Tuesday, May 13, 2008

CVS saga

This post is long. I warn you now. I am a woman who loves to tell a story with all the details. I often edit down my posts. Not tonight. This post describes a saga so I feel the need to share all elements of this story. I want you to feel the process. My kids are in bed, I have time to write. So sit back, relax, read on, and share the experience.

Last night was my first attempt to do the CVS shopping to get free money thing. Their ad this week had several things we needed (wanted) and so it was a good week to get oriented. I read online about the how to's of shopping at CVS and was utterly confused. For any of you who don't know that this is a science- IT IS. The super women online get $60 worth of merchandise for 25 cents, but how do they do it? I feared spending money and not getting the "deals" and having to break the news of my poor CVSing to my husband. Fortunately my friend Tina is a super shopper. She is the bargain queen and a CVS veteran. Naturally I sought out a tutorial. I took my ad, we perused it over dessert and went shopping - at 10pm. Possibly the idea of shopping at 10 pm should have given us pause, however we often are late night people on Monday nights, so we were not concerned. We entered the store. My ad was marked. My trip well planned. Tina had even provided additional coupons to boost my savings and make me feel even more triumphant. My first error was with the body wash. I missed the coupon in the dispenser. However, Tina kept me in check and sent me back for the coupon. I got the Hershey's chocolate (aka Tim's nightly fix) and loaded up. Toothpaste, dental floss, toothbrushes, baby soap, TP, AJAX, diet cokes, and mountain dew. Tina has guided me, my cart is overflowing, and its time to check out. I am checking out the items that give extra bucks first. That way I can use the bucks I earn to buy the other sale items- confusing, but shopping savvy- thanks to Tina. So they ring my bargains up. I pay and think I am ready for step two when thankfully Tina notices I didn't get all my "bucks". I got the $10 on $20 oral b stuff, but no bucks for the chocolate, no bucks for the toothpaste. We figure out the toothpaste is for a smaller size, now out of stock. The larger size is on sale, but no bucks. I return it- I am looking for real deals here- not just discounts, people. The not so friendly manager processes my return. Then we realize that because the chocolate is 99 cents and I counted them at $1 each I didn't get quite enough for that deal. So I buy more. However the register doesn't combine my purchases. The not so friendly manager comes up again. She can't manage to return the chocolate in order for me to buy it all again as a single purchase so she writes me a hand written "bucks" voucher. Now step two- my sale purchases. I am taking advantage of the 5 12 packs of coca cola products for $11 deal for our camping trip this weekend. I have picked up off the display 3 packs of diet coke and 2 packs of mountain dew. I pay for all of this and step away to tally my savings when I realize I didn't get the coke deal. Why? mountain dew is made by PEPSI!! (Yes, I know many of you know this, but I didn't-why were they on the same display???) We have now crossed over into the comical phase of this saga. Yes, I went back to the register and to the poor young man who can't believe that he has to get the manager AGAIN (who at this point is outside on her smoke break). She comes back and is noticeably happier. She says "I wondered why you were buying Mountain Dew". DUH!! Why didn't you say something?????? Anyway, they return $19.75 worth of cokes and I buy the correct assortment for $11. At this point it is 11:17 pm. I began checking out at 10:49 pm. Count the minutes, do the math, feel my pain. Tina promises it is not always like this, but we are both exhausted. She has to be up to leave for vacation at 6 am. We didn't need the saga. It was supposed to be a quick trip. I still had to go to Walmart for groceries! The bottom line: I saved money. I got $19 in "bucks". I used it to buy sale items we actually need. In the end it boils down to 10 1lb Hershey bars and 16 rolls of TP for free. I learned a lot. I learned Tina is a true friend who deserves a vacation. I think I will do better next time. I will read the fine print and know ahead of time exactly how many "bucks" I should get. I'll do my math in advance. I also learned that you can get great customer service at Walmart if you do your shopping from 11:30pm-1am.

No comments: