Why You Should Love CVS as Much as I Do!

Even though I slept through Black Friday, I didn’t miss the sales at CVS all week long! There were 2 separate ads for CVS last week – one from Sunday through Wednesday and another from Thursday through Saturday. Both had great deals and lots of free stuff, although the 1st half of the week was much better!

On Sunday, I ventured out to a few different CVS stores (I know…but I don’t like to do multiple transactions in one because I feel bad for the people waiting) and came home with all of this:

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I paid $1.70 for everything there, and that’s only because I brought the wrong coupon for the Advil or it would have been just 70 cents total! There were actually several more things that would have been free, but I only bought (er, stole for free?!) the things that I needed or really would use.

I went back again on Saturday and got some headphones for free. I also got two candy bars, but I probably don’t need to explain why those are missing from the photo.

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Again, there were a few more things for free in this ad also, but I didn’t really NEED any of them and the one store I went to was out of the batteries and toothbrushes, so I didn’t get those either. If I weren’t so lazy, I could have grabbed them at a different CVS, but I was pretty satisfied with my haul.

I can never stress enough how CVS is my absolute favorite store to shop at. The cashiers are always friendly and knowledgeable, the items always scan correctly, and most of the items are always in stock (with the exception of Black Friday). It’s just so easy to get things for free or cheap there! Definitely sign up for their ExtraCare card if you don’t already have one and start earning those ECBs!

CVS Sparkly Pink Friday Ad!!

I have been waiting about 350something days for this one moment. It was the highlight of my life last year and I’ve been so excited to see if 2012 was going to measure up. Good news – it does!!

The CVS Black Friday ad was released today!!!!! There is a twist this year, however. While there are a number of FREE items in this ad (which is effective from 11/22 – 11/24), the best deals by far are actually in the ad that starts this Sunday!! For that reason, and also the fact that Black Friday sounds so…dark, I have decided to refer to this as the CVS Sparkly Pink Friday ad. Way better, right?

I haven’t been able to find a better ad scan of this Sunday’s flier, but there is one here at iheartcvs.com and honestly, I am too distracted by the pages of free things to spend too much time noticing the poor quality images. Scroll down to the 2nd and 3rd pages. Go ahead, I will wait.

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Ahhhh!! I know!! Every single thing on those pages is FREE! Well, actually I should clarify here that all of these items are free after ECBs. What this means is you should have some ECBs saved now to use towards these items. It’s ok if you don’t though, you will just have to pay a little bit out of pocket first to get some, but then you can just keep rolling them over into free stuff!

So, for example, you can go into CVS on Sunday and pay $0.99 for a box of Kraft Mac & Cheese and $1.00 for Carmex chapstick. If you don’t have ECBs, you would have to pay $1.99 (plus tax) out of pocket, but you will get $1.99 back in ECBs. Then you can use these ECBs on your next transaction to pay for a box of Kleenex and roll of Sparkle paper towels (both $1). You won’t spend any of your own money and you will get $2 back in ECBs to keep going!

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It sounds like a lot of work/transactions for those of you that don’t have ECBs to start you off, but honestly, this is the BEST time to start because you will build those ECBs so quickly! And it is SO worth it to come home with bags full of free things that you will use all year long!

Make sure to save some ECBs from your trips on Sunday through Wednesday to put towards the items from the “Black Friday” ad that will go on sale starting on Thursday!

To summarize:

  • Get 8 gazillion (yes, I do math for a living) things FREE with ECBs this Sunday!
  • Get 2 gazillion more FREE on Friday (or Thursday if your store is open!)
  • Let the crazy people spend their day at the mall, while us completely un-crazy people stock up at CVS on Sparkly Pink Friday!

If I have completely overwhelmed you, or if you want even MORE info on how to work these deals, contact me!

I Have a Secret!

You might already know it, but I like to be annoying and pretend I know something that you don’t. What’s even more annoying is when people say that and then refuse to tell you the secret. I’d rather not even know that you have one because now I’m going to obsess about it and try to figure it out. So much so that when you finally tell me I’m probably going to be like “that’s it…?” I’m not going to do that to you though. I’m going to tell you my not-so-secret secret right now.

Did you know that when you print coupons from the internet you can usually trick it into printing twice?!

I’m serious. Try it right now! Go to coupons.com and find one you want to print. Any one. Let it print out and then you should see this screen:

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Once you see that, hit the “backspace” key on your keyboard. It should automatically refresh the page and reprint the coupon!!

Unfortunately you can only do this once, but it’s an easy way to get multiples without having to use more than one computer!

Ok, now it’s your turn to tell me a secret.

How I Spent My Lunch Hour

There are some good deals at both CVS and Walgreens this week and I wanted to take advantage of both of them, so here is what I did:

Went to Walgreens #1 and bought these two items:

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I am a GIANT lip balm snob and Carmex is the only brand that I really like. It’s the only one that is waxy enough that I don’t have to reapply it every 20 minutes, but it’s not sticky or weird-tasting. I have at least one in every room, every purse, and at work, because I am not obsessive at all. Nope. My favorite is the strawberry one, but I’m excited to try these pomegranate ones!

