What are Extra Care Bucks? The CVS rewards that couponers are familiar with are Extra Care Bucks, commonly known as ECBs. ECBs are found at the bottom of your receipt when you buy a weekly item that has an ECB reward. The “money” is only good at CVS locations. You do not want to throw this “money” out because it is like money. You can use it in the store like cash. You can also “roll” your ECBs using ECBS to buy your next purchase of items that will grant you more ECBS. When you do this you are spending pennies out of your pocked but “recycling” CVS’s money. They carry an expiration date so it is very important to pay close attention to your ECBs (again staying organized.).
First thing to do is get a CVS Extra Care Bucks Card and register it online! Use your Extra Care Card with every purchase and earn Extra Care Bucks (ECBs). Scan the weekly ad for ECB Deals. Most weeks CVS will offer one or more products FREE after ECBs. Now, you can still use a coupon for what you purchase even if it is free after ECBs. For example, Colgate Toothpaste is on sale for $2.50 and you get $2.50 back in ECBs. Use a $1.00 coupon, spend $1.50 out-of-pocket and get $2.50 back in ECBs. Technically, you just made $1.50. If there is a limit of 5, you can do this 5 times!
So you spent $1.50, but you got $2.50 back AND you got a tube of toothpaste. You can roll over your $2.50 ECBs like this: suppose Scope is on sale for $3.50. You use a $1.00/1 Scope coupon and then use your $2.50 and get the Scope for FREE. So you spent $1.50 and got a tube of toothpaste and a bottle of Scope. Now it’s possible that there would be an ECB deal on the Scope, so maybe you end up getting back the $3.50 you spent.
Match a coupon with the ECB Deals to get an even sweeter deal! For example: Buy 2 Hair Care products ($5 each), Get a $5 ECB back. Say you have the $3 off coupons that commonly come in the Sunday paper, you will pay $4 out-of-pocket for both products, then you’ll get a $5 ECB. After doing the math, you have just made $1 for your purchase (this is also known as a moneymaker deal)!!
How to use coupons at CVS
There are 4 different types of coupons that you can use at CVS:
$/$$ purchase CVS coupon – for example, Get $5 off a $15 purchase
(These are emailed alot to you!)
CVS coupon – usually prints on the bottom of your receipt after a purchase or from the price scanner machine when you scan your Extra Care Card
Manufacturer’s coupon – coupons that are reimbursed by the manufacturer (will state on the coupon) that can be found in the Sunday paper, on tearpads throughout the store, etc.
ECB’s – ECB’s are like a coupon for money off your purchase
If you have a $/$$ coupon, you need to purchase the required amount of items (before coupons) and hand the cashier this coupon first before any other coupons reduce your purchase amount.
You can stack CVS and manufacturer’s coupons for the same item (meaning you can use both coupons on 1 item). One of the coupons is paid for by CVS and the other coupon is paid for by the manufacturer.
Give your ECB’s to the cashier last. You cannot use your ECB’s to pay sales tax on your purchase, so before I hand over my ECB’s, I’ll ask the cashier for my subtotal and try to match my ECB’s as closely as possible to that amount without going over.
Some CVS Lingo
•Extra Care Bucks (ECBs): It’s a CVS store coupon for a discount of your next purchase order that prints at check out. They print at the bottom of your receipt and can be used “like cash” on almost anything else sold at CVS (excludes gift card purchases, alcohol, prescriptions).
•Extra Care Bucks card: Card that will track your ECB’s and rewards. You must scan this before your transactions to get your ECB’s. Apply for the free Extra Care Bucks card online or in-stores.
•Reinventing Beauty Magazine: This is a is a 99 cent magazine available in the beauty section of most CVS stores. It sometimes comes with CVS and manufacturer coupons. Where else can you find the magazine? by the weekly flyers, with the other magazines, by the cash registers, in the cosmetic aisle. Not all stores seem to carry this magazine.
•CRT: or Cash register tape is a coupon that prints at the bottom of your receipt or at the Price Scanner.
•Price Scanner: Price scanning machines located at certain stores that serve to check the price of items and also print CVS store coupons when you CVS Extra Care Bucks card is used.
•CVS Store coupons: These can be stacked with manufacturer coupons for added savings. Can only use one per transaction.
•CVS $/$$ coupons: These coupons provide a discount once your order reaches a certain value before coupons. For example: you could save $4 when you buy $20 or more. This total is always before any other coupons.
Scan the magic CVS coupon machine when you first arrive at CVS – You’ll want to scan your ExtraCare card at the coupon printing machine inside the store. This machine is about 5? tall and is usually right when you walk in. It will print out coupons and even ECBs every now and then! These coupons are store coupons so they can be stacked with Manufacturer coupons!