Wednesday, October 3, 2007

How CVS works

I found this great explaination of how to work CVS on Rebecca's Bargain Blog (see link to the left) Here is her version of how it works.

CVS is a great store to shop at if you cherrypick the deals. This means just buying the free or almost free stuff (or good deals on stuff you must have right now) filler that if you need to get to a certain $ amount.An Extra Care card is needed, if you have one already, that's great. If not, you can get one (and use it) next time you're in the store.

Be sure to register your card at so that they email you coupons and savings.How ECB (Extra Care Bucks) work is like this. Certain items are ECB items each week (some are monthly). When you buy the product, you will pay full price for it. Then at the end of your receipt, you will get some ECB (they print out on the end of your receipt, like a paper coupon)...basically it's like monopoly money to be spent at CVS, on any product in the store. So you will need to put out at little money to start, but then once you learn to manage your ECBs, you will use those to pay in full for future purchases there so you have very little out of pocket (OOP). For example.

Here are some more tips from a forum called CVS Weekly. She gives some great tips as well.

.So after all this talk about ECB's you want to know what they are. Well, they are coupons that print at the bottom of your receipt. SAVE THEM! They are basically free money to spend in CVS on what ever you want (some exclusions do apply). The best way to use ECB's is to roll them over from week to week. So if you earn $10 in ECB's this week when next week's ad comes out see what is giving ECB's back and try and use your ECB's on that to keep them "rolling over".

Before you get to the register be sure you have exactly what the ad calls for. If it says snapple good on single serve only and you get a gallon jug it will NOT print out the ECB's for you. Something else to look out for is when they expire. Since this is "free money" letting them expire is wasteful. You will also want to be sure that if there is a limit on the amount of ECB's on a product don't exceed it or you won't get the ECB's back. Meaning if it says limit 1 that is all you are able to buy that week is 1. (the bottom of your receipt will tell you limit reached once it is reached).Some other things to keep in mind when dealing with CVS an ECB's. If it says spend $30 and get $10 ECB's back you do NOT have to do that in one purchase you can spread it out. You can use multiple ECB's to make a purchase but remember that each ECB is like a coupon so if you buy 6 items and have 7 coupons 1 will beep so be sure to have the same number of items as coupons.

More often than not CVS has printable coupons for $ off $$ (like $4 off $20 purchase) these are great. If you have $6 in ECB's and a $4 off $20 coupon you can purchase $20 in stuff give over the COUPON first and then the ECB's and you will have gotten $20 in free stuff. Like I said before it is best to keep getting items that give you ECB's to keep them "rolling over". Sometimes it is hard to reach $20 and even things out so you can use "filler" items. Fillers are cheap little items like candy, gum, or a nail file. They help push your $ amount or item number up to where it should be to get your coupon(s) to work.

If for some reason you have to return something that you bought with a coupon you should get the full purchase price back because they are being reimbursed for that coupon. They may argue this so it is best to not have to return anything.And one last important piece of info is the order in which you hand over the coupons. You absolutely must do all $/$$ coupons first, then your ECB's (it's best to find out how much in ECB's you should be giving before you get there) and then the rest of your q's. The reason is you don't pay tax on the ECB's or the $/$$ coupons but must on all manuf. coupons. If you use them last they will "take care" of the tax for you.


Anonymous said...

this is awesome