Freebies for new parents

Close Encounters of the Cheap Kind has a new home at www.CheapEncounters.com!

With the birth of the twins and all, this has been a wild week. So many things to do. So many things to learn. And nowadays, so many products to be pitched for baby. Baby products are a big business, and before your baby makes his first poopie you’ll probably start getting advertising for baby stuff. The hospital is no exception to the sales effort, as you are given so many sample packs, magazines, and other items all encouraging you to try a certain product. The upside is that there are some money saving freebies available for the asking. Here are a few good ones from all the stuff we have received.

Enfamil Family Beginnings – I list this one first because we have already received the first big sample pack. We registered with them several months ago and got in the mail this past week a sample pack with a can of powder formula plus a few formula checks (serve the same purpose as coupons.

UPromise $3 Bonus from Enfamil – Using this link, join UPromise with the promo code “DIAPER3”. This is valid only for new users. It is a pretty neat program where you register your frequent shopper cards and credit cards and are given a rebate of sorts when you purchase selected products or dine at participating restaurants. The rebates can then be transferred to your 529 college savings account, or you can request a check for cash. The rebates tend to accumulate slowly (I’ve only accumulated about $50 over 5 years), but it is free money.

20 Free Prints Online from CVS Photo Center – Simply go to CVS Photo Center online and use the promotional code “NEWMOM20”. The flyer also says that you get 10 free prints for registering as a new user, so you could probably end up with a total of 30 free prints.

Doing a Google search this evening, I also found a pretty good listing of freebies for new parents here. It will take a while to get through that list.


November 7, 2007 Posted by | College Savings, CVS, Deals, Freebies, Parenting | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Coupon fun for your CVS adventures

Close Encounters of the Cheap Kind has a new home at www.CheapEncounters.com!

A couple of new CVS coupons have been posted over at SlickDeals I thought I would share. There is now a $5 off of $30 purchase and a $10 off of $50 purchase.

Some have reported being able to stack both of these coupons along with the $4 off $20 coupon on the same order, effectively creating a $19 discount on a $50 purchase. Unfortunately I tried last night without success, but if you can pull it off more power to you!

Another helpful hint courtesy of Bax on SD: use the System Restore functionality in Windows to get around limits on printing coupons off of websites. System restore allows you to revert your computer back to an earlier point in time. The thought is that if your computer becomes infected with a virus, you uninstall something you shouldn’t have, or you otherwise start having operating issues, you can go back to the settings you had before you started having problems. However, in this instance you create a restore point before installing the web applet that generates the coupon, print your allotted number, and then through System Restore go back to the restore point you just created and the computer will behave as if you never installed the applet or printed the coupons. Lather, rinse, repeat! Read Bax’s instructions on SD here. Works great for the Mentadent and Nestle coupon links I posted previously!

April 27, 2007 Posted by | CVS, Deals | 1 Comment

Slow week for CVS deals

Close Encounters of the Cheap Kind has a new home at www.CheapEncounters.com!

For all of you who do the CVS deals, this week is kind of slow. Here is a summary of the best deals of the week. AnnetteP over at SD has summarized all of the deals and corresponding coupons here.

  • SoyJoy Bars are 4/$4 and you get $4 in ECB, making them free. With the BOGO coupons from last week’s Sunday paper, you make $2 on four.
  • Precision Xtra blood glucose monitor is $9.99 with $9.99 in ECB back, making it free.
  • Alavert Non-Drowsey Allergy Medication is $6.99 for the 12-15ct. Buy two and get $3 in ECB back. There are $6 off coupons printable here and here. With the coupons you make $1.02, even more if you have one of the CVS coupons for allergy medication that have printed from the register in recent weeks.
  • Kellogg’s Cereal is 2/$4 with $1 in ECB back when you buy two. At $1.50 not a super deal, but still a good use of excess ECBs.
  • Nestle 8 pack candies are $0.99 and there are $1 off printable coupons here when you register at verybestkids.com.
  • Excedrin 24ct is on sale for $4.29 with $3 in ECB back. Reportedly there are $1 off coupons attached to the package, making these $0.29.
  • In some areas, tubes of 3.5oz Mentadent toothpaste are on sale for $1.99. For some Mentadent is pictured in the ad, for others it is in the text below the picture of Arm and Hammer toothpaste which is also on sale for $1.99, and in some areas it is not on sale. There are $2 off printable coupons at mentadent.com making these free.

