It’s been almost two months since I started playing The Drugstore Game, so I decided to do the math and see how much I’ve saved. That way, I’ll have a better idea if all of the effort is worth it.
As background, I used only my CVS purchases in my calculations, since I spend very little at Walgreens and I buy only items that are steeply discounted (usually with a weekly ad coupon) or free after rebate (usually with a manufacturer’s coupon, making them more than free, plus I get an extra 10% on the rebate by having the rebate credited to a Walgreens giftcard).
So in the last two months, I’ve spent $80 at CVS. This includes approximately $20 in makeup that I bought just for the bridal shower I attended about a month ago.
To compare what I would have spent if I hadn’t shopped at CVS, I went through my receipts and added up the cost of things I would have bought anyway: toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo, the makeup, tissue, etc. I used the price I would have paid for these items if they were on sale and/or if I had a coupon at stores like Target and Ralphs. My total was over $130, and I’m pretty sure that’s conservative.
So, the verdict is that I’ve saved at least $50 in less than two months by shopping at CVS. And, I’ve gotten many more items that I wouldn’t have bought at other stores. We are actually using some of these things, like razors, greeting cards, and deodorant. And there are quite a few things we’re donating or giving away, like over-the-counter medication and hair dye. It’s actually been a mental adjustment to learn to buy things I don’t need, simply because they are money makers (i.e., free after ECBs plus overage because of a coupon).
As I get more experienced and skilled at calculating the various deals for CVS, I expect to spend less and less out of pocket while buying more and more. I hope I will never have to pay for toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo and conditioner ever again.
The other thing to consider when calculating how much I’ve saved is that I’m now making significantly fewer trips to Target than I used to. I have good self-control at CVS because I know that without ECBs and sales, their prices are generally higher than other stores. But at Target, I will often temtped by things that are on clearance. So I’m sure my savings are actually a lot more than just $50 in two months!