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See I told you, this would help!

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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On Monday night we talked drugstore deals for the weekly Q&A session. Folks asked that I share how I broke down our transactions and deals, so here’s a video of exactly what we bought this week and the order I bought it.

To spend less out of pocket (aka real money) you want to break up your transactions in CVS. You don’t have to go to 4 transactions, if you are just starting out I would recommend no more than two as you’ll get flustered. Start very small with two items, buy one item get a reward and use that to pay for the next item. Then go home!

We are a little past the getting started point (11 years later) so here’s what I bought this week and all the coupons I used.

Tip:  If you want to do these deals click here to print all the coupons I used.  Head over and make your own shopping list and see all the deals at CVS this week.

Transaction #1

(2) Cetaphil Face Wash, 8 oz, $9.49
(1) Cetaphil Face Wipes, 25 ct., $8.29
-25% off Facial Care, printing at CVS coupon center or in the app
(3) -$2 off Cetaphil product, excl trial size and single bars RP 7/31 or printable
-$10 ECB
-$2 ECB
Total Due: $2.45
Get Back: $10 ECB

Transaction #2

(1) Garnier Fructis Hair Care, $2.99
(1) Schwarzkopf Ultime Hair Care, $6.99
(2) Bic Crystal Pens, 10 ct., $1.99
(2) Colgate Optic White Toothpaste, $3.99
(2) Zantac Duo Fusion, 20 ct., $8.99
(1) Gallon of Milk (not in the video), $3.98
-$1 off Garnier Fructis shampoo, conditioner or treatment, excl 1.7-3 oz trial size, RP 08/07
-$2 off Schwarzkopf Essence Ultime hair color or styling item printable
-$1/2 BIC stationery items, SS 08/07
-$2/2 Colgate Total toothpaste or any other toothpaste, printing at CVS Coupon Center
(2) -$1 off Colgate Total, Optic White, Enamel Health or Sensitive toothpaste, 3 oz+ printable
(2) -$5 off Zantac product, 24 ct.+ or Duo Fusion, 20 ct.+ printable
-$10 ECB
-$3 ECB (from last week)
Total Due: $12.90
Got Back: $15.80 ECB ($2, $2, $2.80, $4, $4, $1)

Transaction #3

(2) Charmin Bath Tissue, 12 dbl rolls, $9.99
(1) Cottonelle, 9 rolls, $4.88
(2) -.25/1 Charmin Ultra Soft or Strong, 4 ct.+, excl Essentials Soft or Strong printable
-$1 off Scott Tube Free or Cottonelle Clean Care, CVS App coupon
-$15.80 ECB
Total Due: $7.56
Got Back: $5 ECB

Transaction #4 (only because we really needed batteries)

(2) Duracell Batteries, 10-16 pk., $9.99
(2) -$1 off Duracell Coppertop or Quantum Batteries, RP 07/31
-$5 ECB
Total Due: $12.98
Got Back: $5 ECB

Total Purchase Value: $125.89
Total Spent: $35.89
ECB Remaining: $5

We were done there though.  I also submitted for a few apps and rebates:

 -$2 off Schwarzkopf Essence Ultime hair care, SavingStar eCoupon
-$8.99 Rebate from Zantac Duo Fusion, 20 ct.+, mail-in rebate

After rewards and rebates it’s like getting everything for $19.90!  That’s less than the price for batteries regularly, so it’s pretty awesome to walk in and get things you need and walk out with so much more than just batteries!!

    • towana cox

      love it way to go jenny

    • Cassie Sprouse Padgett

      I’ve just recently added the cvs app I got a $3 ECB for downloading the app how do I use that? Does it automatically go towards my next purchase or do I get to choose when I spend it?

      • Katie

        When you check out you can tell them that you have $3 ecb loaded on your card from the app and they will be able to see it on their end of the register. Sometimes they will automatically ask you if you want to use it but other times I’ve just told them it was there and that I’d like to use it. They won’t make you use it so you’ll be able to pick when you want to apply it before it expires.

    • marysc

      I love CVS but you have to be careful not to count ECBs twice in your calculations. In transaction 1, Jenny used $12 in previously earned ECBs so she really “spent” $14.45.
      Most of us think of ECBs as coming off the price of the product(s) we earned them on, so they later are the same as paying with real dollars. Or vice versa— think of them as bonuses but not reducing the price of the item you earned them on. Either is fine, but not both, or you are spending much more than you think you are.

      • I look at it as how much in real dollars came out of my hand. I’m fine with paying them in their pretend money for things and getting more pretend money. :) So for me on Transaction #1 I spent only $2.45 in real money.

        • Birgit Gilbert

          I don’t go to CVS unless I have CVS money. I go by how much I spent out of pocket, or real US Dollars. That’s what I feel I paid for it. The rebates I get from Savingsstar etc is the money I make buying the product or otherwise they paid me money to buy it. That’s how I feel lol.

        • marysc

          Sorry if I wasn’t clear– I know that you, Jenny, don’t double count. But I’ve run into many people who do. They say, “oh, I’m getting $5 in ECBs so I’m only paying x, what a good deal”. Then when they use those ECBs they say “oh look, I’m getting this for only x because I have $5 in ECBs, what a great deal.” ????

          • Dawn G

            I agree. If one counts the EB used to purchase the first transaction one should not count the EB remaining at the end as they will be the start of a new set of transactions in the future. So more like $24.90. Great deal.

    • Katie C.

      So the “App-Only” coupons- does the clerk have to scan the app barcode for those to apply instead of my card’s? I only ask because those coupons have never worked for me. I add them to my account from the app, and my print-out from the coupon center shows that they are indeed on my account, but no money ever comes off when I purchase the applicable items and have them scan my CVS card. The first time it happened I just thought it was a fluke, but it’s happened three times now. :/ The clerks at my CVS don’t seem to know how it works.

      • Dawn G

        I would tell the cashier you have coupons added to your card. Apparently they have to manually choose the ones to use. At least that’s how it worked with me before. I would rather keep up with the paper coupons. Occasionally more than one of the same coupon will print for me during the week. Doubt that would be the case adding them to the card.