Thursday, July 14, 2011

Extreme Couponing 101: CVS

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There are many ways to save and even earn money while shopping at CVS. For those of you who are new to shopping at CVS, here are all the tips you will need to start saving today!

We will start with the Weekly Ads. You can get the Weekly Ad online, in front of the store or in your local Sunday paper. The Ad lists all sale items and items that will produce Extra Care Bucks and the quantity needed to earn them.

What are Extra Care Bucks (ECB)? These are dollars that you earn when making certain purchases and can be used on any future CVS purchase. Your ECBs will print out on your receipt so make sure to always check before throwing away your receipt. There are weekly and monthly ECB. You will also earn 2% back in ECB quarterly on your purchases which will print automatically at the end of the sales period.

You do not have to get all the items at the same time but will not earn the ECB until you fulfill the entire purchase.


In order to start earning ECBs, you need to have an Extra Care Card. You can get a card simply by asking a cashier for a form or by signing up online. If you fill out the form in-store, you will get your card to start saving immediately. However if you sign up online, it will take about a week to get your card in the mail. Remember to register your account online to receive special offers by email or in your mail box.

In addition to ECB, there is also CRT (cash register tape) coupons that print automatically on your receipt. You can also get these CRTs by scanning your Extra Care Card at the red price scanner usually located in the front of the store. These are not listed in the Weekly Ad and just print randomly. These are pretty general, for instance, $2.00 off of Huggies Pull-ups.

These CRTs are considered CVS Store coupons and can be combined with manufacturer's coupons (MFC).  This is called "Coupon Stacking" and here's what it looks like:

Buy (1) Huggies Pull-ups Jumbo Pack @ $9.00
Use (1) $2.00 CRT
Use (1) $3.00 MFC
Total $4.00 after using both coupons

Making money at CVS can be very simple! Almost every week there is a promotion where you will earn the same amount of ECB that you spend. For instance:

Colgate Toothpaste $2.99
Earn $2.99 ECB wyb 1
Use $1.00 off Manufacturer's coupon
Total = $1.00 overage after coupon and ECB

Couple other ways to save at CVS:

Email coupons - remember to sign up online to get these.

B1G1 Free sales - you can use two MFC coupons on a buy-one-get-one-free sale.
For example:

Max Factor Mascara $7.99 B1G1 Free
Use (2) $3.00 off MFC
Total = $1.99 for both

As with anything, "practice makes perfect" so don't be discouraged if you make a few mistakes. You'll be shopping like a pro soon enough.


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