Monday, March 30, 2009

What $100 Can Buy at CVS

I was a little skeptical when I started to shop at CVS last summer. I had shopped CVS before and have had my card forever. Either I never understood the program or it changed. I used to buy some things, but don't ever remember getting ECBs. I would get coupons, but not ECBs (or I failed to recognize them as such). I thought the ECBs only printed quarterly and I never seemed to make it into the store during the window when the rewards printed.

Then, this past summer, I stumbled upon Money Saving Mom. She made it all sound so simple, so I decided I would give a few of the deals a try. My first few weeks, I was so nervous when I would go to check out that I would literally be shaking. I was convinced someone was going to stop me and say, you have it all wrong, you can't do that.

Since, I started this blog so that I could share my plans and deals, I figured that it was only appropriate to track my savings. I decided a while back that when I eventually got to $100 OOP, that I would have to summarize what I had gotten for my $100. Being an engineer, I built a spreadsheet to track my purchases, my savings and my OOP. What you see here is the summation of those details.

It took me ten months to do it, but I finally spent $100 OOP at CVS. The best part is that although my recorded out of pocket was $100, $25 was on a free gift card I received with a prescription I filled and I submitted and received $10.50 back in rebates, so my net cost was actually only $64.50. In spending $100, my total reported savings (vs regular CVS costs) equalled $1893. So, for a net $64.50 out of pocket, I received products valued at $1993, a savings of almost 97%.

To me, the savings are amazing, but not only did I save a lot, I saved it on mostly branded products and products that we use everyday. I bought a few extra things from time to time, but few and far between and I usually shared those with family and friends or donated them.

Here is what I got for $100 OOP at CVS:

22 12pk of soda
25 single serve drinks (20 - 32oz)
(@ sale prices of $3/12pk and $1/20oz, these first two items would have cost me $91 alone at the grocery!)
1 2L of soda
16 boxes of cereal
1 box of cereal bars
44 batteries (AA, 9V, C)
6 boxes of tissues
42 rolls of toilet paper
24 rolls of paper towels
5 bottles of cleaning products
6 bottles of dish soap
5 packs of diapers/pullups (some Jumbo, some Mega)
5 packs of wipes
33 bottles of shampoo/conditioner
4 bottles of hair stylers
26 deodorants
6 bars of soap
14 bottles of body wash
4 razors
20 bottles of pain killers/medicines
21 tubes of toothpaste
14 toothbrushes
7 bottles of mouthwash
6 facial cleansers/moisturizers
19 packages of makeup (foundation/lipstick/blush)
9 packages of fiber supplements/nutrition drinks (Benefiber and Boost)
3 packs of gum
8 snack size bags of nuts
42 candy bars (wow!)
43 bags of candy
8 bags of snacks
15 greeting cards
4 photobooks/discs
11 bottles of laundry detergent
6 bottles of vitamins
8 hand soaps
19 packages of feminine care products
6 packages of bandages/first aid items
2 tubes of sunscreen
13 SoyJoy bars
7 packages of pens/tape/index cards

and assorted other items including, Hand Sanitizer, 2 Chapstick, 2 Light Sticks, 2 pair of kids imitation crocs, FlaVorIce, 1000ct Bendy Straws, Cotton Swabs, Cotton Rounds, 2 pks ZipFizz energy drinks, Madagascar II, I-Pod Headphones, 3 Bath Poofs, 2 Nail Polishes, Room Fresheners, and Pocket Tissues.

Do you have a money saving experience to share? Leave a comment and let us know.


Together We Save said...

Yes I too was amazed when I stumbled upon the 11 moms in Oct and figured out the CVS system.

xo mommy said...

That is a ton of stuff! I am also an engineer and would LOVE to see your spreadsheet! I am just starting the CVS game and trying to track my expenses. Thanks!

Sarah Eliza @ devastateboredom said...

Sweeeeet! Very nicely done, I love that you kept track like that... it really puts it into perspective. :)

Julie said...

Very impressive..and organized!! Just found your's awesome. Julie

Nystral Djo said...

i do the cvs thing every week with my mom. i have a rule where i don't spend ANY money from my wallet. i have a special cvs coupon organizer where i keep my ecbs, coupons for that week's deals, store gift cards, or cash i've received from the few returns i've made. if i can't pay for it out of this organizer, i don't buy it. then i know i'm never really spending anything out of pocket (except for when i first started playing the cvs game and rolling over my ecbs / earning money for buying things with coupons last fall). here's a sample of my best cvs run to date:
enjoy! (love the spreadsheet idea) ;)