Monday, September 23, 2013

This Is Why I Prefer Self-Checkout!

Here's hoping that this week of CVS-ing (yes, it should totally be considered a verb at this point, don't you think?) will satisfy me for a while because I've already gone through the ads for the following two weeks, and there's nothing in which I can roll my ExtraBucks!  Don't worry though; I think I'll be able to get free or close to free chocolate, but I'm not sure how that will work just yet!  Let me explain today's trip (or document it for myself if no one is actually reading, haha) where I got all this stuff for only $5.35 out of pocket!  I walked into the store with $18 ExtraBucks and walked out with $19, so I'm a very happy camper.  My favorite purchases are still those Nivea products, which cost me $7 combined with the sale price and coupons.  Paying less than that for ALL of this means I've done my homework!  

Howard was pretty tired after church today, so I ended up going by myself.  I was extra excited because I had a $5 off $15 coupon from the bottom of a previous receipt and I got the email for 25% off all non-sale items!  To make it easier to plan it out, I actually split the purchases into 2 transactions.  The first transaction had all the products that were on sale while the other didn't, so I used my 25% off coupon on the latter.  Now I admit I actually got a little nervous because I was waiting for a self-checkout to open up when an employee said he'd help me at the counter.  I very rarely go to a CVS with cashiers behind the counters nowadays.  Out of the 4 that I've visited in the past few months, only one has no self-checkout option.  I prefer being able to scan the products myself so that I can see that the prices match my plan.  I do the same thing at the supermarket when Howard is with me.  I want to make sure all the sales are correct and that all my coupons are deducted.  But I figured I couldn't say no because he seemed so eager to help, so I pushed my cart over.

As you can see, I did the Nivea deal AGAIN.  To break it down really quickly since I have mentioned it before, the body wash is on sale for $4 this week as it was this entire month.  I used a $1 coupon making it only $3.  The lotion is on sale for $6, and I used a $2 coupon making it $4.  But because the products were originally $10, I got the $3 ECB.  

The other ECB deal was for the Colgate toothbrushes.  The sale was on the Colgate 360ยบ or Optic White toothbrushes.  They were on sale for $2.99 with $2 back in ECB.  Using a $1 coupon from the CVS site, I eliminated paying the $0.99, so I was really just rolling $2 into the purchase to get a free toothbrush and get $2 back.  The limit is on 2, so I picked up both.  My store was actually completely out of the Optic White toothbrushes, so I asked the manager if the coupon I had would still work on the other option.  She said that because it was still Colgate, it would be fine.  That's good to know!

The last part of the first transaction was 3 Renuzit air fresheners.  They're on sale this week 3 for $3, but the redbox is spitting out a $1.50 coupon for everyone making all 3 only $1.50.  I had a $0.50 coupon, but it didn't scan so that was an extra $0.50 on top of my total that I wasn't anticipating.  But I was okay with that because I have been seeing Renuzit everywhere lately and have wanted to try it.  I chose Raspberry, After the Rain, and Simply Lavender.  The After the Rain scent is actually in our bathroom right now, and I'm quite pleased with it!  I only opened it the tiniest bit so it's not overbearing at all.  It might not even be that noticeable since it's higher up on a shelf too!  I might open the container a tiny bit more.

What was strange was that throughout both transactions, there were a lot of things that kept beeping including my ExtraBucks, which clearly should not have had any issues.  The cashier, as nice as he was, didn't seem to know as much about couponing as the manager who has helped me at the self-checkout many times. But I had all my math figured out so I tried to keep my cool.  I was able to use my $5 off $15 CVS coupon, $1 off toothbrush, $1 off toothbrush, $1 off body wash, $2 off lotion, $1.50 off air fresheners, and $6 in ExtraBucks.  What a great way to chip away at your out of pocket cost, isn't it?  This first transaction's subtotal was $1.48 (he should have scanned my $6 ECB first, but he didn't so I then had to replace it with a $3 one at the end messing up my subtotal), so with tax, my total was $2.72.  Plus, I got a total of $7 in ECB that I was going to roll in the next transaction.  

The cashier was pretty amazed and said that he had never met someone who did all that couponing to bring down the price before.  He said that I should update my Facebook status with "I'm the coupon boss!" to let everyone know, haha.  I think anyone following me on Facebook or Instagram already knows that it's been quite an addiction lately!  As I said in a previous post, why pay more?      

The next transaction had everything that I was going to get that wasn't on sale so that I could use my 25% off coupon.  What you need to keep in mind is that the best way to use that coupon is to choose items that will product ExtraBucks even though they're not on sale that week.  The 25% off from CVS along with manufacturer's coupons will bring your cost low.  This was the first time I didn't send my 25% to my ExtraCare card.  I printed it out instead so that there would be no accidental purchases where it'd be used to save just a few pennies!  

