Saturday, January 14, 2012

Finish-ed for Another Year

If you have been at this couponing thing for years like I have, you know that every new year, for the last couple of years anyway, brings a Perfect Storm scenario for dishwashing products.
Each January the company that makes Finish products releases a really good manufacturers coupon for their brand.  They do it just once a year so you'd better get it and use it before it expires!

This year, the coupon was $2.15 off 1 package of Finish powerballs, gelpacs or quantums(excluding 10 or 12 ct. packs).  The coupon came in the first set of Sunday paper inserts of the new year on 1/1.

Then CVS drugstores puts this Finish item on sale for $3.50 during the 1/8-1/14 sales week.
Doing the math, each Finish package you buy this week at CVS comes to $1.35 OOP.
Nice, right?

To make this price even more awesome, Finish qualifies as part of the "Spend $30, Get $10 in CVS Cash" Deal CVS has going this week!

So buy 9 packs, spend $31.50, use 9 coupons, get $19.35 off, pay $12.15* and get a $10 CVS gift card.
*Before sales tax if your state charges that.

Ok, so the Finish coupons says limit of 2 coupons per transaction.
So you have to do 2 item transactions to get to the $30 spend threshold to get the $10 gift card....and you have to do this 4.5 times. lol
So you find a cashier who lets you A-buy more than 2 packs in a transaction or B-let's you do 5 tiny transactions one right after another. (Or if there is a line at the register, let's you buy 2 packs and then go to the back of the line and buy 2 more, rinse and repeat until you have purchased 9 and hit the $30 threshold.

Whatever it takes, you can buy 9 packs and get there if you have the patience. ;-)

So on New Year's Day I started going through the 1st batch of coupon inserts for the year, hunting for the good coupons, like the Finish one.
And as is MY LUCK, my region did NOT get any Finish coupons this year!

Did I say Ugh yet?

Then mid week(last week)I saw CVS was putting Finish on sale during the 1/8-1/14 weekly ads and was part of their $30/$10 Deal.

So I resorted to a clipping service to get my hands on the $2.15 Finish Qs.  And since it's more cost-effective to get a quantity of Qs from this source, rather than say 9, I sourced 20 of these Qs.

After the Qs arrived on Tuesday, I spent the afternoon/evening(and Daughter hit one up as well for me)visiting 5 different CVS stores in my area, doing lots of little transactions, so as to keep myself within the coupon limits and to keep from taking more than a normal amount of packs from any one store.  Shelf clearers burn my butt......

Let me just add that when you use a clipping service(or a coupon train for that matter), you run the risk of your coupons arriving too late for whatever deal you intend to use them with.  So you need to have a plan B for them just in case.
My coupons didn't arrive until Tuesday(for a sale that started Sunday), so I was 2 days late to the party at CVS.
Luckily for me however, 2 things occured.
1st--my region didn't get the coupon.  Therefore everyone else here didn't buy the Finish at CVS this week or had to mail away for the coupon as well.  This leveled the playing field.
2nd--The 5 CVS stores I went into here?....only 1 had the sale price marked on the Finish products and none had the "$30/$10 Deal" marked on the shelf.  This meant the likelihood of someone stumbling upon the Deal while in the store was almost nil.  You had to be going into the store prepared to get this deal.

I not only bought 20 boxes of Finish, but I bought 5 tubes of Rembrandt toothpaste, as it was also part of the 'Spend $30/Get $10 CVS Cash Deal', it was on sale for $3.99 AND there were $2/1 IPQs for the Rembrandt.
Since 20 Finish didn't get me enough spending to get to 3 x $10 CVS Cash, the 5 Rembrandt tubes helped to get me to the spending threshold.

The candy bar was just a no brainer.....spend .75¢, get a .75¢ ECB

By doing the small transactions, once I got the 1st $10 CVS Cash card, I was able to use it to cover some, if not all my OOP after the Qs were applied to the orders.

I'm not going to give a play-by-play on each transaction because, frankly I'd be here all day typing it out.
Let's just do the final results, shall we?

I got....
20 x Finish dishwashing tablets
5 x Rembrandt toothpaste
1 x Snickers candy bar

I spent OOP(including tax)....$19.15  Regular retail was $96.89.
I have left in CVS Cash....$11.77
I could have had a lower OOP but I forgot to use the Cash card once...ugh.
Since this CVS card does NOT expire, I could theoretically save it until next January and use it if there is a similar CVS Deal and use it to cover the large OOP at the beginning. 
Or I could say I "spent" $7.38 here and deduct the Cash card amount from my OOP like so many others do.

I'll just call it $19.15 for 26 items.
And I'll mark having to buy dishwashing tablets for another year off my "To Do" List for 2012.
I can live with that..... 8-)



  1. We didn't get the Finish coupon either. You did awesome, very creative thinking for sure!!

  2. Nice job, now go buy the 49c Quantum @ RA!

  3. I got the Finish coupon but did not know about the deal or that it was once a year. I will get Finish even though that is not what I use, and next year I will be prepared. Since it's Saturday, I will be able to do only this one. For almost free, I can use another dishwashing detergent.

    What coupon clipping service do you use?

  4. I don't have a dishwasher :( But thats a great deal. I have to go to cvs today for dawn, tp and that fun stuff

  5. I don't think I can keep up with the math. All I can say is that I wish I could hire you as a personal shopper!

  6. Our Finish coupons were only on bigger packages :( But that's an awesome shopping trip, great job!!

  7. Sharon--Thanks lady!

    Erykah--Thanks for coming to visit me and leaving a comment today!

    Sheila--lol. Don't think I need those and I didn't get the $1/1 Finish Q

    PracticalP--The good Finish Q is every January. Sometimes they release another good one later in the year but not the last 2 years I believe.
    I use one on eBay. I find one geographically as close to me as I can that has the Qs I want at the price I want to pay.

    Judy--We didn't get a dishwasher until we moved here 10 years ago. Married almost 18 yrs before I got mine and then only because it came with the

    444--Math gets crazy sometimes but you've got your own math games Yah, I should charge for this instead of giving it away, huh? ;-)

    Lena--Thanks for visiting me today. Finish actually posted on their Facebook wall page about the 20 count/25 count discrepancy on the wording of the coupon. They said it was ok to use on the 20 ct. packs. They didn't want it used on the 10 or 12 ct. or trial size packages...that was the point of the wording. I went to the store armed with this information just in case any cashiers questioned the coupon. But none did.
    Frankly, I've never seen a 25 ct. pack here, just 20 ct. ones.


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