Don’t forget about the $4 off $20 coupon you get for updating your email address at www.cvs.com/email to make the deals even better. If you can transfer a prescription, try using this printable coupon for a $25 gift card (thanks to SD’s Richard98)!

April 25, 2007 Posted by | CVS, Deals | 1 Comment

Cool CVS Deals this Week

Close Encounters of the Cheap Kind has a new home at www.CheapEncounters.com!

If you have read my prior posts on CVS, you can tell I am going nuts with their Extra Buck promotions. This week has some pretty cool deals, many which can be made even better with recent coupons from the Sunday papers. Here are my favorites of the week:

  • Purchase $20 in Mylanta products, get $10 in ECB back. Buy 4 bottles of the Mylanta Ultimate Strength 12oz and use 4 $3 off coupons that can be printed from Mylanta.com (hint: use four different email addresses to generate four different coupons). There is also a “try me free” rebate on some bottles in the store with a limit 1 and a limit of $7. Have the cashier ring up the Mylanta before your Extra Bucks card and it will show on the receipt as $7.29 (the $2.29 per bottle savings will be listed further down on the receipt after the card is scanned).
    • Without rebate: $20 less $12 printable coupons less $10 in ECB = $2 profit plus 4 bottles of Mylanta
    • With rebate and receipt listing price at $5.00: $20 less $12 printable coupons less $5 rebate less $10 in ECB plus $0.39 for the rebate stamp = $6.61 profit plus 4 bottles of Mylanta
    • With rebate and receipt listing price at $7.29: $20 less $12 printable coupons less $7 rebate less $10 in ECB plus $0.39 for the rebate stamp = $8.61 profit plus 4 bottles of Mylanta
  • Purchase $10 in Gas-X or Maalox products, get $10 in ECB. There are $1 off coupons in last Sunday’s paper for Gas-X and Maalox
  • Purchase Aqua Velva Ice Balm at $5.99, get $5.99 in ECB (some have said they have had trouble finding this item)
  • Purchase $20 in select baby items (mainly Huggies diapers and wipes), get a free umbrella stroller. There were coupons for $1 Huggies a couple of weeks ago, in addition to coupons for some of the other selected items.
  • Purchase Aleve Liquid Gels 20 ct for $3.99, get $3.99 back from mail-in rebate using form from CVS circular. There is also a $2 off coupon in last Sunday’s paper along with another rebate form. The rebates are different offers, so you could buy another on a different receipt and get another free bottle of Aleve. At worst with the coupon you make $1.61 and get two bottles of Aleve.
  • Purchase Eclipse Big E Gum for $1.99 and get $1 ECB. There is also a $1 off coupon in last Sunday’s paper, making this free after coupon.

There are other deals, but these are my favorites. Remember to go to www.cvs.com/email and update the email address on your card to get a $4 off $20 purchase coupon to make the deals even sweeter!

April 20, 2007 Posted by | CVS, Deals | 4 Comments

More Free Stuff at CVS

Close Encounters of the Cheap Kind has a new home at www.CheapEncounters.com!

A quick update to my previous post about the free stuff at CVS. This week has brought two new offers as well as new life on another I have decided to take advantage of:

  • Excedrin Back and Body 24ct $3.00 get $3.00 ECBs (limit 1)
  • Aleve Liqui-gels 20ct $4.00 get $4.00 ECBs (limit 1)
  • Oral-B Pulsar Pro-Health Toothbrush $4.99 get $4.99 ECBs (limit 5)

The last one is one of the monthly deals I maxed out last week, however because they changed the price this week they are treating it as a different offer.

