Secret Tips for Shopping at CVS


Secret Tips CVSSecret Ways To Save at CVS

Admit it.  You’ve seen people get some amazing deals at CVS and wished you were able to walk in the store and be the boss of the best buys, but it just hasn’t happened for you – yet!  There are some commonly overlooked secret tips for shopping successfully at CVS that will make all the difference in the world in your bottom line IF you employ these strategies.  Check off these boxes and you’ll be the one getting the admiring looks as you leave the store with a load almost too big to carry but with your wallet nicely intact!  Let’s get started!

1. Get SQs at the Coupon Kiosk

First things first.  For maximum savings at CVS, you’ll need a CVS account. Pick up a card in the store and register it online to receive extra savings by mail and email; be sure you “opt in” to receive promotional offers. Want the card before you go? No problem. Create an account here and print out a temporary card that will allow you to begin using it immediately. You can also use your phone number to get rewards printed and use your card in-store (without actually having the card with you in-store).

CVS KioskYou will also be able to print extra store coupons each week at the Red Kiosk in the store.  They call that price-checker-scanner machine the ‘Red Kiosk” and it is NO JOKE and you will realize a big majority of your savings from the treats that will print out of here, so don’t forget to stop and do this when you first enter the store!  You can’t miss it ~ it’s the tall red and yellow box near the front entrance.  You can also use this to scan prices on items you may be interested in purchasing (sometimes you get really nice surprises with unmarked clearance!) Learn more about the Red Kiosk and ECBs in our article here.

2.Get MORE Coupons via Email

Each week, CVS sends out store coupons to select ExtraCare card holders that can be used in-store or online. These store coupons can be sent to your ExtraCare card or they can be printed. Sometimes CVS will send store coupons for beauty items earlier in the week. Each Thursday CVS will send out store coupons to select cardholders. These store coupons usually consist of a Dollar Off Select Purchase Amount ($/$$) or a percentage (%) off! Thursday store coupons are available until the following Sunday night as they usually have an expire within four days.

There are two types of store coupons you can receive by email:

  • Percentage Off Coupons: 20% Off Total Purchase, 25% Off One Regular Priced Item, 30% Off, etc.
  • Total Dollar Off Coupons ($/$$): $5 off $25 ($5/$25), $10 off $30 ($10/$30), etc.

3. Join the FREE CVS Beauty Club: Exclusive Benefits

Sign up to join the Extra Care Beauty Club it’s not only FREE, it basically pays to join.  Beauty Club Members get these exclusive benefits:

  • 10% off beauty shopping pass after enrollment
  • $5 ExtraBucks Rewards for every $50 spent on qualifying beauty purchases
  • $3 ExtraBucks rewards on your birthday
  • Exclusive emails with coupons, tips and new product info
  • Plus it’s FREE to join!

CVS Pharmacy & Health Rewards4. Bonus Ways to Earn Extra ECBs

These are ECBs that your earn through pharmacy and prescription credits; 10 credits will earn you $5 in Pharmacy & Health Rewards, and these can be used like your other ECBs on most items in the store. You must join to earn; up to $50 Pharmacy & Health ExtraBucks Rewards each year!

Save twice in the pharmacy! There is also another program for people managing diabetes called Extra Care Advantage for Diabetes  (ECAD) through the Pharmacy Health Rewards. Joining this will earn you double rewards that will allow you to not only save on diabetic supplies throughout the year, but you will earn double ECBs for these items and be included in additional savings offers throughout the year. Again, you have to sign up for ECAD to take advantage of these extra savings.

Even a third opportunity to save! The CVS Minute Clinic is a great way to get school vaccinations, flu shots and more services while earning extra rewards, like a 20% Off shopping pass, coupon booklets and more! They will coordinate with your insurance to save you the absolute most money possible on services they provide.

