Fifteen years ago, my husband and I made a conscious decision. We decided that I would be a stay-at-home mom. With one person earning and a family to feed, we’ve always been mindful of our shopping habits. While I scoured sales to locate the best deals at grocery and department stores, I remained oblivious to the saving opportunities at drugstores – until I became familiar with CVS Pharmacy. Once acquainted, I have stocked up on beauty items, food and cleaning supplies the family.Let’s check out these simple and easy ways to save at CVS (most of this tips can be translated to other drugstores too).
Step # 1: Get a CVS ExtraCare Reward Card
A CVS ExtraCare card can be either picked up in the store or filled at CVS.com
With a CVS Extra Care Card you get access to –
- Sale price
- ExtraCare Bucks (known as ECB) on certain items (coupons/rewards that can be used as cash on your next shopping trip)
- Quarterly extracare bucks (2% back on everyday purchases and $1 for every 2 prescriptions filled)
Step #2: Register Your Card Online
Once you receive your ExtraCare card, visit CVS.com to register your card online. Upon registering, you get an instant coupon, emails alerts and special deals. These special deals can be printed or sent to your ExtraCare card.
Step #3: Enroll in the Beauty Club
When you register, you receive enrollment to the exclusive Beauty Club where you earn ECBs on qualifying beauty products worth $50 or more. Most of the items in the store qualify towards this reward.
Step #4: Become familiar with the ads
Just like any other store, CVS deals come out every Sunday. While I always peruse the circular for sales, ExtraCare deals are the one that interests me.
Here is an example of an ExtraCare deal:
For two hand soaps-
You pay with card: $5.99
Extracare rewards: $3
While the effective price for the hand soaps are now $2.99, you have an additional $3 that you can use as cash.
Step #5: Plan your shopping trip
For effective shopping, it is imperative to plan ahead. CVS allows you to roll your ECBs, which means, you can use the extra bucks from last week on this week’s purchases, until they expire.
Step #6: Divide transactions
Rather than waiting for an extra week, I personally choose to divide my shopping trip into different transactions and use (roll) my ECBs in the same trip. That reduces my out-of-pocket expenses and moreover, I’ve few coupons to track.
I make a list of items I wish to purchase with their corresponding prices and extracare rewards. Then, I divide them into several transactions to maximize my savings. If you plan to follow this route, choose an hour when the store is relatively empty and the personnel are free and eager to help.
Step #7: Match coupons
At CVS, customers may use one manufacturer and one CVS coupon on the same item. In addition, if you have an ECB deal, you can use that too! Amateur couponers can use websites like Couponmom.com to check out various saving and coupon match up scenarios.
Step #8: Visit the ExtraCare coupon center
Prior to shopping, visit the ExtraCare Coupon kiosk located in the store. Scan your ExtraCare card for surprise deals and coupons.
Step #9: Go green and earn ECBs
CVS rewards customers who go green and use reusable bags. You can use any re-usable shopping bag, re-use a plastic bag from a previous purchase or simply carry out your items. Anytime you decline a one-time use plastic bag, you will receive a Green Bag Tag credit.The tags are sold at CVS for 99 cents. Every fourth visit (one per day) with a reusable bag gets you a dollar.
Step #10: Rainchecks
If an advertised item is out of stock, CVS will issue a rain check for the sale price and the extracare buck amount. These rain checks never expire.
More from the contributor-
Must-visit websites for today’s shopper
The best places to buy shoes online
Online retailers that every woman will love