How to save money at CVS.
The same rules apply at CVS that apply to all shopping. Shop when the price is right and never run out of anything! The best way to do this is to keep a price book (#24). CVS has some great deals when you find a sale and then utilize the following techniques to save even more money.
Get an Extra Care Card
Sign up online. This gives you access to special coupons and Extra Care Bucks (ECB). Extra Care Bucks are CVS gift certificates worth $1-10 that print on the bottom of your receipt when you make a qualifying purchase. They generally expire in 30 days, but you can use them right away. In fact I always use mine right away. More on that later.
Sign up for to receive email
When you sign up for your account opt-in to receive emails. I don’t shop at CVS regularly but it seems like every week I get an offer for 15% off, 20% off or my favorite $5 off a $15 purchase. If you get one of these click on it and “send” to to your card before you go to the store or shop online. These offers generally can’t be used for sale items but I’ve used them to buy things that never go on sale or in one case for clip on sunglasses which made them cheaper than Costco.
Get the app and get $5 free
Text “App” to CVS-APP (287-277) to download. Then sign into the app with your EC card login and $5 of Extra Care Bucks will be available to be “sent” to your account. When I used this method I got an error message at first but I clicked around and then it worked.
As soon as you’ve downloaded the app log in to your account and go to “Extra Care” and send the $5 of ECB’s to your card otherwise it will expire in a few days.
Add coupons and register for ECB Offers
If you get an offer or coupon (i.e. Get $5 off $15 purchase) via email or on the app you always have to send it to your card to get the discount in-store or online.
Prepare before you shop
Review the weekly ad online (opt-in to receive it by email) or on the app and send any coupons to your EC card. Make a list of any other items with good prices.
Use your Extra Care Bucks right away
To use your ECB’s immediately you have to make two purchases. Recently I completed this shop. I purchased one 42 count Prilosec on sale for $23.99 which offered $5 in ECB’s back. At the same time they were offering “buy two 16 ounce cans of Planters Peanuts for $6”.
I went to the store and collected all the items. My first purchase was: scan the EC Card (phone) and buy the Prilosec. I tore the $5 ECB certificate off the receipt (you have to scan and deposit it at the register with the second purchase) then I made my second purchase which was scan my EC card (phone) again, scanned in both cans of peanuts and the $5 ECB certificate. So I got the peanuts for $1.12. That’s it. Now I don’t have to go back to the store a second time or worse let the ECB’s expire.
Scan Your ExtraCare Card when entering the store and after purchase
Find the red price scanner machine and scan your card. It will dispense a tape of discounts you’ve signed up for and many times new offers and coupons. Also after you make your purchase scan your card again. It may have added more coupons that you can take advantage of immediately rather than having to make another trip back. Also check the bottom of your receipt after every purchase. There are sometimes additional coupons and offers.
I’ve never done this but I know someone who stockpiles their ECB’s and then makes a purchase applying all their ECB’s so the whole purchase is almost free. The rules are fairly straightforward the key being you can’t use more ECB’s certificates than items purchased. Also if the ECB’s exceed the total purchase you do not get cash back. Some people also use ECB’s to make purchases that generate additional ECB’s. Finally you can apply manufacturer coupons if you have access to those. Rules.
If you have prescriptions, check prices and if they’re competitive sign up for the program and fill them at CVS. You’ll get $5 ECBs for every 10 prescriptions you fill.
You get $5 ECBs for every $50 you spend, plus $3 ECBs every year on your birthday. The Beauty Club includes 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.
Every three months, you’ll get back 2% of what you’ve spent in the form of ECBs, so you want to make sure every purchase you make qualifies for that 2%.
- Open a Extra Care Rewards account.
- Get the app and get $5 free.
- Add your email address to your account. Sign up to receive the weekly ad.
- Review the weekly ad for all the sale items and add coupons and deals to your card.
- Make a list of the deals that you can’t clip to your card.
- Check your email for deals.
- Scan your card when you enter the store to check for new deals.
- Make purchase(s).
- Scan your card before leaving the store to check for new deals.
- Enjoy your savings!