Before I started serious couponing a couple years ago, the only time I would go into drugstores was when I had a prescription to pick up. I thought that they were overpriced on everything. Boy was I wrong! If you know how to work the system you can get cleaning, baby, health and beauty items and even food for pennies. This week’s Thursday Tutorial is part 1 of 2 that will help you understand how to get great deals at CVS.
The first thing you need to have to get the great deals at CVS is an ExtraCare Card. These are very easy to get and allow you to take advantage of CVS’s Extra Care Buck program as well as receive in store coupons via snail mail or email.
You can obtain a CVS ExtraCard card from any store. Just ask the cashier, and they will give you a short form to fill out. You will receive your card immediately
You can also register for it online, but you will have to wait for a week or two to get it in the mail.
In order to get the coupons via snail mail or email you have to register your card. You can do it on-line by creating a CVS account and attaching your ExtraCare Card or by calling CVS customer service at 1-800-SHOP-CVS.
What are Extra Care Bucks(ECBs)
ECBs are basically money off your next order coupons that you receive from CVS. You can use them on pretty much everything except prescriptions, alcohol, tobacco, Gift Cards and in some areas dairy.
Ways to Earn Extra Care Bucks
Here are three different ways you can earn ECBS:
- Receive ECBs through promotions such as “Buy X product, receive $$ in ECB.” It might also say Buy $X of this product and get $Y in ECBs.” For example this week the ad says, Buy $20 in Huggies products and get $10 ECBs. The important thing to note is that the $20 you need to buy is the amount before coupons.
- At the of each quarter, CVS rewards it’s customers by giving them 2% back to the total amount spent during the quarter. This is calculated after coupons and ECBs.
- $1 ECB is earned for every 2 prescriptions filled at CVS. This is reflected in your quarterly ECB total.
The ECBs you receive from the 1st option will print immediately when you have earned it at the bottom of your register receipt. The other’s will print about 2 weeks after the quarter end.
ECBs expire 4 weeks from the date they are printed. However, as I mentioned here, many CVSs will accept expired ECBs especially if they are recently expired.
Other CVS Coupons
As mentioned above, if you register your card you will receive coupons either in the mail or your e-mail. However many stores have a Red Price Scanner. This is basically a price check machine, but it also prints coupons when you scan your card. It is the first thing I do every time I go into a CVS(it’s fun for the kids too.) If your lucky you might get a $/$$ coupon(for example Save $3 when you spend $15). Other times it will print CVS coupons for specific items that you can combine with your manufacturer coupons.
If you are lucky enough to have a scanner machine, make sure you scan your card more then once. Many times I’ll scan it 4 times before it stops printing coupons.
CVS coupons can also be found in booklets and pamphlets often near the pharmacy. CVS also sell Reinventing Beauty magazines for 99 cents that are full of CVS coupons.
Now you know how to get CVS Extra Care Bucks and other CVS coupons. Stay tuned for next week’s Thursday Tutorial to find out how to save the most money with them.