New to CVS Shopping? Here is a detailed rundown of getting the biggest bang for your buck! You can find the CVS matchups every week here.
Start off knowing the basics of their coupon policy:
CVS Coupon Policy is available here but here’s the run down:
- One man. coupon plus 1 CVS coupon per item.
- They do not have a total limit on coupons used, although managers can set limits to keep items in-stock.
- Coupons will be adjusted down to the sale price if the face value of the coupon is greater than the sale price.
- A BOGO Coupon with a BOGO sale will make 2 items free.
- BOGO Items require the purchase of 2 items for the discount to apply.
#1: Sign up for your own CVS ExtraCare Card. You can sign up on online or in store, but signing up in store means you get your card right away to use. Using your ExtraCare card allows you to receive items at the advertised sale price, as well as earn CVS rewards Extra Bucks (ECBs). CVS limits ExtraCare cards to one per household, so if you have one already a card, you don’t need to get a new one.
#2: Register your card online here and opt in to receive ExtraCare emails so that you can receive special email offers, coupons, surveys and more. Currently, you will get a $3 ECB for just signing up to receive emails! If you ever lose a coupon you printed or an ECB, you can login and click on ExtraCare and reprint it from the website!
#3: Join CVS’ Beauty Club. Beauty Club members earn a 10% beauty shopping pass for signing up, and then earn $5 ECBs for every $50 spent on beauty purchases (things like shampoo, body wash, make up—most of the things we end up buying at the drugstores!). You will also get a $3 ECB on your birthday, as well as special beauty club coupons emailed to you. The amount that tracks towards your Beauty Club reward is the amount before coupons, so if you are buying body wash for $5, and have a $2 coupon, $5 will track towards Beauty Club Spending. Your beauty club spending total usually takes 48 hours to update and your $5 Beauty Club ECB will generate at that time once you hit the $50 threshold. Beauty Club ECBs are good for 14 days, and the beauty club spending amount resets every year on January 1st.
#4: Link your ExtraCare card to Saving Star. CVS also has rebate offers on Ibotta, but you don’t need to link your card, you will just submit your receipt through the Ibotta app when you make a purchase. You can go here for a full list of rebate apps and more details on how they work!
#5: Download the CVS app to your cell phone or tablet. CVS is currently giving $5 ECBs for anyone who downloads their app. CVS has digital app coupons that they ONLY release through their app, and these digital coupons can only be sent to your card. There will also be personalized CVS coupons available in the app that you can print at home, in the store, or send to your card. The app also allows you to track your annual savings and progress towards earning ECBs on certain deals.
#6: Join the Pharmacy Rewards program. If you have your prescriptions filled at CVS, sign up for the Pharmacy rewards program so that you can earn $5 ECBs for every 10 prescriptions filled. You will need your Rx number and will need to sign up each member of your household who fills prescriptions at CVS.
#7: Scan your ExtraCare card at the red kiosk in the store. The red kiosk will print you out any coupons that are available on your CVS account, as well as special kiosk coupons that will print for everyone during that sales week. The coupons are good for 7 days from the date they printed. Not everything will print out the first time you scan your card, so keep scanning until the screen says there aren’t any more coupons, or until the only thing that is printing out is a list of your coupons loaded to your card. You can also use the red kiosk to check prices of an item. Sometimes, not all varieties of an item are tagged as on sale, but you can quickly price check an item to see if it is included in the sale. This is a great way to check for unmarked clearance!
#8: Check your receipt! After your purchase, you will probably notice how long your CVS receipt is. There is a lot of information on your receipt. At the top of the receipt is your purchase information. You can review this to make sure everything rang up correctly, and all coupons were applied.
In the middle, will be information on your Quarterly Spending, your spending for the Beauty Club and tracking for the current week’s ECB Deals.
- Quarterly Spending is the total out of pocket (before tax) that you have paid at CVS. Each quarter CVS issues ECBs for 2% back of this spending. The smallest amount you can earn is $1.00 ECB. The goal is to get a $1.00 ECB or nothing because we want to spend the least out of pocket as possible.
- Beauty Club Tracking takes 48 hours to update, so any beauty purchases you just made will not be reflected on the receipt.
- All ECB offers you have purchased items towards this week will also show here. When you have reached the ECB limit on a deal, it will say LIMIT REACHED. This is how we can find out if an ECB deal limit advertised as limit 1, is really a limit 1. Also, if you are working on a deal such as Spend $30 towards P&G items and earn $10 ECBs, the amount you have spent towards that deal and the amount you have left to spend will show here. ECBs will print when you have reached 98% of the spending total but will not indicate that you have reached the limit. This can be confusing because when you spend $29.40 towards the deal the ECB will print on your receipt, but will also say you need to spend .60 to earn the ECB. If you spend another .60 the ECB will NOT print again.
