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Where’s My Change?

Today is Monday.

You know what that means!

Shopping with the “Lists” day!

I actually did most of my shopping last week thanks to the Frugal Coupon Living web site.  But, when the lists came out yesterday, I still spent time studying them, clipping coupons, and preparing myself to purchase the few items I had not gotten.

Here’s what my table typically looks like when I’m in the midst of my preparation…

What a mess!  Fortunately there’s a method to my madness, and in the end, it somehow all comes together.

I won’t bore you with the details of my trip to the grocery stores.  I only purchased a few items there, saving roughly $34.  Not bad, not bad.

Today was CVS day.

Now, I want to share a quick tip that my mom told me about yesterday.  You know that you have to use a CVS Extra Care Buck card (regular store card) to take advantage of their savings.  And you know that Extra Care Bucks (ECBs) sometimes print out if you buy some certain items.

Well, did you know that if you scan your card on one of those price checkers that’s on the end of the aisle somewhere in the store, that you’ll get coupons?

When my mom told me about this, I thought she’d lost her marbles.  No offense to her, but she works night shifts and…well, ‘ya know…

Mark one on the board for Mom.  She was right (ok…so it took me until the age of 39 to admit this).

My two coupons were for store-brand items…one of which I used to buy two jars of peanuts!  What a delicious, crunchy treat for my family of snackers.

The rest of my shopping involved the selection of school supplies.  This week, if you buy a 3 or 5 subject notebook (CVS brand), you get a $3 ECB.  So, I purchased one, used the ECB to buy the next one (saving 77% on this item alone), and used the ECB from that purchase to offset the total of my third transaction.

A small aside:  One of my buy one get one free items rang up wrong.  The tag on the aisle gave a price of $1.99; however, the register scanned it as $2.19.  The item was marked wrong on the aisle.  I got the $1.99 (and heard the manager tell another employee to fix the price displayed).  Make sure you pay attention!!  You never know where you’ll lose money!

After all was said and done, I walked away with this nice little haul…

I spent $13.57 on purchases that would have cost $32.40…for a savings of 58%.

One quick little story.

I started my day with $20 in cash.  When I left, I sat in the car a moment to gloat over my savings…and made a discovery.  I only had $2.23 cents.  I thought I was supposed to have more money than that, so I started looking at the receipts and doing the math on my calculator.

I was short $4.20.

I ran the numbers again and got the same result.

I stood up and checked my pockets.  I thought that maybe I had misplaced some of the money.

After checking my wallet, the bagged items (sometimes I’ve thrown change and receipts in there), and the car, I realized that maybe I wasn’t losing my mind.  Maybe I had been shortchanged.

Receipts in hand, I walked back into the store.

Here’s what we (the cashier and I) pieced together.  After ringing up my second transaction, he set my receipt on his register with the intention of tearing off the ECB from the bottom of it.  In the process, he never handed me my change.  At the end of my third transaction, he handed me the receipt from the second one minus the change.

So, with all of my change now in my hand, I left the store satisfied.

I know there will be more sales on school supplies.  I can’t wait to see what I save when they roll around!

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