How to Shop at CVS

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CVS can be a fun place to shop. Add coupons and ECB deals, and we’re sold! But how you say? That’s when we come in…to explain How to Use Coupons at CVS!

Be sure you have read ExtraCare Buck Basics before you start shopping at CVS, or you will be REALLY confused! You will also want to read our 10 Secret Tips for Shopping at CVS before you head to the store.

And before the “rubber meets the road” you will want to make sure you are ready! These tips will ensure just that…a successful CVS Shopping Trip! {Make sure you take a photo and share it in our Hot Deals Facebook Group to inspire others!}

At home:

  1. Make sure you have all your CVS ExtraCare Bucks and CVS coupons in front of you from previous trips.
  2. Go ahead and check your CVS account for any new coupons that may match with this week’s sale under the “My Savings & Rewards” tab on
  3. Scour the current CVS Weekly Ad on to find deals that you want to purchase.
  4. Make your shopping list by clicking the boxes next to the items you want to buy. Print your list from the “My List” feature. Go ahead and print any printables you may need.
  5. Gather your coupons, your list and head to CVS!

CVS KioskWhen you are at the store:

  1. Scan your CVS card at the Kiosk right when you walk in the store. Sometimes it will scan an additional time and spit out more coupons! (Usually once you have scanned your card during the week, you may not get any new coupons for the rest of the week. But it’s worth a try!) Check to make sure the coupons you just received match what is on your list.
  2. Start shopping!

Checkout Time:

  1. Hand over your CVS card first. This makes sure that sales items are shown correctly on your receipt.
  2. Once the cashier has finished ringing up your order, hand over your coupons in this order:
    CVS Q Order: ECB Card, $/$$ (i.e. $4/$20), % Off (25% Off), Store Coupons, Mfg Qs, ECBs. (Note: CVS reserves the right to scan coupons in any order.)
  3. Making a big CVS trip? Learn how to roll your ECBs by making smaller transactions and then “rolling” your ECBs for the next transaction.
  4. Keep your ECBs safe! Don’t forget they spend like $!
  5. Keep track of your totals! At the bottom of your receipt not only will it show you have much you saved today (Yippee!), but it will also show if you have completed the deal, how many (#), or much ($) you will need to complete the ECBs deal.

question-mark1aCVS Coupon FAQ’s

How do I receive the CVS email coupons?
If you have a valid email address linked to your CVS ExtraCare account online, you may receive these coupons. NOT everyone receives a coupon each week. It can be random, regionally sent or based on certain shopping habits. There is no way of knowing if/when you will get one. If you have not received a coupon in a while, you can call CVS Customer Service to request one.

How do I use CVS email coupons?
Percentage Off (%) Coupons: Percentage (%) off coupons can only be used on regularly priced items. These percentage (%) off coupons can still be used on an ECB deal as long as there is no price listed for the item. If a price is listed for the item in the ad, then it is considered a sale price and the percentage (%) off coupon will not be valid on it.
Total-Dollar-Off Select ($/$$) Coupons: This coupon will work on both regular and sale-priced items.

CVS Thursday Coupons

As you can see, the L’Oreal deal on the left is an ECB deal with a sale price listed for any item. A percentage (%) off coupon would NOT work on that item, only a dollar off purchase ($/$$) coupon would. The ROC deal (on the right) is an ECB deal with no sale price listed. Both types of coupons would work with the ROC deal.

Can I use CVS coupons on a deal where I am getting back an ExtraCare Buck reward?
For a Total Dollar Off ($/$$) Coupons: YES.
For a Percentage (%) Off Coupons: YES. As long as the item you are purchasing is regular-priced.

Some people have had problems using percentage (%) off coupons on regular-priced items that produce ECBs. Here are some trouble-shooters to try.

  • Load the coupon to your card instead of printing it. A misinformed cashier might refuse to scan the percentage (%) off coupon if you are buying ECB deal items. CVS registers have gotten pretty savvy in the past year. If it’s a valid deal, the register will ask the cashier if they want to use the coupon so be sure they select ‘YES’.
  • Use any other CVS coupons in another transaction. Sometimes, CVS coupons will have an exclusion on it that says “not to be combined with any other coupon”. This may prevent the percentage (%) off coupon from working.
  • Try scanning the percentage (%) off coupon first.