On the bottom of the receipt will be any ECBs you have earned on this purchase. The ECB will show the value and the items that you purchased to earn the ECB. Any coupons you have not sent to your card or printed at the kiosk will also print at the bottom of your receipt.
Let’s take a second to talk about the CVS store coupons and how they work.
CVS offers a lot of different ways to get their store coupons. They often mail out flyers with store coupons. Sometimes, you can find books or sheets of CVS store coupons located in the store near the checkout or in the pharmacy. CVS sends emails with coupons, and they also have the digital app coupons and personalized store coupons that are available in the CVS app.
Digital App Coupons cannot be printed, these coupons can ONLY be sent to your card. When you check out, you will have to tell the cashier you have a coupon loaded to your card and they can redeem it for you. Digital App Coupons are available to send to your card for a week, and then once you send it to your card, it is good for another week! I always check my app for any coupons on Sunday, and I look for any that have not been sent to my card or printed yet that are set to expire. I send them to my card then and they are good for another week!
Personalized CVS coupons are available in your CVS app or when you login online. These coupons can be sent to your card, printed at home, printed at the red kiosk or will print on your receipt. You cannot stop them from printing when you scan your card or check out—the system automatically will print them for you and they will be good for 7 days from the date they printed. Just like with the mobile app coupons, if you send these coupons to your card they will be available for 7 days from the date you sent it to your card and you will need to tell the cashier when you check out that you have coupons loaded to your card to use. My suggestion is to print these coupons, either at home or at the CVS red kiosk. If you send the coupon to your card and there is an issue with the app, or the coupon disappears, you have nothing to show for it or a way for the cashier to deduct the coupon. The personalized CVS coupons are based on your shopping habits. Not everyone will get the same coupons, or all coupons that are offered. For instance, if you never buy diapers, wipes or formula you won’t get the $5/$25 baby care coupon, but if you buy shampoo at CVS you will often get the $2/$6 hair care coupon. The coupon value will vary as well. You may get $2/$6 hair care, but another shopper may get $3/$10 haircare.
CVS also emails coupons out to customers. Not all customers will receive email coupons, but usually on Thursday there is an email sent with either a coupon for % off your total (ex: 30% off your purchase), or a coupon for a dollar amount off your total (ex: $5 off your $25 purchase). The coupons for % savings can ONLY be used on regular priced items. If the item is on sale, the % savings will not reduce the value of the item. If the item is regular priced, but offering ECBs for buying it, you can use the % savings on those! You can use the dollar amount off your total purchase on any items (excluding milk, lottery tickets, stamps etc). CVS also emails out beauty coupons such as $2 off any L’oreal shampoo or $7/$25 haircare purchase. These are a little more random and sporadic, so make sure you are checking your email and spam a few times a week. There are also emails that come out for savings on online orders, but you can’t earn ECBs on online orders, so they aren’t very useful.
So now you have accumulated quite a few CVS coupons, let’s go over an example of how they work!
Let’s say in your CVS app, you received a $2/$8 haircare coupon. You check the CVS matchups and see that Pantene is on sale for $2/10 and when you spend $20 you will earn $5 ECBs. You also see that printing this week at the kiosk is a $2/3 Pantene CVS coupon. You have received a coupon in your email for $5/$15 purchase. There is also a $3/2 Manufacture coupon in the latest P&G insert. This is what your transaction would look like:
Buy 4 Pantene at 2/$10= $20
Have the cashier scan your $5/$15 email coupon
Have the cashiers scan your $2/3 Pantene coupon that printed at the kiosk
Have the cashier scan your $2/$8 haircare coupon
Have the cashier scan 2 $3/2 Pantene Manufacturer coupons
Your total would be $5.00 plus tax and you would earn $5 ECB that would print out on your receipt since you spent $20 on Pantene. Also, $20.00 would track towards your Beauty Club Spending as well.
How do Extra Bucks work (ECBs)?
Extra Bucks (ECB) earned for a purchase are good for 30 days. Beauty Club ECBs are good for 14 days & Quarterly Spending ECBs usually after 6 weeks. Extra Bucks are card specific- you must use the same card to redeem it that earned it.
You can use the ECB on any purchase (except things like milk, alcohol, gift cards, stamps or lottery tickets). ECBs will not cover tax, and when you redeem it, you forfeit anything remaining. So, if your subtotal after all coupons is $2.50, and you hand the cashier a $3.00 ECB, only $2.50 will come off and you will lose the remaining .50. You can redeem ECB and earn them on the purchase (this is called rolling ECBs). Make sure you check the ad or sales tag to see what the limit for earning ECBs is on the deal you are doing. Most limits are 1 at CVS, but sometimes we see limits of 2 or more.
Be cautious with your paper ECBs. They are printed on thermal paper and heat and heavy sunlight will turn the entire paper black and useless.