Monday, January 5, 2009

Living Frugally through CVS and grocery coupons!

Ok, so one of the biggest "resolutions" I am making this year is to help my family live frugally in order to help make our financial future more secure, give more generously, and focus on what really matters. Plus, truth be told, I LOVE a good deal. In the past, this has gotten me in trouble because it meant I would buy things that I didn't need, just to get the deal. But in the past few months, I have learned more about "coupon-ing" (which totally is a verb) and especially focused on groceries and toiletries. CVS has become a huge part of my shopping experience, and I just can't say enough about their Extra Care program.

The program is a little overwhelming at first, but once you get it figured out, you wouldn't believe how much money you can save! I'm not going to explain the ins and outs of it here, because there are places all over the web, but I get most of my info from and (this lady is incredible- she feeds her family for $40 a week!). And click here for a particularly informative post about how to get started CVS-ing (there I go again!).

The basic concept (and this goes for all shopping) is to match coupons to sales, and in the case of CVS, matching coupons and spending Extra Bucks on items that earn you even more Extra Bucks so that you're barely spending any money at all (if any)! To do this you can't always buy stuff you want exactly when you want it... you have to stockpile some and plan ahead to wait to match coupons to sales. They say it takes twelve weeks to see a major difference in your grocery/toiletry bill, so I'm going to try to post every week for 12 weeks on my CVS finds, and see what it ends up looking like. This week is my first, and while I didn't get much stuff, I earned a lot of bucks to use later!

Last wee I made two trips, one during December and one during January. I didn't decide to do this whole blogging about it thing until later in the week, so I don't have my totals from the first trip. But I got some Pantene, Secret deodorant, Colgate and Tide Laundry detergent, earned $7 Extra Bucks and spent $.83 out of pocket. Here are the second trip's exact totals:

2 Children's Throat Coolers- Earn Extra Bucks plus I had a B1G1 free coupon

2 Glucerna Blood Sugar Control Shakes (6 pack)- Earn Extra Bucks plus I had two $10 off coupons (donating these to the food pantry through church)

1 Belfonte milk 16 oz. (no deal, we just needed some milk for coffee)

My total was $32.15

After coupons I owed $4.16

I spent $4 previously earned Extra Bucks

Leaving my grand total at $.16 out of pocket.

Seeing that I really only needed the milk, I felt pretty good about my purchase, even though the throat coolers and shakes weren't things I'd usually buy. However, through the transaction I earned some Extra Bucks (ok, that just got old to type, so from now on I'll call it ECBs) for next time. My total is:

$14.98 EBs earned today

$7.00 EBs left over from last week's trip

$1.00 EB earned from my Fall spending

For a TOTAL of $22.98 EBs to spend over the next month at CVS!

Follow along for my 12 weeks of shopping frugally. (Or, if you could care less about this stuff, skip over these posts!)

12 week total CVS spending so far: $.16

12 week total savings so far: $31.99

1 comment:

amosclarkson said...

Oooo....I will definitely be following your frugal updates. I need to do a better job with this, too. You are too good!!