A CVS Primer

This was originally posted on my old blog, and I thought I would move it here for better reference. I’m bumping it to the top. These deals are good through Saturday, May 31. The only coupon you need is the $3/$15 that is available in the Washington Post. However, you could still make these purchases without that coupon and still get some great deals.

Also, scan your card at the coupon machine. You never know what you’re gonna get.

I want to present a little primer for those of you who haven’t yet attempted the CVS thing. It is a little tricky to figure out at first. Recently, I prepared a plan for my brothers who are “starving college students” and want to play the game a little more wisely. This plan is based on the May deals, so it should be good for several weeks. I thought I would share it with you. (Know that I defer to Money Saving Mom in all things CVS. She is wiser than I in that area and has some great posts here and here.)

1. Follow directions on this post to print a special $3 off a $15 purchase – CVS coupon (print several coupons)

2. Go to CVS

3. Sign up for an Extra Care card.

4. Pick up an ad and the May Extra Care Book.

5. Purchase the following and make sure you use your new Extra Care card and have them run it before they run the items. Double check the ad with the items to make sure you got the right brand, style, and size:
2 Aquafresh Advanced Whitening or Extreme Clean @ 2.99 each
1 Adidas Action 3 deodorant @ 4.99
1 Colgate 360 Toothbrush@ 3.99
choose a $1 filler (something that is worth about a dollar, so that your pre-tax total will be over $15.)
This should total $15.96 + tax.
Minus the coupon you should pay $12.96 + tax on the entire amount
At the bottom of your receipt you will receive $14.96 in CVS “Extra Care bucks” in denominations of $$5.98, 4.99, and $3.99

This means you made a $2 profit, plus have 2 tubes of toothpaste, a deodorant, a toothbrush, and a candy bar(or whatever filler you chose)! These Extra Care bucks (ECBs) have an expiration date and can only be used in conjunction with your card. If you really want to play it well, wait to buy things that will give you more ECBs.

You could turn around and buy with your 14.96 ECBs:
3 CVS Claritin @ 3.79 each = $11.37
1 more deodorant @4.99
fillers that total about $2
This subtotal is $18.36 (+ tax)
Then subtract the $3 coupon.15.36 (plus the tax)
Pay with your 14.96 ECBS
Your total should be $.40 (+ tax)

For another 40 cents (plus the tax), you’ve got 3 allergy meds, a deodorant and another $16.36 in ECBs.

This means that after 2 transactions, you will have spent13.36 out of pocket (plus tax)and come home with:
2 Aquafresh Advanced Whitening or Extreme Clean Toothpaste
2 Adidas Action 3 deodorant
1 Colgate 360 Toothbrush
3 CVS Claritin (knockoff)
3 $1 fillers.
And you will still have $16.36 in ECBs for your next trip. Basically you got all the above for free and made $3 in the process! Now, just don’t lose those ECBs!

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  1. This post (on your other site) got me started finally with CVS… I have been keeping a total and so far I have gotten $92 worth of stuff for $35. That is with a couple of mistakes too. I hope you will do something similar to this each month when the new deals come out to keep helping people learn how to do this!!

  2. FishMama says:

    Jen, I’m so glad this was helpful to you! Who knew when I was going blurry-eyed for my brothers’ benefits, that it would help other people. (I’ve yet to hear a word from them, so I don’t know if they were successful.

    Thanks for letting me know!

  3. Shandra says:

    Hi, Fishmama! Love the Indiana Jones cake! Very creative!

    Here’s how my CVS trip went:

    1st purchase:

    Total: $19.86
    OOP: $13.35
    (with tax)
    ECB: gained $10.99

    2nd purchse:
    (I messed up on this one! Surprise, surprise! I learned the hard way that they take the ECB off AFTER all the discounts, so, I didn’t spend enough to use all my ECB’s and ended up spending more OOP than I intended.)

    Total: $11.24
    Coupons: -2.00
    ECB: -6.00
    OOP: $3.26
    (with tax)
    ECB gained: 4.99

    So, I still have $9.98 in ECB to spend.

    Thanks again!

  4. Denise Sawyer says:

    Great Post! This will be very helpful to newbies! Hope to stop by periodically to see what’s cookin’ over here! 🙂

    Check out my blog too!

    The “Cent”sible Sawyer

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