To answer Emily's question in the comment box, I figured I would just write another post, since the answer might be a bit long.
Here are some of the many links you can find on how to save money at CVS. I found stuff like this over and over again on various sites, but it just didn't click with me... until just recently.
Since I know this would have been helpful to me, I'll give you what I did this past week, and hopefully it will start to make sense.
First, get a CVS card (yeah, I hate them too. I feel like I'm selling a piece of my soul every time I fill out an application for a "loyalty card.")
Make sure you get a paper (or two or more!) every Sunday for the coupons, and save all the circulars that you are interested in.
LAST WEEK'S sale at CVS was for picture DVDs -- you know, put 60 pictures on a disk, add music, and voila! Instant stocking stuffer for someone! The ad stated that they were on sale for $10, and with each one purchased, you would receive $10 in extra care bucks (ECBs). These are coupons that you can use like money at CVS.
I bought 3 of these disks.
Last week's sale also included 2/$5 bags of Hershey's candy. If you bought $10 worth of candy (4 bags) you would receive $5 ECBs.
I bought 4 bags and got $5 in ECBs.
I had to come back for the disks an hour later, and when I took those to the counter and it rang up to $34 (I bought something else... I don't remember what). I had the ECBs from the candy, so I was able to bring my total down to $29. I paid the money and got $30 in ECBs back.
If you're following so far, I paid $44 out of pocket, and got $35 back in ECBs.
THIS WEEK, Pampers are on sale. There was also a coupon for $1.50 in the Sunday paper. I got two packages.
Dawn is on sale for $0.88. There was a coupon for $0.50 in the Sunday paper. I got two of those.
Baby Magic is one of their monthly ECB specials, as is the Children's Advil (buy it at $5.79, get $5.79 back in ECBs).
PaperMate pencils are 3/$1.
etc etc etc.
I walked up with all the stuff shown in the picture below, presented my ECB coupons, and wound up only paying $7.... AND, walked away with more ECBs.
Confused? I hope not!
The goal is to buy those things that you need that have ECBs attached to them. Buy them when they are a good deal or when they are on sale. Use those ECBs next time you go to CVS, and make sure you plan your purchases to take advantage of all the sales and ECBs specials you can. That way the money sort of... recycles... and you won't be spending so much out of pocket!