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How to Shop at CVS like a Coupon Pro

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Shopping at CVS can seem really daunting at first, but once you get a hang of rolling transactions you will fall in love with shopping at CVS!how-to-shop-at-CVS


How to Shop at CVS like a Coupon Pro

Here is some lingo that is specific to CVS and will be used on CVS Matchups and Deal Posts. 

Extra Care Bucks (ECBs): It’s a CVS store coupon for a discount of your next purchase order that prints at check out.  They print at the bottom of your receipt and can be used “like cash” on almost anything sold at CVS (excludes gift card purchases, alcohol, prescriptions).

Extra Care card: Card that will track your ECB’s and rewards.  You must scan this before your transactions to get your ECB’s.  Apply for the free Extra Care Bucks card online here or in-stores.

Reinventing Beauty Magazine:  This is a is a .99 cent magazine available in the beauty section of most CVS stores.  It sometimes comes with CVS and manufacturer coupons.

Magic Coupon Machine: Price scanning machines located at certain stores that serve to check the price of items and also print CVS store coupons when your CVS Extra Care Bucks card is scanned. Scan your card until it says no more offers for today, check back tomorrow.

CVS Store coupons:  These can be stacked with manufacturer coupons for added savings.

CVS $/$$ coupons:  These coupons provide a discount once your order reaches a certain value before coupons.  For example:  you could save $4 when you buy $20 or more.  This total is always before any other coupons. These are commonly found in emails—so check your email and online extra care account often.

CVS Beauty Club– A CVS program where you receive $5 ECB’s for every $50 you spend in beauty products. Sign up here.

Quarterly ECB’s– ECB’s you get back quarterly, the amount is based on 2% of your overall spending at CVS

How to Roll Transactions at CVS 

The main thing to remember when shopping at CVS is to always remember to end up at the end of the week with a couple ECB’s to spend on the next weeks transactions.

Here is an example of how to start a CVS ROLLING Shopping Trip.

Transaction #1  (lets begin with no ECB’s)

  • Colgate Toothpaste (sale price $4.99) ($2.50 ECB)
    • Use 50¢/1 Mfr. Q

Total OOP= $4.49 + tax and you would receive $2.50 ECB

Transaction #2 (begin with the $2.50 ECB from previous transaction)

  • 2 Dimetapp Products (sale price $4.95 ea.) ($3 ECB wyb 2) 
    • Use (2) $2/1 Printable Coupons
    • Use $2.50 ECB

Total OOP= $3.40+ tax and you get back $3 ECB (so its like getting 2 bottles for 20¢ ea.)

You would continue to roll transactions. Sometimes CVS has freebies where the item is $3 and you get $3 ECB back. If you always have ECB’s in your possession you can always get those FREE things.

How to Check Out at CVS 

When you go up to the register, relax, most CVS cashiers love couponers and sometimes will even help you if you get disorientated.

Hand the cashier coupons in the following order:

  1. CVS Extracare Card
  2. First Item
  3. The rest of your items.
  4. Total Dollar Off Coupons (example $4/$20)
  5. Store Coupons
  6. Mfr. Coupons

If you have more than one transaction and there is a line, please be considerate and do one transaction at a time. The Sunday before Black Friday CVS has TONS of freebies and a couple other couponers were in the store and we rotated doing transactions and we had a blast. Sometimes, if I am doing a lot of transactions I like breaking them up between days, I do this because Beauty Bucks take 2 days to print out.

Photo Credit: Stock Monkeys (text added)

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