Fun at CVS

I confess that I am a CVS addict. Several times a week I am in CVS stores. I’m hooked.

What sets CVS apart from other Drug/Pharmacy stores is their very generous in store rebate, called Extra Care Bucks (ECBs). With careful matching of coupons to in store sales and weekly ECB deals, you can spend a fortune at CVS without spending a fortune. Often, you spend pennies.

Here’s how it works:

When you sign up for the program, either in a store on at their website, you receive a red card which is scanned whenever you make a purchase. CVS awards you 2% of what you have spent in Extra Care Bucks every quarter. These will print online or at a register, and you can use them as you would cash for any CVS purchase.

Now, 2% is not a lot to be excited about. But wait, there’s more.

Every week, CVS has special deals for additional Extra Care Bucks. Those also print at the register when you make a qualifying purchase. For example, this week they are offering $5 in Extra Care Bucks if you purchase $10 of selected Colgate Palmolive products – many of which are on sale for really low prices. You can spend that $5 ECB coupon on anything in CVS – including other items that have ECB offers.

This is where the fun comes in.

This weekend, I went to CVS armed with several of their coupons from their website and emails, a bundle of manufacturer coupons, and $19 worth of ECBs. I bought $41.30 worth of merchandise, most of it on sale. I paid 6.23, including tax. And….

The register generated another $9 worth of ECBs….and…

The register printed a coupon for $4 off my next purchase of $20 or more….and….

The total purchase BEFORE COUPONS will be added to my quarterly total for the 2% rebate.

Another nice thing about CVS is that they “stack” their own coupons. So if you have multiple CVS coupons for $3, $4, or $5 off a particular total, they will ring them all as long as you have purchased that much merchandise. They take their own coupons off BEFORE the manufacturer coupons and ECBs.

Next week I’ll take my $4 coupon from the register, and my $4 coupon they sent in the email, and my $2 coupon off any vitamins, and my $9 worth of ECBs, and my manufacturer’s coupons…And I will do it again. And again. And again…..

To really see how these deals add up, visit the CVS forum here