Can I print more than one CVS coupon?
CVS coupons are one-time only use coupon with a unique code. They will not be able to be used again as the register will beep and show the cashier that the code has already been used and is no longer valid.

Can I use another person’s CVS coupons with my card?
No. CVS coupons are emailed to specific CVS ExtraCare card holders. Only the card that is linked to the email that received the coupon will work with the coupon. This is the same with coupons printed from the Red Kiosk.

Can I use a CVS Percentage (%) Off Coupon AND a CVS Dollar Off Select Purchase Amount ($/$$) Coupon together?
Yes. The dollar off a select purchase amount ($/$$) will apply first, then the rest of the subtotal will be discounted by the percentage (%) off coupon.

I received a CVS Percentage (%) Off Coupon from an email AND another CVS Percentage (%) Off Coupon in the mail and they are different. Can I use both in one transaction?
No. If you attempt to scan more than one percentage (%) off coupon in the same transaction, the register will beep and will not accept the second coupon.

I sent my CVS coupon to my card and it printed from the Red Kiosk. Can I use the printed one from the kiosk and the one on my card?
If you sent the coupon to your ExtraCare card, the CRT that prints from the Red Kiosk is only a “Sent to Card Summary”. It is not an actual coupon and cannot be used at the register (it will just print there). The amount from the coupon will be taken off at the register when you scan your card.

Having a different problem using coupons at CVS?
CVS managers and cashiers can sometimes be misinformed about coupon usage. Do not be afraid to call CVS Customer Service for help and clarification! If you have tried all these options and are still having problems with using coupons at CVS, try another CVS store!

An Example of How To “Roll” ECBs


Here’s a brief example of how to roll ECBs. Although this example does not contain coupons, you may use coupons on any transaction that applies. Check out the current CVS Shopping Scenarios for more examples of how to Roll ECBs!

Each “Transaction” is the time you PAY at the register. So, you would purchase everything in Transaction #1, get your ECB reward and use it to pay for Transaction #2! Then use the reward from Transaction #2 to pay towards Transaction #3… wash, rinse, repeat!

Of course, adding in coupons will further reduce the amount you spend out of pocket (OOP), but for this illustration, we have excluded coupons to streamline and make it more understandable.

Buy: (1) Campbell’s Chicken Noodle or Tomato Soup, 10.75 oz (Limit 1) – $0.79
Pay: $.79 OOP
Get Back: $.50 ECBs

Buy: (1) CVS Nutritional Shake Single, 8oz (Limit 1) – $1.25
Pay: $1.25 (product total) – $.50 ECBs (from Transaction #1) = $.75 OOP
Get Back: $1.25 ECBs

Buy: (2) Xtra Liquid Laundry Detergent, 30 Loads (Limit 1) @ $1.50 each = $3
Pay: $3 (product total) – $1.25 ECBs (from Transaction #2) = $1.75 OOP
Get Back: $1 ECBs

After the third transaction, you have only spent $3.29 out of pocket ($.79 + $.75 + $1.75 = $3.29), and still have $1 ECB for your next transaction! You used all the other ECBs you earned to pay for your items instead of the cash in your wallet!

CVS Coupon Policy


Here is the Official CVS Coupon Policy broken down into an easy way to understand how to be successful. Sometimes it is good to print the coupon policy and have it with you when you shop in case a question should arise.

CVS accepts these types of coupons:

  • Manufacturer Coupons found in the newspaper inserts (Originals ONLY, not expired or with another manufacturer’s logo on them)
  • Printed Coupons (so long as they have a “scanable” bar code and a specific amount listed)
  • ExtraBucks Rewards and CVS coupons

Important Notes:

  • The total value of the coupon may not exceed the value of the item and the total of coupons may not exceed the value of the transaction.
  • In the event that any item’s price is less than the value of the coupon, CVS/pharmacy will only accept the coupon only to the price of the item. CVS/pharmacy does not provide cash back in exchange for any coupons.
  • CVS/pharmacy accepts one manufacturer coupon and applicable CVS/pharmacy coupon(s)per item, unless prohibited by either coupon offer.
  • CVS accepts multiple Dollar Off Select Purchase Amount ($/$$) if they apply. (Customer can use (2) $3/$15 coupon if they purchase at least $30.)
  • On a BOGO promotion, two coupons may be used.
  • CVS will accept (4) like coupons per person per day whether the coupon limits it to (4) or not.

~Happy CVS Shopping!

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