Super-CVSing Sunday: $260 of stuff for $15

There’s pretty much zero chance of getting any business during the SuperBowl, so I hopped the subway out to Astoria (about 15 minutes’ ride), where there’s a CVS offering 20 pages of deals – MUCH better than Manhattan’s pathetic 4 pages. I got a $5-off-$30 purchase in my email that could be used multiple times, and I did my best to put CVS out of business! I took a picture but can’t find the doggone USB cable.

Value of items purchased:  $260.27
Total spent out-of-pocket:  $15.34
ECBs to start with:  $7.98
ECBs now in my possession:  $2.99 or $7.99 … there’s a debate over a $5 ECB
……… Also, Mom has a $9.98 ECB of mine, which I’m planning to have her parlay into a $10 and a $7.99 when she gets back from the Rockies.

Things I’ll keep for me: 2 L’Oreal Revitalift cream cleanser, 2 Kotex pantyliners, 2 Hershey’s w/Almonds, 1 Glade French Vanilla candle, 1 box of 5 Johnson & Johnson adhesive pads with Neosporin, 8 packs of Extra gum, 1 Excedrin on-the-go 10-pack, 2 Hershey’s Big Bars [Total Value: $39.50]

Things I’ll give to family or donate:  L’Oreal EverPure shampoo & conditioner, 3 boxes of 5 J&J Adhesive pads with Neosporin, 6 Reese’s Whipps (yuck), 2 Glade Apple Cinnamon candles, 1 Glade French Vanilla candle, 3 bottles of L’Oreal True Match liquid foundation, 3 L’Oreal True Match powder blush, 2 L’Oreal Lip Colour Juice, 2 bottles of Theraflu, huge bottle of Pantene shampoo-conditioner, 2 huge bottles of Jergens Naturals, CVS brand chewable baby aspirin, 2 boxes of Kotex pantyliners, 4 L’Oreal lipsticks

How is this possible, you ask? A ton of coupons and some very strategic Buy-1-Get-1-Free deals (why else would a plain jane like me buy all that freaking make-up??).  So here’s what happens…each $30-$35 transaction includes a B1G1F L’Oreal deal, made even cheaper by using three coupons. Three coupons for 2 items where one is free?, you ask skeptically. Well, it’s perfectly okay to use one for each item, even the free one, and for some reason the cash register didn’t buzz (a la Jeopardy) when I handed over a third one. I’m not an expert on “stacking coupons”, but I gave it a shot for the first time with multiple manufacturers’ coupons – half were rejected, half were accepted, saving me $8 more than if I hadn’t tried. No, I did not make a fuss, but because most people do, the cashiers try extra hard to make it work in an effort to avoid a customer sh*tstorm.

Also, with the $5/$30 coupons, the prices for both B1G1F items count, and the $30 total is pre-coupon. Two items of full-price L’Oreal cosmetics total $16.98, but in reality you’re only paying for one @ $8.99 but subtracting 2 x$2 manufacturers coupons and if you’re lucky, a third coupon ($3 off two skincare products, in this case) means you owe $2.99…which is covered proportionately by that $5/$30 coupon…nice how that works, eh? Then you add stuff that gets you ECBs, like 2 Thermaflu @ $6.59 each…get back $5 ECBs on two. And what do you know, I had 2 x $2 coupons for that product as well, making it $9.15 with 5 ECBs. The official total comes to $30.16, subtract the $5/$30 coupon, then the B1G1F deal $9, then the manufacturers’ coupons: $11 in this case….and you’re left with $5.16 owed. You can pay that in cash or with ECBs you earned in previous trips, and you get 5 more ECB’s back for future use.

The make-up will be offered to friends and family, but I don’t anticipate much interest (I stocked them up at Christmas). I’m planning to drop them off at Bottomless Closet, an organization that teaches disadvantaged/victimized women practical coping skills – how to budget, how to be interviewed, etc. They give their clients a couple of appropriate work outfits assembled from second-hand donations and include a goody bag of toiletries. I feel that cosmetics would be put to better use there than at the teen shelter, where they’d just end up in the hands of trannies (which really doesn’t appeal to me – scars from finding myself married to a secret cross-dresser, whom I promptly divorced). So I’ve got foundations, eye shadows, blushers, lip goop and other goodies to pass on soon.

9 Responses

  1. This is ridiculous! How is this possible?

    I’ve never gotten into CVSing–I tried but got confused. It seems time consuming and like it involves too much planning (I’m sure it isn’t THAT confusing or THAT time consuming).

    But wow, this is hugely impressive

  2. You need a large supply of coupons, with multiples – seriously, I went through about 20 assorted L’Oreal coupons today. Also, I couldn’t (and therefore wouldn’t) have done it without those $5-off-$30 coupons. Plus, I had some internet-printed coupons that I stumbled across.

    Yes, it is time consuming. I spent 2 hours roaming around the store doing mental arithmetic. Some people plan “scenarios” in advance, but my stores often run out of stuff – if one thing isn’t in stock, all that planning goes to hell. So I don’t bother with all that.

  3. […] Money Mate Kate talks about getting $260 worth of products for $15…from CVS . $15, can you believe it? Way to go […]

  4. Great job and the amount of items you are donating can really help a lot of needy folks.

  5. Yeah, you lost me. No wonder I can’t manage the CVS game, I’d never figure all that out! You have some crazy stories, married to a cross dresser. My uncle had a mid life crisis and decided it was because he was meant to be a woman. My uncle K is now my aunt J, it’s all very strange.

  6. Holy cow. I am still not entirely sure of how you did this, but which CVS did you go to? I live in Astoria and I want to go and try this out!

  7. Miss M, I’m not even trying to accumulate those kinds of crazy stories – the crossdressing thing is a lesson in Why You Should Snoop Through Your Boyfriend’s Stuff!!!

    LMM, while it doesn’t matter which CVS you go to (as long as it’s not in Manhattan), the one I went to was right near the Ditmars Blvd stop on the N/W train, so 31st St & Ditmars. Really, it’s all about your personal stock of coupons, those $5/$30 emailed vouchers, and those rockin’ ECB deals.

  8. You lost me, but FANTASTIC job!

    And crossdressers… you and Miss M… sorry for the craziness!

    BTW: glad to hear your charity journey at the teen shelter went great! Making Cabbage rolls next? LOL! Might work though… you could premake them, meat and vege, and then pop them in the oven when you get there. Hmmm… 😉

  9. hi kate, i’ve been reading your blog lately, and i like it! 🙂

    i placed you on my favorite blogs list.

    keep it up!

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