Saturday, September 5, 2009

CVS Deals - Week of 9/6-9/12

It's kind of a slow week for the deals at CVS, but there are a couple things you might want to check out. If you're not familiar with how CVS works, you'll probably want to read my post here, then come back and read about this week's deals; otherwise this post may not make much sense to you.

LifeLock DVD starter kit (identity theft protection trial kit) @ $2.99, get $2.99 in ECB = FREE after ECB

Schick Slim Triple ST3 disposable razors for delicate skin @ $6.99
Use $3 coupon from 8/16 insert
Pay $3.99 (hopefully with other ECB!), get $4 ECB = FREE after ECB!

The ad also mentions that a $100 coupon book is available to people who get a flu shot at a CVS Minute Clinic. Unfortunately, my CVS doesn't have a Minute Clinic, so I can't get a flu shot or the coupon book there, but if your store does have one and you want to get a flu shot, you can at least get some coupons out of the deal.

Hopefully next week will be a better week for CVS shopping!

Walgreens Deals 9/6 - 9/12

There are some good deals at Walgreens again this week! If you aren't familiar with Walgreens shopping, check out my post here.

Buy 5 Starbucks ice cream pints @ $3 each = $15.
Use (5) $2 coupons from 6/21 insert
Pay $5 and get $5 Register Reward (RR) = FREE after coupons and RR!

Buy (2) 2 oz. Glade soy candles @ $2 each
Use (2) free coupons from 8/9 insert, or (2) $3 printable coupons (if you don't see the coupon, put in your zip code and say all coupons within 50 miles)*
Pay tax and get $1 RR = $1 profit after coupons and RR!
*Note: If you choose to use 2 of the printables, I recommend getting 3 candles at once; otherwise, the register will beep on the second coupon because the coupon value would exceed the value of the candles. If you get a 3rd candle (bringing the total cost of the candles to $6), both coupons will go through fine, it will take off the full $6, and you'll still come out $1 ahead.

Buy (2) Tylenol 8 oz. or 24 ct. cold products @ $5.99 each
Use (2) $2 printable coupons and the $1 Walgreens store coupon from the Healthy Savings booklet
Pay $5.98 and get $5 RR = $.98 for 2 ($.49 each) after coupons and RR!

Buy (2) Reese's cups 4-4.5 oz. @ $1 each
Use (2) $.55 coupons from 8/23 insert
Pay $.90 and get $1 RR = $.10 profit after coupons and RR!

Jewel Preferred Card Tent Promo

ETA 10-5-09: Click here to view Jewel's October blue tent schedule.

If you've never stopped by Jewel's blue Preferred Card tent when it's in your area, I highly recommend it! The store has a blue tent that they move around from store to store, to encourage people to update the information (address, email, etc.) on their preferred card. When you update your information, you get a book with some really great coupons, including SIX for completely free items:

Free 3 lb. bag of apples
Free Culinary Circle pizza
Free 4-pk. Homelife toilet paper
Free bottle Equaline ibuprofen
Free 1/2 gal. Wild Harvest milk
Free case Jewel bottled water

Personally, unless you absolutely need the items right now, I would recommend holding on to some of these coupons for a while, to see if they go on sale buy one, get one free (BOGO). When Jewel has BOGO sales, the first item rings up at full price, and the second rings up at $0. This means that if you use the "free" coupons when the items are on BOGO sale, you will get 2 items for free! The coupon will take off the full price of the first one, and the second will have already rung up at $0. There are quite a few other coupons too, most of which are manufacturer coupons redeemable only at Jewel.

Here's the tent's schedule for September. Check it out if it's in your area!

