February 9, 2012

CVS and ECBs for Beginners

Ok, so you have gathered a nice little stockpile of q's and you are ready to start getting in on some of these deals that you keep reading about. But what do you do first?

First, you need to make sure you have signed up and gotten your CVS Extra Care Card. This is your first key to savings. (You can do this right at the checkout counter, just ask for an application)

Now, you don't have to shop that day, let's wait until Sunday's ad comes out (Thursday in some locations). You get your Sunday sales paper out and you start looking at it. Grab yourself a pen and put a little asterisk * next to the items you are needing or the items that say you can get it free or for maybe 99 cents after ECB (extra care bucks) Make a list of those items.

Grab your stockpile of q's and let's start looking for some q's to match up with those items you have marked *.

For example, say Colgate Total toothpaste is on sale in the paper for $3.99. You have a $1 q off of that. So you are going to pay $3.99 for it, take your $1 manufacturer's q off making it $2.99. Now, say CVS has it that if you purchase that item, they will give you $3.99 ECB. That will show up on your receipt after you pay the $2.99 plus tax.

Now, there are a couple of ways to accumulate these ECBs. Some people will check out with that toothpaste example above, then take the $3.99 ECBs they just earned and use it on the next product they purchase. Less out of pocket on the next order. And let's pretend that on that order, you will get $5 ECB back (possibly for purchasing $15 worth of Proctor and Gamble products) You can continue to "roll" these ECBs from order to order.

I myself did not know that 'rolling' technique and I made my initial purchases, paid the out of pocket (OOP) and then had $8.99 ECB for the following week's sale in which I could "roll" them into offers then. ECBs have a 1 month expiration date, so you want to make sure to keep up with them. Nothing worse than letting an ECB expire!

Article contributed by Terri. For more on CVS shopping please visit our CVS Forum. 

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