A Store Guide to Shopping at CVS
The first thing to keep in mind while shopping at CVS is that regular prices vary from store to store, especially in metropolitan areas. I post the coupon match up list on Saturday mornings.
The first thing you need to do when shopping at CVS is to apply for an Extra Care card. This card is essential if you want to start getting items for FREE and earning rewards. You can sign up for an Extra Care card at any store.
To receive special offers from CVS, register your card HERE. You will earn a great $4 off a $20 purchase coupon just for registering your Extra Care card. You will also receive occasional coupons via email thereafter.
How do you go about getting items for FREE? CVS has a rewards program called Extra Care Bucks or ECB’s. Basically, ECB’s are like CVS money. Each week there will be items on sale that will generate ECB’s. There are usually monthly ECB’s items as well. There are limits to how many times you can earn a certain reward. The limits will be listed in the ad.
Many times there are a few items on sale that will be FREE after ECB’s. This means that you will have to pay for the item today, but you will get ECB’s for your NEXT purchase. An example, Bayer Quick Release Crystals $2.00, get $2.00 in ECB’s. I would pay the $2.00 and then save the ECB’s for my next visit. The nice thing about CVS that you can’t do at Walgreen’s is rolling your ECB onto the same item, as long as the limit is more than one.
Can you pair a coupon with an ECB item? Yes! Let’s take the Bayer example above. I used a $1.00 manufacturer’s coupon on the Bayer. This made my out of pocket cost $1.00 and earning $2 ECB’s. That is what I call a moneymaker! Now to make this scenario even better, I could have paid for the out of pocket costs with ECB’s that I had from previous weeks.
You can also use CVS coupons in conjunction with a manufacturer’s coupon. This is called stacking. Many times you will get a CVS coupon on the bottom of your receipt. Or you can get CVS coupons at the scanner; a little red price scanner. Most often, the CVS coupon will be for an item that is currently on sale or going to be on sale soon. How should the coupons be handed over? This is VERY important. Here is the best order to give coupons:
- CVS $/$$ coupon. That is, any CVS coupon that is a dollar amount off a certain purchase price.
- Any CVS store coupons. An example would be $1.00 off of Fruitopia Shampoo.
- Any manufacturer’s coupons.
- ECB’s you earned from previous transactions.
This order is important because the $/$$ will not work if your order total drops below the minimum purchase requirement.
What is rolling ECB’s? The goal is to spend as little out of pocket as possible. To roll ECB’s you want to try to purchase items that will generate ECB’s that you can use next week. So, if you pay with ECB’s you want to try to make sure that you are buying items that generate ECB’s to replace them.
You can do multiple transactions to keep your total out of pocket to a minimum. If you want to invest time in doing this, you would break your order up into smaller transactions. Use the ECB’s you get from the first transaction to pay for the second. Just be courteous to others waiting in line. I always make sure it is okay with the cashier as well.