Wednesday, December 31, 2008

CVS Fun and More...

So what's the big deal with CVS you ask? Well here is a great link to understanding the whole idea. It's a really simple, great way to get into couponing and saving money The most important thing is to get an Extra Care Card and use it! Using that with available coupons is key to getting free or nearly free items. Often you'll find additional coupons print out after your receipt besides your EBCs (Extra Care Bucks- which they often advertise). For instance I have $5 off of $15 print at times. Also those price check scanners are more exciting than they look. You can scan your card and they print additional coupons. Now they say you can get new coupons each day but half the time I scan mine it says there are no new coupons today. Not sure if that's how it is everywhere, but it's worth trying.

That link above will give you the low down and get you started. I say the most important thing is to be organized when you go in and be prepared that some items you are expecting to get may not be there.

Other stores to keep your eye on include your grocery store (varies by region obviously), walgreens, target, and some times rite aid. For me CVS is the main store I worry about. I also check around for deals at Target, Walgreens, and rite aid. I try to only hit those places if there is a great deal. Beware of prices though! I saw a BOGO at CVS and Walgreens for the same product, 2 different prices.

Just read the tutorial and start collecting coupons! Oh and there are plenty of printable coupons!! Yeah so even if you refuse to get a paper, you can print your own. :)

Learn to save some coin...

Too often it seemed I was heading to Target (or anywhere for that matter) to buy things we needed and I was spending $$$. As a one income family it can be expensive to just live. As I was looking to the best generic/cheap razor I could find I began seeing some ladies on a board I frequented talking about CVS. My personal experience with them *was* that they were often more expensive (at face value) than walmart, etc. So needless to say I had not really shopped there much. I found through reading several blogs and sites that CVS and coupon-ing in general was the way to go.

Now I don't think of myself as that lady buying 50 cans of cat food with 50 coupons :) BUT apparently I am. Coupon-ing is not what it seems. It's not all embarrassing and it's not scary. It's easy and actually I've felt empowered doing it.

See I tried some generic razors and they were terrible and as much as I wanted to splurge and spend the $15 a piece (for my hubby and I) for cartridges along with diapers, etc, I just couldn't justify it. Since I've been using coupons and following a few store sales I've been paying $.99-$1.99 for name brand razors that normally cost $10 a piece. Everything I buy is quality and name brand (not that name brand is the only quality!) and I never find myself running out to the store at the last minute paying top dollar (or full price). That's great for two reasons. One, I save lots of money. Two, I never run out of stuff!

It might seem lame but when I'm walking out of the store saving $35 paying instead $.35, I don't care what you think. This can leave you plenty of coin to buy something else or save if you want. Some people save the money for vacations or buy that new purse they want.

Now I will say that many of the deals you'll see look fantastic and you need to be careful to only buy the items you need or are willing to donate. For instance I see deals all the time for supplements. I don't use any right now, but I know people who do. If I can get it for them fine. If the deal is for items they don't use, I don't get it. Also just because you have 2 tubes of toothpaste at home doesn't mean you shouldn't get 2 more for free. I'll always need toothpaste and if it's free, its for me. I take this approach with several items that I'll always need. I don't have insane amounts, but I'll take as many free paper towels as I can :).

So what I'm saying is keep the focus. Don't buy items you won't use or need. I had been holding back on many items since we weren't rolling in $$ so it's been great to get it all! I'm still learning so I need to get my grocery bill down some more and perhaps a few other things figured out.

Anyway I created this blog to help other moms and families. I'm not a genius nor do I have unlimited time (I do have a toddler and an infant) so I'll often be posting deals I find around here and there.