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The First Cuts: How to go CVSing

As promised I am back with my beginners series.  Today we are going to talk about CVS.  Yes, one store gets a full post, really several.  You can save and even earn money shopping CVS wisely.  It is like a science.  That is why you will notice my posts on Sunday mornings say What’s Worth CVSing!  I will do my best to explain the ins and outs of CVS as easily as possible.

Extra Care Card

The first step to CVS is to have an Extra Care Card.  If you do not have one you can ask for one when you go in the store.  Please, follow the directions to register the card.  Even sign up for emails on line.  They will send you coupons by email and mail that are very valuable to a couponer!

Planning

This is the most important step to any trip to CVS.  You have to look at the sale paper, ad matchups, where ever it is that you get your info.  Hopefully you check out A Few Short Cuts!

ECBs

ECB stands for Extra Care Bucks.  This is very important.   ECB’s are like CVS Gift Cards.  You receive them for purchasing certain items, and can use them like cash on your next purchase.  You have to be careful because these do have an expiration date.

Rainchecks

Since CVS is a drugstore, more often than you would hope you have to ask for a rain-check.  Please, do not be shy! Ask for the Raincheck.  If the item that is not in stock was supposed to print ECBS they will print with the rain-check!

Coupon Machine

In the front of every CVS is this wonderful Red Coupon Machine!  You scan your CVS Card and it prints you wonderful coupons to use in the store.  The machine will do this every time you go in!  Sometimes you will get fantastic coupons, other times not so much.  About a month ago it was spitting out $1 off CVS paper product.  I got several single rolls of paper towels for free!

It is also a price scanner!  This can come in handy if your store is bad about marking the shelves with advertised deals.

How to put them all together

The best way I can teach you how to CVS is to do it with you!  That’s right.  You are getting hands on help!  For the next couple weeks I will CVS right along with you, beginners or not.  I will show you how to start earning ECBS, What Coupons to use, and how to roll your ECBs!  I will even show you how to spend the least amount out of pocket by doing multiple transactions.

Now, when I first started I felt very awkward about doing multiple transactions.  Don’t!  Stores are used to people doing this.  In fact, I even had one cashier offer to do this for me one day before I even asked!

So, here are the best deals this week and a couple scenarios.

$4 ECB wyb Old Spice or Gillette body wash, $4
-Gillette Body Wash, any excluding trial size – 06-06-10 PG
-$4/2 Gillette Anti-perspirant/Deodorants or Body Washes, Any – 05-02-10 PG
-B1G1 Old Spice Red Zone Body Wash home mailer

Buy 2 Body Washes and Use any of the coupons above. Pay $4 and earn $4 in ECBS

$5 ECB wyb Gillette ProGlide razor, $9.97
-$5/1 Gillette Fusion Razor, any – 06-06-10 PG
Free after coupon and ECB!

$4 ECB wyb Schick Hydro 3 or Hydro 5 razor system or cartridges 4ct, $8.97

-$5/1, $4/1 Schick Hydro razor 05-09-10 SS (exp 6/12)
-$2/1 Schick Hydro Razor Or Refill, Any (DND 5) blinkie
-$5/1  Schick Hydro Razor – 06-13-10 SS

Free after $5/1 coupon & ECB!

Scenario 1

Multiple Transactions

Transaction 1

Buy Schick Hydro Razor $8.97
use -$5/1  Schick Hydro Razor – 06-13-10 SS
Pay $3.97 plus tax
Get $4 ECBS

Transaction2

Buy 2 Gillette Body Wash $4
Use -B1G1 Gillette Body Wash, any excluding trial size – 06-06-10 PG
Use $4 ECB from first transaction
Pay tax
Earn $4 ECB

Transaction 3

Buy Gillette Pro Glide Razor $9.97
Use $5/1 Gillette Fusion Razor, any – 06-06-10 PG
Use $4 ECB from transaction 2
Pay $0.97 plus tax
Earn $5 ECB

Finale

You will have  $26.94 worth of items for $4.94 plus tax.
You will also have $5 in ECB’s to start next week!

Scenario 2

Single transaction

Buy Schick Hydro Razor $8.97
use -$5/1  Schick Hydro Razor – 06-13-10 SS
Buy 2 Gillette Body Wash $4
Use -B1G1 Gillette Body Wash, any excluding trial size – 06-06-10 PG
Buy Gillette Pro Glide Razor $9.97
Use $5/1 Gillette Fusion Razor, any – 06-06-10 PG

Total after Coupons  $12.94
Get back $14 in ECBs for next week!

Finale

When you purchase all in a single transaction you spend more out of pocket, but you also have more ECBs to start next week.  With this scenario you received  $26.94 worth of items for $12.94 plus tax.  You now have $14 in ECBs for next week!

I hope that by showing you two different ways to purchase the same items you can get a feel for how the system works.  If your store does not have any of the items above ask for a raincheck.  Also ask them when they will be in stock.  Doing this will get them motivated to place an order.

Next Sunday in my What’s Worth CVSing Post I will place my beginners scenarios at the bottom.  For those of you shopping along with me, we will start with our ECBs we earned this week.

If you have any questions. Feel free to comment below or shoot me an email.  I will do my best to answer!

Comments

  1. Sarah H. says

    I would love to start CVSing but the closest one is 25 minutes away and I just never remember when I”m in the area.

  2. Terri says

    Thanks for the info!

    Question about doing multiple transactions. Do you do this all in 1 visit to the store, or do you go every day for several days until you’ve bought everything?

    Thanks again, it’s awesome of you to lay it all out for us beginners!

    Terri

    • says

      Terri,

      I go to the store 1 time, and just tell the cashier I want to do multiple transactions. They are used to this. Trust me, I was uncomfortable with it at first too! If there is a line. I will be polite, and do one transaction, then let the next person check out, before I do the next.

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