Saturday Sept. 5, 10a.m.-3p.m., 1759 W. Ogden Ave., Naperville, IL 60540

Sunday Sept. 6, 12p.m.-5p.m., 2540 U.S. Rt. 30, Oswego, IL 60543

Saturday Sept. 12, 10a.m.-3p.m., 107 Avenue of The Cities, East Moline, IL 61244

Sunday Sept. 13, 12 p.m.-5p.m., 2010 First St. A , Moline, IL 61265

Monday Sept. 14, 3p.m.-8p.m., 1312 John Deere Expressway., Silvis, IL 61282

Friday Sept. 18, 3p.m.-8p.m., 4650 W. 103rd St., Oak Lawn, IL 60453

Saturday Sept. 19, 10a.m.-3p.m., 3220 S. Chicago Rd., Chicago Heights., IL 60411

Sunday Sept. 20, 12p.m.-5p.m., 652 Kirk Rd., St. Charles, IL 60174

Monday Sept. 21, 3p.m.-8p.m., 1320 Sycamore Rd., DeKalb, IL 60115

Friday Sept. 25, 3p.m.-8p.m., 1517 Sheridan, Wilmette, IL 60091

Saturday Sept. 26, 10a.m.-3p.m., 860 S. Arlington Heights Rd., Arlington Heights, IL

Sunday Sept. 27, 12p.m.-5p.m., 1177 S. Main St., Lombard, IL 60148

Monday Sept. 28, 3p.m.-8p.m., 1500 S. Lee St., Des Plaines, IL 60018

Friday, September 4, 2009

No coupons in newspapers this weekend!!

In case you're planning to buy a paper just for the coupons this weekend - don't. Since this is a holiday weekend, there will not be any coupon inserts in the Sunday paper or early Saturday editions. Just an FYI.

Cellfire E-coupons (Kroger, Dominick's, and More!) is a website that offers some great electronic coupons that you can load to your grocery store card and/or cell phone (see the link in my sidebar!). At this time, the only grocery stores that I am aware of with cards linked to Cellfire are Kroger (including stores like Dillons, JayC, Smith's, Ralphs, King Soopers, Baker's, City Market, QFC, and Fry's) and Safeway stores (e.g., Dominick's, Vons, Tom Thumb). After going to their website, you set up an account and add your store card; then you can select the coupons that you want to add to your card. When you use your store card at check-out, the coupons should automatically come off at the end.

I usually add all the available coupons, just so they're there if I decide I want them. After you add the coupons, I think it's a good idea to print out a list of your loaded coupons so that you remember what all you loaded and make sure you get the correct item when you go to the store. The coupons currently on the site must be saved by 9/7 (Monday), and they expire on 9/21. If you use a Cellfire coupon in addition to a manufacturer coupon for the same item, you can save even more.

In addition to grocery coupons, Cellfire also offers discounts on other goods and services that can be loaded to your cell phone. Offers currently available (at least for my zip code) include Sears portraits,, and Petoskey, MI, vacations. I'm pretty sure these offers will vary by region, so check and see what's available in your area. These offers can be saved to your cell phone, and you redeem them by displaying the offer on your phone to the merchant.

I have used quite a few Cellfire grocery coupons, and they have always come off without a problem. I have personally not used any of the non-grocery offers, but the Sears portrait ones seem to come up pretty often, so I might use one of those to get my daughter's pictures taken sometime soon.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Buying More = Paying Less?

One of the primary ways I have been able to slash our grocery bill so much (usually to about $10/month or less) is by employing the "buy low, stock up" method. This requires a slight shift in the mindset that most people probably have when shopping for grocery and household items. The way most people shop (including myself, up until a little over a year ago) is to buy what they need for the immediate future, then buy more when they run out. However, drastically reducing your grocery bills requires that you buy when the price is low, even though you may not need a particular item right then.

The basic idea behind the "stock up" method is that you wait for rock-bottom prices, and then you buy as much as you estimate you will need until the next rock-bottom deal rolls around. Deals come and go in cycles, and they roll around on almost everything eventually - the key is taking advantage of them when they do.

