Multiple Transactions for Maximum Savings

For the last three years, I’ve been couponing on and off, saving a few dollars here and there, but never really building a stockpile the way my favorite coupon blogs always seem to. As a single person, I’ve never been very good at figuring out how much of any given product I need to last the sale cycle. I went a little nuts with Pantene deals in the summer of 2011, and I still haven’t used all the shampoo and conditioner I bought. I usually end up running out of something and then looking for a deal at one of the three drug stores or Target. Saving 20% is nothing to sneeze at in my opinion, but I’m always jealous of those shoppers who can save 60-70%.

Last weekend, I decided to take a look at what Southern Savers had for deals with CVS. They had sent me a coupon for 25% off everything, and I didn’t want it to go to waste. I like shopping on the weekends because I can take advantage of two weeks’ worth of sales in two days.

6.21.14 HaulOn Saturday, I decided to stock up on face sunscreen (in advance of the July 4th weekend), body wash and hand soap. I used coupons for each of them plus the 25% off coupon from CVS. I knew it would be the most out-of-pocket I’d spend over the weekend, but the CVS ExtraCare Bucks (ECBs) would be worth it.

Total Value: $41.65
Coupon / Store Savings: $17.11
Total Spent: $24.54
Percent Saved: 41%

ECBs Earned: $11

On Sunday, I decided to split up my shopping list into three transactions. I’ve never been one to monopolize a cashier’s time to do multiple transaction in a single visit, but I realized that I could maximize my savings if I took the high value ECBs and rolled them into the next transaction. As I ran my errands that day, I visited three different CVS stores, each time rolling my savings.

6.22.14 OneThe first stop was to take advantage of a great razor/shave gel deal. Additionally, I have gotten a coupon from Carefree in the mail for a free box of their pads. It’s not my brand, but I rarely turn down a free product. Plus, Carefree was part of the Skintimate/Schick ECB deal I was working on, so it was the perfect time to use that coupon.

Total Value: $26.36
Coupon / Store Savings: $11.99
ECBs Used: $11.00
Total Spent: $3.37
Percent Saved: 87%

ECBs Earned: $10.00

6.22.14 TwoI had been clipping the numerous sunscreen coupons I found for the last month, knowing that a good sunscreen deal was on the horizon. Coppertone was on sale and had an ExtraCare Buck deal attached as well. Living in San Francisco, I don’t use sunscreen a lot, but it’s always good to have on hand for those rare sunny days.

Total Value: $22.48
Coupon / Store Savings: $9.00
ECBs Used: $10.00
Total Spent: $3.48
Percent Saved: 85%

ECBs Earned: $7.00

6.22.14 ThreeMy last transaction of the day took advantage of sales due to the Gas Card Deal that CVS likes to run in the summer. I’ve never spent the $50 required, but items on sale is items on sale. I realized I also needed to get more dish soap, but I didn’t have a coupon for it. Even still, I spent a minimum amount, thanks to my previous planning.

Total Value: $20.73
Store / Coupon Savings: $11.66
ECBs Used: $7.00
Total Spent: $2.07
Percent Saved: 90%

6.21.14-6.22.14 HaulTotal Value: $111.22
Coupon / Store Savings: $49.76
ECBs Used: $28.00
Total Spent: $33.46
Percent Saved: 69.92%

So in four transactions over two days, I got over $100 worth of products and only spent about $30, saving about 70%. These results aren’t typical, but I had to brag to show it IS possible to get those big savings while still buying for just one person and only get things you really need.