Monday, May 11, 2009

Tips for Saving Money At CVS

Hello readers!
Remember me?
I'm going to do my best to post frequently while Dorinda's away on vacation.

Today I'm going to share some tips about shopping at CVS. My best advice is to start small. The more you do it, the more you'll get the hang of it. Feel free to leave a comment or question, and I'll do my best to answer them!

What is an ECB?

ECB stands for Extra Care Bucks. When reading the weekly CVS add, you will see that some items reward you with ECBS upon purchase.

For example:

Colgate Toothpaste is listed as $2.99 with $2 ECBs. You still have to pay $2.99 but you will get a printed receipt with 2 ECBs on it. You can then use that receipt like a gift card towards any future purchase. Yes, you still have to pay $2.99 for the toothpaste. But if you have coupons, you pay even less and you still get $2 back in store credit.

You can also use several ECB receipts at one transaction. Toothpaste is often a great deal at CVS. There are almost always coupons available.

What does it mean to "roll" your ECBs?

"This is the term for using ECBs earned on a previous promotion to pay for another promotion that earns ECBs. It minimizes the amount that you have to spend out of pocket for the promotions.

Buy 1 Alka-Seltzer at $3, get $3 ECB, no limit

Transaction #1: buy 3 A-S, total will be $9.
Use coupons (3 x $1/1 mfr and 1 CVS Alka-Seltzer coupon) to bring total down to $5. Pay.
A $9 ECB will print.

Transaction #2: Go back, buy 3 more A-S and use another $4 of coupons, total is $5. Add some other stuff to bring total to $9.
Pay with your first $9 ECB. Then, another $9 ECB prints.

Rinse and repeat!

All of the purchases of one product in one transaction will be combined into a single ECB. For example, if you buy 10 Alka-Seltzer in the same transaction, each of which will earn $3 ECB, you would get one $30 ECB. People who buy large quantities of a particular deal in a single transaction get larger ECBs."

(taken from

Take advantage of the "Buy $xxx worth of _____, get $xxx ECB" promotions!

You will see that CVS will often run ECB promotions where if you buy $xxx worth of a said brand (ie. Oil of Olay, Panteene, Colgate, etc.), you will get $xxx back in ECB. The total amount is BEFORE your manufacturers coupons. So, if there is a brand/product that you like, take advantage of the promotion by using as many manufacturers coupons as possible. Then watch your ECBs rack up!

Be nice to the cashier!
Get to know your local CVS cashiers. Be patient. I can't tell you how many times the cashier has helped me save more by giving me coupons!

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