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Jun 13 2017
9 months ago
1:55 PM MDT

23 Money-Saving Tips You May Not Know About Shopping at CVS/Pharmacy

Jun 13, 2017 @ 1:55 PM MDT
The links in the post below may be affiliate links. Read the full disclosure.

Did you know that CVS Pharmacy is currently the largest pharmacy chain in the United States by number of locations (over 9,600 nationwide) and total prescription revenue?! Besides saving on prescriptions, you can actually score free toothpaste & deodorant, inexpensive diapers, and lots of other great deals by shopping the weekly sales at CVS. Check out these tips for ways to save BIG…

1.) You Must Get an ExtraCare Rewards Card

The first step to take before you can even begin shopping at CVS is to either go in the store or online and fill out the Extra Care membership form. Once you become a member, you’ll get your very own Extra Care Card that you’ll want to take with you every time you shop. The benefit of going in-store is you will be able to get the card immediately. If you apply online, you’ll receive a temporary card that you can print immediately but your permanent card will arrive by mail in in approximately 2 weeks.

By using your ExtraCare Rewards Card at checkout, you’ll earn ExtraBucks Rewards that will print out on the bottom of your receipt when you make a qualifying purchase. You’ll also earn 2% back on your purchases (exclusions apply) that will accumulate quarterly and print out at the bottom of your receipt, at the ExtraCare Coupon Center, OR through in January, April, July and October.

Note that if you do not spend $50 in qualifying purchases or do not otherwise reach a minimum of $1 in ExtraBucks Rewards by the end of an earning period, you will not receive rewards and will not have your earnings carried over. You must collect your quarterly ExtraBucks Rewards, which will be rounded down to the nearest dollar, during the 45-day period following the earnings period.

2.) AND Create an Online Account Too

By signing up for a account, you can attach your ExtraCare Card to your account and view your ExtraCare rewards, print ExtraBucks Rewards & coupons, and take advantage of online features.

You can also send certain offers straight to your ExtraCare card so that instead of printing out a coupon, the qualifying offers on your card will be automatically redeemed the next time you use your card at checkout. If you’d rather print a coupon to use in-store, just go to the ExtraCare page and click on the ExtraCare Rewards tab. Then click on the coupon description for your printable coupon.

If you’re planning to shop online, you can also redeem select ExtraBucks Rewards towards online purchases. Just click on the coupon description on the ExtraCare Rewards page to activate it. Apply it to your order by clicking on the “Use Coupons/ExtraCare Rewards” button in your shopping cart.

3.) Be Sure to Sign up for Email Offers

Whenever you sign up for email offers or check the box when creating an online account (also be sure to check the Communication Settings in your online account), you’ll receive awesome CVS store coupons in your inbox. Usually every Thursday, CVS will send out email coupons such as 25% off your purchase, $5 off your $30 purchase, etc. These coupons can be saved to your account or printed out.

Note that these coupons exclude sale & promotional items, clearance items, prescriptions, gift cards, alcohol, lottery, money orders, postage stamps, pre-paid cards, milk, and pseudoephedrine.

The best way to use your percent-off coupons is by pairing it with manufacturer’s coupons on an item that is not a sale price but is part of an ExtraBucks Reward deal. So you should be able to use a 25% off email coupon along with manufacturer’s coupons towards a “Spend $30 on select Neutrogena = $10 ExtraBucks Reward” deal if the items are regularly priced at $9.29 to also get a $10 reward back.

4.) Buy Beauty Products? Join the CVS Beauty Club

Whenever you sign up for the CVS Beauty Club, you’ll automatically receive a FREE $5 ExtraBucks Reward for every $50 you spend on qualifying beauty purchases! You’ll also receive a 10% off Beauty Shopping pass after enrollment, a $3 ExtraBuck on your Birthday, exclusive coupons, and more!

Your ExtraBucks Rewards will print on your receipt OR at the ExtraCare Coupon Center two days following  your qualifying purchase. Or, if you prefer, sign in to your account to print or send your rewards to your card. Note that qualifying Beauty purchases include items from the following categories: Cosmetics, Fragrances, Hair Accessories, Hair Appliances, Hair Care, Hair Color, Healthy Skin Care and Skin Care (excludes items from Trial & Travel, gift cards and prescriptions).

