My friend Catherine has been getting free, nearly free or, sometimes better-than-free (because they pay her to take it out of the store), items from CVS for a long time. I was always a little bit awed by this and a tad bit skeptical.
Nothing in life is free, right?
One day Catherine linked to Money Saving Mom’s "CVS 101" tutorial on exactly how to do this. I read about the details then I decided to try it one week. My first time doing this, I spent about an hour in the tiny CVS store reading and re-reading how to use the coupons I had printed off online and what exactly to buy. This last time it was a cinch and took hardly any time at all.
My first trip I got three Tylenols, two packs of eight AA Duracell batteries, two Revlon mascaras, and two Revlon long last eye shadows for about $20, plus I got $15 back in CVS’s “Extra Care Bucks” (ECBs) which work like cash in CVS stores.
My second trip I got two bags of Hershey Kisses (for holiday baking), five bottles of Palmolive dish soap, two Children's Dimetapp cough and cold medicines, AND two bottles of Garnier Nutritioniste facial cleanser (these were the “better than free” items).
I spent all of my ECBs ($15 worth) from the last trip plus $1.90 of my own money, AND I got $18 worth of ECBs for next time. So, CVS essentially paid me to take all of this stuff home.
The trick is to look for store sales, and stack coupons (manufacturer coupons and store coupons) on top of that, and to only buy stuff with a high rate of ECBs return.
My policy is to only “buy” stuff I will use and all of these items are things that I already use, except for the facial cleanser. But, hey, I’m willing to try it since CVS paid me to take it home.
As Catherine says, “It’s such a rush.” I felt like a kid at Christmas. Last night I told Kevin that even if I were a millionaire I’d still want to do this because it’s so much fun! I can’t wait for next week’s ads to come out so I can see what other types of free stuff I get.
I am a believer.