Monday, December 28, 2009

How to - Shop at CVS with Extra Care Bucks

If you are reading this post, you have probably "heard through the grapevine" that people are buying up loads of stuff at CVS and getting their items FREE and you want to get in on that action. Well - me too!! Although I have been couponing for quite some time now, I have pretty much avoided the whole "CVS system". Now of course, every once in a while I will see a good deal on something on their bright sign out front and run in and grab one or two items, or get my prescriptions filled there. But other than that, I pretty much avoid the store. I just didn't think I needed one more store or one more "sytem" to figure out. And plus, CVS, in my opinion (and other great shoppers out there) CVS is overall high priced on everything. However, just like any other store or "shopping sytem" out there, they will always have good deals on items as well.

Well, I have been sticking my little toe into the CVS system the last 3 or 4 weeks and boy......have I been missing out!!! I could just kick myself in the you know what for not shopping and scouring the CVS ad a long time ago!!!

So, over the next several weeks we will simply learn together on how to get the best deals on the CVS system. For now, I will give you a very brief run down on what the CVS system is all about.

CVS has a customer loyalty program, just as most grocery stores have these days. Their program is called Extra Care. To participate in the program (and to get FREE Stuff and great deals) you must have an Extra Care card. If you don't have one, then put that on your list of things to do this week! You simply go to your local CVS store and tell the cashier you want to sign up for their Extra Care program and "Voila!" you will be a card carrying member of the Extra Care program. (You can also sign up online, however then you have to wait for your card to come in the mail to start enjoying the savings.)

So, now you have your little card in hand - what do you do?

First, everytime you shop at CVS, before you put your items on the counter to checkout, be sure to hand your card to the cashier. This will tell the register that you are a "loyal customer" and automatically ring up your items at the advertised low prices for the items on sale that week/month.

This card will also enable you to earn "Extra Care Bucks" that are on special at any given time you go. What are Extra Care Bucks (ECBs)? I like to think of them as Paper Money. When you buy certain advertised specials that earn you ECBs, your ECBs will print at the bottom of your cash register receipt. BE SURE TO LOOK CLOSELY AT ALL YOUR RECEIPTS, OTHERWISE YOU MAY BE THROWING MONEY AWAY!!

For instance, this past week if you purchased a Scope Outlast Mouthwash, you earned $1.00 ECB. So after I purchased my mouthwash, a $1.00 ECB printed at the bottom of my receipt. I in turn clipped that "cash" off the bottom of my receipt and placed it in my wallet. So, on my next trip to CVS I already have $1.00 to spend on whatever I want in the store. Now keep in mind that ECBs are just like cash in that (1) it spends just like cash at any CVS store on any future purchases and (2) if you lose it or throw it away, nobody is going to replace it for you. So, make sure you keep these in a safe place just like you would cash.

Your goal in shopping at CVS is to continuously purchase items that earn you ECBs so on your next trip to CVS, you will have ECBs to spend for your items you need and not have to spend your hard earned cash. That is how people say they get stuff at CVS for FREE because they are walking in the store with ECBs to pay for their merchandise and walking out without having to spend any REAL money. Make sense?

When you are just starting this system, of course you are going to be OOP (out of pocket) some regular hard earned cash since you don't have any ECBs to begin with, but within just a few short weeks, you will see how you will earn ECBs and then continuously "roll them over" into other products for more ECBs

Over the last 3 weeks, I had earned ECBs on my purchases and have been using them week after week to buy more items that earned me additional ECBs. However, this week I used up all my ECBs that I had in hand by buying items they had on sale that did not earn me any ECBs so now I am once again starting from scratch. So, starting next week I will share with you my scenarios for buying things at CVS and we will see how we can help each other in rolling our ECBs from week to week to see how much of a "stash" of ECBs we can get and we can all start getting our FREE merchandise as well. I will admit - I loved walking in CVS this week and buying my Tide detergeant (which I hate to spend my hard earned cash for) and handing the cashier ECBs with a smile on my face and walking out without having to spend any of my cold hard cash!

Stay tuned as I will update this CVS "How to" when I have more time on my hands! :o)

Until then,

Happy Saving!


1 comment:

  1. Good explanation! I've been CVSing for about 3 years now..I'll never pay for toothpaste again! :)