5. Double Dipping to Take Advantage of Two Sales at Once

If you go shopping at a CVS store after 10 pm on a Saturday evening (so, you’d be at a store that is open until Midnight or a 24 hour store), then you are in for a treat! The ECB deals from the current week are good through Saturday at midnight, PLUS the next week’s ECB deals are already live in the system, too! That means you can shop off of BOTH sales! This is usually only available from 10pm – midnight on Saturdays.  Check with your local CVS to verify the time of availability; it may vary between stores. This is a great way to build ECBs fast and save extra dollars in a single trip.

CVS Advisor Panel6. Get Paid ECB’s For Giving Your Opinion

Want to make your opinion really count? You may be surprised to learn there is a CVS Advisor Panel that you can join.  Once you go through the registration, which will take 10-15 minutes tops, you will begin to receive surveys a few times a year. Participating will earn you additional ExtraCare Bucks to spend in the store! Sign up here!

CVS ECBs7. Threshold Tricks: 98% Purchase Rule Grace

You know those fantastic ECB Reward Dollars? Well, in order to earn them, sometimes you will need to spend a certain “Threshold” Dollar Amount, it goes like this…. if an offer states “Spend $10 to earn $5 in ECBs”, well, did you know that CVS has a 98% Purchase Rule that if you only spend $9.80 (98% of $10), you are still considered to have met the threshold and your ECBs will print!  That means they are helping you earn ECBs! You and I both know there are SO MANY TIMES we purchase two items for $4.99 making the total $9.98 and you think you need to buy just “one more item” to hit the $10 Threshold. Not Any Longer! Sweet.

**EXCEPTION** There is an exception to this grace rule. When an ExtraCare deal gives you two options to earn ECBs such as; “Get $5 ECBs wyb $15” OR “Get $10 ECBs wyb $30”, these do not work with the 98% rule. In this case, you must purchase the full $15 or the full $30 for the ECBs to print, so just be sure to plan accordingly.

8. “Roll” Your ECBs to Spend the Least Out Of Pocket

By knowing what’s on sale ahead of time, you can plan your purchases before you go in order to take advantage of the concept of rolling ECBs. Simply put, rolling ECBs is all about making multiple smaller transactions (such as sometimes only buying ONE item at all) then earning your reward and “rolling” them into the next transaction, and the next, and so on.  Essentially you are using the ECB that you just earned to “pay” for your next order. Learn more details on “rolling ECBs”. To maximize your savings, plan your shopping trips using our CVS Coupon Matchups and Best Deal Scenarios.

Quarterly Bucks9. Earn 2% on EVERY Thing You Buy

When you use your CVS Card (item #1) every single time you check out, you will earn 2% back in rewards on your every day purchases. These “quarterly rewards” are paid once every 3 months (aka, quarterly) on/after January 1st, April 1st, July 1st and October 1st. Bonus Tip – Always be sure to check your receipt – sometimes surprise, unadvertised ECBs print at the end of your receipt! That is FREE money!

10. Get All Your “Bucks” in a Row

There is an exact science (well, sort of) to checking out at CVS.  Really, you ask? Yes, really, because often store’s computer systems will deny the use of certain coupons or discounts, even though a certain level was met, if things are done out of order.

  • Hand over your CVS card first. This makes sure that sales items are shown correctly on your receipt.
  • When your first transaction has been rung up, hand over your coupons in this order
    1. ECB Card, $/$$ (i.e. $4/$20)
    2. % Off (25% Off)
    3. Store Coupons
    4. Manufacturer’s coupons
    5. ECBs

(Note: CVS reserves the right to scan coupons in any order)

Share Your Success With Others (and Us)!

Did you know there are thousands of other couponers who would love to hear about your experience, share ideas, successes, failures and even strategies in the TrueCouponing Hot Deals Group on Facebook? If you haven’t joined yet, don’t miss another deal! Just go here and click the “Join” button! We will approve your request quickly. You will be among the first to see sneak peeks on upcoming deals, and see what our readers are sharing about shopping trips and hot deals, as well as ask questions and interact with us all the time!

~Happy CVS-ing!

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