Don’t get me wrong. I am a huge Amazon fan and along with being a Prime member I buy Kindle books, music, and practically everything I can from Amazon.com, even when they charge sales tax in my state (Virginia). However, despite the high prices at drugstore chains like CVS, I sometimes find that buying stuff with their CVS Extra Bucks rewards program can actually be cheaper than Amazon.
Let’s take a look at an example. I need some whey protein. This week CVS is running a buy 1 get 1 50% off on health items. In addition, you can earn $10 in CVS Extra Bucks for any $25 health purchase on select items. One of those items happens to be EAS Whey Protein (2 lb). The regular price is $29.99 (obviously way over priced). I immediately check the same product on Amazon.com and they are selling is for half of what CVS is charging at only $15.00. Obviously, I should order it from Amazon, done deal.
However, just out of curiosity I wondered what the effective price would be if I took advantage of all the deals that CVS was throwing at me. Could they possibly beat Amazon’s price.
Today I received a $5 off $25 purchase in my email from CVS. I also have a $3.00 coupon that I found in the Sunday paper.
Here’s how the math works out.
$44.98 (2 x EAS Whey Protein, the second is half price)
– $10.00 (Extra Bucks)
– $5.00 (CVS email coupon)
– $3.00 (Manufacturer coupon)
Net Price = $26.98
Per Unit = $13.49
CVS managed to beat Amazon by 10%. Now, this assumes that I actually use the $10.00 in CVS Extra Bucks to purchase something that I would anyway (likely, but not entirely) especially since there is an expiration on the coupon. It also assumes that I need 2 x EAS Whey Protein, which I don’t and I am only factoring that in because the second unit is half price. But still, saving 10% is nothing to sneeze at.
In fact, there’s more. CVS also rebates 2% of your total spending each quarter in the form of Extra Bucks, so I would also be saving an additional $0.54 on my purchase.
Now, am I going to go out to CVS and actually buy the protein? Probably not since I don’t need 2, but it was fun to see if CVS could beat out Amazon.