CVS is my favorite drugstore, since it usually offers some of the best deals and it has the easiest coupon policy of the 3 drugstores (CVS, Walgreens, and Rite Aid).
How Does CVS Work?
- Sign up for an Extra Care Card – It's free to sign up, and basically just involves filling out a form with some personal information about yourself such as name and address. You will get an Extra Care Card that you will need to give to the cashier so they can scan it every time you check-out at CVS. All the sale prices and Extra Care Bucks (ECB's) require you to use your Extra Care Card. You are only allowed to have one Extra Care Card per household.
- When you purchase advertised items, you can earn Extra Care Bucks (ECB's) that can be used toward your next purchase. Each week, I post the ECB deals for the week, as well as any coupons that can be used for your purchase to lower the out of pocket (OOP) even further. So, when I do my coupon matchups, I'll list it like this:
Edge Infused Comfort or Hydrate Shave Gel 7 oz. $2.89 (limit 1)
Get $2.89 ECB's
Total after ECB's: FREE
This means that the Edge shave gel costs $2.89 and you will receive $2.89 in ECB's when you make your purchase. In this case, you can earn the $2.89 in ECB's for the shave gel only 1 time. So, I would pay $2.89 in cash, and then $2.89 in ECB's would print out on my receipt to be used on my next purchase.
- The goal is to “roll” your ECB's, so you pay as little out of pocket as possible. I demonstrate the “rolling” principle when I create my CVS $5 Challenge scenarios. I usually create 3 different transactions to purchase products. That way, you can use the ECB's that you earn from each purchase in your next transaction to keep the out of pocket (OOP) as low as possible. I usually start my transactions assuming you have no ECB's to start (to make it less confusing and to help newbies who have never done this before), but if you have ECB's from previous transactions, you will pay much less than $5 OOP.
How to Use Coupons at CVS
- There are 4 different types of coupons that you can use at CVS:
- $/$$ purchase CVS coupon – for example, Get $5 off a $15 purchase
- CVS coupon – usually prints on the bottom of your receipt after a purchase or from the price scanner machine when you scan your Extra Care Card
- Manufacturer's coupon – coupons that are reimbursed by the manufacturer (will state on the coupon) that can be found in the Sunday paper, on tearpads throughout the store, etc.
- ECB's – ECB's are like a coupon for money off your purchase
- If you have a $/$$ coupon, you need to purchase the required amount of items (before coupons) and hand the cashier this coupon first before any other coupons reduce your purchase amount.
- You can stack CVS and manufacturer's coupons for the same item (meaning you can use both coupons on 1 item). One of the coupons is paid for by CVS and the other coupon is paid for by the manufacturer.
- Give your ECB's to the cashier last. You cannot use your ECB's to pay sales tax on your purchase, so before I hand over my ECB's, I'll ask the cashier for my subtotal and try to match my ECB's as closely as possible to that amount without going over.
Do you have any other CVS tips that I missed? Or do you still have any questions how shopping at CVS works? For more tips that work for others, please visit We are THAT Family.