Sneak preview – ideas for CVS week of 8/3

If you know me very well, you know that I’ve become very fond of CVS. If you’re not familiar with their Extra Care Bucks program, you earn Extra Care Bucks (ECB for short) which basically acts like cash to be used on your next purchase when you purchase specific items. You need and Extra Care card (it fits on your key ring just like the grocery store frequent shopper cards). You can request one online at or you can sign up in the store.

The Extra Care Bucks print off on the bottom of your receipt (along with coupons that can be used in the store). For a long time, we didn’t realize what they were and would just throw our receipts away! I haven’t spent any “real” money at CVS in a long time because I’ve been using my ECBs (about $100 worth) over and over again since December.

There are weekly deals (listed in the weekly ad) as well as monthly deals. Here are some “deals” that you can take advantage of during this upcoming week:

*Crest toothpaste (a variety of flavors) or Oral B toothbrushes – they will be $2.49 and you will get an ECB for $1.50. There will be $1 off coupons for the toothbrushes in Sunday’s paper and $.50-.75 off coupons for the toothpaste in Sunday’s paper. You can do this up to 5 times.

*Colgate toothpaste (MaxFresh, which we have grown to love, or Total Advanced) – it will be on sale for $2.99 and you earn a $2 ECB for each one you purchase. You can do this deal twice. There were $1 off coupons for the Total Advanced in last week’s paper and there are printable coupons here for $1.50 off:

*Children’s Advil – this is a monthly deal. It is on sale for $5.79 and you earn a $5.79 ECB (so it’s “free” after the ECB). You can do this deal twice. There is a printable coupon for $1/1 here:

*Venus Embrace, Vibrance, Breeze or Fusion razor – it will be on sale for 9.99 and you will earn 3.00 ECB. There will be a $2 off coupon for the Embrace/Vibrance/Breeze and a $4 off coupon for the Fusion in Sunday’s paper.
(This isn’t the greatest deal, but if you need a razor and you’re getting started, it’s not a bad deal. The Fusion is obviously a better deal than the Embrace/Vibrance/Breeze…the Fusion is Jason’s favorite razor)
An added tip – usually when these razors are on sale, there are gift packs with a travel size shave gel and moisturizer that also ring up at the sale price. Scan them at the scanner first, but if they ring up at $9.99, they are part of the deal and you will get the ECBs. I always get these when I do these deals so I get free shave gel, too!

*Pantene – it will be on sale 3/$10 and you earn a $2 ECB when you buy 3. There will be coupons for $1/2 in Sunday’s paper. Again, not the greatest deal, but if you need shampoo and like Pantene, it would be like getting it 3/$7.

*CoverGirl make up will buy one, get one free for foundation, powder, blush, and concealer. There will be a coupon for a free face product when you buy foundation in Sunday’s paper, so if you get a foundation and a face product (powder, blush, foundation, concealer, etc.) and use this coupon, everything will be FREE!
If you’re going to do this deal, make sure you buy two products that are comparable in price. The cheapest one always comes off as a part of the store’s “BOGO” deal and then when they deduct the “free” for the coupon, they will always take of the less expensive one, too, so you end up paying the difference.

If you are not wanting to spend very much out of pocket to start earning ExtraCare Bucks, you can transfer a prescription and get a free gift card. They have a coupon in this week’s ad for a $30 gift card when you do this. They will also honor competitor’s coupons (Kroger/Walgreens/Target).

Getting started….

Jason thinks my couponing is an obsession. I prefer to think of it as a hobby! I started this blog because I get so excited about my deals, but I don’t want to be constantly bombarded friends and family who might not be interested. I also don’t want to clutter my family blog with coupon deals. I figured this would be a way to share the deals I’m getting with those who are interested.

I started getting into coupons around the time that Emily (who is now 4) was born. I never realized how expensive a baby could be! I wasn’t a hard core couponer at that point. By the time Jacob came along, I really started getting into coupons and realized that having a baby doesn’t have to be expensive at all. I am currently still using diapers that I stockpiled last summer and probably have enough to last another year, at least, at which point I hope we can start potty training. I’ve paid little, if anything, for those diapers and wipes. I also have an extensive supply of every health and beauty item you can imagine (razors, shampoo, body wash, shave gel, over the counter medicines, toothpaste, toothbrushes, mouthwash, handsoap, toilet paper, paper towels, etc). It spans well beyond a year’s supply so I end up giving away lots of items to family and friends, donating to charity, and selling off the rest of the excess whenever we have a garage sale. I have paid little, if anything, for these items. Our family of four (plus one dog) survives on a grocery budget of $200/month. I budget an additional $125 for “miscellaneous” (which includes things like paper goods, as well as extras like ice cream, and things like haircuts, oil changes, household cleaners, etc.) I am able to do this because I pretty much only buy things when they are on sale. If there is a good deal on something, I buy large amounts and store it, so I don’t have to buy it until it goes on sale again. I also mix and match coupons to get the most for my money. Since I started using coupons seriously, I decided not to renew our Sam’s/Costco memberships. We no longer use them because they don’t take coupons and I couldn’t justify spending the yearly fee when I can get most of the things that I bought there elsewhere for free or close to free using coupons.

My disclaimer here is that I am not the original mastermind behind most of these deals. They can be found readily online through the links that are posted on the right side. I know, though, that it’s hard sometimes, especially when you are first getting started with coupons, to wrap your mind around some of these things and so my hope is that I can break some things down to give you ideas about how you can do different deals. Please feel free to post comments and ask questions, too!

