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My CVS Loot for this week

**If you're new to the CVS game this post won't make much sense to you. Go here first to read my Beginner's Guide to CVS and learn everything you need to know. Then read the rest of this post to see how I got $80 worth of stuff for free at CVS this week, and how you can too!

(sorry for the poor-quality pic this week, it's from my cell phone.)

This week wasn't very exciting. I only got to CVS once, today actually. And after leaving the house, I realized that I only had the Extra Bucks for my card with me, and had left the Extra Bucks for my husband's card at home, so I only got half of what I planned to come home with. But really, that's fine, because I really didn't need anything that I bought. The power toothbrushes are nice, but four are more than enough. :)

I scanned my card at the card reader tonight, and couldn't believe how many coupons printed! I scanned both cards three times each before it said I had reached my limit, and got 9 CRTs on each card. Two of them were for purchases I was planning today ($2 off Almay and $1 off CVS brand Suncare) so those made my deals moneymakers!

You can see my scenarios here. I did 3 transactions (I combined my first 2 planned transactions). I spent $32 in ECBs, and less than $1 oop, and earned $44 ECBS. Since I came away with $12 extra ECBs, I went and bought a pair of flip flops for my daughter like the ones I bought for myself last week, because she's been wanting to wear mine and they are too big for her.

*For more CVS Superstars, visit The "Cent"sible Sawyer.
*For great savings at CVS and other stores this week, visit Money Saving Mom.

Free Food and Drink Deals

Cold Stone Creamery is celebrating their 20th birthday today, June 20th from 4-8pm.
Visit your local Michigan Cold Stone Creamery for a FREE slice on Cold Stone Birthday Cake and FREE samples of their new Smoothies.

On Saturday, June 21st, from 3 - 4 pm, Caribou Coffee is giving away free 12oz Fruit & Tea drinks to celebrate to first day of summer!

On Thursday, June 26, bring in any gas receipt to Jack in the Box and get two FREE tacos!

Do It Yourself

Here's a post I thought was interesting. Hop on over to Simply Thrifty for a list of 100 things you can make yourself. From cheese to modeling clay to peanut butter, this list has a little bit of everything!


I have created a monster.

A couple of weeks ago, while my husband was out having a "guys night" with a couple of friends, I saw a bit on the news about "HyperMiling", an extreme way to save gas by implementing certain driving strategies, some of which are pretty dangerous.

Not long after Tim got back home, I asked him if he had ever heard of HyperMiling, and told him about the news article and some of the drastic measures people were taking to save a little money (not braking before turning right, taking corners at 50 mph?!). We got to talking and looked it up online, and agreed that it was a little extreme.

A few days later, he came home from work and said, "Sweetie, I have been HyperMiling like crazy, and I think I can make it till the end of the week on this eighth-of-a-tank that I have in the car now". (This was on a Tuesday, by the way.) My jaw dropped. I thought we had both agreed that it was crazy!

Well, he explained that he isn't taking it to the extreme, but that he looked it up online the next day at work and found a few tips that made sense, weren't dangerous, and could potentially make our gas go farther.

A few of the tips he's been implementing:
  • Shifting into neutral and "gliding" whenever possible, especially going down hills and when approaching stop signs/ lights.
  • We have a manual (stick shift), and he's been shifting up at 2000 RPMs.
  • Spending a little money to inflate our tires with nitrogen, as opposed to regular air. At the dealership my husband works at, this costs $3.75 per tire, but the savings over the course of the year are significant. To find out more, read his posts on the subject at his blog here and here.
Other gas saving tips:
  • Observe The Speed Limit - Each 5mph you drive over 60 costs you $0.20 per gallon for gas.
  • Remove Excess Weight - This affects smaller vehicles more than large vehicles but the general rule of thumb is every extra 100 pounds in your vehicle will cost you 2%. oAt $4/gallon it costs you $0.08 per gallon.
  • Avoid Excessive Idling - You get 0 mpg when you idle.
  • Use Cruise Control - It helps you maintain a constant speed and will save you gas.
  • Use Overdrive Gears - If you have an automatic transmission, make sure you use the overdrive gear.
  • Keep your Engine Tuned - Engines that are out of tune cost you 4% at the pump.
  • Check and Replace Air Filters - Replacing a clogged air filter can improve your gas mileage by 10%.
  • Keep Tires Properly Inflated - 1 psi drop costs you 0.4% and it can add up quickly.
  • Keep Your Oil Changed - Not only will it make you engine run loger but it'll save you at the pump.
So, I'm happy that my husband is saving us money on gas. However, I don't feel I was exaggerating when I said that I created a monster.

