CVS Store Guide

UPDATE 9/9/11:
CVS now has an official corporate coupon policy!  Go here to print it and take it with you in the store while shopping.

CVS at first glance is a complicated store with deals that are sometimes difficult to understand. Going there can be, to say the least, a little intimidating and sometimes overwhelming. We’re hoping this guide gives you the courage to walk into CVS like you own the store, make the cashier have her jaw hit the counter, and walk out with a cart full of items for next to nothing!

Your First CVS Baby Step

The first step to take before you can even begin shopping at CVS is to either go in the store or online here and fill out the Extra Care membership form. Once you become a member, you’ll get your very own Extra Care Card. The benefit of going in the store is you will be able to get the card immediately. If you apply online, you’ll have to wait two weeks for your card to arrive in the mail.

Having an Extra Care Card will allow you to score all the sale prices and promotional Extra Care Buck offers! Always make sure to have your card scanned FIRST–before the cashier rings up your purchases. That way you will get the correct sale price and/or Extra Care Bucks (What are those? Look below!).

The Extra Care Program Overview

Extra Care Bucks or ECBs are CVS rewards that will give you money back to spend in the store however you want (a few exclusions apply). Always remember to have the cashier scan your Extra Care card first so you never miss out on the Extra Care Bucks! Every week, there will be Extra Care Buck deals advertised in the weekly ad. Basically you will have to purchase a select product, and then, after purchasing the item, you will get a certain amount of Extra Care Bucks back. The Extra Care Bucks will come in the form of a coupon at the end of your receipt. These Extra Care Buck items will come with different limits. Some items will give you one ECB per card… other items may give you five ECBs. Sometimes there will even be FREE after Extra Care Buck items advertised! This means that you will buy an item for a certain amount and then get that same amount back after purchasing the item in the form of Extra Care Bucks! And even sweeter, if you have a manufacturer coupon to use on the free after Extra Care Buck item, then you’ll turn this deal into a moneymaker!

You will also earn 2% cash back in the form of Extra Care Bucks on every purchase in-store and online. Every three months these Extra Bucks will print out at the end of your receipt. If you are a really great CVS shopper–which means you spend very little out of pocket–this amount won’t be too much… BUT every little bit helps and it’s like scoring FREE money on items you would have purchased anyway! You can also earn one Extra Care buck for every two prescriptions purchased in-store or online.

Rolling Extra Care Bucks

Once you start getting the hang of CVS, you’ll be able to “roll” your Extra Care Bucks! This means that you’ll be able to purchase new Extra Care Buck deals on a regular basis while rolling Extra Care Bucks earned from previous weeks to purchase them! And that means, you’ll be spending little to NO money out of pocket! Once you get really good, you’ll start profiting off these deals. How? Well, when you stack manufacturer coupons on top of Extra Care Buck deals, you can really come out ahead!

Here’s an example:

CVS has Suave Shampoo on sale for $1, and it will generate a $1 Extra Care Buck (ECB) after purchasing one. Plus, you have a $0.50/1 manufacturer coupon. You’ll end up only paying $0.50 out of pocket, but then you’ll get back a $1 Extra Care Buck–netting you a $0.50 profit for purchasing Suave! This extra money earned can go towards much needed items like diapers and milk!

Stacking Coupons

Always be on the lookout for other CVS store product coupons. These can be stacked with manufacturer coupons for even more savings! Some will print out at the end of your receipt, after your Extra Care Bucks. You can usually find printable store coupons here too. I have also found CVS coupons in various magazines!

CVS offers money off a certain purchase amount store coupons on a regular basis too. These are usually $4 off a $20 purchase Store coupons and the best part, these coupons can be used before any manufacturer coupons to really lower your out of pocket expense. These coupons are usually emailed to select card holders. Make sure to sign up for email updates when you register for your Extra Care card and you just may get one of these coupons in your Inbox soon!

Once you’re ready to checkout, put your coupons in this order: $4 off $20 store coupon (or any other money-off store coupon), CVS store product coupons, manufacturer coupons and finally Extra Care Bucks.

I hope this gets you off to a good start! I’m sure you’ll be a CVS shopping pro in NO time!

UPDATE:

Are you worried about CVS not accepting two coupons on a Buy One, Get One Free sale – or not allowing you to use a Buy One, Get One Free coupon on a Buy One, Get One Free sale to essentially get two items for free? Well, worry no longer! One of my awesome readers emailed CVS regarding this, and this is the response she received:

Thank you for contacting CVS/pharmacy. Your e-mail has reached the Customer Relations Department. We appreciate the time you have taken to contact us with your inquiry.

In the case where a particular item is on sale for Buy One, Get One Free (BOGO), you are only allowed to use one manufacturer’s BOGO coupon. For instance, if Revlon lipstick is on sale for BOGO, you can use one manufacturer’s BOGO coupon. You would get both items free and pay any applicable tax. We reserve the right to limit quantities. If our store is running a sale for BOGO, you can use two manufacturer’s coupons for a specific dollar amount off. For example, if Revlon lipstick is on sale at our store for BOGO, you can use two $1.00 off Revlon lipstick manufacturer coupons.

Again, thank you for contacting us. We value your business and look forward to serving you in the future. Have a wonderful evening!

Sincerely,

Danielle
CVS/pharmacy
Customer Relations
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I would suggest printing this off and keeping it with you every time you shop at CVS.

Still Confused?
Check out my CVS “Follow Me Monday” Video:

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