Couponing 101 – Store Coupon Policies & Maximizing Your Savings

Store Coupon Policies and how to Maximize your Savings with Coupons

Each store’s coupon policy can usually be found online at the store’s website.  It’s a good idea to print a copy and keep with you because sometimes you will run into a cashier (or even a manager!) that doesn’t know their own stores policy.


  • 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!)
  • CVS has Extra Care Bucks (ECBs) – These come in the form of quarterly 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 $7.15, 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.
  • 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!
  • 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.

See more at Getting Started at CVS.


  • Walgreens shoppers need a Balance Rewards Card.
  • There are two ways to earn at Walgreens: Balance Rewards Points and Register Rewards (RR).
    -RR are coupons for $ off that can be redeemed on your purchase
    -Balance Reward Points can be used as cash (in increments of 5000 points ($5) at a time) after all coupons are applied.
    -You can stack manufacturer coupons with Walgreens store coupons.
    -Number of coupons used (including RR) cannot exceed number of items in transaction
    -RR do not roll and only print one per transaction.
  • Walgreens does not double coupons, ad match or accept competitor’s coupons.

See more Getting Started at Walgreens


  • Doubles manufacturer coupons with a face value up to 50c
  • Can stack store coupons with manufacturer coupons
  • Accepts competitor coupons.  They will take STORE coupons from other stores and you can stack them with manufacturer coupons (but not Publix store coupons)
  • Buy one get one free deals – each item rings up half price.  You do not have to get both items to get the deal.
  • Baby Club
  • e-coupons are manufacturer coupons

See more about Publix shopping.

  • Doubles manufacturer coupons with a face value up to 50c
  • Can stack store coupons with manufacturer coupons
  • Buy one get one free deals – You have to get both items.  One item rings up full price, the second item rings up free.
  • No competitor coupons
  • Baby Club
  • e-coupons are store coupons
  • Fuelperks!

See more about Winn-Dixie Shopping.

  • Will match competitors prices.
  • No double coupons
  • Can stack manufacturer coupons with store coupons.
  • Many ways to save at Target!  Mobile coupons, Shopkick, Cartwheel and printable store coupons.
  • Check out all the ways to get coupons here.


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