5.) Like Surveys? Become a CVS Advisor Panel Member

The CVS Advisor Panel is a group of CVS customers who volunteer to take surveys as well as offer their opinions and feedback – and they often get rewarded with ExtraBucks Rewards in return! Usually if you qualify for the survey, you’ll get a higher reward (i.e. $15 EB) than if you don’t qualify (i.e. $2 EB).

To sign up, just head on over here and take the brief registration survey and be sure to click the confirmation link in your email. Once you register, you’ll get future emails with links to online surveys!

6.) Download the CVS Mobile App and Get Rewarded

Text “App” to CVS-APP (287-277) to download the FREE myCVS Mobile App on your smartphone (from iTunes or Google Play) so you can easily scan and save your CVS ExtraCare card at checkout, request a prescription refill, view the myWeekly Ad, access app-only deals, and more from your mobile device.

Plus, you’ll get an ExtraBucks Rewards whenever you download the mobile app and link your ExtraCare card for the first time! Your ExtraBucks Rewards will appear in the “My Deals & Rewards” section of your app once you link your card. Note that this offer is only available the first time you link your ExtraCare card to the app and does not include updates or re-installs.

HIP TIP: Through 6/30/2017, you can earn a $5 ExtraBucks Reward whenever you download the app and link your ExtraCare card for the first time (usually only a $3 ExtraBucks Reward).

7.) Save BIG with Curbside Delivery

With CVS Express Curbside, you can place a curbside pickup order on or right in the CVS Pharmacy app. Then, CVS will send you a text you when your order is ready for pickup – you just drive to your local CVS, park in the curbside spot and they’ll bring the order right to your car! Easy!

Even sweeter, they often offer new curbside customers a $10 off $10 promo code OR $10 off $15 promo code via email or listed at the top of their site here – valid only on your first curbside order! In fact, we previously posted a scenario where new members could score Huggies Diapers for $1.79!

Note that CVS Curbside may only available in select areas at this time. Use the Curbside Pickup store finder in the CVS Pharmacy app to check local availability before making a special trip to your store.

8.) Always Scan Your Card at the Red Kiosk Before Shopping

Always before starting your shopping trip, be sure to scan your CVS card or enter your phone number at the red ExtraCare Coupon Center (usually found at the front of the store) to see what CVS store coupons print for out that you can also combine with manufacturer’s coupons!

The Coupon Center will print coupons mentioned in the weekly ad but it also prints out personalized coupons, as it knows which coupons to print based on what you typically buy at CVS. Plus, be sure to check your receipt after making a purchase as sometimes you’ll receive other store coupons too.

9.) Check Your myWeekly Ad Online

The CVS myWeekly Ad was created to highlight current sales on the products you purchase frequently, so it will vary from person to person. Your personalized version of myWeekly Ad is based on your purchase history and is organized so you can easily find the things you actually use.

If you prefer, you can also view the full weekly adscan online for the current week OR view a sneak peek of the upcoming week’s ad scan, which is released every Thursday. To see your myWeekly Ad sneak peek, just go here and click the Sneak Peek button at the top (only available Thursday-Saturday for the previous week’s sale). Or go here and click the date drop-down to see the ad scan sneak peek.

NOTE – Select regions are becoming test markets and will only have one ad every two weeks, so your ad scan and deals may look completely different than other regions. ALSO, some stores roll over their ads on Saturday nights, so you could potentially shop 2 weeks of sales on Saturdays.

10.) Stack Those Coupons

One of the best things about shopping at CVS in my opinion is that they allow you to stack CVS coupons with manufacturer’s coupons on the same item – and you can print various CVS store coupons here! According to the official CVS coupon policy, you can stack multiple coupons, such as…

  • You can use TWO $3 off $15 coupons for purchases that are $30 or higher
  • You can use a $3 off $15 coupon and $5 ExtraBucks Rewards for a purchase of $15
  • You can stack a $1 off toothpaste mfr. coupon and a $2 off toothpaste Coupon Center coupon
    for a $3 toothpaste item

HIP TIP – CVS store coupons often have a bar code that starts with the number “4” or “0”, state “CVS Pharmacy” at the top, and do not include a remit address on the coupon, which is used to send to the manufacturer. Usually these store coupons are also limited to one per customer.

