Tuesday, June 16

How to CVS

I've had lots of friends asking me "How I CVS" so I thought I would try and explain for any folks just getting into this...

First things First...
You need to sign up for an Extra Care Card - the CVS loyalty card. You can simply sign up for it at the register or you can sign up online and have them mail it to you. You will need to use your card for EVERY TRANSACTION you make at CVS. DO NOT ever forget your Extra Care Card!!

Next on the List:
What the heck are ECBs?
ECBs stands for "Extra Care Bucks". CVS uses them just like money or instant rebates. When you purchase an item advertised as earning ECBs you'll pay cash out of pocket for the item, and then your ECBs will print on the BOTTOM of your receipt. Be sure and tear that part off the receipt and save it! You can use it just like cash for future purchases.

For Example:
Crest Toothpaste is advertised for $1.99 and receive $2 ECBs.
• Purchase Crest Toothpaste for $1.99
• Receive $2 ECBs on your receipt
• Then purchase Dove Bodywash for $4.99
• Give the cashier your $2 ECBs from the previous transaction
• Pay $3 out of pocket

One word of caution:
You must use the total amount of ECBs on the receipt in one transaction.
Say you have $4 in ECBs on the bottom of a receipt. You want to buy Crest Toothpaste for $1.99 and want to use the $4 ECBs. If you do that you'll lose $2 in ECBs since the toothpaste is only $2 and you have a total of $4 ECBs. Your purchase must be equal to or greater than (before tax) the ECB amount. (Thanks to Couponing 101 for that description)

How to Get a Deal
Okay, so now you know you need an Extra Care Card and you've figured out what ECBs are. So now what?

Each week, CVS offers a circular with deals valid for one week. The circular will include sale items and also ECB sale items. ECB sale items are the deals you want to look at first as they will save you the most money. To get the most bang for your buck, pair ECB deals with manufacturer's coupons you've clipped from the Sunday paper or printed online.

For example:
Transaction #1
Crest Toothpaste is advertised for $1.99 and receive $2 ECBs
- Use $1 off coupon from the Sunday Paper
Pay $.99 out of pocket and receive $2 ECBs.
You actually just made money on that transaction!!
Then use the $2 ECBs on your next transaction:

Transaction #2
Dove Deodorant is advertised for $2.99 and receive $2 ECBs
- Use $1 off coupon from the Sunday Paper
- Give the cashier $2 ECBs from Transaction #1
- Pay only sales tax and receive $2 ECBs to use for your next transaction!

If you keep "rolling" your ECBs from one transaction to the next, you'll end up paying close to nothing out of pocket for future transactions. ECB deals do have maximum limits per Extra Care Card, so please read the fine print of the circular before you start dealin!

Now you're set with the basic knowledge of How to CVS. To get you started without getting overwhelmed, check out the button on the right side of my blog, $5 CVS Challenge. Keeping the Kingdom firsts hosts this every Sunday and presents scenarios on how to spend no more than $5 each week at CVS.

It will take awhile to get the hang of CVS, but trust me, it's well worth it!!!! And please let me know if you have any questions!

Happy CVSing!

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Crystal said...

Thanks for the explanation...your previous CVS posts seemed like a foreign language. I'm still not fluent but I'm definitely going to give it a try!

krista said...

Crystal, let me know how it goes! And if you have questions, don't hesitate to ask!! :)