Let's take a look at how this actually plays out and how it can save you big bucks. Imagine that you find a great deal on spaghetti sauce, and your final cost after coupons (and maybe a Register Reward or ECB deal at Walgreens or CVS) is $.40/jar. That's a pretty good price for spaghetti sauce, so you buy 6 jars. Without coupons or a sale, you would have probably paid two to three dollars each, so getting them for $.40 each is a steal! You got 6 jars for approximately the same amount of money that you would have normally paid for one - a difference of about $10! However, if you only buy one jar, your supply probably won't last long enough to tide you over until the next deal, and you'll end up paying a much higher price when you need more in a few weeks. You see, by buying more when the price was low, you actually saved money. Now imagine doing that not just with spaghetti sauce, but with almost all your groceries, personal hygiene items, cleaning supplies, and other household items. The savings will really start to add up quickly!

After you shop with this "price-based" method for a while (vs. solely needs-based, "buy it when you need it"), you'll build up a pretty good supply of many items. Having this stash will most definitely save you money, but it also provides other benefits as well. For one, it greatly reduces the number of times that you run out of something and have to go out at the last minute to get it. No more 10:00 p.m. trips to the store for toothpaste! It also makes it much easier to give to others. If you know of a need, it's so easy to just grab a bag, go to your closet, and fill it with extra toothpaste, shampoo, toothbrushes, etc., from your stash; there's no need for an extra trip to the store or worrying that there isn't room in the budget.

Your stash also serves as a sort of emergency fund. Many people (especially if you're Dave Ramsey fans) build up an emergency fund of cash that is readily available in the event of a catastrophe or job loss. If someone in your family is injured, becomes seriously ill, or loses a job, you may not have extra money or time to shop; if you have an "emergency fund" of food and household supplies, you can use that to get you through the rough spots.

Now, I will say that building good supplies of everything does take time. My experience was that stockpiles of certain items, like shampoo and toothpaste, seemed to grow almost overnight (and for free or better!), while other items, like canned veggies and fruit, were much harder to find good deals on.

It also takes time to figure out what good "stock up" prices are. I keep a sort of mental pricebook in my head, and I find that even now, I'm constantly changing it. What I thought were good stock-up prices a year ago, I would never pay now. At the same time, I have passed on deals because I thought something better would surely come along, and later regretted it because it turned out that the price on that particular item actually doesn't get much lower. It is definitely an ongoing process, with some trial and error. And, stock-up prices will be different for different people, depending partly on where you live and what stores you have. Personally, I don't pay anything for spaghetti sauce anymore because I'm pretty sure that at some point, Jewel will have a deal when it will be free. But if you don't have a Jewel, you may never find it for free, and the $.40/jar price in my example above is indeed an amazing deal.

One last thing that will make it much easier for you to build up supplies of things you will use is if you are willing to be brand-flexible. If you are truly and completely brand-loyal to certain things, the deals on your particular preferred brand may not roll around as often as you need the item. For instance, in over a year of heavy-duty couponing, I have never seen a deal that will net free Head & Shoulders shampoo, so if you're 100% committed to that particular brand (or another brand that never seems to get the best deals), you will likely end up spending more money. Fortunately for me, my husband is perfectly happy with his free Gillette shampoo.

Once you start shopping with the "buy low, stock up" method, I would also warn against the tendency to cross the line into hoarding. I recommend trying to figure out how quickly your household goes through various products, and then "stock up" by buying what you will need to get through to the next great deal. If you end up with 50 bottles of shampoo in your closet, that's probably taking it too far, and it's time to give some away.

Building up your stash will take some time - it takes time to figure out how quickly you go through things and to watch the sale cycles to know how often different deals do roll around, but you will catch on! When I started using coupons and and shopping like this, I never imagined that we would be able to reduce our expenses by so much. Believe me, if we can do it, so can you!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Save even more at Walgreens!

Look for this booklet at your Walgreens stores. My store had them on the rack with the weekly ads; I think some stores also may have them laying on the checkout counters. The coupons in the book are all Walgreens store coupons, which means you can combine them with a manufacturer coupon and get some really great deals. The best one to use this week is for $2 off Theraflu: Buy 1 Theraflu @ $4.99, use a $2 printable coupon and the $2 Walgreens store coupon, pay $.99, and get a $3 Register Reward, for a profit of $2! (If you aren't familiar with Register Rewards or the Walgreens system, check out my post here.)

