Saturday, August 30, 2008

CVS this week: Water shoes for Alex

I completely forgot to post about my CVS trip earlier this week. I was really pleased that they had everything I planned to get in stock, since so often the free-after-ECB items are sold out. And the shelves were even marked properly. My planned trip was a money-maker, but then we saw faux Crocs on sale for 50% off, and Alex has been needing water shoes for school. So here's how my deal ended up:

2 Zipfizz @ $5.99 each - $11.98
1 Kotex liners - $1.49
1 Playtex tampons - $4.99
1 pair faux Crocs - $3.99
Total before coupons: $22.45

Coupons used: $2 off $10 purchase, $1 off Kotex, $1 off Playtex
ECBs used: $11.58 and $5.69 (I was happy to have a chance to use up the $11.58 ECBs from buying Children's Advil earlier in the month)

I paid $1.44 with a gift card and received the following ECBs: $11.98 for Zipfizz, $1.49 for Kotex, and $3 for Playtex

If it hadn't been for the shoes, I would have had a pre-tax profit of $2.01. But since the shoes were essentially free - and something we needed anyway (I'd been looking but couldn't find any) - I can't complain. :)

Friday, August 29, 2008

New Walgreens Coupon: $10 off $40 purchase Friday & Saturday only

There's a new printable Walgreens coupon for $10 off a $40 purchase. Again, it's good today and tomorrow. You can see my plan for the coupon at Chief Family Officer.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Review: Boston Market

I mentioned a couple of months ago that I joined BzzAgent, which is a word of mouth marketing company. The most recent campaign I signed up for was Boston Market. I was curious, because I hadn't eaten at Boston Market in over 10 years.

With my BzzAgent coupons in my pocket, I took Alex for lunch one day and was pleasantly surprised - the food was quite good. Mindful of my Weight Watchers points, I ordered the half-chicken individual meal with steamed vegetables and green beans. My BzzAgent coupon covered the cost of my meal, which was $7.99 plus $1.79 for a drink. I paid for a kid's macaroni and cheese meal for Alex, which came to $4.10 and included one side, cornbread, and a small drink.

I was hungry, and ate my entire meal, except for the cornbread (I did take a couple of bites - in order to write a thorough review, of course - and it was good). I also ate just a bite of the chicken skin, then peeled the rest off - it was very tasty, but not worth all of the points.

Alex's meal was actually too much for him, although he'd had a peanut butter sandwich not that long ago. If he'd been as hungry as I was, he probably would have eaten more. As it was, he polished off the mac and cheese (which actually came with rotini, not elbow macaroni), and took a few bites of cornbread. He said the corn was good, but ate very little of it - I'm not sure if that's because he wasn't hungry, or because he recognized it as a vegetable. I would have preferred it if he'd had a different kid's meal, but a drumstick, roast turkey, or meatloaf isn't the sort of food he likes (unfortunately).

I was looking forward to eating some of my weekly points in the form of a cupcake, since BzzAgent sent free cupcake "pogs" (coupons) for me to use and distribute. But I was told that cupcakes had been discontinued a couple of weeks ago, which was disappointing. They did have some brownies and cookies, but I had my heart set on a cupcake so I passed on those.

I didn't study the other side dishes since I didn't want to be tempted, but I caught a glimpse of herbed steamed potatoes that looked good. According to the web site, I also missed out on sweet potato casserole, spinach artichoke dip, and chicken tortilla soup.

The service was extremely good at the location that we went to. It opened a few minutes early, which is always nice, and the employees were very friendly and welcomed my coupon.

Overall, I thought the entire experience was good - the restaurant itself was pleasant and the food was tasty. The cost for a complete meal is comparable to the cost of a meal at drive-thru fast food places, and I think the food at Boston Market is more satisfying. Unfortunately, there isn't a location that's especially close to us, so our next visit will have to wait until we pass one on our way to or from some other place. I've noticed Boston Market coupons in the newspaper on a regular basis, so I'll definitely be clipping them and keeping them in the car for that time.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

New Walgreens Coupon: $5 off $20 purchase Friday & Saturday only

There's a new printable Walgreen coupon for $5 off a $20 purchase. This time, it's good Friday and Saturday. Since we're nearing the end of the month, it's a good time to pick up those free after rebate items that you haven't gotten yet.

