CVS – Store Guide

by ThePrudentPatron on November 8, 2009


There have been so many great CVS coupons recently, that some of you might be thinking about giving CVS a try. CVS is a great place to start the drug store game. You can not get all the deals you can get at Walgreens, but their system is well designed and has very few quirks. Once you get the hang of CVS, you will have very few problems.

CVS Printable Coupon Policy

CVS 101:
CVS’ Reward program gives you Extra Care Bucks or ECB’s. ECB’s work like cash that you can spend in the store however you want. Always remember to have the cashier scan your Extra Care card first so you never miss out on the Extra Care Bucks!

There are four ways to earn ECB’s:

1. You will earn 2% cash back on every purchase in store and online. Every three months these Extra Bucks will print out at the end of your receipt.

2. You can also earn one Extra Care buck for every two prescriptions purchased in the store or online.

3. You can earn one Extra Care buck for every four times you use your Green Bag Tag.

4. You earn Extra Care Bucks by purchasing items that give you ECB’s when you purchase them. Tip: Almost every week there are promotions where a product is FREE after ECB’s meaning if you purchased something for $6.99 you would get $6.99 back in ECB’s. These will always print out at the end of your receipt after your transaction is finished.

Shopping CVS Step by Step:

1. The first step is to get your CVS Extra Care card. I would recommend getting it in the store. They always have a nice, big stack by the register. This way you can start shopping right away. You can also request one online, but then you have to wait for it to come in the mail.

2. Register your card. This can also be done in the store or online. Once your card is registered and you sign up for email, CVS will send you great coupons like $4/$20 and even some freebies!

3. Prepare your shopping list ahead of time. I usually post the CVS coupon match-up Saturday night. Read over this, select the items you want to buy and get together all your coupons.

4. When you arrive at the store go straight to the CRT machine. Scan your CVS card at the machine (this is my kids favorite part). The CRT machine gives you additional coupons to use now or on a later visit.

5. Shop!

6. Before you checkout, put your coupons in this order:
• First, give them the $/$$ ($4/$20. $3/$15. etc…) store coupon. Your total will be lower after manufacturer and additional store coupons, so it is important to give this coupon first!
• Next, give all your CVS product coupons
• Then, give the manufacturers coupons
• Last, give your Extra Care Bucks

7. Have the cashier scan your Extra Care card.

8. After the cashier scans your items, have them scan your Green Bag Tag. Read more about Green Bag Tags here.

9. Give the cashier all your coupons in order.

10. Collect and save your Extra Care Bucks for your next shopping trip!

Remember, start small. My suggestion would be to look at the deals listed and choose an item that gives you all your money back in ECB’s. You will have to put money out the first time, but from then on you should be able to roll those bucks into more and more deals. Don’t try to do long complicated deals until you get the hang of it.

Happy Shopping!

Remember, questions are always welcome. If you are confused about something, someone else probably is too.

All store guides are based on my personal shopping experience and my knowledge of store policy. Stores may change their policies at anytime and it is always best to check with your local store regarding their policies.

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Jennifer March 1, 2010 at 6:03 PM

I did not know that CVS had those machines! I saw it on your blog and came across ours Sun. I got 2 coupons. One was not worth using, but the other was great! Thanks for sharing such wonderful info :)


The Prudent Patron March 1, 2010 at 6:40 PM

Your welcome Jennifer! I am glad you were able to find them at your CVS.


Melissa March 15, 2011 at 2:04 PM

I have a question. I actually use to work at CVS (3 years) and I was wondering what you mean by (money maker) after the ECB and such. I never gave money back at the register and if the coupon value was more then the cost of the product the cashiers override the coupon value to be the same amount as the product. Please explain. Thank you so much! I’m the mother of 6 and my husband and I LOVE coupons!


ThePrudentPatron March 15, 2011 at 4:09 PM

In my experience, CVS will lower the amount of the coupon or have you add on an extra item to cover the overage from a manufacturer’s coupon. However, the real money makers at CVS come from their ECB deals. For example this week:
Tena ultra thins heavy protection pads 32-42 ct are $9.99, and you earn $9.99 ECB (Limit 1)
Use the $2.50/1 any tena Ultra Thin printable coupon
You will pay only $7.49 and get a $9.99 ECB for next time, so you made, $2.50 on the deal!
This particular deal required money out of pocket, but we also see deals where the item is free after coupon and then you get ECBs on it too!


Leslie Kelly May 22, 2011 at 2:24 AM

When you put coupon & then (date) SS next to it. That means it came out in out local paper on that certain date, correct? If I didn’t get it the date of that paper, is there anyway to get that coupon? Wondering for the Revlon coupons going on right now?
Thx for everything.


JC June 17, 2011 at 1:37 PM

How do you know which manufacturer coupons you’re allowed to combine? I tried using two Schick razor coupons, one for $3 and one for $4 off( the razor was on sale for $8) and I wasn’t able to combine them. The coupons don’t explicity say that you can’t combine them with another one.


ThePrudentPatron June 19, 2011 at 10:36 PM

CVS generally will allow you to combine one BOGO coupon and one $ off coupon, but other than that you can not stack manufacturer coupons.


Jen July 9, 2011 at 8:43 AM

I just found out you can scan your Extra Care Card at the CRT Machine 2 times in one day. Just wait until the machine refreshes after your first scan to scan again.


cecilia silva November 16, 2011 at 7:12 PM

what would u suggest i start with for black friday.i figured it was the best day to start my couponing. i have like $20 to spend ?????Also limit one for cvs does that mean ever ,each transaction,per card or?


ThePrudentPatron November 16, 2011 at 10:00 PM

Limit one is per card and there is one card per transaction.
We will have the CVS Black Friday deals up soon. That would be a very fun place to start,


amanda July 15, 2012 at 9:09 AM

does walmart pricematch cvs even though the ads say WITH CARD


ThePrudentPatron July 16, 2012 at 9:52 AM

Yes, they will price match a sale price, but they don’t give rewards back, so not after ECB prices.


Kristen September 15, 2013 at 8:19 PM

I am confused by the order to give coupons. You said to give $/$$ etc and I have no idea what you mean. Could you please explain. Also does the order you give the coupons matter to other stores like target and publix? Thanks


ThePrudentPatron September 15, 2013 at 10:34 PM

For this example, let’s say you have a $5 off $25 or more at CVS coupon. You have to use the $5 off $25 coupon first. If they take off the manufacturer coupons from your total, and the total drops below the $25 after the coupons, the register will not except the $5 off $25 coupon.

Many stores will still manually enter the $/$$ coupons as long as you met the minimum purchase requirement before your coupons. However, to stay of the safe side, I always give my $/$$ coupons first.


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