Example: Last night I went to CVS. The closest CVS is a half mile down the road. Before I left, Tim said, "Make sure you drive economically on the way there." I said, "Ok..." And he said, "No, really. Shift at 2000 RPMs, and when you turn out of the neighborhood, shift into neutral and coast down the hill till you're over the highway. You shouldn't have to hit the gas till after the light."

Oh. My. Goodness.

Free Fruit & Tea drink at Caribou Coffee on June 21

To celebrate to first day of summer, Caribou Coffee is giving away free 12oz Fruit & Tea drinks, Saturday, June 21st, from 3 - 4 pm.

*Not available through the drive thru. Not available in stores not open on Saturdays and the Duluth-Canal Park location.
No purchase necessary.

Free Clinique lipgloss and moisturizer at Dillards

Visit Dillard's during their Summer Coolers make-up workshops (June 12- 21) and present this printable coupon with your consultation to receive a free skin-typed travel size of Superdefense™ Triple Action Moisturizer SPF 25. Plus a trial size of Superbalm Moisturizing Gloss in your choice of Grapefruit or Ginger!

400 free prints and a free photo book from ArtsCow

Right now, ArtsCow is offering 400(!) free prints, plus a free 8x8 custom cover photo book, just for signing up!

Your 400 free prints include 200 4x6 prints and 200 5x7 prints.

Heads Up Monday! CVS deals for the next two weeks!

**If you're new to the CVS game this post won't make much sense to you. Go here first to read my Beginner's Guide to CVS and learn everything you need to know. Then read the rest of this post for tips on how to make the game work for you, too!

Here's a new feature I'm planning to implement every Monday in the future: alerting you 2 weeks in advance of deals that are upcoming at CVS. This will allow you to better plan your purchases now, and start getting your coupons together for the deals that are coming up!

Here's what I see for the week of 6/22:


SoyJoy bars:
$4 for 4 Soy Joy bars (earns $4 ECBs, limit 5)
-$1/4 Soy Joy printable (must register)

$2.99 Oral-B Stages toothbrush (earns $2 ECBs, limit 3)
$2.99 Oral-B Stages toothbrush (earns $2)
-$2.99, B1G1 Oral-B Stages Manual Toothbrush (from 6/1 P&G)
$1.01 profit after coupon and ECBs!


$2.99 Colgate Total (earns $2 ECBs)
-$1 Colgate Total printable

Flavored Water:
Sobe Life Water is B1G1 again, use B1G1 printable to get both free! (if your store allows this.)

Nearly free!

All Natures Bounty vitamins and supplements are B1G1, prices start at $4.99. Buy 2 at $4.99, use 2 $2 off printables, and get both bottles for $0.99!


$13.99 Pampers Mega Pack diapers (earns $3 ECBs)
-$2 coupons found in Pampers packs
-$2/2 from 6/1 P&G

Other Deals:

Glade air freshner spray (9oz) is on sale for $0.99. Use B1G1 coupon from 5/11 SS to get both for less than $1!


Here's what I see for the week of 6/29:

Money Maker!

$7.99 Physicians Formula Mineral Wear Mascara (earns $7.99 ECBs, limit 1)
-$1 Any Physicians Formula cosmetic product (from 6/1 SS)


Buy 2 Coppertone products, get $10 ECBs (limit 1)
The ad doesn't list any restrictions, so the Water Babies SPF 30 0.6oz Stick should work.
Buy 2 of these at $4.99 each and get back $10 ECBs!

