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cvsCVS has a few ways to help you save each week. They offer Extra Care Bucks, Store Coupons and of course they accept manufacturers coupons.

They have a wonderful program called Extra Care Bucks which I refer to as ECB’s.  Basically it’s like a rebate program but you receive the rebate immediately in the form of a coupon called an Extra Care Buck. These will print out at the bottom of your receipt after you make the qualifying purchase.  You must have an Extra Care Card in order to receive the ECB’s and you can only use them along with your card.  Your name will be one them.

Here’s how it works:
—You first need to apply for an extra care card and you can do this either online or at the store. You need to present this card each time you shop at CVS. It will keep track of all your spending and then at the end of the quarter you’ll receive 2% back in the form of an ECB.
—In order to receive any of the sales or any ECB’s each week at CVS, you must have an extra care card.

CVS has sales each week and along with those sales you can sometimes earn ECB’s with certain products. At times it will even be for the entire cost of the item.

You can use coupons on items that you receive ECB’s on as well and sometimes you come out ahead and actually make money on an item. Here is an example:

Crest toothpaste, On Sale $2.49
Get $2.49 in ECB’s
You use a $1.00 off Crest toothpaste coupon
You spend $1.49 and receive $2.49 ECB’s. You can now go and purchase something else with that $2.49 ECB’s and essentially get it free or “Roll” which I will explain below.

Sometimes you may receive ECB’s when you spend a certain dollar amount on certain products. Here is an example:

If you spend $15.00 on Olay products you’ll get $5.00 ecb’s
Olay Cleansing Cloths on sale $5.19
You buy 3 = $15. 57
you have 3 $1.00 coupons
You spend: $12.57
and then you get $5 ecbs back to use on any other product.

What I like to do is “Roll” these ECB’s as often as I can so I don’t pay much out of pocket. Sometimes this requires me to do more than one transaction or perhaps more than one visit to the store. I always check with the cashier first to make sure it’s OK to do another transaction and if it’s busy I’ll just get back in line. Here’s how this works:

Transaction #1
Crest toothpaste, On Sale $2.49
Get $2.49 in ECB’s
I use $1.00 coupon
You spend: $1.49 and get $2.49

There is a limit of 2 on this so you then go back to purchase another one….

Crest toothpaste, On Sale $2.49
Get $2.49 in ECB’s
I use another $1.00 coupon (I buy multiple papers so I have more than one coupon)
Total $1.49 → Now I have $2.49 in extra care bucks but my total is only $1.49. I can either add something into my purchase for $1.00 (this is sometimes referred to as a filler item) or I can find something else that is giving ECB’s and add it to this transaction.

The first day after the end of each Quarter, you will receive 2% of what you spent that quarter in the form of an ECB.  This will print out the first time you use your card after the quarter is over.  You will also receive $1.00 ECB for every 2 prescriptions you fill.  This will be included in your quarterly ECB’s.

ECB’s do have an expiration date but some stores will let you use them past their expiration date. Just check with the store manager.

CVS also issues Store coupons at the bottom of your receipt almost every time you shop.  These store coupons can be used along with sales and manufacturers coupons to help you save even more.  You can use 1 manufacturers coupon and 1 store coupon on each item.  You may also receive store coupons in the mail or perhaps they may have them in the store.  As long as the CVS logo is on the coupon (or it’s printed at the bottom of your receipt) it is considered a store coupon.

The coupons that print at the bottom of your receipt I also refer to as CRT’s (Cash Register Tape).  You can also print these out in the store.  Look for a red box that you can scan your card at and then it will print out coupons.  It usually has a sign hanging above it saying “print coupons here”.  That is also a price checker machine.

CRT’s do expire but some stores may take them even if they are expired.  Be sure to check with your store manager.

Here are some abbreviations you may see in my CVS posts and what they mean:

  • BOGO Free = Buy One Get One Free
  • BOG2 Free = Buy One Get Two Free
  • ECB’s = Extra Care Bucks
  • CRT = Cash Register Tape – these are coupons that print at the bottom of your receipts and they are store coupons.
  • OOP: Out of Pocket
  • wyb = When You Buy
  • cpn = Coupon
  • SS = Smart Source Coupon Insert
  • RP = Red Plum Coupon Insert
  • P&G = Proctor & Gamble Coupon Insert
  • GM = General Mills Insert