not have been worded like this a few years ago. I wonder if she is doing this now because she works with CVS corporate and their couponing program.

        • Chrissy Staggs

          Considering what this website and cvs have saved my family in expenses I think I can handle a few whoops’s here and there. I doubt highly that she is being intentionally misleading. I see this site as a kind of flag to POSSIBLE good deals and each person should be in charge of checking the math, and evaluating whether it really is a good deal. I absolutely love the new couponing program CVS is running with now, on another note!

    • bettewithane

      Merry Christmas – thanks for all you do to help our family enjoy gifts this year with little OOP becuz of your hard work and willingness to share! We really appreciate it!

    • bettewithane

      Merry Christmas – thanks for all you do to help our family enjoy gifts this year with little OOP becuz of your hard work and willingness to share! We really appreciate it!

    • Angela

      Jenny- I am sorry to hear about your mom losing her job – especially right before Christmas. If there is anything we as readers can do to help out, please post it. In the meantime, there is a blessing in it somewhere, and I’ll will pray that it becomes obvious quickly. Thank you for helping us all and have a Merry Christmas. ? Angela

      • Thanks! Prayer is probably the best thing. We are trying to help her through and knowing that God will provide.

    • Anny Muss

      Hello Jen,

      I’m new to this coupon stuff so forgive me if I don’t understand but according to what you show here your 40% off CVS brands coupon was applied to your whole order minus tax of course. I wasn’t aware that you could use that coupon like that. I thought you could just use that coupon towards CVS brand items and only if you weren’t already using a coupon or other discount towards those items.

      • You are allowed to use one store coupon and one manufacturers coupon per item. On percent off coupons, the computer does all that math. My guess is it took the percentage off the retail value and not the sales?? No complaints at all though!

    • Anny Muss

      Hello Jen,

      I’m new to this coupon stuff so forgive me if I don’t understand but according to what you show here your 40% off CVS brands coupon was applied to your whole order minus tax of course. I wasn’t aware that you could use that coupon like that. I thought you could just use that coupon towards CVS brand items and only if you weren’t already using a coupon or other discount towards those items.

    • dtcox1

      way to go jennie ……

    • Claudia Cruz

      wow that is a great deal could not believe it!

    • uthorns1976

      Great deal but now you’ve got $52 in Extra Bucks. I know you’ll spend them but I hate keeping up with them. Should be a way to all them to your card.

    • Lisa

      I love when you post your shopping trips. It helps me out so much. You poste a month or 2 ago what all you could get at target for $5. These types of posts are so helpful for me. Thank you :)

      • Chrissy Staggs

        I felt the same way, Lisa! That particular post was so handy for me. We are a one income family so the least amount I can absolutely spend out of pocket is important for us. Getting the most bang for the buck, so to speak. Laying it out in the format the target, and this post, were/are in made it much easier on my already overworked mind!

    • TABITHA

      How do you get them to send you the 40% off coupon? All I ever get are the 20 or 25% ones.

      • Sara Fisher

        The 40% off was an introductory offer for a new program they are doing on CVS house brand items. It was sent in an email. Using the coupon also signed you up for the new program which gives you $5 ECB for every $30 you spend on house brand items.

    • deblackey

      I count my ecb bucks because that is actual money you have given them at one time , Happy Holiday to All.

    • Susanna

      Thanks for posting this CVS shopping trip, Jenny! It is so helpful for me when you show which coupons you used. Merry Christmas!

    • Anne Bernard

      Are any of items on this list still valid starting 12/26/13?

    • Laur

      Hi Jenny, so sorry to hear about your mom. You have been such a great help to us (and I’m sure many other readers), please let us know how we can help support your mom through this time. Merry Christmas

    • Lisa K.

      That’s awesome and I hope your Mom enjoys using her gift. Praying that she finds another job soon and I would be proud to have a daughter who is so talented! :)