The coupons are all good for the rest of this year, but there are a couple others that I think could be useful in the near future: $2 off Triaminic and $1 off children's Tylenol or adult cold, sinus, or allergy Tylenol. When I was at the store the other night, I noticed that both of these products had signs advertising a month-long deal to get a $5 Register Reward when you buy 2. I think it's very likely that they will go on sale before the end of the month, so if you combine a sale with a manufacturer coupon, the Walgreens store coupon, and the Register Reward, it could make for even more cheap or free cold medicine. Tis the season for the best deals on cold medicine, so these coupons can definitely help you stock up for very little money.

A couple other notes about Walgreens store coupons in general:
  • When you use a store coupon, the cashiers do not need to keep them for their drawer, so you can just get one book and use the same coupons over and over again.
  • If you buy multiple items in one transaction (let's say, 2 bottles of Tylenol), the cashier will only scan the store coupon once, but it will take off the coupon amount for each bottle purchased.

The Coupon Clippers

The Coupon Clippers

Arguably the best (and most common) place to get coupons is the Sunday newspaper inserts. But, sometimes there may be only one or two coupons that you actually want in a given week, or you might live in an area of the country that doesn't get a lot of the "good" coupons in the local paper. One service that you might find useful is The Coupon Clippers (see link above or in my sidebar). It's pretty simple - you go to the site, select the coupons you want, they clip them for you, and you pay shipping and handling. There is a $3 minimum order, but if you consider the fact that you get to hand-pick your coupons (and should therefore like and hopefully use everything you get) vs. buying a whole paper when you really only want a few coupons, it could be a worthwhile thing. Please feel free to post your feedback if you try their service!

Monday, August 31, 2009

CVS Advisory Panel

Several months ago, I signed up for the CVS Advisory Panel, and I think it has turned out to be a pretty worthwhile thing. The purpose of the panel is to get consumer input about CVS products, ads, stores, and services. Every few months or so, I have gotten a survey to fill out; it usually only takes about 10 minutes, and I have gotten $10 ECB each time. I think that's a pretty good deal! It's free to join. Click here if you're interested!

Super Shopping at Jewel (and other SuperValu stores)!

When I first moved to the Chicago area, I visited Jewel once and pretty much decided to never go there again because I thought they were way too expensive. I still think their prices are higher on a lot of things, but I've also learned one big secret that can make shopping at Jewel very worthwhile, and this is their Catalina deals that are "buy $X worth of certain products and save $Y on your next shopping trip." A good example is this week's "Buy $25 worth of ConAgra/Kellogg's products and save $10 on your next shopping trip." When you buy enough qualifying merchandise, a coupon will print out of the Catalina machine next to the register that is good for money off your next order. What often makes these deals absolutely wonderful is that the $25 qualifying purchase is based on the price of the items before you scan your preferred card. This makes for some truly amazing deals!

To see how this works, check out these deals this week on Wesson oil and Kellogg's cereals:

Buy 6 Cocoa Krispies @ $4.35 (price before preferred card) = $26.10 (if you want another kind of cereal, I would check the price first; this was the only kind I price checked)
Preferred card price = $15 (6 @ $2.50 each)
Minus (3) $2 off 2 coupons from this week's paper = (-$6)
Pay $9, get back $10 coupon to use on your next order.

If you wanted, you could use that $10 to get more cereal (plus $1 of something else as a filler so you can use the full amount of your $10 coupons), which would give you another $10, and the cycle just goes on and on and on...

You could also take your $10 and do this...

