Monday, January 26, 2009

A CVS tip

We CVSers have a common dilemma: how to best utilize our ECBs when paying for purchases. Since they come in all different values, depending on what we've bought in the past, it can be a challenge to figure out which combination of ECBs to pay with. We don't want to end up with a large balance to pay, but we also don't want to lose anything to manual reduction.

For example: I may have in my hand several ECBs in the amounts of $3, $5, and $10. After my purchase is rung up and my coupons deducted, my pre-tax total might come to, say, $9.05. My choices are to a) use the $3 and $5, and pay the remaining $1.05 plus tax (too much!); or b) use the $10 and have the cashier reduce it to $9.05 (a loss of $0.95, ouch!). Neither is a great option.

Some people add on another cheap item to get the total closer to the higher ECB amount. I've done this many times. (After all, the candy bars are right there at the register, ha ha!) In fact, it has become a crutch for me, so that over time I completely forgot that I didn't HAVE to add a filler at all. I've been known to have a total of $9.95 and scramble for a filler item!

Well, last night my total came to $2.99. Instead of grabbing a filler, I remembered that I could pay with a $3 ECB and forfeit that penny. Come to find out, when the cashier scanned the ECB, it didn't require a manual reduction at all, and allowed a negative balance of one penny! Now I'm curious about exactly how negative the register will allow the total to be...Inquiring minds want to know...

Maybe others already know this. But me, I just learned something new. Hooray!

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