Over the last few weeks I’ve written several articles about saving money through CVS. You can read about my experiences here:
We are still new to this, so we have been adding to our super shopper arsenal with each new trip.
So far, there have been four main ways that we have saved money by shopping at CVS:
Extra Care Bucks (ECBs) – ECBs are basically store credits at CVS and are as good as cash. Each week CVS will identify certain items that, when purchased, give you a predetermined amount of ECB’s (see below for examples).
CVS Coupons – These are coupons issued directly by CVS. They come in two flavors:
- Email – Sometimes (actually very often) CVS will reward you for being a loyal customer by giving you a $4/20 or $5/25 coupon, or even a free item (as you will see below). You can also get coupons from CVS.com.
- In-store Kiosk – Scan your Extra Care Card at this kiosk and it will spit out a few coupons for you.
Manufacturer Coupons – These include your traditional coupons found in most Sunday newspapers, as well as printable coupons found online. Our Coupon Database will tell you if any of these exist – both newspaper inserts and the printable versions.
Flexible Spending Account – This is something I covered in detail here: http://knsfinancial.com/flexible-spending-accounts-fsa-what-are-they-and-how-do-they-work/
How to make money at CVS:
Sometimes CVS will have a sale for a product and then give you ECBs equal to the sale price – effectively making the item FREE! This means that if you can find a coupon for this item, you will actually be making money!
So, this week (7.18 – 7.24.10) we noticed that CVS has Celsius Green Tea on sale for $7.99 for a 4-pack. If you buy this tea (never heard of it, but it’s endorsed by A.C. Slater!) then CVS will give you 7.99 ECBs – so it’s free!
Since we LOVE getting freebies, we quickly added this to our shopping list. Then we searched for coupons to see if we can make money from this deal.
A quick visit to our coupon database shows two coupons for this item. The first is for $3, but it was included in the 4/25/10 newspaper insert (from Smart Source) – since we weren’t keeping our circulars, we missed out on it. We now keep every coupon circular in a file, so we will be prepared next time.
But the coupon database also shows a $2 printable coupon!
Now that means that we can purchase the tea for $5.99 and receive 7.99 in ECBs!!! CVS just paid us $2 to buy this item!
They also have M&Ms Pretzel for free this week. They are 2/$1 and you get 1 ECB back from your purchase! Another look at the Coupon Database shows a Buy One Get One Free (B1G1) coupon that was included in the 6/27/10 Red Plum (RP) newspaper insert.
We don’t have that coupon, so we have to settle for getting the M&Ms for free.
You’ll also notice a deal for cans of soda in the picture above. Get three cases of certain sodas for $11 and receive 3 ECBs. Unfortunately, they were out of both items at our local CVS, but we were able to get rainchecks for the sale price (including ECBs)!
Here are some of the other items that we picked up:
Dial body wash $3.88 with 1 ECB back – we also found a $1 printable coupon using the Coupon Database…
We also noticed that they have Pantene shampoo 2/$6.97 with 2 ECBs. As is now our custom, we checked the Coupon Database and found a $1/2 coupon!
Each week (for at least the last month or so) CVS puts a premium razor on sale with ECBs attached. This week both Schick Quattro and the Gillette ProGlide are on sale with ECB offers, and they both have a lot of coupons floating around (just check our Coupon Database). We used a $2 coupon, paid $6.99 and received 4 ECBs:
This week CVS also has an offer for you to get 2 ECBs when you purchase Clearasil Ultra or any Veet product. Since we have yet to see a coupon for either of these brands, we didn’t expect to find anything. However, upon checking the Coupon Database we discovered a $3 coupon for Veet!
Another great deal this week – certain expensive ice cream brands are on sale for $2/6 and a $12 purchase will earn you 4 ECBs! Unfortunately, there were no coupons available for this deal.
If you follow @CVS_Extra on Twitter, they will give you links to deals and coupons. Here is one that I received below:
So, after all of that, here is our list. The little blue “c” means that we have a coupon for it (my wife’s idea). We wrote the list out on a envelope and then placed all of our coupons inside:
You can see everything that we picked up in the picture at the top of this article. The only things that we didn’t get were the M&Ms and the Ginger Ale (but we got rainchecks).
We also picked up a “green bag tag”. This is for those who bring their own bag instead of using the plastic CVS bags. They scan the tag when you do this, and for every 4th time you do this they will give you 1 ECB!
We received a $4/$20 coupon:
Here is the final tally:
Here is how this breaks down, along with the percentage savings for each item:
Regular Price – $67.98
Savings from weekly sales – $(17.79), 26.17%
CVS Coupons – $(5.99), 8.81%
Manufacturer’s Coupons – $(9.00), 13.24%
ECBs from previous shopping – $(30.98), 45.57%
Net Total – $4.22
Sales Tax – $1.68
Total – $5.90
For those who were paying attention, we saved 93.79% off of the regular price of this order (before tax)!!! After tax it only cost us $5.90 for everything. However, that still isn’t the best part…
We walked away with 21 ECBs and rainchecks for 4 more to use on a future purchase! So that means that CVS actually paid us $15.10 to shop at their store!
All of the deals listed above are good until 7.24.10, so you still have time (as of this writing) to take advantage of them. You can find the CVS circular here. Just head over to our Coupon Database and search for any items that you plan to purchase.
If you have any questions about anything mentioned here, feel free to leave them in the comments below.
Also, please share any tips or tricks that you use in order to save money on groceries and household products.
Please let us know if you are able to take advantage of any of these offers – especially if it’s one that I haven’t mentioned!
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