If you shop at CVS, you are probably familiar with the company’s reward program “Extra Care Bucks” or “ECB’s” as abbreviated. The question is: do you use them?
ECB’s can be used a variety of ways. Many people who are familiar with the rewards program use ECB’s to purchase items that earn them more ECB’s, or to pay for items they don’t otherwise have the money for. If you aren’t familiar with the Extra Care Bucks program, now is the time to get educated.
By using my CVS shoppers card, using coupons, and participating in the Extra Care Bucks program- I have saved (YTD) $1,088.01. My earnings for the Extra Care Bucks program (YTD) is $457.62-that means I have earned $457.62 in “free money” to spend at any CVS store.
So how do you earn all this “free money”?
You will first need a CVS card, you can get one for free at any CVS location or go *here* to sign up for an online account and register for a card.
Use your Extra Care Card Every Time you Shop- you will earn 2% back on most purchases made in every quarter (excludes alcohol, gift cards, lottery, money orders, prescriptions, postage stamps, pre-paid cards, tobacco products or items reimbursed by a governmental program) and on prescription purchases (excludes pharmacy items paid for in whole or in part by state and/or federal health care programs. For example, Medicare, Medicaid and TRICARE).
At the end of every quarter (January, April, July and October) your earnings will be available to you via Extra Care Bucks. You may retrieve your Extra Care Bucks through your CVS online account, on a receipt printed at the cash register, or by scanning your CVS card at the little red coupon/price checker kiosks located in-store.
Follow the Weekly Flyer- The flyer contains the items on sale (and sometimes not on sale) that have Extra Care Bucks rewards. If you purchase the amount of items required per the ad, you will earn the Extra Care Bucks specified. The Extra Care Bucks will print out on the bottom of your shopping receipt so long as you have met the requirements specified on the ad. Remember, Extra Care Bucks=Free Money to spend at CVS-so don’t throw your receipt away!
Use your Extra Care Bucks- Extra Care Bucks can be used to purchase items from any CVS Pharmacy. Pay close attention to the expiration dates listed on your Extra Care Bucks, some CVS locations honor expired Extra Care Bucks, and some locations do not. Having a CVS online account is very handy, if you happen to lose your Extra Care Bucks you are able to reprint them using your online account (so long as they have not expired).
The Little Magic Machine- Those little red CVS kiosks (I call them coupon-spitty machines) located in-store are not just for checking prices on items, they also print out CVS coupons. Every time you shop at CVS, I encourage you to scan your CVS card at the kiosk to see what coupons are being offered to you. It’s common to get coupons for free items, or high value coupons for money off a particular item. Most times these kiosk coupons are for items that are on sale-so it’s well worth your while to scan your CVS card at the kiosk every time you shop.
Use Manufacturer Coupons on Sale Items that have Extra Care Bucks Attached to the Purchase- Lower your out-of-pocket costs by using manufacturer coupons, if they are available for items on sale at CVS. Doing so will help you pay less money out-of-pocket, while you earn money (Extra Care Bucks) for your purchase.
Rolling ECB’s- You may have heard this term before, this is something I typically don’t do (primarily because I don’t have the free time to stand at the cash register to run multiple transactions). I also have this funny thing about not keeping a line of angry people behind me. Go *here* to learn more about rolling ECB’s.
My Most Recent Shopping Trip
I went to CVS today for a few items, and noticed in their flyer that they were advertising an Aveeno Extra Care Bucks deal: Buy any 2 Aveeno Products 0.5oz to 18oz-earn $7 in Extra Care Bucks.
In my wallet, I had $3 in Extra are Bucks to spend (which I earned last week), so I figured there was no better way to spend it because I needed hand lotion desperately.-particularly the kind that would fit in my purse. The travel sized Aveeno Lotions were 1 oz in size, perfect price of $1.49, and perfect for my purse.
- I purchased (2) Travel Sized Aveenos, which came to $2.98.
- I used my $3 Extra Care Bucks to pay for the purchase
- I made $7 in Extra Care Bucks for the purchase.
I paid absolutely no money out of my own pocket to buy the 2 lotions, and made $7 in Extra Care Bucks!
Naturally, with all the excitement I forgot to grab diapers for my daughter. In my next transaction I used the $7 in Extra Care Bucks that I just earned to help pay for the diapers which cost $8.99 for a 24 pack. Because I used my $7 in Extra Care Bucks, I only paid $1.99 out of my own pocket for the diapers.
You can go *here* to learn more about the Extra Care Bucks program, to sign up for an online account, or to request a CVS savings card. You can also follow CVS on Facebook to receive up to date information on sales, specials, and Extra Care Bucks deals.