Need some tips to maximize your CVS savings….I get a lot of questions. In fact, I’ve recently received some inquiries about CVS, so I thought I would address them.
The first thing you need to know about shopping at CVS is you MUST have a CVS Extra Care card. I cannot believe the people I get behind in the line who don’t have a card and won’t take the time to register. Registration is free and easy. Basically, if you don’t have the card, you don’t get their sale prices. It’s that simple. To register online, go to their webpage at www.cvs.com
The second aspect of effective CVS shopping is know your prices! If it’s not on sale at CVS, I don’t buy it. They tend to run higher on most items. I know one example I personally remember is: Back before I used a lot of coupons, I needed coffee. I had waited until I was almost out, so I had to buy it that day. I did not understand the stockpiling philosophy, and had no extras in the cabinet. So, I went to CVS and their price on the large can of Maxwell House was $10 and something. I couldn’t believe it! I left and went next door to the Family Dollar and bought the same item for around $6!! And that’s just one example. So the lesson here is, buy at CVS the items that are on sale. And, buy enough to get you to the next time that it will run on sale which is usually a month to 6 weeks. CVS runs good sales and if you combine the sales with manufacturer’s coupons, you can get great deals.
The third and final thing you need to understand to maximize your savings at CVS is the Extra Care Bucks (ECBs). Again, in order to receive these, you must have the CVS Extra Care Card. CVS advertises in their weekly circular the ECBs they are offering each week. Most of the time that particular item is also on sale. So, if you combine the sale, the ECBs and then manufacturer’s coupons, you can sometimes get the items for FREE or at little cost. Occasionally, when you combine all three of these, CVS will actually be paying you to buy the product. However, the ECBs print at the register and are good towards your next purchase, so they aren’t like handing you money. But, in the end, you are getting back more than you are spending.
The best way I have found to use the ECBs is to keep them rolling from one week to another. For example, I currently have only $2 in ECBs this week. I will use those to purchase at least one item this week that will generate more ECBs. That way, they keep ‘rolling’ over. Now, if the CVS ad doesn’t have an item on sale with ECBs that I use or want, I’ll wait until next week. Just don’t let the ECBs expire!! I can always find something to use them for. But it’s best if you can use them to purchase more ECB items.
I hope this had helped you who are new to the CVS program or who have never understood their system. One last note: don’t hesitate to get a rain check if they are out of the item. Rain checks are GOOD things. You can wait until you have more coupons for the items and until they had a good stock of it.
For help understanding the coupon abbreviations, see my post here on Couponing Lingo.
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