Shopping Tips for CVS!

Learn How to Shop CVS, Tip One – The CVS Card
You need to get a CVS card to shop at CVS. You can get this card online (they will ship it to you) or in the store. The store will give you the card immediately so that is better if you are planning your first trip soon. Once you have your card then make sure it is scanned for every purchase. If you forget your card the cashier can look up your account using your phone number and you will still get credit.

CVS deals ad
Learn How to Shop CVS, Tip Two – The CVS weekly ad 

The weekly ad comes in the Sunday newspaper and is posted online.  It has the weekly deals, including ECB deals.

Learn How to Shop CVS, Tip Three – The CVS Monthly ECB Ad
This can be found at the front of the store. It is good for the month and will only include ECB deals.

Learn How to Shop CVS, Tip Four – CVS Coupons
CVS will issue coupons that are specific to your Extracare Card. You can get these coupons through your email (so be sure to give it to them), via snail mail, printed out after your receipt, and via the coupon printer that is in the store. If your store has a coupon printer then you can scan your card until it reads “no coupons available”. That usually means you can scan it 2-3 times. Sometimes these are for specific products and sometimes they are for a dollar amount off of a certain dollar amount ($3 off $15 for example).

Learn How to Shop CVS, Tip Five  – CVS Green Bag Tag 
CVS recently issued a green bag tag.  You can attach this tag to your reusable bags and have it scanned at CVS when you use a reusable bag (up to once per day).  You will get a bonus $1 CVS ECB every four times you scan the card.  It does cost you $0.99 to get the tag.

Learn How to Shop CVS, Putting the Tips Together!
You can use one manufacturer coupon and one CVS coupon for each item. You can use one $/$$ coupon per transaction. You will receive the full value ECB even when you use coupons.  You can also “roll” your ECB’s.  This means you can use the ECB’s from a deal to get the same deal.  The ad will tell you how many of that specific deal you are limited to (and so will the bottom of your receipt).

It is best to figure out what you need to use and then give them the CRT’s first, ECB’s next, and Manufacturer coupons last – that will give you your lowest OOP.

Total Cost of Products – CRT coupons – ECB’s + Tax – Manu Coupons = OOP

You can get “bonus” ECB’s by using your green bag tag and with the CVS quarterly award.  Your green bag tag will give you an extra $1 every 4 scans (once per month if you only go once a week).  That may not sound like much, but it will add up.  The quarterly award is given once per quarter and it will be 2% of your total expenditures at CVS that quarter.  I hardly ever get this award since you need to spend at least $50 each quarter and I generally spend less than $1 per week.  But, if you do spend more then you will get that bonus as well.

Each week I post the best CVS deals so you can make your own list using that! Go to my most recent CVS deals post to see what you can get free this week!

CVS Vocab
ECB – “Extra Care Bucks”. These are coupons worth a $ amount good for anything in CVS. They print out after your receipt.
CRT – “Cash Register Tape”. This refers to the coupons that print out after your receipt.
OOP – “Out Of Pocket”. This refers to how much you spend in actual money. ECB’s that you use in the transaction will bring your OOP down, ECB’s that you get will bring your OOP down the next time you shop.

When you are comfortable with the basics then check out this Advanced CVS post to see how to put together deals!

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Rebecca December 13, 2008 at 10:03 pm

I like the way you break this down- I am going to forward this to my dad who will be starting to “CVS” soon! Thanks!!!


2 Tosha December 14, 2008 at 5:29 am

Maybe you could bump this post up on your blog or put it on a side bar. It is a great explanation!


3 Anonymous May 1, 2009 at 3:53 am

I work at Cvs And I Hate When You Stupid Customers Try aND uSE aLL tHESE coupons then get mad when you cant use one.


4 JoeTaxpayer August 8, 2009 at 12:30 pm

Anon – let us know what store you work at, we'll be sure to not visit. I have no fewer than 10 CVS stores I pass every week. You can be sure the ones that have employees with an attitude are the ones I stopped going to.
Stupid? In this economy, for some, the money we save on some items help to put food on the table. When you lose your job, you might want to think about this.


5 Savings With Sadie September 17, 2009 at 12:17 pm

Hello –

I love my CVS deals and steals. Just wanted you to know that your carnival submission has been posted.

Don't forget to continue to participate in The Carnival of Savings, you must grab the post permalink to link your post back to the carnival for the convenience of readers. Thanks for participating. Next month, we will be setting a theme around holiday savings.

Thanks Lisa


6 Sara November 18, 2009 at 12:28 am

I shop at cvs using all these coupons and I hate cashiers who have attitude problems when they have to do a little work. We are not the ones that are stupid, I think it's pretty stupid that all the the stuff we get for free or really cheap you spend most of the paycheck on.


7 Fawn January 18, 2010 at 6:44 pm

Quick question, can you roll your ECB's? I have X amount of ECB's I got from deal A, so can I use them to do deal A again and still have it produce more ECB's?



8 LittlePeopleWealth January 18, 2010 at 10:01 pm

There will always be sour people out there. I'm thinking they need to find another line of work – maybe not in the customer service sector… you think, LOL! Why on earth would you work customer service if it makes you so miserable.

Yes, you can roll ECB's (unlike the RR's at Walgreens). As long as you haven't hit the deal limit you can continue to get the same deal. If you aren't sure of the limit your receipt will tell you (right at the bottom by the total saved).


9 Jocelyn - May 15, 2010 at 7:03 am

Great tips! I'm new to CVS'ing and you explain it very well 😀


10 LittlePeopleWealth May 15, 2010 at 3:05 pm

Thanks 🙂 Good luck with CVS!


11 Kelly July 23, 2010 at 11:31 am

Hi Kelly from #31DBBB I am exploring sites today and love yours. I already shop at CVS and use there extra bucks program and love it! You do a great job at explaining it all. I am going to share this link with some friends.


12 LittlePeopleWealth July 29, 2010 at 4:24 am

Thanks Kelly 🙂


13 Violeta Desousa November 30, 2010 at 10:42 am

I’m still learning from you, but I’m improving myself. I absolutely liked reading all that is written on your website.Keep the posts coming. I liked it


14 Sagar June 29, 2013 at 2:12 am

Thanks for sharing it was a good information
Sagar recently posted..Sports : Where to Buy Cricket Accessories & Kits Online?My Profile


15 Betty August 17, 2013 at 11:40 pm

I Love CVS and the amount of money I can save. Thanks for the great write up.
Betty recently posted..Shutterfly 12 Free Thank You Cards This Weekend OnlyMy Profile


16 Heidi August 18, 2013 at 12:31 pm

Thanks for stopping by 🙂
Heidi recently posted..New #Printable #Coupons for #JanuaryMy Profile


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