Tuesday, March 1, 2011

CVS for extreme beginners

Last week, I posted some Extra Care Bucks tips for those familiar with shopping at CVS. I thought I'd backtrack a bit and cover the details of CVS shopping for those who have never shopped there before.

Are you new to shopping at CVS?

Before I started clipping coupons and looking for deals, I had never shopped at a CVS drug store before.  Even though there was one in a shopping center within walking distance of my house, I bought my medicine at a Walgreens farther away, because I always had.  And the one or two times I might have stopped in, I was shocked at the high prices.

CVS does have high regular prices for many items - but it also has some of the most amazing deals around!

How do you get started?

The first thing to do is to get yourself a CVS Extra Care Bucks card.  You can get them in the store - this is the most convenient option, because you can start using it that day.  Or, if you want, you can create a CVS online account and order a card.

Once you have a card, you'll want to register it online by creating a CVS account.  By doing that, after a while you'll receive a coupon in your email from CVS for money off your next purchase.  You also may receive other offers periodically via email.

What are the benefits of the Extra Care Bucks card?

  • You'll get discounts on merchandise on sale each week, as shown in the weekly advertisement.
  • You can scan your card at the in-store coupon printer and get coupons for merchandise.  The coupon printer is usually located near the front door; if you can't find it, ask an associate for help.
  • You'll earn Extra Care Bucks after purchasing select merchandise, which can be used toward your next CVS purchase.
  • You'll earn Extra Care Rewards for each purchase.  You'll earn 2% for each purchase, both in the store as well as online.  You'll also earn 1 Extra Care Buck reward for every 2 prescriptions filled at CVS.  Rewards are given every three months upon your first purchase or coupon printer scan.
  • Occasionally other offers may print on your receipt.
So how do I use Extra Care Bucks?

Each time you purchase merchandise that offers Extra Care Bucks, they will be printed at the end of your receipt.  Be sure, when you get home, to cut the Extra Care Bucks from your receipt and keep it in a safe place.  I put them in my wallet, since they are like money.

On your next visit, after the cashier has rung up your items, you give the Extra Care Bucks to the cashier.  The cashier will deduct the value of the Extra Care Bucks from your total.

Extra Care Bucks have expiration dates, so be sure to use them before they expire.

So how do I use Extra Care Bucks to get merchandise for cheap... or maybe even free?

I'll start to cover that in next week's tips.  Be sure to come back next Tuesday for the next installment of this series!

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Holly March 8, 2011 at 12:40 PM  

I actually have the card, but am still waiting for a CVS to move in near me. I know you can get great deals!

Shandi Sequoia,  July 10, 2011 at 12:47 AM  

Thanks for posting this info! I think CVS has amazing deals after coupons and ECB.

Unknown September 26, 2012 at 8:01 AM  

wow it seems with the right coupons and deals the ECB program seem like something worth investing in

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