11.) Use the 98% Rule with ExtraBucks Reward Deals

Every week, CVS releases new promotions where you will earn ExtraBucks Rewards (which are almost like cash or store credit) for making a qualifying purchase. Although this may vary, you generally only need to reach 98% in order for the ExtraBucks to print. So if you are supposed to spend $30 on Baby Products to get a $10 ExtraBucks Reward, you actually only need to spend $29.40 to get the reward.

12.) “Roll” Your ExtraBucks Rewards

Unlike some stores, CVS actually allows you to use your ExtraBucks Rewards to purchase other ExtraCare deals – and you’ll still get rewards back! In other words, if you received a $5 ExtraBucks Reward from buying makeup, you can turn around and “roll” that $5 reward to pay for a bottle of Crest Mouthwash (and use coupons too) that is on sale for $5 and generating a $3 ExtraBucks Reward.

If you have a friendly cashier, you can complete multiple transactions to use your ExtraBucks Rewards each time OR make one large purchase and use the rewards the following week.

HIP TIP: If you have multiple stores nearby and your CVS store only has 2 items on the shelf and you need 3 in order to get your reward, you can buy 2 items at one store and 1 item at the other store and still receive the reward. CVS keeps track of your rewards at the bottom of your receipt.

13.) Look for Unadvertised ExtraBucks Deals

Occassionally, CVS has “hidden” deals that print out unadvertised ExtraBucks Rewards. For instance, this previous Scope Mouthwash was printing a $3 ExtraBuck, making for super cheap mouthwash!

14.) Watch for 75% Off Clearance Tags

Be sure to walk the aisles while shopping to look for the yellow 75% off clearance tags as you can pair the low prices with store & manufacturer’s coupons for possible free deals! Keep in mind that most clearance items do not print an ExtraBuck Reward after purchasing or qualify for Buy 2 Get 1 Free or other sales, even if it is a qualifying item in a sale. But you can use coupons on these items!

In fact, I have been able to use CVS store coupons on the retail value of a product! So if a Beauty 360 product is on clearance for $2.99 (regularly $11.99) and you have a $3 off $12 Beauty 360 CVS coupon, you can buy 2 items and the register should accept the coupon based on the retail amount.

15.) Shop the After-Holiday Clearance

A great time to head to CVS is after the holidays where you can save 75-90% off. Be sure to follow Hip2Save as we often post reader clearance deals, including Christmas Clearance, Valentine’s Day Clearance, Halloween/Fall Decor Clearance, Summer Clearance, School Supply Clearance and more!

16.) Black Friday is the BEST Day for Freebies

Seriously – one of the best days to shop at CVS is Black Friday! Each year, they offer TONS of freebies after ExtraBucks Rewards, such as batteries, candy, vegetables, makeup, razors and more! Plus, you can almost always ask for a rain check if your store is out of stock on an item (exclusions apply).

Which brings me to…

17.) Out of Stock? Get a Raincheck!

If the shelves are empty, ask for a raincheck as they never expire! Plus, if you have a CVS store coupon that you were wanting to use, the raincheck will extend the CVS store coupon’s expiration date!

When the raincheck item is back in stock, you must present the applicable CVS store coupon and your raincheck at the time of purchase and it will be attached to the CVS coupon by a store personnel. However, please note that manufacturer’s coupons cannot be extended past their expiration date.

18.) Know the 100% Satisfaction Guarantee

All CVS/pharmacy Brand products (such as Gold Emblem, Just the Basics, etc) are 100% satisfaction guaranteed or you’ll get your money back. If you’re dissatisfied for ANY reason, you can return the product (opened or unopened) along with your receipt or invoice to any CVS/pharmacy store.

Plus, CVS offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee on ANY beauty products! That means if you’re dissatisfied for ANY reason, you can return the beauty product (opened or unopened) along with your receipt or invoice to any CVS/pharmacy store to get 100% money back.

Due to health and safety concerns, select Healthcare items, Home Health, and Personal Care products cannot be returned even if they are not opened and no refunds can be issued for such items.

19.) Take Advantage of Free Photo Offers

Several times a year, CVS Photo offers completely FREE 8×10 Photo Prints (like they did previously here and here) – and you can choose in-store pickup to bypass any shipping charges! Plus, they have also previously offered 10 FREE 4×6 Photo Prints in the Mobile App. Great time to print your photos!

