First some terminology:
ECB – Extra Care Bucks – These print on your receipt after you buy a qualifying item. These can be used like a gift certificate for anything besides prescriptions, stamps or gift cards. They are non transferable and only work with the Extra Care Card that was used to earn them. They are combinable with more ECB’s and coupons.
OOP – Out of Pocket – This is the amount of money you will be paying at the purchase of the transaction not including ECB that will print on receipt
B1G1 – Buy1 Get 1 Free – This refers to the sales when you get 2 for the price of 1
Ok now that you can decipher the lingo let’s talk about how to play the game. CVS has a rewards program that is tracked with there Extra Care Card. If you do not have one get one. Every time you purchase no matter what it is scan your card. CVS gives special sales on items to card holders. They also track your spending and will give you 2% at the end of each quarter back in ECB of your total spending. You can also earn $1 ECB for every 2 prescriptions you fill. The biggest way to earn ECB is by purchasing the advertised items that will qualify for ECB’s.
Each week and month there are specific items that will generate ECB’s when purchased. The amount of ECB’s varies per item but can be up to a full refund making the item FREE. There is a monthly publication listing the items for the month and a separate weekly ad for weekly deals. Both can be found at the front of CVS stores as well as the weekly ads are online and in your local Sunday paper.
The object of the game is to spend as little out of pocket as possible while rolling your ECB to make further purchases, so how do you do this? By combining great sales with paper insert coupons, dollar off transaction coupons and ECB’s.
For example let’s say Children’s Advil is on sale for $5.79 with $5.79 ECB which means you pay $5.79 and $5.79 will print on your receipt. That’s great but there is a $1.00 printable coupon on the Internet so you can pay $4.79 and get $5.79 in ECB now you have made money.
Now take that $5.79 in ECB and do another transaction like this
Deodorant $1.99 ( use a $1.00 off coupon and get $1 ECB)
Mascara $5.99 ( use a $1.00 off coupon and get $4 ECB)
Total OOP $5.98 pay with $5.79 ECB from before and OOP = $.19
ECB (these will print on receipt) $5.00 ( there will be 2 a $1.00 and $4.00)
Now you have $5.00 to work with. So you can come up with a new transaction to use your $5.00 on while generating more ECB. You want to try and always generate ECB with each purchase.
There is a specific order to using coupons. If you have a $ off total transaction coupon ( for example $4 off a $20 purchase) always give that first because as you give other coupons your total will drop below the minimum amount. Then any CVS brand coupons and manufacturer coupons. You can combine CVS brand coupons which print on your receipt with manufacturer coupons on the same item so 2 coupons on one item.
When you are first beginning I suggest giving your self a dollar limit and see how far you can stretch it. You will end up doing multiple transactions, but it is worth it to maximize your dollars. To get your first $4/$20 purchase sign up for emails here
I hope this helps, please feel free to email me with any questions you may have!