When it comes to saving money, one destination many coupon users keep in mind is CVS/Pharmacy. It may sound crazy, but some of the best deals you can find happen at your local CVS store!
Whether you have been using coupons for years or are just getting started, CVS/Pharmacy is a great place to put those coupons to work. When used properly, you can score household, personal and health products at a deep discount. Sometimes, you can even get FREE items at CVS!!
But, don’t just clip a coupon and run to the store. There are a few things you need to keep in mind when it comes to saving money at CVS.
HOW TO SHOP AND SAVE MONEY AT CVS
CVS Weekly Ad
The first thing to do before you go shopping at CVS is to check the weekly ad. The sales ad begins on Sunday and runs through Saturday. Sometimes, they have a special one-day promotion, so make sure you look at that.
In the ad, you will find items that offer ExtraCare Bucks (ECB) with your purchase. If you really want to become a money saving expert, you will want to focus only on these items. The reason is that when you buy these particular products, you get ECB back with your purchase. The ECB are like cash you can use on other items in the store (we go over this in more detail below).
If you don’t receive the weekly paper, you can go online each Friday and get a sneak peek of the upcoming ad, so you can check out the deals ahead of Sunday morning.
Follow Penny Pinchin’ Mom for the Best CVS Deals
Our team reviews the ad and coupons and then passes that information along to our readers know which are the BEST deals they can find that week.
One way you can check out all of the deals is to review them on our CVS Deals page. This is updated to add the newest offers as we find them. Sometimes you will find several great promotions and other times, we don’t find many notable deals.
If you don’t want to take the time to look for the deals on the site, you can also follow our Facebook Group. All of the deals for CVS (as well as other stores) are shared here. If you already use Facebook, it makes sense to join the group. That way, you get the deals on the platform you use anyhow.
CVS Shopping FAQs
Can you use multiple ExtraBucks Rewards, manufacturer’s coupons and store coupons all together? Yes, you can. Keep in mind that the coupons will be deducted first and then the ExtraBucks Rewards. If the value of the ExtraBucks Rewards exceeds the transaction total, you will forfeit any unused balances. So you may want to make sure you add in additional items so as to not throw money away.
My store says they do not accept Internet coupons. Is this true? No, that is not true. CVS accepts various coupons, and Internet coupons are one of them. As long as the coupon will scan, it will be accepted. If it does not scan, they will not accept it.
My CVS store says I can not use a Buy One Get One coupon on a Buy One Get One sale. Is this true? No, that is not true. The CVS coupon policy specifically states that you can do just this. See below for details.
I have never shopped here before and do not understand much about how to get the deals. Can you help? Yes! I have a post which explains How To Shop at CVS. This will give you the information you need to get started shopping and saving money.
My CVS store won’t take my coupon that says “redeemable at another store”. I thought you could use these anywhere. In most cases, you can. However, CVS’s coupon policy specifically states that they do not accept any coupons that have another store’s logo on it – regardless of the wording.
I want to complain about my store, who do I contact? You can call them directly at 1-800-SHOPCVS or you can submit feedback via email. Remember that if you do not speak up, they will not be aware of the issue and can not do anything to resolve it. If you contact them, it is helpful to have the store number available as well as any additional information including the manager, cashier, date and time of your visit.
CVS Coupon Policy
CVS accepts both manufacturer and store coupons. Below is an excerpt of the CVS Coupon Policy (click the link to learn more). Make sure you read and understand it before you shop. It can also be helpful to print and keep it with you when shopping.
General Policies To Redeeming Coupons
- All coupons must have a scannable barcode. If it does not scan, the store will not accept it.
- CVS/pharmacy does not accept expired coupons.
- CVS/pharmacy will not accept third party manufacturers’ coupons with another retailer’s logo.
- Coupons cannot be exchanged for cash or gift cards.
- Third Party Manufacturer coupons are issued by a third party and sales tax may be charged on pre-coupon price.
- CVS/pharmacy does not accept coupons for items not carried in our stores.
- CVS/pharmacy only accepts ExtraBucks Rewards applicable to the ExtraCare card offered at the time of purchase.
- CVS/pharmacy does not currently accept coupon bar code images displayed on a Smartphone, iPhone, Droid etc.
- The total value of the coupons may not exceed the value of the transaction. Sales tax must be paid if required by state law.
- Certain CVS/pharmacy coupons may be subject to state sales tax rules similar to Third Party Manufacturer Coupons and sales tax may be charged on pre-coupon price
- Language at the bottom of CVS/pharmacy coupons provides specific coupon acceptance rules.
- Any coupon offer not covered in these guidelines may be accepted at the discretion of CVS management.
