Saturday, April 16, 2011

A Mistake Into a Money Maker!

So in my last post I talked about having my coupon for a FREE full-size Essence of Beauty Antibacterial Collection product via email for liking the CVS Beauty Club on FaceBook but not being able to find the product I was looking for at the CVS that I originally went to.  Wednesday evening, I knew that I would be driving by another CVS on my way to ball practices. 

Now that afternoon, My Memphis Mommy posted about a hot deal on Visine at CVS that would end up being free after a printable coupon.  This particular coupon didn't have a size restriction, so it would work for the trial size also.

Now in my house, we don't use a ton of Visine, but I knew someone that did - my local sister thats a paramedic. (For the record, I have 3 sisters (1 Local, 1 in Boston and 1 in Georgia) and 1 brother- he's local to me also.  I'll talk about all of them from time to time.)  So I printed off 4 coupons and took off  for practices.  I stopped by a different CVS than the first one I went to, and ran in and picked up the following things:

(4) Trial Size Visines - $1.99 each =  $7.96
      Using (4) printables from for -$2.00 off any size of Visine
(1) 8.5 oz Essence of Beauty Antibacterial Hand Soap - $3.99
       Using my CVS coupon valid for a FREE full-size Essence of Beauty Antibacterial Collection product that I got via email, good for up to $3.99

Now here's where I made a mistake.  I wasn't watching as the cashier was ringing up my merchandise, so I missed that the Trial Size Visines were ringing up at $2.15, not $1.99 like the tag said.  So for this trip my total before coupons was 12.59, not 11.99, like it should have been if I was watching everything being scanned.  So my OOP was $1.20, not .60.  But the plus side to this was I had earned my very first ECB (Extra Care Buck) for using my Green Bag Tag!

Once I got everyone where they needed to go, I took a look at my receipt and saw the error that was made.   At first, I was not going to go back to the store, because hey, what's 60 cents?  Then I thought about it, what if every week something rang up wrong to the tune of 60 cents.  Over the course of a year, that is $31.20. 

So I went back to CVS on my way home.  The first clerk wasn't sure what to do, so she called a more senior clerk over to help her out.  The Senior Clerk asked if I wanted to re-ring the transaction and they would manually correct the price to the correct price of $1.99 OR I could get a $1 ECB.  I chose the ECB of course.  So at the end of this trip, with the $1 ECB I got for 4 uses of my Green Bag Tag plus the $1 ECB that I got for the price error on the Visine, I MADE 80 cents!  This shopping trip went from being good to being a Money Maker!

Free Sample: Gold Bond BodyWash

Get a Free Sample of Gold Bond body wash from Wal-mart, click here.

8 Ways to Get More Coupons

While the newspaper is the first thing we think of as a resource for getting coupons, it's definitely not the only way.  Below, I've listed 8 ways (including getting the newspaper) that you can get more coupons.

1. The Newspaper - each week there are coupon inserts in the newspaper.  The number of inserts varies from week to week, as do the quality of the coupons.  You can get a heads up on what coupons will be in the paper each week from the Sunday Coupon Preview.  Checking this list out each week will help you know if it's worth buying more than one copy.

2. Online - manufacturer's are making more and more coupons available online either on their own website or via coupon provider websites.  Check the website for your favorite products regularly for new coupons, and check out these websites at least once a week:,,, & Coupon Network

3. Add Digital Coupons to Your Shopper Card - Stores like Kroger, Safeway, Vons, and others with shopper cards may have coupons available on their website that you can load directly to your shopper card.  You can also load coupons to these cards from Cellfire and . One caveat on digital coupons, some stores do allow you to stack these with paper coupons, however many do not and often your paper coupon may be a better deal.  With this in mind you may want to wait till just before your shopping trip to add any coupons to your card.