Where to find coupons?

People often ask me where to find coupons. There are plenty of places to find them and before you know it, they will be taking over your house, car, and purse! 🙂 Here are a few places where I get coupons from:
(If there is a deal coming up on something we use, I stock up on multiple coupons.)

  • Sunday inserts in the newspaper (we were able to get a subscription for a year for $40, which was well worth it for me)
  • Online :

Some of my favorite sites to print coupons from are,,, and

You can also find printable coupons on many manufacturer’s websites. On, they have a coupon database where you can search for various products and it will tell you what coupons are available for different products and where you can find them.

  • In the “blinkie” machines that they have in stores
  • On the packaging of the actual products. Some products have a “peelie” coupon on the outside that can be peeled off and used toward that purchase. Many products also have coupons on the box or inside the box.
  • On eBay – Some of my favorite “sellers” are kalamazooclipper, lisajanet81, dans-katys-coupons, and forever_johnson
  • Through coupon clipping services – I have been using these more lately because the shipping & handling from many eBay sellers has become outrageous or it’s just too difficult to win the auctions for coupons on eBay. The services I have used are:
    The Coupon Clippers: and Coupons & Things by Dede: The Coupon Clippers is based in Florida and Coupons & Things by Dede is based in Texas (so if you’re in Texas, shipping is super fast, but you have to pay sales tax)


  • Some stores will allow you to use a manufacturer’s coupon and a store coupon together to purchase a product. Some examples of stores that do this are: Walgreen’s (you can use store coupons from the “Easysaver catalogs” they have in the store or from their weekly ads combined with manufacturer’s coupons), Target (you can print out coupons from their website and they also send store specific coupons in the mail that can be used with manufacturer’s coupons), and CVS (they e-mail or mail you store coupons and there are also CRT store coupons that print on your receipt). Kroger also sends store coupons in the mail and Randalls sometimes has store coupons in their weekly ads.
  • BOGO coupons – This stands for “buy one, get one free.” when you are using a BOGO coupon, this counts for two items, so you cannot use a $ off and a BOGO coupon together. If a store is advertising a BOGO sale and you have a BOGO coupon, you can use these together to get the item for FREE.
  • BOGO sales and coupons – If a store is having a BOGO free sale and you have two $ off coupons, you can use a $ off coupon for each item, which lowers your out of pocket spending (for example, if the store has laundry detergent on sale BOGO free with a sale price of $4.99 and you have two $1 off coupons, you can sometimes use both and so you’d get both bottles of detergent for $2.99 after coupons). Whether or not this works depends on how the store rings up the “free” item. I have not been able to do this at Walgreens, but I have been able to do it at Kroger and CVS.
  • Overage – some stores will give you “overage” on coupons (for example, if an item is .89 and the coupon is for $1, it will ring up as $1 and the .11 extra will go toward the rest of your total). Other stores will adjust the price of the coupon down to the sale price of an item. Target and Walmart typically give overage. At Kroger, it just depends on the cashier.
  • Doubling and tripling coupons. In some areas, stores will double and triple coupons to a certain dollar amount. In my area, the stores that do this are Kroger and Randalls. Kroger will triple coupons to .39 face value and double coupons up to .50 face value. They will do this with up to three “like” coupons. Randalls will also triple coupons to .39 face value and double up to .50 face value, but they will only do this for one “like” coupon. These coupons are great when these stores have 10/$10 sales because you can get many things for free!

What about the Grocery Game?

When I am checking out, I often have cashiers ask me if I do “The Grocery Game.” Although I have heard of this, I have never tried it, so I can’t give you a lot of feedback on that, but my philosophy is that most of the deals that they advertise there are readily available online for free and I don’t want to pay for something I can get for free. On, they typically break down the deals (including listing coupon match ups) for the weekly sale ads for a variety of stores, and they are usually posted in advance so you can plan ahead and get the coupons you need.

From what I have heard, is similar to The Grocery Game, but it is a free service. I have checked it out a few times, but I have noticed that there are often coupons available (printables from websites, etc.) that are not listed there.

Isn’t it cheaper to just buy store brand stuff?

I used to think this, too, but since I have started using coupons, I have found that in most cases, you can get name brand stuff for much cheaper than you can get store brand stuff. (For example, the shelf in my laundry room is full of bottles of Tide that I got for free or close to it…I never used Tide before I started using coupons because I thought it was too expensive). One of the main exceptions for me is canned soups (mainly cream soups that I use for cooking). That is one of the few things that I usually find cheapest by buying store brand because coupons don’t come out for the Campbell’s cream soups very often.

About me

I’m an “educator” by day and a mommy, bargain hunter, chef, financial manager, and maid, among other things, in between!

I am a mother of two sweet kids and I’ve been married to my husband for almost ten years now. After my first child was born almost eight years ago, I quickly learned that having a baby changes everything and I started playing the coupon game to help cut our expenses.  I learned the ropes about “extreme couponing” about three years ago and started this blog as a way to help my friends and family save money, too.  I guess you could say that couponing has become a bit of a “hobby” for  me, although my husband refers to it as an “obsession.”  I will admit that being able to get things for free or close to free is definitely addicting!

When I’m not working, chasing after my kids, or couponing, I also love reading a good book!

Our motto around here is “Where Every Penny Counts” and my goal is to help you spend less on the things that you want and need!


If you have a question or would like to contact me, you can e-mail me at:

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