I’m a CVS loyalist.
I’ll go to Walgreens, if the deals are really, really good. But I definitely prefer CVS. And CVS is the only store I plan to shop IN on Black Friday.
If you’re already a CVS-devotee, I’m sure you are as excited as I am about their awesome Black Friday 2011 Ad. But even if you’ve never done the “CVS thing” before, Black Friday can actually be a great day to start. You certainly can’t go wrong with all the freebies and money-makers.
Regardless of what you decide to purchase, it helps to go in with confidence. Here are my top 10 tips for being confident at CVS so you can score the best Black Friday deals!
1. Go early. Black Friday sales at CVS start on Thursday, 11/24. Most CVS stores will be opening at their regular hours – by us, that means 8 a.m. The 24-hour stores will (probably) convert over to Black Friday prices at 12:01 a.m. If your store opens at 8, aim to get there no later than 9.
2. Ask for rain checks. If CVS is already out of an item you want, ask for a rain check. Not only will they give you the sale price, but they’ll also give you the ECB value.
3. Bring your calculator. When you are running multiple transactions with dozens of items, something always goes wrong. Bring your calculator – and a paper and pen – so you can be ready to switch things up on a moment’s notice.
4. Make a master list of everything you plan to buy, the coupons you will use, and the ECBs you will earn. Also map out the final out-of-pocket cost – and know which transactions you’ll need to use what ECBs on. It sounds complicated, but if you have it all written down ahead of time, your transactions will go much more smoothly.
5. Organize your coupons before you go. I like to clip/print all my coupons and then paper clip them together according to transaction. I keep all the coupons in an envelope, along with my master list (broken down by transactions).
6. Organize your cart as you shop. As I cruise through the store, I put everything into my cart, separated into piles according to transactions. That way when I’m ready to check out, I’m sure I’m not going to miss one critical $.99 item, without which my whole transaction will be thrown off.
7. Be considerate of your cashier and fellow shopper. When I head up to check-out, I make sure to kindly tell the cashier that I have multiple transactions. If there’s a line, I wait until it subsides to check my crazy coupon self out.
8. Eat something before you go. Otherwise, you will end up eating one (or three) of your free candy bars on the way home. And then you’ll feel gross all day. Not that I would know from personal experience.
9. Start small. Especially if you are new to deal shopping at CVS, it can seem overwhelming – so just pick a few items to get. You can even get them all in one transaction, but aim not to pay more than $10 out of pocket. For more information on getting started at CVS, read my How to Shop At CVS Tutorial.
10. Leave your kids at home. CVS shopping with active little ones can be challenging. (Or maybe it’s just my active little one? She seems to think CVS is her personal Disney World). If at possible, leave your little ones at home, while you go alone – or with a Black Friday buddy – to CVS.
Later this morning, I will share my game plan for what I’m going to buy, what coupons I’ll be using, and how much money I’ll be spending (or making). Suffice it to say: I’m pretty pumped!