Since I gave another coupon talk to my MOPS group this morning and will have some new readers because of it I thought I would cover a few starting tips. Some of them seemed confused by CVS and believe me it sounded very confusing when I first started!
Here are a few things to know to help you get started:
1. Make sure you sign up for your CVS card. This is the only way you will get the sale price and earn back your ECB's (Extra Care Bucks).
2. ECB's will print out on the bottom of your receipt so don't lose them or throw them away! You must keep them and give them to the cashier when you make your next purchse - they have a bar code on each of them.
3. Begin with an item that is free after ECB's - today I purchased gum that was $0.99 and earned me back $0.99 in ECB's = FREE - this week it's not a huge free item but it's still a way to get started. (Know that ECB's are earned before coupons are taken off - meaning if you need to spend $20 to earn $5 ECB's - your $20 is before coupons - so you would still earn the $5 ECB's even if after you coupons you only spent $15 out-of-pocket - OOP)
4. Pick up items that you need already - i.e. items that are on your weeks need list that were planning on buying anyway. If it earns you ECB's then it's a win-win situation.
5. If you have to, hold your ECB's until the following week to earn you another free item. However, if there is more than item you are interested in in any given week you can purchase one to earn some ECB's and then turn right around and pick up the other item.
- For example: purchase gum today for $0.99
- Earn back: $0.99 ECB's
- Take your ECB's and pick-up Listerine 1 L, Smart Rinse, or Agent Cool Blue which is $3.99
- use $1.00 off Listerine Smart Rinse or Agent Cool Blue from RP 3/7
- use your $0.99 ECB's
- pay $1.99
- earn back $1.00 in ECB's
- final price for the Listerine: $0.99
And you just keep going. At any time you can use your ECB's on any item in the store rather than another item that earns ECB's but truly the best way is to use ECB's to earn more.
Tonight, however, I used me $5.00 ECB's from my last trip to purchase:
I spent: $20.54
And saved: $38.19
And earned: $0.99 in ECB's - I also had my winter spending rewards print this time around and that was $3.00 in ECB's
I will say it's not often that I get to add a really fun purchase to my grocery budget but this week I was able to pick up Alvin & The Chipmunks DVD for $5.00 after buying products I very much needed (we were literally down to our last paper towel!)
Right now when you spend $20 on P&G products you can get $15 off the movie.
Here's what I got:
2 Packs of Bounty Paper Towel
- retail price: $10.99
- sale price: $6.49
- used 2 $1.00 off 1 coupon from PG 3/7
1 Pack Charmin Basic
- retail price: $7.99
- sale price: $4.99 (didn't use coupons)
3 Dawn Dish Detergents
- retail price: $1.99
- sale price: $0.96
- used 3 $0.20/1 coupons from PG 3/7
- final price: $0.76
Total towards P&G Movie deal: $20.85 (as close to $20 as I could get)
Total out-of-pocket: $18.25
Used my $5.00 ECB's from my last trip to bring my total down
Then I was able to pick up the DVD for $5 or free if I apply the ECB's to it instead of my P&G products :)