My favorite Thanksgiving tradition has returned!
CVS offers a loyalty program awards called “ExtraBucks (EB).” If you make purchases of certain products, they will give you a rebate in the form of a coupon.
Every year, CVS runs a Black Friday promotion in which it offers a certain number of products for free*. Buy the product and they will give you back EB equaling exactly what you spent for the item, i.e., if you buy the promoted item for $1, they’ll give you a dollar back in CVS currency. Then, you use that coupon to buy another “free” product for $1, etc. So part of my holiday “fun” is to see how many items you can get for as little money out of pocket (OOP) as possible. Sure, there are a number of items that are “almost free,” but what’s the challenge in that?
This year’s special is the worst that I have ever seen, but it still has some useful items that you can get for free. Remember, if you don’t want it, you probably have a friend or charity that does.
2018 Freebies (ExtraBucks)
I’ve seen better. Haven’t seen much worse. The trick to getting as much loot as possible for as little money is possible is to have a total value of goods that is an easily divisible number. This year’s total is $13.79, which means that there is going to be some dead money somewhere.* Fear not, you’re still getting a good deal.
There are a number of ways to break down the deals, but I’m going to use a target price of $4.08, which means that I want to look for deals that are as close in price to that number without going over. I do it based on whatever the first combination is. Here’s how to order your purchases:
- Buy the Ibuprofen ($3.19) and Just The Basics Bathroom Tissue ($.89). Total=4.08
- Buy the pantiliners ($.99), baby wipes ($.99) and razors (1.99). Total=$3.96. The dead money is $.12 ($4.08-3.96).
- Buy the Orbit/Wrigley’s gum ($.99), Green Giant ($1.89) and Just The Basics paper towels ($.99). Total=$3.87. The dead money is $.09 ($3.96-$3.87).
- Use the $1.89 EB coupon from the Green Giant to buy the Charcoal facial masks. Total=$1.87. The dead money is $.02 ($1.89-$1.87).
You should now have three EB coupons left. Two are for $.99 each (the gum and the paper towels) and one for $1.87 (the facial masks), meaning that you have $3.85 to use in the future at CVS. Your total out of pocket expense (the dead money) is $.23.
There’s Still One Left!
Now, go back to the cover page. If your circular is similar to mine, there is an offer for Colgate toothpaste in the top left hand corner. It normally costs $3.50 but, if you scan your CVS card, they’ll give you a $3.00 instant coupon to combine with a $.50 manufacturer’s coupon in the app. That’s another $3.50 for free, giving you a grand total of $17.29.
Have a great Thanksgiving!
*”Dead Money” is the amount you lose when the product you are buying is less than the coupon value. For example, if you have a $1 coupon and use it to buy an item for $.99, the EB rebate will be a coupon for only $.99. Your dead money is $.01.
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