Shopping at CVS can be a frugally rewarding experience. You will need to sign up for a red Extra Care Card (free), and show it before every purchase. This entitles you to earn the free 'money' the drugstore gives you for making certain purchases every week.
1. First thing every time you enter CVS - swipe your Extra Care Card at the red machine by the drugstore entrance, inside. In fact, swipe it twice. Usually there are two sets of coupons that will come out, including Extra Bucks from previous expenses, your quarterly 2% back Bucks, 25% off next purchase coupons and even coupons for entirely free items. All of these coupons have time restrictions, so make a note of these.
2. Pick up the CVS weekly circular, also by the front entrance. This is your guidepost of what to buy for that week. Look for items that give you rewards back (Extra Care Bucks). If you have food stamps, buy the food items that offer Extra Care Bucks, then use the Bucks to buy whatever else (ie, non-food) that you need. You can buy the food first, get your bucks, take the food to the car, and head right back in to shop for other things using your free Bucks.
If you are a couponer, combine those store sales with the Bucks and your coupons - and stretch the free money out even further.
3. Show your Extra Care Card every time you check out, whether at the front counters, or back by the pharmacy. This is how you get your 2% back from purchases made every quarter. Offer to pick up things for family members and friends (if they will pay you back)! It earns you money back to buy things there on your CVS card. I try to shop there as often as possible.
4. Use your Green Bag Tag every time you go to CVS. You can only use your tag once a day, but for each use you get a 25 cent 'credit'. Every four times you shop, they give you a dollar's worth of Extra Bucks. Of course, you have to use your own bag to use the tag - that is the "green" part of the deal. Or just ask for no bag and use your hands to carry things out the store. Or stick your purchases in your purse - that is certainly a bag. Conceivably, you could use your tag every day at CVS for 30 days and earn $7-8 in free Extra Bucks. Green Bag Tags cost one dollar to purchase, or are sometimes 50 cents or free with coupons spit out by the red machine. You can attach the tag to whatever you want, or keep it in your wallet.
I tell everyone the Green Bag Tags are absolutely worth spending a dollar on. You make that back after only four drugstore visits.
5. Get a free Beauty Bucks card too. This is not one you have to carry around. Once you sign up for it, any body/facial care purchase you make at CVS will automatically give you points. After spending $50 on beauty products, you automatically earn $5 in Extra Bucks, on an ongoing basis.
Notes on using CVS Extra Bucks:
- There are expiration dates on the Bucks, so remember to use 'em or lose 'em. That said, sometimes the cashier will let you use expired ones anyway - it's worth a shot to try.
-You can use the CVS Bucks on anything in the store, with certain exceptions. Read the small print to be sure. Usually the exceptions include alcohol, gift cards, lottery tickets and postal stamps.
-There is a limit to how many Extra Buck deals you can get from each specific CVS sale. It will tell you right on the circular. Usually you have the option to do the deal one time, but sometimes it will allow you more purchases, or the company will add more allowable purchases mid-week. Look on the bottom of your receipt to see if you have more deals allowed, or ask the clerk.