Sunday, February 19, 2012

CVS, Clearly Very Stressful

Back in the fall, I rewarded myself for all my money saving hard work by purchasing a Living Social deal for a massage and facial at a new spa in Durham. The plan was a girls day with one of my besties.

I've visited other spas for manicures and pedicures, but before this deal, I'd never sprung for the longer, more expensive services. For two and a half hours at the spa and then the during the leisurely outdoor lunch that followed, enjoying the beautiful pseudo spring NC weather, I was in mommy heaven. The memories of middle of the night wake up calls faded (seriously, when will this child start sleeping through the night again???). The knots in my neck and back, from lugging baby around, melted away.          

Well...there's nothing like a couponing trip to CVS to undo a day's worth of relaxation.

Everything about this CVS trip worked out as planned...eventually. It just seems that every single visit winds up a bit more difficult than necessary.

I walked into the store, armed with every kind of coupon imaginable - $10 in Extra Bucks, manufacturer coupons, coupons from CVS for free items, and CVS coupons for both $4 off a $20 purchase and $3 off a $15 purchase. I also had my $20 CVS voucher, purchased during the blink and you'll miss it Living Social sale that happened earlier this week. Told you, I was armed and ready.

After checking out the weekly store ad, I knew that I wanted to buy diapers, wipes, and boxes of Kleenex. If I spent at least $30 (before coupons) on these items, I would earn a $10 CVS gift card. To maxamize my savings, I wanted to be sure to use both of my dollars off CVS coupons, but the store only allows one dollar off coupon per transaction. What this meant, was I needed to break my items into two transactions - one of at least $20 before coupons and one at least $15 before coupons.

Two transactions, a few missed coupons (not by me), an unnecessary cash refund, and a system override later (tension slowly creeping in...), here's how it went down.

Transaction 1:
Huggies Diapers - 96 count  $19.99 - counts toward gift card promo (UGG, $0.01 shy!) 
Nivea Creme - $0.99
Coke - $1.69   (request from the hubs)
Subtotal = $22.67 (enough to use the $4 off $20 coupon)
- $2 Huggies manufacturer coupon

- CVS coupon for FREE product (sent in e-mail this week)
- $4 off $20 purchase coupon
- $10 extra bucks
- $7.91 from CVS Living Social Voucher
Total after discounts and tax = $0.00

Transaction 2:
4 boxes of Kleenex - $5.34 - counts toward gift card promo
1 Huggies Baby Wipes 216 ct - $5.99 - counts toward gift card promo 
1 CVS Face Lotion - $5.79 (all out at home)
Subtotal = $17.12
- $0.50 Huggies Wipes manufacturer coupon
- $0.50 off three Kleenex manufacturer coupon
- $3 off $15 purchase CVS coupon
- $12.09 from CVS Living Social Voucher
Total after coupons and tax = $1.98
Earned $10 CVS gift card

So...when all is said in done, for $11.98, which is counting the $10 spent on the Living Social Voucher, I purchased over $50 worth of products and walked away with $10 (gift card) still in hand. Whether the deals were worth undoing a morning's worth of relaxation, is definitely debatable.

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