Introduction to CVS Shopping
Welcome to the world of CVS bargain shopping! Do you have a CVS near you? If you do, rejoice, because this is a wonderful bargain place for you to shop!
If you’re like me, you may be skeptical of the fact that a seemingly overpriced drugstore can save you money. Or perhaps you think, there is nothing that I need at CVS because I find my bargains elsewhere.
How would you like to get your toothpaste, shampoo, cleaning supplies and toiletries, to name a few items, for pennies if not free? Would you be interested if I told you that in the past year I have bought $500 worth of product for under $50 – and I still have $24 of gift cards that I’m rolling? Intrigued? Let me teach you how to make CVS work for you!
First, set a budget. I would recommend $20 or $25. It doesn’t have to be a lot. In fact, a little is often best. I would also recommend putting your CVS money on a gift card so it is marked particularly for your CVS shopping.
Commit to giving yourself 3 to 4 months as a test run. There is a lot to learn and it takes some time to learn the ropes. Go slowly and don’t get overwhelmed. Plan one weekly scenario at a time.
Second, register for a CVS card. To get the best deals, you must have a unique CVS card that gives you sale prices. You can apply on-line or in the store. I recommend in the store, so you can start using your card immediately. While you are registering your card, include your email address. Periodically, CVS will email coupons such as $3 off a $15 purchase or a free product for your birthday. These are nice coupons to receive via email.
Every time you go shopping, scan your CVS card, as this is also where your Extra Care Bucks (ECB) accumulate. Be sure to always scan your CVS card at the beginning of the check out process so all the deals work properly.
Plan for Extra Care Bucks (ECB for short). The beauty of CVS is the ECB program. ECBs are gift certificates that can be used as cash at CVS. The best way to get the most out of ECB is to purchase another item that produces ECB. Every week, there are items that produce ECB. Often, there are products that are completely free after ECB.
For example, the other week, Contact Solution was on sale for $7.99 and produced a $7.99 ECB. I paid only tax on this product, as I used my previous ECB to purchase this product. I had no out of pocket cost (OOP) because I used ECB. That is a great way to earn ECB.
An even better way to earn ECB is to add coupons to sweeten the deals. The other month, I bought 2 Oust sprays using a buy one, get one free coupon. I paid $3.99 for 2 sprays and since each can was producing ECB, I received $6 in ECB. I made a profit of $2 on this purchase! I call this growing your ECB. This happens regularly if you are willing to watch the sales and plan for the best use of your Extra Care Bucks.
Now, it’s time for the part for which you’ve been waiting. Read your weekly ad. Go shopping! Read the ad carefully. The first thing to look for is any completely free items after ECB. This is where you want to start. If it is not a product you necessarily need, perhaps you want to purchase it anyway to donate it to someone who does. Some weeks are better than others for shopping at CVS so be patient.
Once you see the items producing ECB for the week, look through your coupons and see if they match any sales. My goal at CVS is to only pay tax on my products and 90 percent of the time – that’s all I pay. The first time you purchase something at CVS, you will have to pay out of pocket to get your first ECB. The next week, you will shop with them again.
Save your ECB – and roll them! Rolling your ECB is the process of using your ECB from one purchase to purchase another item producing ECB. This is how you save money at CVS so you don’t have any OOP cost. As soon as I get in the car, I tear my ECB off the bottom of my receipt (where they print). I keep all my ECB in a coupon folder with my CVS coupons. I organize my ECB by expiration dates so not to lose any money by letting them expire.
Repeat. Repeat the next week, again and again. The longer you can roll your ECB, the more you will save. As you accumulate ECB you will be to do bigger deals. It takes time and practice but shopping at CVS is a game that anyone can play.
Finally, follow along with me on this website as I post the weekly CVS deals. I’ll post the best deals as well as their coupon matches to help you make the most of your money at CVS. Have fun saving money by shopping at CVS!
I know it is a lot to take in but I promise you it is well worth your time to learn the ropes of shopping at CVS. There are great deals to be found at CVS and I look forward to sharing my deals, tips and savings with you!