The Listerine deal was to spend $10 on ANY Listerine products and get $5 back in ExtraBucks (limit 2).  It's a pretty good deal on its own if you really needed mouthwash that week, but it's even better with coupons!  I called my store a few days earlier to ask how much a one liter bottle cost because had coupons for $2 off one liter bottles only.  The girl on the phone told me $7.49, but the CVS website had bottles as low as $5.79.  I was hoping that being in NYC wasn't going to affect the price THAT much compared to the website.  Thankfully, the Cool Mint version along with the original funky-looking tan-colored one was $5.79!  I bought 4 bottles making my total $23.16.  However, the 25% is used BEFORE manufacturer's coupons, thus saving me $5.79!  That's pretty much buying 3 bottles and getting 1 free!  But that's not good enough, of course.  I had 4 of the $2 coupons saving me another $8, which meant that my total out of pocket cost for all 4 bottles was $9.37.  Pretty awesome considering I'd roll about $10 into this deal and still get $10 back!  FREE LISTERINE!  And technically a "money-maker" too.

The Sally Hansen deal required spending $10 to get back $4 in ExtraBucks.  Considering I had the 25% coupon and 2 coupons for $1 each, I figured it would be worth it to roll my other ExtraBucks to push back the expiration date a little more.  In the CVS stores in NYC, each bottle of the Xtreme Wear line is $3.49, which is more than what you would find elsewhere.  It doesn't make sense to buy it on its own because other drugstores have it for less, but in the long run, purchasing Sally Hansen when there are deals makes it cheaper.  Okay, so I purchased 3 bottles at $3.49 each, which meant my total was $10.47.  If you're interested, I choose Pink Satin, Mint Sorbet, and Red Carpet.  The 25% off saved me $2.62 and then another $2 from my coupons (agh, I wish I had one more coupon!).  My total out of pocket expense was $5.85 while still getting back $4 in ExtraBucks, so I did have to roll an extra $1.85, but for 3 bottles of Sally Hansen, it's a steal!

The last part of this transaction isn't something that Howard or I need or use!  I saw on Instagram that these small Got2B products would be a moneymaker if rolling ECB because I'd get $5 for purchasing two products.  Of course, NYC prices are a little bit more, BUT because I had the 25% off coupon, I was able to keep it a moneymaker.  Each tube of Got2b Spiking Glue was $2.67 so both cost $5.34.  The 25% brought my cost down to $4, so it was a $1 moneymaker!  Don't worry; I didn't just buy a random product for no reason.  I already emailed a cousin to see if he would use it, and if not, I'll offer it to any guys I know that need their hair to be spiked!  

Okay, this is where I got nervous and started shaking a bit.  The final out of pocket cost that the cashier told me was MUCH too high even with manufacturer's coupons.  I looked at the little credit card scanner thing and saw that there was no amount next to the 25% coupon.  I asked if it was accepted, and he said it was, but I said that there's no amount deducted for it.  I knew from my self-checkout experiences that you don't see the savings from that coupon until you hit "Finish and Pay."  Guess he didn't do that, so I paid what he originally quoted with my credit card.  When I swiped it, suddenly $9.75 came off!  Um, that's a HUGE deal!  If I'm not paying next to nothing, there's no need to be buying 4 bottles of Listerine!  My out of pocket was still too high based on what I had calculated as my subtotal was $2.22 and the total was $4.81 with tax.  With my calculations, I was expecting to pay about $2+ for mainly taxes, but I was already at the counter for quite some time already so I took my purchases and brought them to the car.

I didn't want to leave the parking lot yet until I had checked everything out carefully.  My first receipt seemed fine.  After checking my second receipt against my little organized shopping list with prices and coupon amounts, I saw that there was only 3 rows of $2 off coupons!  That meant he didn't scan one of my Listerine coupons!  I was so happy that I stayed and checked it out before leaving because it'd be difficult to do anything about it another day.  When I returned to the store, the manager was staring at me probably wondering why I was entering again and walking towards her.  Haha, at this point, I think she recognizes me.  I showed her my receipt and explained my situation.  She went to the register and punched it in as "cash for coupon," so I got $2 back in cash.  That meant my actual out of pocket cost for my second transaction was $2.81.  

My calculations were pretty accurate!  Throwing in the Got2B products made my plans a little bit different as I had to actually use my last chunk of ECB that I thought I was going to have to hold on to, but as I stated above, it was a moneymaker AND I pushed back the expiration dates of ALL my previous ECB.  Phew.  Now I have $19 waiting for a future transaction!  I also learned that next time when someone says that he/she can help me at the counter, I will say, "No, thank you!  I prefer the self-checkout to watch all of my prices!"

Want to know the best thing about getting all this stuff at CVS today?  While I was out saving moolah, Howard did all the dishes.  Woohoo!

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