The Best Deals from the Best Source. You.
When people think drugstores, they think expensive. But if you know how to shop sales, use coupons and utilize store promotions, drugstore shopping can be your best friend! My personal favorite is CVS. They’ve got a great coupon policy, awesome sales, an awesome promotion with Extracare Bucks and a magic coupon machine.
CVS has a store loyalty card called an Extracare Card and a money back promotion called Extracare Bucks (ECBs). The store loyalty cards gets you store promotion prices and allows you to earn ECBs. These are basically money back rewards for certain things that you buy. For example, if you buy one Dove shampoo for $3.99, you get $3 in ECBs back that print at the bottom of your receipt to use on your next order. Mixing ECBs with coupons often allows you to get products for free. You also earn 2% back on everything you purchase which will be issued to you as your quarterly spending. CVS often runs promotion like spend $15 on Garnier products, receive $5 ECBs back.
You can use ECBs on other purchases as well even if the purchase produces other ECBs. Your best bet with ECBs is to roll them meaning to use them to pay for another purchase.
Extracare Coupon Center
CVS has a magic coupon machine which is a red machine that you see usually when you walk into the store. You scan your card and it prints out coupons for you. Coupons range from CVS store coupons for dollar off amounts for products and occasionally dollar off purchases like $5/$15 or a $3/$10 beauty purchase. Make sure you scan your card every time you go into the store for coupons and scan it until the machine says “No more coupons today.”
Other Store Promotions
CVS has a Beauty Club, Green Bag Tag promotion, and Extracare Advantage for Diabetes club.
The CVS Beauty Club gives you $5 ECB for every $50 you spend on beauty products which includes make up, skin care, nail products, and more. You also get $3 ECBs on your birthday.
The Green Bag Tag promotion is a little green tag in the shape of a leaf that you get for purchasing a green bag. Scan this after every shopping trip (but only once a day) and after every fourth visit you’ll automatically get a $1 ECB.
Extracare Advantage for Diabetes is a program CVS for people who have diabetes. Members get exclusive savings, earn double Extracare Bucks and more.
Shopping at CVS
The best way to take advantage of sales and ECBs is to separate your trip into multiple transactions. This allows you to roll your ECBs and spend as little as possible out of pocket. Always prepare your shopping trip before you go in that means writing down what products you’re buying separated by transactions. This will make shopping a lot easier and will give you an idea of how to see how much money you should be spending. It will also keep you organized and help you keep focus.
Always scan your Extracare Card first – this will ring the products up at their sale price and allows you to use your ECBs and earn more ECBs. Then give any manufacturer coupons you have followed by your CVS store coupons and green bag tag. After this, give your ECBs.
The picture above shows you a shopping trip I did back in April. This was from both CVS and Walgreens, but obviously we’ll just talk about CVS. At CVS, I bought the L’Oreal, Thermacare, Complete Contact Solution, and Garnier Fructis Herbashine. I want to preface this by saying that I had $10 ECBs to use plus another $6.50 ECB from my winter spending. This is how my shopping trip looked and how you should set up your CVS couponing trips:
–Thermacare Back- $5.99 (used $3 coupon)
–Thermacare Neck – $5.99 (used $3 coupon)
–Complete Contact Solution – $8.99
Total before coupons: $20.97 – $6 Q = $14.97 – $11.50 ECB = $3.47 OOP, receive $8.99 ECB for the contact solution, $5 ECB for the Thermacare
–Garnier Fructis Herbashine – $4.99 x 3 (used 3 – $3 coupons)
Total: $14.97 – $9 Q = $5.97 – $5 ECB = $0.97 OOP, receive $5 ECB for spending $15 on Garnier products
–L’Oreal Studio Hairspray – $3 x 2 (used 2 – $0.75 coupons)
–L’Oreal Studio Gel – $3 x 4 (used 4 – $0.75 coupons)
–L’Oreal Paris Go 360 Anti Breakout – $4.39 x 2 (used 2 $1 coupons)
Total: $26.78 – $6.50 Q = $20.28 – $18.99 ECB = $1.29 OOP, receive $10 ECB for spending $25 on L’Oreal Products
Total OOP: $5.73 with $10 ECB remaining
Total Savings: $81.03 (a 93% savings!)