Tuesday, August 4, 2009

CVS: 103 Checking Out with Coupons at CVS-- ECBs reduce the taxable total!

Here is the final installment of our CVS series! Make sure you start out by reading the
CVS Coupon Policy
CVS 101: How the Krazy Coupon Lady shops CVS
CVS 102: Different Kinds of CVS Register Coupons

The last thing I want to address about CVS is the all-important Checkout!
In the past, KCL has given you the following order to use during checkout at CVS.

Checkout Order:
1. Scan Extra Care Card
2. CVS Purchase Based coupons (Ex: $4 off $20 minimum purchase)
3. CVS Store Coupons (In-ad coupons or CRTs)
4. Manufacturer Coupons
5. ECB's


That's all about to change. The above mentioned order is still a good order and if you prefer to stick with it you may do so. I prefer to switch up the order and save even more money by minimizing my sales tax! I'll tell you how it works:
We all know that we pay tax on the total purchase, before manufacturer coupons. Manufacturers coupons do not reduce your sales tax, (if you spend $50 and use $35 in manufacturers coupons, you will be taxes on the full $50). But when you use CVS CRTs or ECBs, your taxable amount is reduced.
Also, CVS coupons will not scan through to pay "tax". If you're left owing $3.00 and your last coupon is an ECB, it will not scan through, because the $3.00 is all or partly tax. Manufacturer coupons will still scan through and can take your total down as low as zero!
Here is an example:

Example $100 purchase (just for easy math)
You have a $15 off $75 purchase based coupon
$10 worth of CRTs
and $35 in ECBs
$20 in manufacturer coupons
Your total is going to be $20, but let's examine the sales tax.

Purchase $100
$15 off $75 purchase based coupon
$10 off CRTs
*****You will be taxed on $75*****
$20 off manufacturer coupons
$35 ECBs
Final Price: $20, plus your state sales tax on $75

New Check out Order
Purchase $100
$15 off $75 purchase based coupon
$10 off CRTs
$35 ECBs
*****You will be taxed on $40*****
$20 off manufacturer coupons
Final Price: $20, plus your state sales tax on $40

In a state with 6% sales tax, this would yield additional savings of $2.40.

From now on, KCL will suggest this order when presenting coupons to CVS:
1. Scan Extra Care Card
2. CVS Purchase Based coupons (Ex: $4 off $20 minimum purchase)
3. CVS Store Coupons (In-ad coupons or CRTs)
4. ECBs
5. Manufacturer Coupons

It takes more math skills up front to calculate how many ECBs you'll want to use. So if you're a newbie, you may want to stick with the previous order. But for the biggest savings, we have to switch steps 4 and 5 and pay with manufacturer coupons last!!

5 comments:

JoAnna D. said...

Great info! I'm going to try this when I visit my mom and shop at her CVS store this weekend.

siva37 said...

HI, My ECB's at my store (and as I have read all the other store too!) no longer lowers the taxable amount but I noticed today that they did pay for the sales tax for the first time! The Subtotal before tax was negative $1.30 plus tax $1.62 = $.32! Seems the opposite of what you just posted. Any ideas?

Joanie Demer said...

Siva37,

I don't have an ECB right here by me, but I know mine say something about the tax rate too. When I shopped at CVS last week, the ECBs still lowered my taxable rate. I'm in CA. Don't know if it varies by state. I'll be extra careful on my math and I'll be sure to post my results in the next few weeks. Keep me posted with your success too! It's easier to keep ECBs last, so we definitely want to make sure it's worth our time!

JoAnna D.
Do the Electrasol deal!! Best CVS deal in awhile and of course my area isn't participating. . . Hope your Mom's CVS has that deal for you!

Maven of Savin' said...

MA tax just went up to 6.25% from 5% - EEKKK!!, so i will definately be keeping an eye on this one!! THANKS and let us know if the old way is better!!

the boyd family said...

thanks for clearing that up. i usually play a guessing game at the end with what the tax is going to be because i never knew how it was calculated. great info, thanks for laying it all out like that!