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Will You Learn to CVS in February?
Posted By Jessica Fisher On January 31, 2009 @ 9:56 pm In Grocery Geek | 4 Comments
This morning I made my CVS run for the week and bumped into a mom I met at church awhile back. We got to talking about diaper deals and that of course led to talk of ECBs and how she knew that they did that and that you could save a lot of money, but she’d never done it. So, you know me, I had to tell her about it!
And since I’m putting together a primer for February, Christina, this one’s for you! And everyone else who hasn’t shopped CVS, making use of their Extra Care program. Prices should be good through February.
The freebie items this month aren’t the most exciting, but hopefully they will work in this illustration.
1. Go to CVS.
2. Sign up for an Extra Care card if you don’t already have one.
3. Pick up a weekly ad and the current month’s Extra Care Book.
4. Look through the flyers for items that say “free after ECB’s” or those that give back ECBs. Are any of these items that you or someone in your family will use? If so, choose two to three items to start. When you get to the checkstand, make sure you use your Extra Care card and have them run it before they run the items. Don’t forget to double check the ad with the items to make sure you got the right brand, style, and size of the item on sale.
In the February book, there aren’t too many “freebies,” but let’s go with what’s there. (Please do not administer children’s aspirin to children unless directed to do so by a doctor. It can be very dangerous under certain circumstances.)
1 box CVS brand children’s aspirin 1.99
Buy 1 Extreme Energy 4.99
Your total should be $6.98 + tax.
You will pay out $6.98(+tax), but receive back on your register receipt coupons or “Extra Care Bucks” (ECBs) totalling $6.98. You basically got those products for free. The ECBs are good for about a month’s time. Don’t lose them!
Now, if you spend your ECBs wisely, you will continue to save money on your pharmacy purchases. If there are other items on sale that you need or will use eventually, purchase those. If you have manufacturers coupons, so much the better. Try to buy things that you have to have or items that generate more ECBs. This is called “rolling your ECBs.”
Now, you could do the following:
Buy 1 EARinse for $7.99
Your total will be $7.99 + tax
Pay with the $6.98 in ECBs.
Pay the remaining $1.01 + tax.
Get back $7.99 in ECBs
This means that after the two transactions, you’ve shelled out $7.99 (+tax) out of pocket. You have 1 box of aspirin, 1 Extreme Energy, and 1 Earinse and still have $7.99 in ECBs to spend on future transactions. That is a great bargain! It took some time and some cash on hand, but you got those items for FREE!
It takes a little practice to get the swing of things, but after a few tries, you’ll be gathering all you need in toiletries and OTC meds for very little money.
Check out these other primers to get an idea of how the CVS system works:
The deals are no longer good, but they may help you understand how the ECB system works. Happy Shopping!
Money Saving Mom  regularly reports the weekly deals at CVS, so be sure to check out her site!
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 May CVS Primer: http://www.lifeasmom.com/2008/05/cvs-primer.html
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 July Primer: http://www.lifeasmom.com/2008/06/cvs-primer-for-july.html
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