$9.99 Accu Chek Compact Plus Diabetes Monitoring Kit (earns $9.99 ECBs, limit 1)

Nearly Free!

$6.99 Right Guard Professional Strength Anti-Perspirant Deodorant (earns $5 ECBs, limit 1)
-$1 Right Guard from 5/18 SS
$.99 after coupon and ECBs!

$1.99 Crest Baking Soda and peroxide, cavity or tartar (earns $1 ECB, limit 1)
$0.99 after ECBs!

$4.99 Maybelline The Colossal Volume Express Mascara (earns $2 ECBs, limit 5)
-$2 Maybelline Face Product from 4/27 RP
$0.99 after coupon and ECBs!

Hair Color:
$5.99 Clairol Natural Instincts (earns $1 ECB, limit 1)
-$4 Clairol Natural Instincts from 6/1 P&G
$0.99 after coupon and ECB!

Other Deals:

Pepsi 12 pk, 4/$12 (earns $3 ECBs)

Pepsi 2-liter, 5/$5

2 day Sale (Sunday and Monday only):

Gold Emblem Purified drinking water 24 pk for $2.99 ($3.99 after Monday)

Gold Emblem Purified nuts For $2.99 ($3.99 after Monday)

Cottonelle Bathroom tissue double or giant roll 12 pack for $4.99 ($5.99 after Monday)

(If you have them, you can use the $2/$10 or $3/$10 CVS Brand coupons on the above Gold Emblem items to bring the price down even lower!)


Finally! Here are my scenarios for this week, June 15 - 21

**If you're new to the CVS game this post won't make much sense to you. Go here first to read my Beginner's Guide to CVS and learn everything you need to know. Then read the rest of this post to see how I'm getting $80 worth of stuff for free at CVS this week, and you can too!

Well, all of our precious (said in a very Gollum-like voice) $3/$15 and $5/$15 coupons have expired. Lucky for me, one of my closest CVS stores takes expired CVS coupons. But what about the rest of you who aren't so fortunate??
Simple! Update your email address on your CVS online account, and voila! You'll receive you're very own $4/$20 CVS coupon, via email, to print and use to your heart's content. Now, this only works if you haven't updated your email in a while, otherwise people would be updating every week to get a new coupon. So I suggest only doing it in dire times, like these, when there are no other $/$$ coupons available.

Ok, now on to the scenarios! I made these scenarios around the $4/$20 update coupon, though I'll be using my expired $5/$15 for them.

Transaction 1:

$6.99 Almay One Coat Mascara (earns $5, limit 2)
$6.99 Alavert 12-15ct
$6.99 Alavert 12-15ct (earns $5, limit 1)

Total before coupons: $20.97

-$4/$20 update coupon
-$1 Almay (from 3/9 SS or 5/18 SS)
-$4 Alavert printable*
-$4 Alavert printable*

$7.97 after coupons, earns $10 ECBs


Transaction 2:

$7.99 Sally Hansen Nail Color Pen (earns $5, limit 5)
$5.99 Oral-B Cross Action Power Toothbrush (earns $3, limit 5)
$5.99 Oral-B Cross Action Power Toothbrush (earns $3)

Total before coupons: $19.97

-$4/$20 Update coupon
-$2 Sally Hansen* (from 3/30 SS)
-$5.99 B1G1 Oral-B Cross Action Power Toothbrush (from 6/15 SS)

$7.97 after coupons, earns $11


You can do above transaction twice if you have enough coupons!

Transaction 3:

$6.99 Almay One Coat Mascara (earns $5)
$7.99 Sally Hansen Nail Color Pen (earns $5)
$4.49 Tylenol 20-24ct (earns $2, limit 1)
$2.19 CVS Sunblock lotion SPF 30 2 oz

Total before coupons: $21.66

-$4/$20 Update coupon
-$1 Almay (from 3/9 SS or 5/18 SS)
-$2 Sally Hansen* (from 3/30 SS)
-$1 Tylenol printable (or from 4/6 SS or 5/4 RP)
-$2 off CVS Skincare printable

$11.66 after coupons, earns $12


This week's totals:

ECBs spent: $35.87
ECBs earned: $44.00
Spent OOP: $0, earn $8 ECBs!

