Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Trying my Hand at CVSing

I have been hearing a lot about how to start “CVSing”. Basically, you start out paying a little money out of pocket to get in store credit known as ExtraCare Bucks. Once you do this the first time you have money to spend the next time you go into the store. Each time you shop you make sure you buy items that offer more “Bucks” and that way you don’t have to spend much out of pocket at all. It sounds very confusing and you really have to try it before you can truly understand. I did my first real shop today. I will tell all about that at the end, but first I want to give you some links to get started.

Start here- Money Saving Mom’s CVS 101
She also posts the weekly deals and deal ideas to help you out.

THIS WEEK ONLY Go to Life as the Fishmama
She has a great starter deal that only requires one coupon which you can print online. It sounds complicated but it isn’t. This is what I based my trip on today

And, a message board that has good tips and posts scanned pics of the Monthly ECB book.

Alright. For those still with me here is my story, my deal today and how it worked out.
I stumbled upon MSM’s link first. That gave me a good idea of what CVSing was all about. You won’t find me explaining it here because I don’t fully understand it all yet myself. For about 2 weeks I read about deals, but there was nothing that I needed and I did not want to try this until there was something with a deal that I would use. Think stockpiling here because you will be buying items you may not need yet, but will in the future.

So today I read the post by Fishmama and I saw it was stuff we could use. I had been wanting to try it anyway so I got out a notebook, wrote down the list and I also went by Walmart to get an All You magazine for the free deodorant coupon. Well, I went to the store… couldn’t find the deodorant. Well, I needed to use my $3/15 coupon which is three dollars off a purchase of $15 or more. I bought one toothbrush, two toothpastes, then I went into the grocery section because there was also a deal on Fiber One bars I knew about however they didn’t have the right kind. I eat these everyday for breakfast though and I had a coupon so I bought two boxes. In retrospect I should have gotten another toothbrush to up my total (to use the 3/15 coupon) because I would have gotten more ECB’s… but hey I just started. So, my total out of pocket (OOP) was a little over $13. My ECB’s totaled $10. Some would say it is like getting all of that for only three dollars, but I don’t like that line of thinking. I will put it this way. I now have $10 to spnnd the next time I go in. It will be like getting THOSE items for free. And, if I buy items that offer another say $10 in ECB’s I will be able to keep rolling it over. It is confusing at first, but I am going to try this to get all of our toiletries, paper products etc for next to nothing… hopefully.

As I do more shopping at CVS I will post and tell you if it is worth it or not. I have also started using coupons and I have signed up again for The Grocery Game. I will post more on that too and if it turns out to be worth it or not for us.

Oh and after 3 shopping trips I have already saved $8 using coupons!! I am keeping a total for a while. I want to see how quickly I can pay for my newspaper subscription with coupons. I got Sunday service for 2 years for $72. That is around 70 cents per paper I think. So far I have paid for 11 weeks!!

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