There are also some great coupons in the weekly ad, including lots of 39-cent items, like plastic ware (I'm starting to stock up for Tyler's birthday party), Jello and Jiffy (inexpensive food pantry donations), padded envelopes and Sharpies. Some of the coupons even print out along with the $5 off $20 coupon. Just keep in mind that the coupon again has the language that the $20 total is before taxes and after coupons and discounts.

Free Hallmark Cards at Safeway

Gina at Mommy Making Money has the details on how you can get free Hallmark cards at Safeway stores through September 20. We don't have Safeway here in Southern California, but Vons and Pavilions are part of the same company so I plan to check it out. I'll let you know what I find!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Target Luvs coupons

I just got an email with a link to some Target coupons on Luvs diapers. Click here for a $1 off coupon on any Luvs diapers and a $2 off coupon on any box of Luvs. Then head over to Target before the week ends to take advantage of this week's sale: $6.99 for a jumbo pack of Luvs.

Printable Yoplait Light coupons

I recently received an email letting me know that there are new flavors of Yoplait Light yogurt available now: Strawberry Shortcake, Raspberry Cheesecake, and Pineapple Upside-Down Cake. To encourage you to try these new products, Yoplait is offering printable coupons. Unfortunately, I can never print bricks coupons so I can't tell you how much the coupons are for - if you do print them, please let me know. Thanks!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

My first CVS trip this week


I did two transactions at CVS yesterday. Here's the first:

3 12-packs Coke Zero (which Marc prefers over Diet Coke, I can't tell the difference) - $8
1 CVS Sunscreen - on sale for $2 off, 29 cents
1 CVS Aloe Lotion - $1.49
1 granola bar - 69 cents
Total before coupons: $10.47 + California CRV of $1.80

Coupons used: $2/10, $1 sunscreen & $2 skincare coupons from the Beauty Handbook

I paid with $4.50 and $1.49 ECBs, and the remainder with a gift card. I received $2 in ECBs for the Coke.

Then I bought:
2 Huggies Clean Team flushable wipes - 2/$5
1 Alavert bonus pack - $5.99
1 CVS Sunscreen - 29 cents
1 CVS Aloe Lotion - $1.49
Total before coupons: $12.77

Coupons used: $2/10, $1 sunscreen & $2 skincare coupons from the Beauty Handbook, $3/2 Clean Team, $4 Alavert coupon

That brought my total down to 77 cents plus tax. I paid with a gift card and received $3 in ECBs for the Alavert. I would have used Gina's strategy of doing one transaction at the pharmacy and one up front, but my favorite store isn't 24-hours and the pharmacy was closed when I went. But it's my favorite store for a good reason, I didn't have any trouble doing two transactions and using two $2/$10 coupons. (I did wait until there was no line, then asked the cashier if it was okay if I did two transactions, and she was perfectly fine with it.)

I might go back to CVS before the week is over to finish the baby deal (buy $25 of select products, get $5 ECBs). I have a $4 off $20 Playskool purchase CRT (Cash Register Tape coupon that printed on one of my receipts last week), so I am thinking about buying 8 containers of Playskool wipes. Unfortunately, I'll only be able to use one $1 off coupon, instead of eight, since it's one coupon per transaction, but I don't really want to do 8 separate transactions, either. So I would have an out of pocket total of $15 for 8 containers of baby wipes, and I'd get $5 back. (I already have $5 toward the deal because of the Clean Team wipes I purchased yesterday; and that was my only Clean Team coupon.) It's not a bad deal at all, but we don't need wipes that badly right now either, so I am really on the fence with this deal. Whether I go back to CVS this week will probably depend entirely on whether I have to get the kids out of the house in the middle of the day.

For more on CVS deals this week, check out The "Cent"sible Sawyer.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

CFO is now on Twitter

I mentioned yesterday over at Chief Family Officer that I finally signed up with Twitter. I thought I should mention it here too, since I plan to tweet some good Drugstore Game and other shopping deals.

If you'd like to follow me, my Twitter ID is CFOblog.

You can also follow me via RSS. However, it unfortunately seems to take a day or two for the RSS feed to update - maybe that's something that will improve as I twitter more.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

My CVS trips this week

This was maybe my very best week at CVS ever.

