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A CVS Primer: August 2 – 4

Posted By Jessica Fisher On August 1, 2009 @ 10:32 am In Budget Living | 1 Comment

CVS is just rocking with these great Back to School sales. My goodness! We’re going on four weeks of free school supplies. Now, don’t turn away at the idea that you don’t go to school or have children who do. These are basic supplies that any home office could use. But, you can also use these items in creative ways or for giving to those less fortunate [4].

Here’s a primer to help you get started with the CVS 3 Day Sale that runs Sunday through Tuesday. You might want to go early as some stores may run out before the sale ends.

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. Check the dates to make sure it’s the right one.

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 this week’s ad, there are several back-to-school freebies. The sale prices are only good Sunday through Tuesday, so plan accordingly.

Purchase the following, after checking the ad for the correct prices and varieties:

Buy two Caliber or CVS Subject Notebooks @ $.99 each = $1.98
Buy two Caliber or CVS pens or pencils @ $.99 each = $1.98
Buy 1 Caliber or It’s Academic 12″ Flexi Ruler = $.99

Your total should be $4.95 + tax.

You will pay out $4.95(+tax), but receive back on your register receipt coupons or “Extra Care Bucks” (ECBs) totalling $4.95.You basically got those items 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 in a second transaction:

Buy two packages of pen/ink erasers, glue stick 3pks, or sticky notes for $.99 each = $1.98
Buy two compass or protractor @$1.50 each = $3

Your total will be $4.98 + tax
Pay with the $4.95 in ECB coupons.
Pay the remaining $.03 + tax.
Get back another $4.98 in ECBs

This means that after the two transactions, you’ve shelled out $4.98 (+tax) out of pocket. You have 2 notebooks, 2 packs of pens or pencils, 2 glue stick packs, erasers or sticky notes, a ruler and 2 compasses and/or protractors, and you still have $4.98 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 (and a lot of math) to get the swing of things, but after a few tries, you’ll be gathering all you need in toiletries, OTC meds, and other drugstore items for just pennies.

You might not think you need “school supplies,” but with a little creative thinking, you can find all sorts of alternative uses of these items. Check out 7 Creative Uses for School Supplies [4] as inspiration.

Money Saving Mom [6] regularly reports the weekly deals at CVS, so be sure to check out her site for other deals available this week.

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