They were 2 for $3 at Walgreens this week, and when you buy 2, you get back $2 in Register Rewards to use on your next purchase! I also had 2 coupons for 30 cents off of each one that I got from their Facebook page, so I only paid $2.40 for these and then got $2 back!

Next I went to CVS and got these few things:

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Whenever you walk into CVS, scan your loyalty card in the Big Red Coupon Machine (it might have a real name, but whatever) because it almost always prints out something awesome. Today mine printed a coupon for a FREE Salma Hayek Nuance trial-sized item. I chose the curl cream on the right.

If you’re a member of the CVS Beauty Club, you probably received the email coupon for a free trial size Clear shampoo. I grabbed the one on the left and it’s perfect to bring for my trip to Costa Rica on Saturday!!

The toothpaste was $4.99, but you get $2 Extrabucks back, plus I had a $1 coupon from the 8/26 Smart Source insert. I paid $3.99 but got $2 back.

The chocolate was 67 cents, but you get 67 cents Extrabucks back, so it’s really free! It wasn’t open when I bought it. I have no idea how that happened…

So basically at CVS I paid a total of $4.66. I had $4 in Extrabucks to use, so only 66 cents came out of my own pocket for all 4 things!

I got back in the car and headed to Walgreens #2. Luckily there are 2 of them near where I work because I am a lunatic and don’t like to do 2 transactions in 1 store because I feel like it annoys the people behind me and I don’t want to look like a “crazy coupon lady”, so I do my second transaction at a different store if I can. Either that or I come back to the same store at a different time. I know. Nuts.

The Kleenex 4-packs of 60 tissues were on sale for $4. There is a coupon booklet when you walk in the door that has coupons for the entire month of September. Inside there is one for $1 off of these multipacks.

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The one on the left will be great for the next time I sneeze in French.

Usually they have the coupons at the register also, so if you can’t find one, just ask. This made them $3 each and I used the $2 Register Rewards I got from my last transaction, so I paid $4 for all 8 boxes. I also got $2 in Register Rewards back again for buying 8 boxes of Kleenex (the multipacks still count towards this deal!) so I will be headed to Walgreens #1, 2, or 3 tomorrow to get another $2 item for free!

My out of pocket expense for all of these items was $7.06, and I still have $2 Register Rewards and $2.67 in ECBs to spend next time!

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Maybe next lunch break I will have some time for lunch.

Who Wore It First?

I know this sounds snobby, but normally I’m kind of skeeved out by consignment stores. I just feel weird wearing a stranger’s old clothes. I have no idea what happened in them, what was spilled on them, or what the previous owner’s personal hygiene was like. That creeps me out.

About 2 months ago, a new consignment store opened up not too far from me. It’s actually right across the street from the consignment store I used to bring my own old clothes to, until the owner conveniently stopped answering phone calls or emails when I wanted to come collect my check. I’ll be sure to wave to her as I’m leaving the new store. Heh heh.

This new place is called Plum Consignment in Beverly, Massachusetts, and if you’re in the area, I highly suggest you check it out. It’s just so darn cute. It’s set up like a little boutique and it is so so SO clean and organized that I felt like I was shopping for new clothes on Newbury Street.

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I tried on a few things and ended up buying a t-shirt and tank top. The T-shirt ($10) is a navy blue, sort of baggy, ruffly type shirt from H&M, with big sleeves that there is probably a name for, but I’m not cool enough to know it. The tank top ($8) is just a black Merona (Target brand) cotton tank top with some design at the collar.

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They even have adorable bags! Every item is tagged also, just like in the store, so the prices and sizes are easy to find. I will say that the prices were a tiny bit higher than what I expected considering the 2 brands are relatively inexpensive already, but both shirts are like new and still cheaper than what I would have paid in the store, so I grabbed them.

I was looking for a shirt to match a pair of pink shorts that I got for FREE at Bob’s the other day. (I had a coupon for $10 off a $10 purchase that I got in the mail and the shorts were only $5 on clearance, so they ended up free!) The tank top definitely matches. Not sure about the navy blue shirt though. What do you think?

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For the love of gawwwd, will someone puh-LEASE teach me how to take pictures?!

Hotel Schmotel

Sometimes I feel like vacation planning is so stressful, I need to take a vacation from vacation planning. I’ve even had vacations that I needed to take a vacation from. Ok, maybe I get stressed out easily (“what do you MEAN our flight is two minutes late?! That throws EVERYTHING off!”), but there is just SO much to think of when it comes to planning a trip.

Side note: also stressful is when you have a Very Type A person trying to plan a trip with a Slightly Type A But Mostly Type B person. Lots of indecisiveness, freaking out, last minute-ness, more freaking out…. Oh, by the way, I am an absolute list-making joy to live with. Any questions on which one of us is the Type A?