After my post last week my brother-in-law decided he wanted free CVS stuff too but didn’t want to do it himself, so we struck a deal that I could use his card to take advantage of all of the offers. He gets the stuff, and I get the excess ECBs the deals generate (yeah, I know I could just get another card myself and keep the stuff and ECBs, but he’s family).

So off of three accounts, here are the cumulative totals of my CVS deals:

  • Retail price of stuff: $556.54
  • Total ECBs held (not yet spent): $163.76
  • Total out of pocket cost: $65.84
  • Net profit of transactions (not including value of stuff): $97.92

April 10, 2007 Posted by | CVS, Deals | 1 Comment

Free Stuff at CVS!

Close Encounters of the Cheap Kind has a new home at www.CheapEncounters.com!

I’m quite the sucker for deals and free stuff. My latest deal that I have been working is the Extra Care Bucks specials at CVS Pharmacy. Basically, when you use your Extra Care loyalty card selected items at CVS generate Extra Care Bucks at the register, which spend just like cash (with a few exceptions). This month, several items are free after the ECB, meaning you pay $x.xx for the item and an ECB coupon is generated for the same amount. You can then use that ECB coupon to pay for the next item on the promotion which will then generate another ECB coupon. Lather, rinse, repeat!

Some of the specials are for the entire month of April, some only for this week, and there were a few that were extended from March that now end tonight (Saturday 4/7). Some items have a limit of one, others a limit of five. To make the deal even better, you can use manufacturer coupons to lower your total and still get the same amount in ECB. I don’t have time to track down newspapers for coupons for all of these deals, so I order them from
The Coupon Clippers, which will send them to you for a small handling fee each. You can also get a $4 off $20 purchase coupon by entering your email address and Extra Care card number here.

There are extensive discussions of the CVS deals in the Hot Deals forum over at Slickdeals.net. Just search for “CVS”. Someone over there has also posted a very informative FAQ list on the program here.

A couple of helpful hints:

  1. ECB coupons do expire, and if your purchase is for less that the amount of your coupon you lose any remaining value on the coupon.
  2. You will need some “seed money” to get you going on these deals. If you have a prescription that you can transfer over to CVS, there may be coupons out there that can get you a $30 CVS gift card with your transferred prescription. That’s how I got my dealing started. If you have a Discover Card and have earned $40 in cashback bonus, you can redeem that for a $45 gift card.
  3. Each person in your household is allowed to sign up for a card, so sign up any other adult members of your house for a card and get even more stuff. Just remember that ECB coupons can only be used on the account they were generated.
  4. Plan your purchases carefully to minimize out of pocket costs on each transaction, and carry some change in your pocket for each transaction (unless you like the odd looks you get when charging 7 cents on your Visa card).

To give you an idea of the what I have done on my household’s two accounts, here are some numbers for you:

  • Retail price of stuff: $326.89
  • Total ECBs held (not yet spent): $101.52
  • Total out of pocket cost: $47.22
  • Net profit of transactions (not including value of stuff): $54.30

Here’s a picture of the loot:

  • 30 3-packs of Irish Spring soap
  • 16 bottles of Pantene Shampoos and Conditioners (about half and half, and some were even bonus bottles)
  • 10 Oral-B Pulsar Toothbrushes
  • 10 bottles of Listerine Tooth Defense Mouthwash
  • 10 Mitchum Deodorants
  • 2 SpeedStick Deodorants
  • 10 tubes Crest Nature’s Expressions Toothpaste
  • 9 tubes Colgate Advance Clean Toothpaste
  • 10 bottles SoftSoap bodywash
  • 2 tubes of Tresemme hair gel

Also purchased in these transactions were 3 2L Diet Cokes, as well as 3 other Tresemme styling products and one tube of Colgate Toothpaste. The Tresemmes and the lone tube of Colgate were an error on my part and did not qualify for the ECB promotion, so I will be returning those to the store, which should give me another $15 in CVS store credit to play with.

April 7, 2007 Posted by | CVS, Deals | 1 Comment