There Are Some Things We Just. Must. Have.

This Shoppin’ It Up series is sponsored by CVS Extra Care. The content is 100% originally my own, as is my big love for all things CVS.

Mommin it up and CVS ExtraCare

Let’s talk about our households for a minute. Each household is v-e-r-y unique and has specific needs corresponding to the specific needs of each unique member within that household. And of course, these needs change as we and our kids and spouses grow and age…so basically, we are in constant need of different stuff all the ding-dong time.

What are those items your household has to have to function? For many of you, it’s diapers. If you have a food allergy family like mine, it might be a specific food item or items (dairy-free yogurt, coconut milk, and gluten-free cereal for Jonah keep me running to a “special” grocery store each week. Ugh.) When it comes to health, it might be a certain vitamin, allergy medicine, or brand of diapers. Whatever it is, we all have THOSE THINGS.

Of course, in my family, THOSE THINGS just happen to be expensive. And that is why whenever I can, I get THOSE THINGS at CVS, using the ExtraCare program, coupons and ExtraCare Bucks to be able to afford them. THOSE THINGS used to be diapers, which is why in the past you have seen me joyfully posting pictures of giant stacks of diapers for which I paid less that $4 a pack for. But now that Jonah only uses diapers at night, I watch my CVS ad carefully for when they have their CVS brand diapers on sale – often they will be $6.99 with a $2 or $3 ExtraCare buck deal in return! Still a great price when I only need one pack at a time, and I love CVS diapers.

Now for us, there are a few things we canNOT survive without, and I rely on CVS and ExtraCare to help me afford them. THING 1: these guys:

culturelle probiotics

TWO of my three kids (I’m not gonna mention any names, but…)


As I was saying, TWO of my three kids need to take these probiotics EVERY DAY to survive. (And by survive, I mean poop. This is how I keep these kids pooping. Because let’s face it, pooping = life, right?) They can’t DO without it, and a box of 30 of these? COSTS $30. That’s right, $1 a pop. And that’s not the CVS price, that’s the EVERYWHERE price. Two little Rapsons who need this every day = a $60 a month payment on probiotics. But thankfully, and I do mean thankfully, CVS has recently had AWESOME ExtraCare Bucks deals on these, with limits of 2 or 3 per household. The first time they were just $10 with $10 ExtraCare Bucks back (that’s FREE, people!) and the second time they were $22.99 with $5 ExtraCare Bucks back – still a great deal. Both times I had manufacturer’s coupons to use so I got an even better deal, and stocked up. So within about 4 to 6 weeks time, I had enough Culturelle to last my kids three or four months and I paid probably only about 30% of what it would have normally cost me. These are the deals I get down on my knees and thank God for, I am not even kidding you! These ExtraCare deals from CVS are a HUGE blessing to our health and budget.

The next must-have (THING 2!) in the Rapson house is for me and my terrible sleeping self. A few months ago I discovered this sleeping medication and it helps me fall asleep SO much better at night than I have for years. I take this every night, and can’t live without it, so I carefully watch for sales on it as well. Last week I was thrilled to see a good one:

sleep med

I bought four boxes, paid $29.96 minus a $1 off coupon I got from the magic coupon printer, and got back $10 ExtraCare Bucks, making it just $18.96 or $4.74 a box for my much needed-meds (over 40% off!)- plus I am stocked up for awhile now, which is awesome, because if Mama doesn’t sleep well, EVERYONE in the house feels it! And of course I can use that $10 ExtraCare Bucks on my next purchase just like cash.

The third and final must-have (THING 3!) for our household this season is allergy medicine. Joshua’s eyes blow up like two pink balloons and he sneezes and sniffles like a banshee every spring without his Claritin. We also love the CVS brand equivalent, but I happened to catch a good deal on these Claritin chewables last week, which Joshua prefers, so I went for it!


When I arrived at CVS, the Magic Coupon Machine printed me off a $2 off $10 allergy purchase coupon, and I already had a $3 Claritin manufacturer’s coupon, so I paid $14.99 and got 3 ExtraCare Bucks back, making my purchase over 40% off – plus since I paid in part with ExtraCare Bucks I already had, my actual out-of-pocket was just a couple of dollars. THAT’s the way to buy your must-haves, my friends!

One last thing that I LOVE about the ExtraCare program that is *new and fabulous*: you can now send ExtraCare offers (like those cool emails with $5/$30 purchase coupons and things like that) directly to your card! No more printing coupons off of your email! You can send them to your card directly from the email, or by viewing your available offers in the ExtraCare section of MyWeeklyAd on (sadly I didn’t have any offers available this week, but if I did, you would see them here.)

CVSmyweeklyad offers

I love this because it’s eco-friendly AND it’s great that I have less coupons to keep organized, less paper to tote around. This is an awesome ExtraCare feature, and just another great way I know I am going to be able to save on ALL THE THINGS we can’t live without at CVS.

What are the THINGS your household can’t live without, and what ways do you find of making them affordable? I’d love to hear in the comments!


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  1. I really need to get better about taking advantage of the savings. I shop CVS all the time but I’m not very strategic about how to get the best prices.

  2. I also need to get back on the CVS wagon. I kind of got lazy about couponing but that doesn’t mean when I am there I shouldn’t be trying to take advantage!

  3. Toilet paper, diapers, wipes, zyrtec for me and claritin for Annalyn. But I want to hear more about these sleeping pills. Are you groggy when you wake up? I need to know this as much as I need to get with the CVS savings program…

    • Mary, I use the CVS Brand Unisom. NOW – this is very important – there are two types. One has Benadryl which makes me CRAZY as well as GROGGY and I cannot take it. The kind that works for me has doxylamine succinate. It puts me to sleep but I don’t wake up hung over. I am a bad sleeper but this usually gets me through the first 4-5 hours or so without waking up, which is a miracle for She Who Could Never Fall Asleep OR Stay Asleep. Give it a whirl! And get yer COUPON on! ExtraCare Bucks will change your life!!!

  4. I am always buying formula, diapers and wipes. My daughter is on enfamil nutramigen which is outrageous. ONE can costs $36.00 and lasts 4 days. I usually buy it at kroger because they give me a $5 off of 2 cans coupon. I wonder if CVS carries it? I normally buy diapers and wipes from target. I combine coupons with their buy 2 get a gift card. And it’s a pretty good deal.

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