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However, a small miracle happened last week in a cozy, little apartment in New England. Type A & Type A-B managed to book a vacation to Costa Rica! We leave in less than 3 weeks (ahhhh more freaking out!)!! We can’t wait to do a ton of adventure-y things and see a bunch of these guys:

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We were actually able to find a really good deal on a guest house by the beach, thanks to one of my friend’s tips. She writes the blog Vacation Fiend and she really knows her stuff! She suggested vrbo.com where you can search through rental properties in the area where you want to stay.

The villa we wanted wasn’t actually available for the week we chose, but the owner was nice enough to rent us his guest house (read: even BIGGER place) for the same price, so we scored a place with 2BR, 2 Bath, living room, a fully-equipped kitchen, washer/dryer, and a deck with hammocks to relax in for less than $600 for 6 days! Definitely a site worth checking out. It’s an alternative I had never even considered, but now I will be checking this site for every vacation that I go on!

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Dealspl.us More!

This website is like the Holy Grail of shopping. I don’t know anything about the Holy Grail other than what Monty Python & Dan Brown have taught me, so that may not be entirely accurate, but it certainly is the Holy SomethingOrOther. Just go with it…

If there is a coupon out there for something, dealspl.us will find it for you. Just click above the search bar to change from “Deals” to “Coupons”, enter the store name, and click “Search”. If there are any printable coupons for that store, they will pop up with a printer icon. If there are online coupon codes, they will show you the code AND the most recent success rate.

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Pretty cool, right? I hope you have that down, because I’m about to throw so much more coupon coolness your way. Ready? Using dealspl.us, you can find printable grocery coupons, the day’s hottest shopping deals, a question and answer forum (helpful if you want to ask things like “where can I find the cheapest tickets to this event?”), and a list of the day’s freebies. They also have a mobile app:

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Wienerschnitzel?

Flea Market Finds

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These were $2. I almost feel like I shouldn’t tell anyone that. It’s like the time I had a really nice “Coach” bag that was totally fake and people would say “oh, I love your bag!” and I would immediately reply “thanks, it’s fake”.

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I also bought a $6 starfish necklace that I have been wearing at least twice a week. Which is a lie, because I definitely wear it every other day.

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I’m loving this color because it reminds me of the ocean. You know, the one I haven’t been to all summer so far? The one that I may never go to again after watching Shark Week? Those things can’t get into my pool, right?…Right?

The Holidays are Coming?!

Has anyone actually started Christmas shopping already? I normally consider myself ahead of the game if I start before Thanksgiving, but this year I am already hearing things about “the holidays” and it’s only mid-August! What “holidays” are you referring to – Labor Day & Yom Kippur? I generally don’t buy people gifts for those.

One of the places that just informed me about these impending holidays was Presentify.me. This is a website where you can take a voucher from a deal site, such as Groupon, and turn it into a nice looking gift. If you don’t already have a voucher that you’ve purchased, you can search for one using this site. Then you enter your voucher information and the little elves inside your computer turn it into a fancy little gift certificate that you can print out and give to someone you like. Or someone you don’t like, whatever.

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They actually have a bunch of different themes, like Christmas, Hanukkah, Mother’s Day, fitness, Valentine’s Day, and a few others. Some of them are really cute. Cute enough that now I want to buy a voucher and make it into a gift. For myself. Happy Yom Kippur to me?

Crazy Cat Lady

A few weeks ago, when I was going through the pictures on my phone, I discovered something a little disturbing. No, it’s not what you’re thinking (perverts.) I guess it’s not even THAT bad. I mean, everyone has 137 pictures of their cat on their phone, right?

Right?

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Going through all these pictures, I realized that I have a very helpful cat. I’m not sure who taught her how to do chores, but I know it wasn’t myself or Dan. She helps us fold our clothes.

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She is great with all of those hard to open, twist-off caps.

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She likes to wrap gifts, especially when there is ribbon involved.

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Sometimes she helps me do my hair.

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When we need help sending an email, or using the mouse, she is always there.

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Not only is she helpful, she’s just a really great friend. We watch football together, and she will cheer for the Patriots with me even when we’re playing the Bengals.

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And she’s always the first thing we see in the morning. She helps us save our phone batteries by waking us up before our alarms go off. I mean, isn’t that just so thoughtful?

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She plays a really killer game of hide-and-seek too!

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After helping with chores and keeping us entertained for the day, she does seem to get a major case of the munchies.

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Then she will usually pull out the couch (all by herself!) and take a nap.

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I think she deserves it.

Hypothetically, if you have 137 pictures of your cat on your phone, many more on your computer, and about 20 in a blog post specifically about your cat, how close are you to being a crazy cat lady? It’s too much math for kitty and I to figure out. We’re going back to napping.

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