Sunday, August 2, 2009

CVS 101: How the Krazy Coupon Lady shops CVS

CVS is the most complicated store this Krazy Coupon Lady has tackled, but it's my new favorite!
Once you have it mastered, CVS has potential to be one of your top couponing stores too! CVS is often the best place to buy your toiletries and some food items too! And best of all- it's the easiest place I've found to score 'moneymakers'!

CVS allows one manufacturer coupon and one store coupon (CRT) per product. You may use CVS Extra Bucks (ECBs) in addition to these coupons.
Check out official 2009 CVS Coupon Policy here.

The best deals to be had at CVS are "Extra Bucks" offers. Watch KCL matchups and the CVS ad for promos like this: Spend $15 on participating candy, receive $5 Extra Bucks. You must only spend $15, before coupons! Your after-coupon total can be as low as you can get it!! The Krazy Coupon Lady's strategy is to use as many coupons as she can to bring down her total. Then she pays and receives her $5 Extra Bucks.

Once you've done your first transaction, you'll have Extra Bucks to use each time you shop and these will bring your total down lower and lower! You may use your Extra Bucks by separating your transactions and "rolling" them from one transaction to the next, or do like I do, roll from one week to the next. Soon you'll have a stash of $20-40 in Extra Bucks and you'll be shopping each week and bringing home $50 of products for pennies, all while continually rolling and replenishing your extra bucks so you'll never run out or let them expire- Krazy!

CVS advertises "Free" products each week. Are they really free?
Each week CVS has "Free after Extra Buck" offers. Example at right: Pay $0.99 for Pilot EasyTouch pen 2 pk. and receive an Extra Buck {coupon that acts like a gift card} for $0.99 off your next purchase. This item isn't actually free because you have to pay for it first. These FREE deals always have limits of how many you may buy and receive Extra Bucks.

What is a Moneymaker? Are you really getting paid cash?
No. But you will often see deals outline on theKrazyCouponLady that state 'moneymaker'! I'm not getting cash from the checker. A moneymaker is defined as a transaction where your out of pocket total is less than the total of your Extra Bucks (or sometimes rebates). At right is an example of a money maker from last week.

Colgate Total Toothpaste $2.88
Use $1.00/1 Manufacturer Coupon
Pay Out of Pocket: $1.88
Receive $2.00 Extra Bucks
Final Price: Moneymaker of $0.12

What are Fillers?
Fillers are needed when you're using a purchase-based coupon like $4.00 off $20.00 minimum purchase. If your total is $19.99, you need to buy something cheap to make your total over $20. Spend $0.50 on a pack of gum or an eraser in order to save $4.00.

May I have more than one CVS card?
No. However, your family members may apply for cards. Your ECBs are tied to the card from which they were printed, so you'll have to keep them separate if you maintain more than one card.


Weekly ECB offers: found in your weekly Sunday ad
Monthly ECB offers: good all month, find these offers in the 'monthly ECB booklet' at your local CVS.

When an ECB offer says, "limit 1", does this mean one per day? or per store?
No, limit one refers to the entire offer period. This applies across the entire store, not just one location. A week long ECB will only print for your card once in that week, a month long ECB will only print once all month. If your husband has an additional card, you can each get one ECB to print.

If the ECB promo requires I spend $20 on participating products to receive a $10 ECB, is the $20 minimum my pre-coupon total?
Yes, you must be at least at $20.00 before you hand over any coupons. Your total out of pocket might be $0.04, but as long as your original total was $20 or more, you will receive your ECB after payment.

May I use more than one ECB per transaction?
Yes! ECBs are like gift cards. Make note that if you use a $5 ECB on a $4.25 purchase, you forfeit the extra $0.75.

Does CVS issue rainchecks?
Yes! If you ask for a rain check on an ECB offer, your raincheck will be written for the amount you have have paid when factoring ECB savings. For example: Last week Colgate toothpaste was priced at $1.88 and when you bought 1, you received a $1.00 ECB. If your store was sold out of Colgate Toothpaste, they would write you a rain check for one (because it was a limit 1 promo) Colgate Toothpaste at $0.88.


Maven of Savin' said...

I LOVE CVS and I go every week and "make" money!! I donate what I do not need to charity!!

Shelbi said...

One thing to make note of, if you have coupons for your ECB items and receive rainchecks. Check your expiration dates on your coupons. Sometimes you don't have the time to wait on the stock.

Anonymous said...

my cvs prints the ECB's on rainchecks. It doesn not adjust the price down. It works just like any other ECB deal. Is this not the normal case?