Buy 5 Wesson oil @ $5.45 (price before preferred card) = $27.25
Preferred card price = $12.50 (5 @ $2.50 each)
Pay $12.50 (or $2.50 cash + $10 in coupons from a previous order) and get back $10 in coupons
Final cost = $.50 each

It's possible that there are some other great finds hiding in this deal somewhere. If you find any more, let me know...I love to hear about other people's great shopping trips :)

Similar deals also run at other stores owned by the SuperValu chain, including Albertson's, Acme, Save-a-Lot, Shop 'n Save, Bigg's, Cub, Lucky, and probably some others.

In addition to using coupons and taking advantage of "$$ off your next order" deals, another way to save at Jewel is with avenu electronic coupons. Avenu coupons are tied to your preferred card and instantly deducted at the register; they are considered store coupons, so you can combine a manufacturer combine with an avenu discount. Avenu offers are supposedly customized based on your shopping habits, but I'm not 100% convinced of this. Go here to check out your avenu offers.

And, just in case you still aren't sure that Jewel's catalina deals are worth it, I paid a little over $20 out of pocket over the course of a week or two during the last couple deals they had like this, and I came away with over 20 boxes of cereal, 20 cans of fruit, 7 large jars of applesauce, several loaves of bread, 7 frozen pizzas, a couple bags of cheese, numerous cans of vegetables, a couple bottles of syrup, 2 boxes of crackers, 4 bottles of mayo, a package of lunch meat, a head of lettuce, some bananas, several bottles of salad dressing, a couple bags of salad, several packages of hamburger, 4 boxes of mac & cheese, 3 Easy Mac, more yogurt than I could possibly count, 2 Macaroni Grill dinners, 4 packages of onion soup mix, frosting, cake mix, a few Knorr side dishes, 5 bottles of laundry detergent, several packages of Klondike bars, and cartons upon cartons of Breyer's ice cream (I took at least 15 to work and gave several more to friends, and we still have quite a few in the freezer). I will also get $45 back in rebates from Kraft and Tombstone for all this, so I actually made a pretty decent profit!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Kmart Super Doubles - Week of 8/30

As I mentioned in my previous post, some Kmarts are doing Super Doubles again this week. Participating stores will double coupons up to $2, so coupons with a face value of $2 or less will double up to the price of the item (they will not double to more than the cost of the items covered by the coupon). Coupons greater than $2 are redeemed at face value. You cannot double more than 4 like coupons, and your pre-coupon total has to be at least $25. Depending on the store, they may limit your total number of doubled coupons to either 10 or 25.

There is also another perk to go along with this already great promotion. Go here and you can print coupons for free items based on your pre-coupon total of "health, beauty, food, and consumable" items; these include a free 4-pk. of AA or AAA batteries with a $25 purchase, a free American Greetings card with a $20 purchase, and a free roll of paper towels with a $15 purchase.

Note: When printing coupons from the internet, you can often print two of each coupon by hitting the back button on your browser.

There are lots of great deals to be had! Here are some that get you free or really cheap stuff (please remember that prices can vary by store):

