Saving Money at CVS
What is the drugstore game? Saving a ton at your favorite drugstore. When we think about saving money, most of us do not think “drugstore” as our go-to place. In fact, just walk into any given drugstore and you will find products with a high markup and you can usually find said products much cheaper at your regular grocery store or big box stores. Yet, if you play the drugstore game, you can not only save on groceries but toiletries and household products as well, and sometimes get your favorite products for next to nothing or free.
For the purpose of this post, I am going to teach you how to save at my favorite drugstore, CVS. However, you can play the drugstore game at other big drugstores such as Walgreens and Rite Aid.
This post may contain affiliate links, which means if you click a link and make a purchase I will receive a small commission at no cost to you.
I recently received a note from CVS informing me I am in the top 3% of savers. How did I become such a saver at CVS and make it into that 3% group of all CVS shoppers? Two words…. Extra bucks.
If you often shop at CVS then extra bucks are familiar; however, if this is not your store, let me explain how this works.
When shopping at CVS, many sales products listed in the flyer reward a purchase with extra bucks, which when redeemed act as cash for your next purchase. (Walgreens and Rite Aid use a point system.)
HOW IT WORKS
There are several different ways to earn extra bucks. First things first, you must join the extra care club and use your extra care card when shopping. Each extra care card member receives extra bucks quarterly for shopping at CVS. Nonetheless, if you download the CVS app, you can scan your phone instead of carrying a card, which is much more convenient.
A customer can join the beauty rewards club which pays quarterly. After you receive you extra care card, sign up for an online account. Sign into your online account and request to sign up for the CVS Beauty Club. Next, spend $50 on qualifying beauty products and the receive $5 extra bucks. $50 may sound like a lot but this amount is taken into account before you use your coupons, so you may only spend $10 and still qualify for the $5 reward.
USE THE FLYER
Another way to earn extra bucks is to buy products listed in the flyer. If you lean how to read the flyer, you will find items that qualify for extra bucks. For example, for one gallon of milk purchased, receive $1 extra buck. Another example is to buy 3 bags of a certain cookie and receive $5 extra bucks. The flyer is your key to finding these sales and earning more. Don’t forget, if you don’t have a flyer, you can see the same deals on your online account or your phone app.
The flyer will also list extra bucks rewards for spending a certain amount on a product (spend $12 on soap and receive $4 in extra bucks).
HOW TO USE EXTRA BUCKS
After you make your purchase, you receive a coupon with your receipt labeled extra bucks. Extra bucks can be redeemed on almost anything in the store, but must be used by the expiration date. (No alcohol or gift cards). Just hand them to the cashier like money. Cha Ching!!!
EXAMPLE OF A GREAT DEAL AT CVS
My local CVS flyer stated a sale on L’Oreal hair color. The hair color was listed in the flyer as spend $15 receive $6.00. This sounds like a great deal, right? It is, but we can make it even better! On top of receiving extra bucks after your purchase, CVS allows one CVS coupon and one manufacturer coupon per an item. Often CVS will have a $4 off two coupon. Frequently in the Sunday paper, L’Oreal will have a $5 off two coupon… So let’s total this out:
$15 – 4 (CVS coupon) – 5 (manufacturer coupon) = $6
I just paid $6 out-of-pocket for two boxes of hair color! Yay! This is an awesome deal!!!!! However, after I paid, I received $6 extra bucks. This make my hair color free! I can now take my $6 and spend it on another item I need, such as diapers, wipes or snacks (check the flyer because you will still receive extra bucks on these items, even though you are paying with extra bucks).
You don’t actually have to figure these deals out for yourself. There are thousands of blogs out there dedicated to coupon match ups. Let them do the work for you.
TIPS TO REMEMBER WHEN SHOPPING AT CVS
- Use your extra care card every time you shop
- Register your card online for email coupons
- Check your local flyer for great deals
- Check the manufacturer coupons available for these products
- Match them up with CVS coupons
- Pay attention to your extra bucks rewards and when they expire
- Plan ahead when shopping (make a list with all of your deals)
- Check your coupons before you check out
- Get the CVS app to score even better coupons
- Sign up for the Beauty Rewards Club
- Always know your stores couponing policy
- Coupons at CVS cannot exceed the price of the product; however, you can still use them, they will just be lowered to the product amount. For example, if an item is $3.99 and your coupon is for $4, your coupon value will drop down to $3.99 – So free, but you cannot make money unless you are counting your extra bucks rewards.
- Extra buck rewards work just like cash at CVS and you can earn rewards, even while paying with them.
- When using extra bucks make sure the price of your product is above the amount stated on the extra bucks. For example, if your extra bucks is worth $2, buy and item over $2 to receive the full value.
- Check sites that do weekly coupon match ups. My favorite is the Krazy Coupon Lady!
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As always, I hope my strategies help you! CVS is a national chain so I’m hoping my posts can reach many of you. CVS is my favorite drug store because I prefer to have the physical reward in my hand. Others may prefer Rite Aid or Walgreen’s Rewards points. The points print on your receipt but are electronic, so if you lose the receipt you must look up your account online.
Make sure you carry your card or download the app on your phone so you do not have to worry about carrying the card. Plan your coupon deals ahead of time and shop early, because sometimes the best deals sell out. Yet, you can usually take a rain check or wait until later in the week for the store to restock.
I never realized CVS rates it customers on savings ability, but it was a nice surprise to receive my 3% ranking in the mail along with more coupons.
What is your favorite store to shop sales? Do you have any coupon deals for the rest of us? Please leave me a comment!
Take care – Sarah
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