20.) Sign Up for ExtraCare Pharmacy & Health Rewards

With the ExtraCare Pharmacy & Health Rewards program, you can earn “credits” for your prescription purchases and refills, getting a flu shot, signing up for refill reminder emails and text notifications and more (rewards cannot be earned for prescriptions purchased in Arkansas, New Jersey or New York).

For every 10 credits you earn, you’ll score a $5 ExtraBucks Rewards and it will be issued approximately one week after every 10 credits have been earned. Your Pharmacy & Health ExtraBucks Rewards can be used like FREE CVS money on most items throughout the store (excluding prescriptions, alcohol, gift cards, lottery, money orders, postage stamps, pre-paid cards or tobacco products).

HIP TIP: If you or a family member has life threatening allergies, CVS now offers the EpiPen Alternative 2-Pack for $109.99 – the lowest cash price on the market. If you have insurance, you may be able to save an extra $100 off with this co-pay / co-insurance Savings Card.

21.) OR Fill 10 Prescriptions at Target & Get a $5 Target Coupon

Because CVS Health acquired Target’s Pharmacy back in 2015, you can now fill your CVS/Pharmacy needs at your local Target. The ExtraCare Pharmacy & Health Rewards program gives you the option of a $5 Target merchandise coupon OR a $5 ExtraBucks Reward each time you earn 10 credits.

In order to choose a $5 Target store coupon, at least one prescription must be filled at the CVS Pharmacy inside Target. Once the reward is available (usually within a week after credits have been earned), you’ll need to pick it up in person at your local Target’s CVS Pharmacy counter.

Note that the $5 Target coupon is redeemable at Target stores only and excludes all alcohol, gift cards, prepaid cards, LEGO, Vitamix, Weber, Dyson, DSLR cameras and lenses, Google products, Apple, Bose, Sonos, GoPro, CVS Pharmacy items or products (including prescriptions), MinuteClinic, Target Optical, Portrait Studio, Target Mobile purchases and certain other partner businesses.

22.) Get Free Health Screening Every Fall for $5 ECB

Every Fall, CVS Pharmacy offers FREE Health Screening events to measure body mass index, blood pressure, glucose, total cholesterol and more. Plus, just for completing a health screening, you’ll receive a FREE Tote Bag and $5 CVS store coupon valid on CVS Pharmacy exclusive brand products.

23.) Buy Discounted CVS Gift Cards Online

One way to save on your CVS purchases is to buy a discounted CVS Pharmacy gift card on! You can also occasionally purchase discounted CVS retail gift cards on sites like eBay, Amazon and even on the Swych App, but these deals often go fast and don’t last long.

Written by Mary for Hip2Save. Mary is a proud mom to 3 kids in Austin, TX, who thrives off running long distance, bargain shopping, warm weather, a yummy latte…and a little Candy Crush from time to time. She loves quality time with family & friends and sharing great deals with others.

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Have you ever had moments when you're either out of time or out of printer ink, or both, and you really want to keep track of a "Hip" deal or print a valuable coupon in the next day or two? Or what do you do when an outstanding, but pricey, deal is posted and you want to save it for discussion with your significant other? Well, now you're in luck! No more searching through pages of posts to find the coupon or the deal. Simply move the post to your Hip List and access it at your convenience.

How Does the Hip List Work?

It's easy! To use this feature, first head on over here and register and log into your account. Whenever you find a great deal that you want to come back to later at a later time, just click on the HIP List icon located on each post (see images below) and the information will be saved in your account. To remove a post from your HIP List, just click on the HIP List icon and it will be removed.

When logged into your account, you will see the HIP List icon at the bottom of every post if you are viewing in classic view.

If you prefer to view in river view, you will see the HIP List icon located on every post above the post title and to the right.

If you're wanting to print a certain deal, blog post, or the Weekly Store Matchups from your HIP list, click on the small blue printer icon in the upper right corner of the HIP list. This will allow you to customize the information that you want or don't want to include when printing from your HIP list so you're only printing the information that's most important to you! If there are deals (or portions of deals) that you are not interested in printing, just click on the red x button to remove them. To restore a section, click on the green arrow icon in the upper right hand corner.