Here’s a few things you need to know about CVS if you’ve never “coupon shopped” there before.
Getting started at CVS:
- You need an Extra Care card to get advertised prices. They are free and you can apply in store. You will need to have this scanned every time you make a purchase (prescriptions included!)
- You can stack Manufacturer coupons with CVS store coupons.
- CVS store coupons come in the form of a CRT (cash register tape – prints at the end of your receipt), or you may get sent some by e-mail (if you provide your e-mail when you sign up for your Extra Care card) and stores now have a “coupon center” which is a price checker machine that will print coupons if you scan your Extra Care card! Don’t just stop at one scan. I can usually get coupons from two scans a day. Some days I get lucky and get coupons on my third scan!
- CVS has Extra Care Bucks (ECBs) – These come in the form of quaterly ECBs which is 2% of all your purchases for the quarter and $1 for every 2 prescriptions filled. Extra Care Bucks also come from weekly deals. Items that generate ECBs will be listed in the ad. You can use coupons on ECB sales. This sometimes results in products for free or even a profit. For example, if they put toothpaste on sale for $3 with $3 ECBs back, that’s FREE toothpaste! But if you had a $1 off coupon or that toothpaste, you would pay $2 for the toothpaste, but get $3 ECBs back! You just made $1 because you got back $1 ECB more than you spent! Extra Care Bucks print at the end of your receipt when you purchase the appropriate items.
- ECBs you earn can be used like cash toward your purchase. But you cannot apply them towards the sales tax on your purchase. So if I had a $3 ECB and a $4 ECB and my total was $7.22, I’ll ask for my subtotal. Because if my subtotal is only $6.50, I don’t want to use $7 ECBs. I will lose 50c. I would use my $4 ECB and pay $3.22 out of my pocket. ECBs have to be used in their whole amount towards your subtotal. You will not get change back on ECBs. See the bottom of your ECB for restrictions (like not being able to use them on prescriptions, tobacco and alcohol.
- Use your ECBs to pay for items that will give you MORE ECBs! We call this “rolling”. You just keep on getting MORE ECBs when you spend your ECBs!
- CVS does not double coupons, ad match or accept competitor’s coupons.