Saturday, May 03, 2008

CentsAble Shopper Show & Tell: A CVS trip that didn't work out right

The bad news is that my planned CVS trip was foiled by the computer's refusal to accept some of my coupons, and my own foolish choice to head for self-checkout because the regular checkout line was rather long (the cashier probably could have entered some of the coupons manually).

The good news is that even with the coupon problems, I paid about the same that I would have paid at Target for the same items, and I got a couple extra things to boot.

So here's what I bought:

  • 3 CVS brand sanitary pads (on sale for buy two get one free - the ultra thin is my favorite pad)
  • one box of CVS brand tissue (so I could use a $3 off $10 CVS purchase)
  • one CVS brand hand sanitizer spray pen (grabbed at checkout when I realized I was a little short of a $10 CVS purchase)
  • two Aquafresh toothpaste (these are free after ECBs this month with a limit of three; I bought two since I had $1.50 and $1 coupons - I'm hoping another coupon will come out sometime this month that I can use to pick up the last tube)
  • two bottles of All HE detergent (on sale for buy one get one free, and I used a $1 off coupon)
  • one Just for Men (I have no use for this, but it's free after ECBs, and there's a mail-in rebate (pdf))
My undiscounted total was over $40, but for some reason, the computer wouldn't accept my $5 off $30 purchase coupon, which still irks me. However, it did accept my $3 off $15 coupon. The computer accepted my $4 ECB but not my $11.97 ECB - the manager said that I had reached the coupon limit. So instead of paying about $4, I ended up having to shell out $17.44 - which is about the same as what I would have paid at Target, and maybe even a little bit less (for only the stuff I would have bought anyway; at Target, I wouldn't have bought the tissue, hand sanitizer or Just for Men). So I'm not overly upset, since I still have the $11.97 ECB, plus $7.99 and $5.98 ECBs from the above transaction.

I did ask the manager to explain how the coupon limit works - only to be told that it varies according to each purchase. I'm inferring that there's some unspecified algorithm in the computer that takes into account the total amount of the purchase, the total amount of coupons, the total number of coupons, and maybe additional factors.

Head over to BeCentsAble and check out the deals everyone else got this week!

Dayna asked a great question on my post about last week's drugstore deals: Why roll over the ECBs? I'll be answering that question on Monday!

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