Shopping At CVS

CVS is my favorite place to shop for bargains.  Once you learn about shopping at CVS you won’t believe how much you can save. It takes a little time to learn how, but it will get easier and easier with each shopping trip.  

Here is a list of things to do and learn about to make the most of shopping at CVS:

1)  Sign up for an Extra Care Card.  
  • This is CVS store's loyalty card. You can do this at your local CVS or online.  If you sign up at the store you will get your card immediately.
 2)  Learn about Extra Care Bucks or ECBs for short. 
  • ECB stands for Extra Care Bucks.  ECBs are an instant coupon that prints out on your receipt after you    purchase an item that has an ECB offer.  You can use your ECBs towards your next transaction or even split your purchases for the day into multiple transactions (more on this later). 
  • ECBs do have expiration dates.  Make sure you do not let them expire or lose them.  You would not throw money in the trash right?
  • There are certain ECB offers that make an item free after the ECB. You will usually pay something out of your pocket and then receive an ECB after paying.  Your out of pocket cost (OOP) minus the ECB you receive make the item free.  For example let say there is a deal that if you purchase one bag of Candy Corn for $0.99 you will receive an ECB worth $0.99.  You pay the $0.99 then you receive a coupon for $0.99.  
  • You can roll your ECBs into other deals that offer ECBs. This is a great way to lower your out of pocket (OOP) costs.  So if for example, let’s say you took the $0.99 ECB from the Candy Corn and then purchased a pack of gum that was $0.99 and there was an ECB offer of $0.99 you will have paid nothing for the gum and you will still have $0.99 ECB for next time.
  • ECBs offers have a limit per household (per Extra Care Card).  The limit is stated in the CVS ad.
  • Some items can be moneymakers.  What this means is that an item is more than free after you consider the ECBs you earn. Here is an example you purchase a bottle of Nail Polish that costs $5.99 with a $4.99 ECBs offer and you have a manufacturer’s coupon for $2.00 off.  You pay $3.99 out of pocket (OOP) and earn an ECB worth $5.99.  You have gained $2.00 more to spend at CVS.
 3) Multiple Transactions 
  • You can purchase your items in multiple transactions to maximize your savings. Let’s me show you a simple example.  The CVS ad has a deal for Candy Corn for $0.99 and Gum for $0.99 and each one earns you $0.99 ECBs.  If you bought both of these in the same transaction you would pay $1.98 out of pocket (OOP) and earn $1.98 ECBs for next time.  If you bought the gum first for $0.99 you would pay $0.99 out of pocket (OOP) and earn an ECB for $0.99.  Then you would buy the gum for $0.99 but you would use the $0.99 ECB from the first transaction and pay nothing for the gum.  You would still have $0.99 ECBs left over and by splitting the transactions you will only have paid $0.99 out of pocket (OOP).
4)  Use coupons at CVS 
  • From my experience CVS is the most coupon friendly store.  You can use ECBs, manufacturer coupons, and CVS coupons all on the same item.  Of course the value of the coupons cannot exceed the value of the item or they will have to mark down the value of the coupon.
5)  CVS Coupon Machine
  • The machine is a red kiosk where you can swipe your CVS card.  After you swipe your card the machine prints coupons.  Keep swiping your card until it tells you there are no more coupons. Swipe your card every time you visit CVS you never know what coupon will print out.  Sometimes you get a coupon for a completely free item.
6) Sign up for CVS email list. 
  • They email you coupons such as $5.00 off a $25.00 dollar CVS purchase.You can sign up at the CVS Home Page look for the Extra Care subscriber sign up.
7) Buy a Green Bag Tag 
  • Buy a Green Bag Tag and attach it to a reusable grocery bag.  Each time you shop at CVS bring the bag into the store and have the cashier scan the tag.  Every fourth time you scan your tag you get a $1.00 ECB.  You can only scan your tag once per day.
8)  Coupon Presentation
  • The best way to give the coupons to the cashier is as follows: $5/$25 CVS coupon (or similar $4/$20), CVS store coupons, manufacturer coupons, ECBs and then your cash.
9) Ask for Rain Checks
  • If your CVS store is out of an item that has and ECBs deal you can get a rain check from the store and come back to the store a different time and get the ECBs deal.

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