Saturday, February 28, 2009


Everything you need to know to score big at CVS

CVS is probably the easiest of the 3 drug stores to get the hang of and to really start saving money. The first thing you need to do is to get an ExtraCare Card. This is CVS’s customer loyalty card and you will need to use it every time you go there in order to take advantage of all their sales. In addition to earning ECBs on select purchases every week, with your card you’ll also earn ECBs for the total dollar amount you spend each quarter.

So, what is an ECB?

ECB is short for ExtraCare Buck. These are like gift certificates that print at the bottom of your receipt. You earn them by purchasing select items with your ExtraCare Card. Every month CVS puts out a catalog of items that give you ECBs. This catalog is found in the front of the store, usually beside or on a rack under their weekly circular. There are ALWAYS items that are FREE after ECBs!

How do I spend my ECBs?

You can use ECBs just like you would a coupon. In fact, you can also use them in conjunction with a coupon. The only catch is that the item total for your order has to be equal to or greater than the amount of the ECBs you want to spend. You will also need to have the cashier scan your ExtraCare card in order to spend ECBs.

What does it mean to “roll over” ECBs?
Rolling over ECBs is one of the joys of shopping at CVS! Remember, ECBs are like gift certificates that you can use to buy anything in the store. When you spend your ECBs on items that generate MORE ECBs, you begin a cycle of purchasing that requires you to spend next to nothing to buy all sorts of items! When there are really good sales with lots of items that generate ECBs, you can even do multiple transactions. You should try to do this when you are going to be buying a lot of items that generate ECBs at the same time. Separate your items so that you can use the ECBs that you earn from transaction #1 to buy items for transaction #2. Then use those ECBs for transaction #3 and so on (this is where planning your purchasing really pays off). This keeps your out of pocket expense much lower and keeps you from having a large dollar amount of ECBs that all expire at the same time.

What else should I know about CVS?

  • CVS usually has special deals that are only good on Sunday and Monday. Try to get to the store or check their circular (online or in the newspaper) every Sunday so that you can take advantage of these sales.

  • CVS is also a really great place to take advantage of rain checks. If an item you want is out of stock, CVS will gladly issue you a rain check so you can get the item at the sale price at a later date. Rain checks can be used to get ECBs on an item at a later date. That means that if there is an item that is free after ECBs, but the store is all out of them, you can get a rain check and buy the item after the sale is over and STILL GET THE ECBs!!

  • A blog called Keeping the Kingdom First posts a new CVS $5 Challenge every Sunday. This challenge shows you how to spend $5 or less to earn at least $5 in ECBs so you can start rolling them over!

The CVS $5 Challenge.jpg

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A Random Thought

If you wouldn't have bought it to begin with, you didn't save money on it!

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