Velveeta Shells & Cheese cups @ $1.19 each - buy 2 and use the buy one, get one (B1G1) coupon from 8/9 insert; the coupon will double and make both FREE
Welch's squeezable jelly @ $2.19 - Use $.75 printable (see link in my sidebar) = $.69 each
Welch's refrigerated juice @ $2.79 - Use $1 printable (see link in my sidebar) = $.79 each
Reese's cups (8-pk.) @ $1 - Use $.55 coupon from 8/23 insert = FREE
Reese's peanut butter cups bar @ $.79 - Use B1G1 coupon from 8/23 insert = 2 FREE
Lipton tea bags (small box) @ $1.19 - Use $.60 coupon from 8/2 insert = FREE
Honey Bunches of Oats with Pecans @ $2.50 - Use $2 printable coupon (look in lower right corner) = FREE
Bumble Bee premium tuna pouch @ $1.99 - Use $1 coupon from 6/14 insert = FREE
Post Trail Mix Crunch @ $3.79 - Use $2 printable coupon = FREE
Smithfield bacon @ $3 - Use $3 printable coupon (sign up on their site, and you should get to print the coupon at the end) = FREE
A-1 steak sauce @ $3.50 or marinade @ $2.99 - Use $2 coupon from 8/16 insert = FREE
International Delight coffee creamer @ $2 - Use $1 printable coupon = FREE
Del Monte Fruit Naturals @ $1 - Use $1 off 2 coupon from 7/12 insert = FREE
Tyson fresh chicken (prices vary) - Use $1 coupon from 8/2 insert; it will take off $2, which could make for some cheap chicken, depending on the package you get.
Easy Mac cups @ $1 - Use B1G1 coupon from the July issue of Better Homes and Gardens, Parents, and/or Good Housekeeping = 2 FREE
Coffee-Mate creamer @ $2 - Use $1 printable coupon = FREE
Wrigley's Spearmint, Big Red, Doublemint, Juicy Fruit, or Winterfresh gum @ $1 - Use B1G1 coupon from 6/28 insert = 2 FREE
Eclipse Gum @ $1 - Use B1G1 coupon from 6/28 insert = 2 FREE

Health & Beauty
Johnson & Johnson Red Cross Products - various items, including first aid tape and trial size first aid kits, are priced under $2. Use $1 coupon from 5/17 or 8/2 inserts = FREE
Kotex liners @ $1.29 - Use $.75 coupon from 8/23 insert = FREE
Vaseline lotion @ $2.50 - Use $1.50 coupon from 8/2 insert = FREE
Skintimate (travel size) @ $1.99 - Use $1 coupon from 8/2 insert = FREE
L.A. Looks styling gel @ $1.69 - Use $1 coupon from 8/2 insert = FREE
Sally Hansen beauty tools - various items (nail clippers, tweezers, etc.) are priced under $2. Use $1 coupon from 8/2 insert = FREE
Revlon beauty tools - various items (nail clippers, tweezers, etc.) are priced under $2. Use $1 coupon from 8/2 insert = FREE
Visine (select varieties) @ $3.99 - Use $2 coupon from 8/2 insert and/or this printable coupon = FREE
Dove Ultimate deodorant @ $3.99 - Use $2 printable coupon = FREE

Household & Cleaning Supplies
Chinet plates @ $3.79-$4.49 - Use $2 coupon from 8/9 = FREE to $.49
Swiffer duster starter kit @ $3.99-$4.79 - Use $2 coupon from 8/2 P&G = FREE to $.79
Ajax dish liquid @ $1.99 - Use $1 coupon from (use zip code 85712) = FREE
Scrubbing Bubbles toilet gels @ $3.50 - Use $2 printable coupon = FREE
Scrubbing Bubbles Fresh Brush Max starter kit - If you buy the toilet gels, you can get the Fresh Brush kit for free using the coupon from the 8/2 insert
Nature's Source cleaner @ $2 - Some of these have $1 peelie coupons on the products = FREE
Playtex Handsaver gloves @ $1.79 - Use $1 coupon from 6/28 insert = FREE
Ziploc bags @ $2 = Use B1G1 coupon from 8/30 insert = 2 FREE
Renuzit Odor Neutralizer @ $1.89 - Use $1 coupon from 7/19 insert = FREE
Scotch Pop-Up Tape Dispenser @ $3.99 - Use $2 printable coupon = FREE
Lysol Neutra Air spray @ $2.66 - Use $1.50 coupon from 7/12 insert = FREE

Pet Supplies
Hartz Crunch 'n' Clean treats @ $3 - Use $2 coupon from 8/30 insert = FREE
Chef Michaels canned dog food @ $.93 - Use B1G1 coupon from 7/23 insert = 2 FREE
Cesar Bistro Canine Entree @ $1 - Use B1G1 coupon from 8/16 insert = 2 FREE

Please feel free to post a comment if you find any other great deals this week!

