CVS 101

CVS can be one of the more difficult stores to understand. If you are like me even after reading a ‘how to’ guide i still learned by trail and error, but once you understand it you can score some awesome deals including the most loved ‘Money Makers’!
CVS’s Coupon Policy Can be seen Online

First, CVS has a customer loyalty program called ExtraCare. You will need an extracare card to participate and be able to earn CVS extracare bucks or ECB’s. You can get these in the stores or register online and they will mail you your card (in store is best because you can start saving right away). If you already have a card then give them your email address and they will email you a coupon that will get you started, and they will continue to email you great coupons every week or so.

Always have them scan your card before they start ringing up your transaction. All of the deals are tied to your card account number, so if they don’t scan your card, you won’t be able to get any of the deals.

The best deals to be had at CVS are “Extra Bucks” offers. Watch my matchups and the CVS ad for promos like this: Spend $15 on participating candy, receive $5 Extra Bucks. You must only spend $15, before coupons! Your after-coupon total can be as low as you can get it!! Your strategy should be to use as many coupons as you can to bring down your total. Then you pay and receive your $5 Extra Bucks

Once you’ve done your first transaction, you’ll have Extra Bucks to use each time you shop and these will bring your total down lower and lower! You may use your Extra Bucks by separating your transactions and “rolling” them from one transaction to the next, or do like I do, roll from one week to the next. Soon you’ll have a stash of $20-40 in Extra Bucks and you’ll be shopping each week and bringing home $50 of products for pennies, all while continually rolling and replenishing your extra bucks so you’ll never run out or let them expire.

CVS advertises “Free” products each week. Are they really free?
Each week CVS has “Free after Extra Buck” offers. Example: Pay $0.99 for Pilot EasyTouch pen 2 pk. and receive an Extra Buck {coupon that acts like a gift card} for $0.99 off your next purchase. This item isn’t actually free because you have to pay for it first. These FREE deals always have limits of how many you may buy and receive Extra Bucks. You can use these ECB like cash, with only a few exceptions (i.e. you can’t buy stamps or gift cards with them–the fine print on the ECB explains a little more in detail).

What is a Moneymaker? Are you really getting paid cash?
No. But you will often see deals outlined that state ‘moneymaker’! I’m not getting cash from the checker. A moneymaker is defined as a transaction where your out of pocket total is less than the total of your Extra Bucks (or sometimes rebates).

What are Fillers?Fillers are needed when you’re using a purchase-based coupon like $4.00 off $20.00 minimum purchase. If your total is $19.99, you need to buy something cheap to make your total over $20. Spend $0.50 on a pack of gum or an eraser in order to save $4.00.

May I have more than one CVS card?
No. One per household. if you are found with more then one CVS has been canceling all cards and not allowing you to get another.


Weekly ECB offers: found in your weekly Sunday ad
Monthly ECB offers: good all month, find these offers in the ‘monthly ECB booklet’ at your local CVS.

When an ECB offer says, “limit 1″, does this mean one per day? or per store?
No, limit one refers to the entire offer period. This applies across the entire store, not just one location. A week long ECB will only print for your card once in that week, a month long ECB will only print once all month.

If the ECB promo requires I spend $20 on participating products to receive a $10 ECB, is the $20 minimum my pre-coupon total?
Yes, you must be at least at $20.00 before you hand over any coupons. Your total out of pocket might be $0.04, but as long as your original total was $20 or more, you will receive your ECB after payment.

May I use more than one ECB per transaction?
Yes! ECBs are like gift cards. Make note that if you use a $5 ECB on a $4.25 purchase, you forfeit the extra $0.75.

Does CVS issue rainchecks?
Yes! If you ask for a rain check on an ECB offer, your raincheck will be written for the Sale price with a code to print the ECB offer. A Plus these Rain Check NEVER expire!

By the way, if you’ve not done so already, you can also go here and sign up for email offers and you’ll instantly get a $4/$20 coupon. Plus, when you sign up for email offers, they often email you coupons, too!

When you are checking out and doing a more complicated transaction, you will want to make sure and have your coupons in good order so that your transaction goes smoothly. The best way I have found to do this, is to always give $3/$15 (etc.) coupons first. Then give any other CVS coupons, then your manufacturer’s coupons. And lastly, give your ECBs.

If you have an ECB that is for more than what your total is, they can either manually reduce it down and just take off the amount for your total (and thus you lose the rest of your ECB), or you can add on another small item to make up the difference.

I always bring my calculator and tally up the total after coupons to try and make sure I throw in an extra item or two if I need to. It’s best to go up to the register with a very good idea of how much you are going to be spending anyway, so calculating it up ahead of time is highly recommended.

For more info on CVSs Extra Care card visit the FAQ page.

Earn ECBs for Using reusable bag at CVS! Find out More HERE!

Earn bonus ECB using CVS Beauty Club. Get $5 ECB for every $50 spent plus I have gotten coupons for free products! Your ECBs will print on at the coupon center on your next trip from the time you reach your $50 mark!

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