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  • How I play The Drugstore Game: CVS example

    As I mentioned yesterday, CVS is having a fabulous sale today and tomorrow with lots of free after ECB items. I started off with quite a few ECBs from Thanksgiving week, and I was able to roll them into even more ECBs than I started with.

    Before I lay out my transaction, I want to note for anyone who might be starting out in The Drugstore Game that it’s just an illustration of how I made money (so to speak). Your own transaction should depend on what coupons you have and what you need. I’ll explain after I tell you what I bought:

    1 Listerine 500 ml @$2.99
    1 Zantac 150 8-count @$4.99
    1 Halls Naturals @$2.59
    1 Excedrin Express Gels 20-count @$3.99
    1 EAS Advantage bar @$1.69
    2 Crest Pro Health toothpaste 4.2 oz @$2.99 each
    2 Arm & Hammer Essentials Starter Kit @$2.99 each
    2 L’Oreal HIP Duo Eyeshadow @$6.99 each
    1 Benefiber Drink Mix @$7.29
    Total before coupons: $52.61

    Coupons & ECBs used: $1 off Listerine from CVS diabetes booklet (available at pharmacy; mine is actually in Spanish, LOL); $1 off Zantac from 11/09 SmartSource; $2 off Excedrin (printable); 2 $1 off Crest from 11/30 P&G insert; 2 $1 Arm & Hammer from 12/14 SmartSource insert; $2 off L’Oreal cosmetics from 10/5 RedPlum insert; $1 off L’Oreal cosmetics from 11/2 RedPlum insert; $2 off Benefiber from 9/21 SmartSource insert; $17.98, $9, $5 and $4 ECBs

    Total after coupons & ECBs: 79 cents

    I received $47.60 in ECBs, as follows: $2.99 Listerine; $7.29 Benefiber; $2.69 Halls; $3.99 Excedrin; $4 Crest; $1.69 EAS; $4.99 Zantac; $13.98 L’Oreal; $5.98 Arm & Hammer, for a total profit of $10.83.

    My favorite store was out of the Thermacare Heat Wraps that are free after ECB. Those are a limit of 5, and I had three coupons, so I lost out on $3 profit there. But I probably won’t make an extra trip to pick those up since I don’t need them.

    And speaking of needs, my transaction is a good example of combining things I do need with things I don’t need for maximum profit. The only thing I bought that I would have made a special trip for was Listerine, since that’s pretty hard to get for free. And we’ll use the Halls, Excedrin, and Crest. I bought all of the other items solely because of the profit I made off them, because I had coupons for them. And they definitely won’t go to waste. I’ll give them to friends or donate them to the local food pantry, which takes non-food items as well.

    Even if I hadn’t had coupons for some of the profitable items, I might have bought them anyway if I needed to “roll” my ECBs to make sure they didn’t expire before I used them. So that’s always an option to keep in mind when you’re playing The Drugstore Game at CVS.

    Do you have any Drugstore Game tips to share?


    1. Here's my tip:

      Always have a few coupons for cheap items with you in case you need to push your total up to reach the $$/$$$ coupons. I find that Johnson & Johnson Buddies Soaps and Malt'O Meal Cereal work the best.

    2. I don’t like Listerine but I bought it and gave it to a friend who likes it. I needed to roll my ECBs, otherwise I would have just walked straight past the Listerine. 🙂