Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Couponing 101: Part 6

We are on Part 6 of my Couponing 101 series.  If you are just joining us, you can go back and read Parts 1-5 to get started. 

So, have you been collecting those coupon inserts?  Have you tried to get some things on your shopping trip using multiple coupons?  If so, I'd love to hear about it!

Today I want to talk about CVS and how you can literally shop there for FREE!  This really took me a while to understand at first.  I would read the CVS posts each and every week and read about their Extra Care Bucks and I still didn't get it.  Maybe you are in the same boat I was. 

Then one day the light bulb came on and I got it.  From that day on CVS was my best friend.  :)  I was in there at least once a week, the cashiers knew me, the managers knew me, and thankfully the CVS near me has great employees who don't mind the customers using lots of coupons (they are very patient).

So let me break it down for you.

Extra Care Card
Before you can save any money at CVS you first need an Extra Care Card.  You can sign up for one HERE and learn more about it HERE.  If you rather not wait to get your card in the mail though, you can go to your local CVS and get one immediately. 

Extra Care Bucks
Extra Care Bucks (ECBs) are rewards that you receive when you purchase a qualifying item.  You may have noticed that in your CVS weekly ad this past week you will get $3 in ECBs when you buy any Revlon Nail product for $3.99.  You start by having the cashier scan your card at the register, purchase your Revlon Nail product for $3.99, pay for it with your own money, and then attached to your receipt you will get a coupon worth $3 in ECBs.  You can use this $3 to pay for any future items at CVS (with a few exclusions).

So you may be saying to yourself, "The was not free at all."  Well, you do have to purchase the first item yourself to get started!  Once you get over that, you can start saving and possibly shop for FREE.

Rolling Extra Care Bucks
Once you have made your first purchase, you can start rolling your ECBs.  That means you can purchase new ECB deals with your previously earned ECBs (plus coupons) and spend little to no money out of pocket, while earning new ECBs for future products.

Finding the Deals
Southern Savers is my favorite website for finding the CVS deals!  She not only lists all the deals each week, at the bottom of each post, she lists the best scenario to save money.  She literally does all the work for you.  I usually just skip right down to the bottom of her post and buy exactly what she does (minus any diapers).  Here is her post for CVS Weekly Ad 3/6-3/12.

So if you wanted to get started this week, here is one scenario:

Transaction #1

(1) Revlon Nail $3.99
Manufacturer Coupon -$1 off Revlon Grow Luscious mascara or Color cosmetic product, SS 2/13
Total Due: $2.99
Get Back: $3 ECB

You would get back $3 ECB and save that for next week.  If you had $3 ECB from last week, you could use it here and basically get this product for FREE. 

I hope this all makes sense.  It is a little confusing at first, so just follow along each week and you will get the hang of it!



Hi Christine,

I am so glad you took the time to explain about shopping at CVS and saving.

I'm following you through Google Connect and came through the Hump Day hop. In fact, I grabbed you button and posted it in my blog because I want to come back here. I love your content!

Rebecca G.


HI Christine,
I forwarded your great coupon posts to a friend of mine who is addicted to the money saved with couponing :) Thanks for all the tips and if I ever get into couponing I'll be reading your posts again!

Pebblekeeper ~ Angie

I am almost ready to jump into this couponing thing. We have a Walgreens and a Rite Aid. I just need to start. Thanks for your great encouragement!

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