Will You Learn to CVS in February?

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:

How to CVS with Big Store Coupons
May CVS Primer
June CVS Primer
July Primer
MOM Deals and a CVS Primer

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!

Read Newer Post
Read Older Post


  1. Raggedy Girl says:

    This sounds confusing but I will give it a try. I am paying full price right now so what do I have to lose.
    Thank you,
    Roberta Anne

  2. Roberta Anne, it is a little confusing, esp. for the faint of math. But, start small, and pay attention to your receipts.

  3. I love to CVS !

    Just yesterday I got 2 Gilette 5 pack Mach 3 razors , 2 gilette shave creams, 2 Dove deoderents and a pack of baby wipes for
    just 12.99 (should have been around 45.00) With a B1G1 coupon for the razors , CVS Buy Gilette razors get shave cream free offer , and another Gilette coupon and Dove Coupon , Plus some ECBs I got a great deal .

    There really wasn’t much THIS week , but usually there is . I love to stock up on TP and Paper towels there !

    My fav. tip is Always look in the clearance section and try to match up coupons for a great deal and freebies !

  4. dancebythelight says:

    Jessica, I’m just trying to get in this and it’s confusing. I hope you’ll post a March CVS primer too to help us out!!

Thanks so much for participating in this conversation about "a mom's life."

This is a place where moms can be themselves. Remember that each mother's path looks a little different. Please keep your comments respectful and kind. Reasonable minds will disagree in a nice way.

So let's talk about it, using "our big girl words."

Share Your Thoughts