Thursday, March 19, 2009

CVS 101

I have been meaning to put up this post for awhile now. For the newbies, here is a guide to how you can get all those awesome deals at your local CVS. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me!

1. Sign up for a CVS card. You can do this online and receive it in the mail (go to here). But if you don't want to wait, go directly to your nearest CVS,
march up to the counter, and kindly ask for a CVS card. They will hand you a short form* to fill out and you will get your card on the spot.

*Yes, it is very big brother of them to track your spending. But, on every receipt you can see how much you've saved AND sometimes you will receive additional coupons that will print out on your receipt or show up in your email.

2. Each week, when you buy certain products you can earn Extra Care Bucks (ECB). You can find these deals by looking in the CVS ad that comes out every Sunday in the newspaper, online, or they have plenty of ads in the store. These ECB's will print out at the end of your receipt and look like this:

ECB's can be used on anything in the store except prescriptions, alcohol, gift cards, lottery, money orders, postage stamps, pre paid cards, and tobacco products. Also, note there is an expiration date.

3. Now, let's take action. The goal is to maximize your savings by combining coupons and rolling over your ECB's. Let's review a simple example so that this makes sense.

  • You purchase: Garnier Fructis Shampoo: $2.99
  • You choose to buy this shampoo because the ad says you can earn $2.99 in ECB's with this purchase.
  • You also buy Secret deodorant which is $1.99 and you can get a $1 ECB back for this purchase. You also have a coupon for the Secret deodorant.
  • And you decide to buy Windex for $1.99 as well.
Here is what it looks like:

Shampoo $2.99
Deoderant $1.99
Windex $1.99

Subtotal: $6.97

Coupons: $1 off Deoderant

Total Paid: $6.00

Your receipt then prints out a $2.99 ECB and a $1 ECB

However, there is a better way to do this. This time you are going to do TWO separate transactions. Don't worry, CVS cashiers are used to this. Just be sure to be kind and patient.

Transaction #1
Buy Garnier Fructis Shampoo for $2.99
Receive your $2.99 ECB

Transaction #2
Buy Secret Deodorant for $1.99
Buy Windex for $1.99
Subtotal: $3.98

Use a $1.00 Manufactor coupon for the deoderant
Use the $2.99 ECB from transaction #1

New Total: $0!! And you receive a $1.00 ECB

And there you have it! Remember to start small, and as you get the hang of it, you will be able to do bigger orders and more transactions. Kingdom First Mom has a segment each week called the $5 CVS challenge. I encourage you to go check it out and get some ideas for scenarios each week. And again, please contact me if you have any additional questions!

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