When I first started the CVS and Walgreen’s game last summer, I wasn’t very good at it because I tried to buy only what we needed. That approach caused me to see minimal savings. However, when I began focusing on the sales items, my out-of-pocket costs dropped considerably.

Take for instance a few weeks ago when I purchased two bottles of Dentist’s Natural Health mouth rinse. They were on sale for $6.99, I had a $2.00 coupon and I could earn $4 ECBs on each bottle. Total cost for each after coupons and ECBs was .99 cents. To make the deal sweeter, I could send in for a $10 rebate, which I did. Did I intend to use this product? No. I bought them because they offered me a way to rotate out my ECBs (they have an expiration date of about 3 weeks), and they helped me get my order to $25 with minimal out-of-pocket expenditure. (Now that I shop CVS weekly, I always get a coupon for $5 off a $25 order.

The best deal is when I can get an item that is free after coupons or that I earn a dollar or two on. That then allows me to buy things I truly need like diapers at a much lower price. This is how I have been able to drastically reduce our expenditures for toiletries.

Once I got the hang of the CVS game, my storage closet quickly filled with items I had no intention of using. I found out about a wonderful organization called Soldier’s Angels. They are a not for profit organization that helps injured and deployed soldiers. One of their needs is for toiletries.

Now, every two months or so, I pack up a box of my extra items that I got for free or nearly free and donate them to US soldiers. It is for a good cause, and my extra items are going to good use.

The picture above is of the products I donated this month. These items combined have a retail value just shy of $100. I would have never been able to make this donation if I purchased all of these items out-of-pocket at retail or sale price.

Now I comfortably buy items I don’t need that are at the right price so I can save money and make a donation to a good cause.

I shared this post at Life as Mom.

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