Along with my other posts in the series of Extreme Couponing tips for beginners, I have decided to do some Store guides as well! These guides will help the beginner (and advanced couponers too ) to save with coupons at their favorite stores!
Extreme Couponing: Beginners guide to CVS!
Most of my medicines, cosmetics, paper goods, and personal care products come from Walgreen's & CVS.. if not then I am price matching over at Walmart. However, Walmart (most) won't let you price match "Extra Care Buck" deals – which can serve to be AMAZING savings for the CVS shopper.
Continue reading now to see the entire guide and start saving $$ extreme couponing at CVS!
Let's talk about the ExtraCare Card & Extra Care Bucks
CVS has a customer loyalty program called ExtraCare.You will need an extracare card to participate and be able to earn CVS extracare bucks or ECB’s. You can get these in the stores or REGISTER ONLINE and they will mail you your card (in store is best because you can start saving right away). Always have your card on you, because if you give your phone # to receive savings you will not get ECB's!. If you already have a card then GIVE THEM YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS and they will email you a coupon that will get you started, and they will continue to email you great coupons every week or so. You can also scan your card at the red coupon printing kiosk (otherwise known as the magic coupon machine!) in most stores to get additional coupons!
The Extracare program is a customer loyalty program like most grocery stores. To receive benefits you must scan your card at checkout. The Extracare program does not reward you money off, however itt rewards you after your purchase with Extracare bucks that you can then use on your next purchase. These are a lot like Walgreen's Register Rewards, except they do not print from a catalina machine but instead on the bottom of your receipt. Most ECB's are valid for 2-4 weeks after printing.
You will see advertised ECB deals in your weekly CVS flyer. It will say things like "Get 2 ECB it's like paying $4" and the like. Here is an example shopping trip to CVS:
Go into CVS and buy 1 of the free after ECB items, let's say $3 tooth paste with $3 ECB making it FREE. First you will pay real money, but if you use the ExtraCare program wisely you will be able to get items free from here on out!
Pay $3 out of pocket and get back a $3 ECB. Now you can go and get the same item (unless its limited to 1, it will say so in the AD) again and use your $3 ECB to pay for it and get ANOTHER $3 ECB. You can then continue to buy the item over and over again (if no limit) or use your ECB's on another free after ECB item to roll your ECB's!
- Make sure you always give them a $$/off $$$ (like the $4 off $20) coupon first before manufacturers coupons.
- You need to always make sure that what you are buying is equal to your ECB’s or a little more (pennies). You can pay for $4 worth of items with $5 in ECB but you are losing money that way and don’t really want to do that. So find some filler items that you like..a pack of gum, candy bar, whatever.
Some more useful information for shopping at CVS:
How do I use my ECBs?
ECBs cannot be used to pay for prescriptions, gift cards, tobacco products, alcohol, stamps, and milk.
What does it mean to "Roll" your ECBs?
Rolling your ECB's simply means to use your extra care bucks to purchase an item that gives extra care bucks back. If you pay for a $4 item with $4 ECB's and then get back a $3 ECB you essentially only paid $1 for the $4 item, and only $1 of your ECB's at that. This is how you "Roll" your ECB's.
What type of limits do ECB's have?
Watch for per household limits. This is one sad thing about CVS. Many “free” deals have a limit of 1 per household, This limit is per card.
Know about the "limit 2" problem IF the item you are buying has a limit of 2 ECB deals per card, and you do both of your deals in one transaction, your ECBs will print together on 1 receipt. Meaning if the ECB is $5 you will get 1 ECB for $10 on both deals. You want to have smaller amounts so that you can easier "Roll" your ECB's.
ECBs often are valid for 2-4 weeks AFTER printing and must be used before expiration to be valid. The ECB must match the card scanned at check-out for the discount to apply.
How many ECBs can I use in 1 transaction?
As many as you want! Just know that the register will stop the cashier if they will make your pre-tax total negative.
A promotion says: Buy $10 of a product (Such as Revlon Make-up) to earn an ECB, Is this before or after coupons?
Before coupons! That's the best part about shopping at CVS and using coupons. When you use coupons on the products you can bring that $10 down to $2 and then get back more in ECB's then you paid in cash! That's what Extreme Couponing at CVS is all about!
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