4. Contact the Company - Companies love it when you let them know that you enjoy their product and will usually reward you with some nice coupons for your effort.  On most manufacturer websites you will find a "contact us" link at the bottom (or top) of the page.  Use this to contact the company and let them know you like their product.  While you are at it don't be scared to ask if they have any coupons available.  They will usually send you coupon via postal mail, and often these coupons will be much higher value than you will find elsewhere (sometimes even free products!).

5. Facebook - "like" the companies you like on Facebook. They often offer special promotions and coupons on Facebook that they don't provide anywhere else.

6. Free Samples - free samples aren't just about getting a trial size of something new. I will often order free samples of products that I already use just because I know it will come with a coupon.

7. Coupon Swaps - You may be able to find coupon swaps locally at your church or community center, but you can definitely find them online. always has many different ways that you can trade coupons, and often others who are just willing to give you a RAOK (Random Act of Kindness) and pass on some coupons they don't need.

8. Coupon Clippers - There are many people across the internet who are more than happy to sell their time clipping coupons.  In return for a small fee you can purchase the exact coupons you need or buy whole inserts.  You can find a list of these services under "coupon resources" on

The Coupon Noob's First CVS (and couponing) Trip

Since I hadn't gotten Sunday's paper but I wanted to see if I could go into a store and make some magic happen like other bloggers did, I chose CVS to be my first place to coupon at.  Tuesday night, since I was driving by a CVS anyways, I went in and got my ExtraCare card and a Green Bag Tag.  I also grabbed this weeks ad too. (If I would have known that the Green Bag Tags were going to be FREE this coming week, I would have waited. I went home and registered my ExtraCare card online at CVS.  There was a promotion that if you liked the CVS Beauty Club on FaceBook you would get a a CVS coupon valid for a FREE full-size Essence of Beauty Antibacterial Collection product via email.  (Coupon offer available until 4/15 - coupon expires 4/18)   Also, I followed CVS on Twitter for another coupon for a free coupon for any one candy or beverage.  (Coupon offer available until 4/14 - coupon expires 4/17)

The other thing I did was to check out what some of the other bloggers shopping scenarios for this sale week.  The easiest way to do this is to google CVS scenarios and the sale week you want them for. In my case, I googled "CVS sales scenario 4/10".  I wanted to start small and wanted to only be about 10 dollars OOP. (Out of Pocket for the really new couponers.)   I chose a scenario from Southern Savers, but modified it a bit.  (To see the scenario that I used, scroll towards the bottom of the page and look for Transaction #2.)  I used only printable coupons for this trip since at the time, I didn't have access to newspaper coupons.

My Transaction

(1) Air Wick Ultra Freshmatic - $6
       Using  (1) -$4 off Air Wick Freshmatic Ultra starter kit Printable
(2) Lysol Neutra Air Kit - $12
       Using  (2) -$4 off Lysol Neutra Air Freshmatic starter kit, (sign in) Printable 
(1) Lysol Disinfectant Spray, 12.5 oz, $4
       Using (1) -$1 off Lysol Disinfecting spray, 12 oz +, (sign in) Printable
(1) 20 oz. Mountain Dew Throwback - $1.59
        Using (1) free drink or candy coupon that I had emailed to me for following CVS on Twitter (good for $2.00)

Printables Tip - Prints are usually tracked by IP address, however with forms like this they may also track with your email address, so to print more from a different computer and/or you may need multiple email addresses as well.

Total Before Coupons -  23.59
Total AFTER Coupons - 10.10 PLUS a $10 ECB back towards my next purchase
Total OOP .10

 Not too bad for a total CVS couponing noob.  There was one catch though - I had planned on using my CVS coupon valid for a FREE full-size Essence of Beauty Antibacterial Collection product that I had gotten in my email, but I couldn't find that product in the store.  The clerk didn't seem to know where it was either because he showed me to the wrong product.  I had a couple of days left before the coupon expired and I knew I was going past another CVS that evening so I figured I'd go in there and use it later.  All in all, it was a successful trip for me.