Here's what I got on Sunday:
1 Children's Advil - $5.79
1 Infant's Advil - $5.79
4 boxes Kleenex - $2.19 each, on sale buy one get one free
2 Colgate toothpaste - $2.99 each
1 CVS brand aloe lotion - $1.49
1 Excedrin Back & Body - $3.79

Total before coupons = $27.22

Coupons: 2x$1 off Colgate, 50-cents off 3 Kleenex, $2 off CVS skincare product, $2.50 off $10 pain reliever (CVS coupon)

Total after coupons = $20.22

I used $19.98 in ECBs from last week's free-after-ECB DVD deal, and paid 47 cents with a gift card. I received the following ECBs back: $11.58 for the Advil ($5.79 each - the monthly limit is two), $4 for the Colgate ($2 each), and $3.79 for the Excedrin (this might be regional). I've sent in for the mail in rebate on the Excedrin, so I'll actually end up with a profit of $3.37 on that after deducting the cost of the stamp.

I was particularly pleased with this shopping trip because I generally don't like having large amounts of ECBs. I always seem to end up burning some when I have to use a large amount at once. I'm still getting free stuff, so I can't complain too much, but I'm not very adept at rolling over amounts larger than say, $10 at one time. So I'm happy that I not only managed to roll over almost the entire $19.98, but that the ECBs I got back are in smaller amounts.

There were still some good deals this week, so I couldn't resist heading back today since I had to visit another store in the same mini mall. I was thrilled that they had everything in stock - probably because a couple of the shelves weren't labeled properly. I had to check the weekly flyer to make sure I was getting the right items. Here's what I got:

3 Crest ProHealth @ $2.49 each - $7.47
1 Carefree - $1.49
1 Tums QuickPak -$5.69

Total before coupons: $14.65

Coupons: $2 off $10 purchase, 3 75-cents off Crest ProHealth, $2 off Tums (CVS coupon)

Total after coupons: $8.40 + tax

I paid with the $4 and $3.79 ECBs that I received on Sunday, plus 85 cents on a gift card. And I received the following ECBs: $4.50 for the Crest ($1.50 each), $1.49 for the Carefree, and $5.69 for the Tums. That works out to a profit of $3.89. Ah, I love The Drugstore Game!

With the new $2 off $10 purchase coupon, I'll probably be shopping at CVS more so stay tuned for updates on my purchases. If you want to know more about the coupon, check out Mommy Making Money for the details.

Also, you'll receive a coupon for a free item on your first visit to CVS in August. I was hoping for the free sanitizer spray, but I got free aspirin instead. What did you get?

For more awesome CVS trips, check out The "Cent"sible Sawyer.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Monday, August 04, 2008

CVS Children's/Infant's Advil limit is 2

This month's free after ECB item at CVS is Children's or Infant's Advil. The monthly book and shelf tag both say the limit is one, but Mommy Making Money reported on Saturday that the limit is two. I had a CVS coupon for $2.50 off a $10 pain reliever purchase, so I picked up two at $5.79 each, and sure enough, I got $11.58 in ECBs. Thanks so much, Gina!

Sunday, August 03, 2008

CVS Money Maker (at least in SoCal)

My CVS weekly ad has free 24-count boxes of Excedrin, limit one. If you buy one box of Excedrin Back & Body, you'll receive $3.79 in ECBs, plus you can send in for the rebate that was in the July 13 Smart Source insert, resulting in a profit of $3.79 (minus the cost of the stamp). I'm not seeing this deal everywhere, so I think the free after ECB deal might be a regional thing. (Thanks to the CVS SoCal thread at SlickDeals for pointing this one out.)

Note: I just read the rebate form and today is the last day to make a qualifying purchase.

Friday, August 01, 2008

CVS Beginner's Guide

Hot Coupon World has a handy guide for newcomers to CVS shopping. If you're not quite sure what you're doing or want some more tips, check it out!

Disney costumes for cheap!

I know it seems to early to be thinking about Halloween, but Bargain Hunting Moms found some Disney costumes on clearance for as little as $4.99. There's even a code for $5 flat rate shipping (BHM lists SHIPFOR5, I got an email this morning with the code SHIPFIVE). If you see something you like on sale, why not pick it up and save yourself the stress of finding a costume in a couple of months? (Unfortunately, Alex wants to be WALL*E, so I might be making that from scratch.)