Friday, February 17, 2012

Frugal Fashion Friday - Discounts on Beauty Items

Last year I did a post about saving on fashion and online shopping.  In the post I was a critical of the people on the TLC show "Extreme Couponing".  I've always been one to admit when I'm wrong. While I still don't understand stock piling items you'll never use, I have changed my mind and thinking on using coupons at grocery and drugstores.  Financially things have been tight for us for the past year or so.  I know it's been tough for lots of people.  But I decided to do some things to reduce our grocery and drugstore budget. When I first started watching the show, I thought the people featured were over the top. I soon realized that I could use some of their strategies, on a much smaller scale, to save on my regular grocery and drugstore runs.  I didn't have any illusion that I'd get $3,000 worth of groceries for $10.  I thought if I could save a large percentage, maybe $50 or more on an average shopping trip, I'd be thrilled.  I started by clipping coupons from the Sunday paper and matching them with store deals. I also read local blogs to get the scoop on other deals. My favorites in the DC area are Beltway Bargain Mom and Capitally Frugal. There are great blogs in every area. Just do a search to find some close to you.

I've started regularly using beauty item coupons at CVS and matching those deals to earn CVS Extra Care Bucks (ECB). CVS has a fairly liberal coupon policy.  They also have a money back guarantee on beauty products. Have you ever bought a new tube of lipstick, just to get it home and hate it? Have you bought the wrong foundation?  Their guarantee covers, cosmetics, skin, healthy skin, sun care, hair care, hair accessories, hair color, ethnic hair care, and fragrance. You can return your product for a full refund within 60 days.They also have a Beauty Club. Just link your CVS card to the Beauty Club.  You'll get a 10% off coupon just for signing up.  For every $50 in beauty products you purchase you get $5 in Extra Care Bucks. You can also earn Extra Care Bucks by purchasing certain amounts of products.

Yesterday I took a little trip to CVS. One of the things I always do when I walk into CVS is to scan my CVS Care Card at the coupon kiosk. Yesterday I got $5 in Extra Care Bucks and a coupon for $2 off of hair color. Using the coupons I'd clipped, sales that were going on at the store, and Extra Care Bucks (including the the $5 ECB I got that day), I purchased $73.31 worth of beauty products for $36.06 (before tax)!

Here is the tally...

At checkout I also received a $10 CVS Cash Card (like a gift card) and another $5 in Extra Care Bucks. I got these by completing two deals. The first was to purchase $30 worth of certain products and get a $10 card.  The second was to purchase $15 in John Frieda products and get $5 in Extra Care Bucks. I'd purchased a portion of both of these deals in previous shopping trips. My purchases yesterday completed those deals and earned me the card and ECBs.  The greatest part is that the dollar amount used to calculate those deals is taken prior to any coupons you use.  I needed $12 in John Frieda products to complete the $15 needed for the $5 ECB.  I got two products totalling $12, then used $4 in coupons, paying $8 and got $5 in ECBs for a future purchase.  You can use as many ECB coupons as you'd like in an order and you don't have to make a minimum purchase to use them.

I don't spend tons of time every week clipping coupons.  I get a few copies of the Sunday paper. In the DC area we get our coupons on Saturday. I sort though and pull the ones that are for products we use.  Then on Sunday or Monday evening, while watching guilty pleasure TV, I clip coupons. I wouldn't consider myself an extreme couponer but it sure does feel good to get products at a huge discount. One of my most exciting CVS trips was when I purchased a couple of hair products and a magazine and paid only $.19!  Yes, you read that correctly, 19 cents!  On top of that I also got $5 in Extra Care Bucks.  Using coupons, store deals and ECBs, I paid 19 cents and had $5 to spend on my next purchase. Who doesn't love free or discount beauty products?!

My couponing journey has been aided by some good friends who share stories, tips, and coupons.  This post is for you, Marissa, Denise, and David!


Full Disclosure Note:  The opinions expressed are my own. I did not receive any compensation from CVS or any of the product companies featured.

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