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Thursday, March 25, 2010

How to Get Started at CVS

I've been blogging for about 8 months now and I've seen my fellow bloggers post their CVS deals. They would pay practically nothing out of pocket to get a whole bunch of stuff. I would look at their posts and think "Wow. If only I knew how to do that, I could save a ton of money too!" Then one day it hit me. If they could do it, why couldn't I? What was stopping me, besides myself? Here's how you too can benefit from shopping CVS.

The first thing you need to do is get yourself an Extra Care Card. To do this, simply ask a cashier for an application. Or if you would like, you can sign up online. (I would suggest asking for it at the store. If you don't, you'll have to wait for your card to arrive in the mail.)

You need an Extra Care card for several reasons. First, it gives you the opportunity to take advantage of  sale prices and Extra Buck deals. When you purchase these qualifying items, the Extra Care buck will print instantly on your receipt and you can use it like cash toward future purchases. For example, this week when you buy Colgate for $3.99, you get back $3.99 in Extra Bucks. In addition to weekly Extra buck deals, they also have monthly Extra Care buck deals.  You can also earn quarterly Extra Care bucks based on your spending. With every in-store or online purchase you make, you'll earn 2% back. For every two prescriptions you fill (both in-store at CVS.com) you'll earn 1 Extra Buck. And don't forget to register your email address!

After you've gotten yourself an Extra Care card, it's time to grab a CVS ad. They can be found in store, [usually] in your local paper and always online. Find the best deals and create a scenario that will end in the lowest out of pocket expense and the highest Extra Bucks back. If you don't feel up to the challenge, there are some great bloggers that will do this for you.

Basically you're looking for an item that is FREE or almost free after ECB (Extra Care Bucks). You'll pay cash (or credit) for the item and get however much you paid in ECB. If you have coupons for these items, use them! That way you'll end up with a "moneymaker". The ECB will print at the end of your receipt - clip them and keep them as carefully as you would cash (I keep mine in my wallet with my cash).

Your goal should be to "roll" your ECBs over weekly AND to “grow” them so you have “overage” to use towards other things you want/need to buy. How do you do this? By stacking a manufacturer’s coupon with the free-after-ECB deals. For example, this past week, Colgate was on sale for $3.99 and you got back $3.99 in ECB. I had a $1/1 Colgate coupon making my total OOP $2.99 and I got back $3.99 to use on a future purchase.

Some additional tips I have learned when shopping CVS:
  • Always have them scan your card before they start ringing up your transaction.
  • Get your coupons in order before you get to the register so that your transaction goes smoothly.
  • If you have an ECB that is for more than what your total is, they can either manually reduce it down and just take off the amount of your total (you will lose the rest of your ECB) OR you can add on a small item to make up the difference.
  • There is now a scanner near the entrance that prints out CVS coupons you can use on your shopping trips. Be sure to scan your card each trip to see what coupons you'll get.
I will post my CVS trips as I go and also a "newbie" scenario each week to help you start earning!

If you have any questions, feel free to email me, or leave them in the comments!


  1. I appreciate you posting the saving process with CVS. I've been a CVS card carrier for years but never received the savings that many bloggers have.
    With my husband working at Kmart and getting a discount we usually buy most of our toiletries there.
    Food 4 Less also beats CVS prices by multiple dollars.

  2. No problem! I was so frustrated looking at everyone's savings and not understanding how to do it! I decided just to jump in one day and I am so glad I did. Hope this will help and inspire you to try to shop CVS also! Good luck!


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