One of my favorite ways to keep our food and household budget to a minimum is by shopping at CVS. When I first started learning about the magic of CVS shopping, I was dubious. The CVS that I knew was way overpriced. The only things I’d ever buy there were prescriptions and sunscreen. I couldn’t imagine that people were really getting these amazing bargains there.
But after learning more about the “drugstore game,” I decided to give it a try. Armed with an OCD-style list, a calculator and a fistful of coupons, I walked into CVS. Twenty minutes later, I walked out with $25 worth of goodies for less than $8. I was hooked!
There is a whole science to shopping at CVS, involving sale prices, coupons and Extra Care Bucks (ECBs), but I won’t get into all of that here. There are plenty of great tutorials at other coupon blogs (here’s the one I used to get started), but today I wanted to show you what you can score when CVS drops the price to 90% clearance. Load up your cart with nearly free merchandise and walk out a winner – no coupons, no fuss.
I got everything pictured above for $1.07. One dollar and seven cents. Crazy, right? I still can’t quite believe it and I’ve been doing this for two years now.
Admittedly, I had $10 in ECBs (like CVS-cash) that were going to expire, and normally I’d ‘roll’ those ECBs onto deals with other ECBs. But there wasn’t much I wanted in this week’s circular, so I figured I’d just get a few packages of toilet paper. Instead, I stumbled upon this awesome display of 90% off baby and kid clearance!
For less than half the cost of a gallon of milk, I got the following:
- 2 vinyl tablecloths
- 3 boxes of CVS sheer bandaids
- 1 insulated, BPA-free straw sippy cup
- 2 BPA-free Munchkin snack take-along containers
- 1 package of size 4 CVS disposable diapers
- 2 packages of Lansinoh Soothies (these are awesome for those early breastfeeding days)
- 2 4-packs of CVS-brand children’s toothbrushes
- 1 1st Years baby thermometer (we can never have too many thermometers, as they always seem to be lost when we need them the most)
- 1 4-pack AA Duracell batteries (I earned $1 in ECBs for this purchase)
- 6 Sobe Lifewaters (I still haven’t been able to confirm that these are kosher – I read that they are, but now I’m not sure. They were free with coupons, so I picked them up and will donate them to a non-kosher food pantry if I find out they aren’t kosher.)
The before-sale price on all these goodies was $105. I spent $1.07. What is that? Like a 99% savings rate?
While none of this is stuff that we need right.now, today’s haul illustrates one of the secrets to bargain grocery shopping: Buy ahead, when the prices are dirt cheap, so you don’t ever have to pay full price when you’re out of bandaids. By saving 80% or more on the “household items” category of my $500 – $600 monthly grocery budget, I free up lots of dollars to dedicate to the more expensive items on my list, such as free-range kosher beef and chalav yisrael shredded mozzarella.
So, what do you think? Do you want to jumpstart your baby/kid supply stockpile for next to nothing? I’d recommend heading on over to CVS today. Your mileage may vary in terms of prices and availability, but with 90% clearance, it’s definitely worth a look. Let me know what you find!