CVS Deals - Week of 8/30

There are some good deals at CVS this week! Who doesn't love $.99/gal. milk? Here are the best ones I saw:

Glade Fragrance Collection soy candle or scented oil reed diffuser @ $6.99, get $6.99 in ECB = FREE. Limit 1.
Use the $2 printable coupon here or $3 printable coupon here (if it doesn't show up at first, put in 45435 as the zip), and make a $2-3 profit!

Dean's milk @ $1.99, get $1 in ECB = $.99
Note: Milk deals vary a LOT in different parts of the country, so check your local store's ad to see if they are running this deal.

Bounce Dryer Bar @ $3.99, get 1 ECB = $2.99. Limit 2.
Use $2.50 coupon from Vocalpoint mailer and get it for $.49 after ECB.
If you're not familiar with Vocalpoint, check out my post here.

Clairol Loving Care hair color @ $4.99, get $2 ECB = $2.99.
Use $4 coupon from 8/2 P&G insert and make a $1 profit.

Gold Emblem Gummi Sharks or Cookie Dough Bites @ 2/$2, get $1 ECB when you buy 2. Limit 1.
I often get CVS coupons for $1 off 2 Gold Emblem candy items, so these would be free after the coupons and ECB.

Bayer Contour glucose meter @ $14.99, get $5 ECB.
Use $30 coupon from 2/1 or 3/22 inserts (note that this coupon will only take off the actual price of the item, $14.99, NOT $30). Get the meter for free and make a $5 profit in ECB!

Eggs @ $.99 (Note that prices on things like eggs often vary by region, so your store may be different.)

If you're new to CVS shopping, check out my post here, which explains the ECB system and how to get the most for your money there.

I went to CVS last night and took advantage of some of these deals. Some CVS stores actually start Sunday's ad the day before, so I often shop there on Saturday night, partly because it fits my schedule better and partly because it cuts down on the number of trips I make to the store. So, this trip includes some of this week's deals, plus some from last week. Here's what I ended up with:

1 Glade candle @ $6.99
2 gal. milk @ $1.99 each
2 Glade Sense & Sprays @ $5 each
2 Speedstick deodorant @ $2.49 each
1 package cotton swabs @ $2
5 pkgs. Nabisco cookies @ $1 each
6 Poise liners @ $2 each
4 Carefree liners @ $3.79 each
1 Clairol Loving Care @ $4.99
1 mega pack diapers @ $10.49

Total before coupons = $75.59
Minus $2 Glade candle printable coupon (see link above)
$4 Glade Sense & Spray from 8/23 insert
Free Glade warmer peelie (-$4.99)
(2) $1.50 Speedstick printable coupons (go to and put in 33907 as the zip)
(2) $1 on 2 Nabisco cookies (from a Kraft back-to-school booklet I found at Kmart)
(6) $2 Poise printable coupons (I don't think these exact coupons are still available)
$1 on 2 Carefree and (2) $1 off 1 Carefree printables
$4 Clairol hair color
$2 off $10 CVS brand purchase (for diapers and cotton swabs)
$1.50 Speedstick CVS store coupon
$2 Lady Speedstick CVS store coupon
(2) $1 off any Glade air freshener CVS store coupon
$5 off any $25 purchase (printable coupon available when you go to and
take a quiz about prescriptions and their ReadyFill program)

Post-coupon total = $28.10 + $2.36 in tax = $30.46

Paid with $29.89 in ECB and $.57 in cash. I got $34.15 back in ECB ($3 from Poise, $15.16 from Carefree, $6.99 from Glade candle, $2 from Clairol, $2 from Speedstick, $1 from milk, $1 from cookies, and $3 from Sense & Sprays). I think this is a pretty good example of my basic overall CVS strategy: Buy things we use when they're at the lowest possible price (even if we may not need it right then), and use any overage to get things we need immediately (milk and q-tips) or that I rarely find great deals on (like diapers). Sometimes this does mean buying things that I may not especially want (like Glade or hair dye), but I can give those things away, and they give me extra money that I can use toward things like diapers.