A few pointers about this week's coupons:

:: You can print the Alavert coupon more than once if you fill in the form with different info in order to get a different barcode. I would keep your name the same but change everything else. It won't beep if you try to use coupons with the same barcode but the store won't get reimbursed for it. If that happens enough, stores choose not to accept internet printables anymore!

:: If you don't have enough (or any!) $2 off coupons for the Sally Hansen nail color, there is a $3/2 printable available here. You'll have to rework your deals a little bit, but you should still be able to get these free or more than free!

:: The Beauty Handbook printable coupons (Sally Hansen and the CVS Skincare) print HUGE at the default (100%) size, and will cut off part of the coupon. Reduce the print size to 50% before printing to correct this problem.


Just checking in...

This weekend has been pretty busy. In a few minutes, I'm off to the grocery store to get my weekly shopping done.

I haven't yet made my CVS scenarios for the week, but I'll try to have them posted by this evening. But for those of you running out today to do your CVSing, the best things I saw in the ad this week is the Alavert deal:
Alavert is on sale for $6.99, and earns $5 ECBs. Use the $4/1 Alavert printable here, and spend $1.99 after coupon, and get back $5 ECBs. Quite a money maker, especially considering the $3/$15 is now expired.

** EDIT** Thanks to Samantha for correcting me, you need to purchase 2 Alaverts to earn the $5 ECBs. Sorry! That's what comes of not taking the time to read the ad carefully! If you have a $4/$20 coupon (which you receive for updating your email address on your CVS account online, if you haven't done it recently) then this would still be a $1 moneymaker after coupon and ECBs.

Lets keep our fingers crossed for more $/$$ coupons soon!

I'm sorry I haven't posted my scenarios yet, we got in late this evening because we spent Father's day having family time. I'll work on it tomorrow! Hope you all had a nice Dad's day with your families!

Organizing Coupons

Lisa B emailed me last week asking this:

You seem very organized with your CVS scenarios and your coupon planning online. Are you that organized when it comes to organizing your coupons offline? How do you clip and save your coupons for later use?

I thought this sounded like good post fodder, so here's my answer:

I'm normally not nearly as organized as I'd like to be. For months, my coupons were stacked in a corner of my buffet counter waiting to be clipped and filed. And I never seemed to find time to do that, so they kept getting more behind, and piled higher, and it was nearly impossible to find a coupon when I needed it. So after much trial and error, I came up with the system I use now, and I'm loving it. It is so fast and easy to find what I'm looking for!

Here's what I do:

First, I write the date of the inserts on the front of each packet.

Then, using Post-it Flags (free at CVS a while back), I group together all of the Smart Source packets (I usually get 4 or 6 newspapers each week), and put a flag on the first and last pages of the group of packets, and label it SS.

I do the same with the Red Plum packets, labeling them RP.

I then put them in a file folder. The Post-it Flags allow me to quickly pull out ALL of the Smart Source packets or ALL or the Red Plum packets, without going through them first.

Then, I write the date on the folder. When I need to reuse this folder in the future (after these coupons are all used or expired), I'll just cross out this date and write the new date underneath.

I have two small coupon holders for coupons I pick up in places other than the newspaper, like at CVS, in the mail, blinkies at the supermarket, peelies, rebate forms, internet prints, or tear-off pads.
One is for items that I purchase at the drug store,

And the other is for grocery coupons.

The file folders and the little coupon filers all fit in this handy File Holder.

This system works well for me. It's small enough that I can take it with me if I need to, but large enough to hold everything. And the best thing about it is No More Clipping! I clip the coupons as I need them, and that frees up so much time for me.

How do you organize your coupons? Leave a comment below and let us know!