Ok, I'm hooked. This cost a grand total of $2.04 oop (out of pocket).
12 (4 count) packages of AA batteries
1 bottle of contact care solution
1 package Always pads
I did the CVS part in two transactions, used $11 ECB* and ended up with $14 ECB. I also used a $2/1 coupon for the contact solution and six $5/2 coupons for the batteries (yay for an AWESOME manager who gave me as many as I wanted when I asked if she had any!) Total oop for CVS was $1.22. It should have been a dollar less, I think, but for some reason the computer would only let me apply $5 of a $6 ECB, even though the total was $5.99. I don't know why, neither did the cashier, and neither does my sister, the reigning coupon queen in my family. Oh well.
Oh, and Sarah, I think ECBs must just work differently here in regards to tax, because I had to pay at least some tax on both transactions.
8 Johnson's Buddies soaps
1 BeechNut baby food jar
The soaps were $0.97 each and I had coupons that amounted to $1 off each of them. Since that would have given me a negative total, I threw in the baby food jar ($0.50). My total ended up being $0.82 because apparently they charge tax on everything before coupons - next time I won't add the extra item in and see what happens. I wonder if the coupon overage would count towards the tax? It will be an experiment. :)
I was surprised to find that there is a decided "high" that comes from figuring out how to work the system this way. Prior to trying it I had thought couponers were a little nuts. Now I still think that a lot of them are nuts, but I kind of get it. It is just complicated enough to make it fun! As I try out this new coupon project I'm going to be weighing carefully the time I spend on it, and considering the true value. I don't want to become one of those crazy people who seem to live for saving as much money as possible - my goal is to do my part of "providing" for my family by using our money as wisely as possible. But I also need to use my time as wisely as possible, and I have a suspicion that this will be a fine line to try to walk.
*ECB = Extra Care Bucks (CVS's rewards program)