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Thursday, November 26, 2015

The Annual CVS Black Friday Freebies

There are four truly great days of the year at CVS: The third day after Halloween, the third day after Easter, the third Day after Christmas and Black Friday. The first three are the days that all the candy from the holiday goes on sale. It will start at 50% off and, a few days later, will be 75% off. If you wait for the 75% off, however, you risk getting stuck with just Whoppers and Necco Wafers, so use your judgment and scout it out.

The fourth day is Black Friday. It's actually Black Friday plus the day before and after, but if you go on Thursday, you risk the shelves not being stocked and, if you go on Saturday, you risk stuff being gone. Of course, you can always get a rain check, but who wants to get started?

CVS extrabucks

CVS has a rewards program called extrabucks (EB), which are rebates that can be used for any purchase at CVS.. On certain items, they will give you back EB when you purchase the item. For example, they might have an offer that gives you $2 in extrabucks when you buy a $6 tin of cookies. After you make the purchase, your receipt will have a coupon for $2 that can be used at CVS toward your next purchase.

Every year on Black Friday weekend, CVS has a bunch of items that are "free after EB." For example, there might be a toothbrush on sale for $2 that comes with an EB coupon for $2. Usually, there's one or two of those each week. For Black Friday, there are usually at least a dozen. The downside is that they have been offering less and less each year. This year, there are only 13 items, two of which you can buy two of.

How to Do It

You'll need a CVS circular and a self-checkout register. Also, print out the $.50 Colgate toothpaste coupon from cvs.com before going. The deals are usually about the same nationwide, but there are occasionally substitutions. Each year, I work out the way to maximize your free items. This year, you can get 15 items, all referenced below (and listed in the circular) for $.27 OOP (out of pocket). The items would sell for a total of $22.85 without coupons. Here's how you do it:
Find the most expensive item. In this case, it's the "No Gray Quick Fix." It doesn't matter if you are actually going to use the item, since you can always donate it to charity if you don't. Remember, it's free.

We're going to put the NGQF to the side for the moment and start with our most expensive combination. It includes the GUM toothbrush ($2), the Trolli candy ($2) and the Starburst/Skittles, Excedrin and CVS Pantiliners, which are $1 each. Finally, add in a Hershey's or Reese's bar for $.77. The total will be $7.77, and you'll receive $7.77 in EB on your receipts.

Now, move to the next most expensive combination, which is the No Gray ($5.79), Orbit gum ($1) and M&Ms/Twix/Airheads ($.79). That combination totals $7.58. Use the EB from the previous transaction to buy these three items. Alas, $.19 goes to waste ($7.77-$7.58).

Finally, go to the last combo, including a second toothbrush (These are two per household.), a Starbucks Doubleshot Espresso ($1.50) the second pantiliners (also two per household) and the Colgate toothpaste. Scan your CVS card at the coupon counter and you'll get a coupon for $2.50. Combined with the $.50 coupon from cvs.com, you'll get the toothpaste for free. These items cost $7.50 totals, meaning that $.08 from the previous transaction goes to waste. At the end, You'll have $7.50 worth of extracare bucks to use at a future date. Since everything cost you $7.77 OOP, you just got 15 items for $.27.

I recommend doing these at the self-checkout register so you don't drive the cashier and the line behind you crazy. If there is a problem, don't panic. A CVS associate will come over and help you. Trust me, you won't be the only one doing this.

Have a happy and safe holiday.

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