Coupon value exceeds product price
If the coupon value exceeds the price of the product, the value of the coupon is decreased. For example, if the price of the item you are buying is $3.99 and the coupon is for $4.00, the coupon value will be reduced to $3.99. They will not give cash back.
Using Buy One Get One Free (BOOG) coupons
CVS allows the used of BOGO coupons. In fact, if you have one of these and pair it with a BOGO sale, you will get BOTH items for free! It’s true!
- Two coupons may be used on a Buy One, Get One Free promotion as long as it does not exceed the item total (i.e. Shampoo B1G1 Free at $2 each. Buy 2 and you may use 2 – $1/1 coupons and pay applicable tax)
- Buy One, Get One Free promotions may be combined with BOGO coupons. Customers are responsible for paying applicable tax (i.e. Shampoo B1G1 Free at $2 each. Customer has BOGO coupon – can use both and get both items for free – must pay applicable tax).
Using multiple coupons
- CVS/pharmacy accepts one manufacturer coupon and applicable.
- CVS/pharmacy coupon(s) per item, unless prohibited by either coupon offer.
- There is no limit to the number of ExtraBucks Rewards that may be used in a transaction as long as it does not exceed the transaction total.
- The coupon amount will be reduced if it exceeds the value of the item after other discounts or coupons are applied. (For example, a $5.00 coupon for a $4.99 item will result in a $4.99 coupon value).
- CVS/pharmacy accepts multiple identical coupons for multiple qualifying items as long as there is sufficient stock to satisfy other customers unless a limit is specified.
- Management reserves the right to limit the number of items purchased.
- CVS/pharmacy reserves the right to process coupons in any order.
- CVS/pharmacy accepts multiple Dollar off Transaction coupons (e.g. $3 off $15) in one transaction if they apply (i.e. May use two 3 off $15 coupons if they are purchasing over $30.00).
Earning and Using ExtraBucks Rewards
As mentioned above, ExtraBucks Rewards (called ECB) are incentive coupons that generate when select items (including possible quantities) are purchased. Here are some general FAQs about ECBs:
ExtraBucks Rewards will print following the completion of your transaction. They will automatically print at the bottom of your receipt or from the red coupon kiosk. You can use them immediately on your next purchase
ExtraBucks Rewards can only be redeemed on the card used to earn them. That means if you have a card and your spouse has one, and you used your card to earn ECB, you can only redeem them using your card. They are non-transferrable.
ExtraBucks Rewards can be used to generate more ExtraBucks Rewards (or what we call rolling). This means that if an Extra Care Buck limit is greater than 1 on any product, you can use the ExtraBucks Rewards you just received to purchase one product, use them to purchase another. You will then see another ECB printed right at the bottom of your receipt.
ExtraBucks Rewards are combined when run together. Example: If you were to get $3 back in Register Rewards on Crest Toothpaste and purchaes2 of them within a single transaction, you will get back one ECB for $6 and not 2 for $3 each.
ExtraBucks Rewards are essentially cash. This means that you can use as many of these as you would like in any given transaction. It also means the number of ECBs MAY exceed the number of items purchased. Example: If you purchase 5 items and have 5 coupons and 3 ECB, you can use ALL 5 coupons and ECB on your purchase.
ExtraBucks Rewards expire. They are only good for 3 weeks, so make sure to watch the dates and use them before you lose out on your savings.
Quarterly ExtraBucks Rewards. These are earned on what you actually spend out of pocket each quarter from purchases and prescriptions. You receive 2% cash back and $1 for every 2 prescriptions filled. The bonus bucks do not include any ECB nor any coupons you have used.
Spend $0 – $24.99 and earn no ECB
Spend $25 – $49.99 and earn $0.50 in ECB
Spend $50 – $74.99 and earn $1 in ECB
Spend $75 – $99.99 and earn $1.50 in ECB
98% Purchase Rule
CVS has a 98% purchase rule in order for ExtraBucks Rewards to print. That means, if you need to spend $10 to earn $3 in Extra Bucks (for example), the ECB will generate when you spend $9.80.
The only time that this does not work is when there is a tiered offer. For example, if the promotion says “Spend $20, earn $5 or spend $30 and earn $10”, then you must spend at least $30 for the $10 in ExtraBucks Rewards to print.
Inside Tips for Making ECB work for you
Understanding how to use ECB to get items for free is the key to getting the best CVS deals. The idea is to use ECB to buy other items that generate ECB. That way, you always have some on hand to use from week to week, resulting in getting items for free (or close to it). This is called rolling your ECB.
Basically, to start, you buy an item that generates ECB with your purchase (you can use a coupon here too). Then, you use those ECB to buy another item that also generates ECB. That way, when you hand the clerk your bucks, he or she will give you more back after you buy.
This is part of the key of knowing how to shop at CVS and what all smart couponers do in order to stretch their grocery budget.