Back when I started couponing and bargain-hunting, I would hear other couponers mention the CVS Extra Care Program, but I had no idea what they were talking about! Now that I know all the details and money that you can save with this program, I am hooked! This year alone I have saved $1618.57!!! Along with all that money I have saved, I have accumulated lots of FREE toothpaste, body wash, deodorant, OTC medicines, bandaids, diapers/training pants, cereal, paper products, laundry detergents, and so much more! I know that this may seem too good to be true, but once you understand the basics, you too will be getting items for FREE and nearly FREE! Let me go ahead and share with you the 411 on how to use this program!
-First of all, you may be wondering what this program is all about. You should start by getting your Extra Care Card. This is a card that you will carry with you in your wallet or on your key ring. You will take it with you each time you shop at CVS. If you don’t have an Extra Care card, you can pick up one from the cashier at your local CVS. You can use the card the same day that you get it to start saving! I would recommend registering your card online as well so CVS can send you coupons in your mail and by email!
-Secondly, let me explain to you how you are rewarded. Rewards at CVS are called Extra Care Bucks. These ECB’s, (as couponers often refer to them) are just like cash and can be used on most anything at CVS. Each purchase that you make online and in store allows you to earn 2% back in Extra Care Bucks every 3 months! You will also earn $1 ECB for every 2 prescriptions that you have filled online or in store at CVS! The ECB’s will print on your store receipt along with other money-saving store coupons! The ECB’s usually have a month-long expiration date, so you should have plenty of time to use them!
-Thirdly, you should understand that there are other ways to save with your Extra Care Card as well. You can get instant savings on items featured in weekly and monthly store ads just by using your Extra Care Card! Your ECB’s will print on your receipt immediately after you have made a qualifying purchase!
-Lastly, you should realize that using your Extra Care card offers other benefits as well:
Additional special offers will print on your receipt throughout the year
Sign up for email offers and you will receive money-saving coupons sent right to you email!
You can turn your every day purchases into College Savings for your children with Upromise!
The more you shop and use your card at CVS, the more Rewards you will earn!
Now that you know the basics of the Extra Care Program, let’s go shopping for some sweet deals! You should sit down with your CVS weekly ad, your manufacturer’s coupons, and your notepad. Browse through the ad to see if there are any items that week which will earn you ECB’s with your purchase. Do you have manufacturer’s coupons to go along with the ECB items? Let me give you a few scenarios so that you can see how this is done! Just remember, when you shop at CVS to ALWAYS make it your goal to spend as little money out of your own pocket as possible!
Let me now give you a scenario that will show you how to use the Extra Care program and actually make money while doing it! This week does not look too good as far as the ECB’s go, so let me just make up a scenario that I have done in the past when it has been a good week!
1 Crest Pro Health Toothpaste (2.49-get back $2.00 in ECB with purchase)
1 Lady Speed Stick Deoderant (2.99-get back $2.99 in ECB with purchase-this is actually a FREE item after ECB’S!)
1 Garnier Shampoo (2.99-get back $2.99 in ECB with purchase-this is another FREE item after ECB’s!)
Now, check to see if you have manufacturer’s coupons to pair with the items that you are buying. We have $1.00/1 coupon for the toothpaste, .75/1 coupon for the deodorant, and $1.00/1 coupon for the shampoo. Our total before coupons would be: $8.47—after our coupons have been applied, we would pay out of our pocket $4.72, but you are getting back $7.98 in ECB’s !!! ($2 ECB for the toothpaste, $2.99 ECB for the Deoderant, and $2.99 for the shampoo!) Now, you have $7.98 in ECB for your next trip! You actually made money on this trip to CVS!!! To sweeten the deal even more, if you had ECB’s from a previous purchase, you could have used those as well for even lower OOP. (Out of Pocket) Remember, that is the goal! To have as little money coming from out of your own pocket as possible.
Now, lastly let me explain to you about “rolling” ECB’s. For those of you die-hard couponers out there, you probably already know what I mean by this, but let me explain. Rolling simply means taking an ECB and buying something else with it that will give you ECB’s back. For example, let’s say that we take that $7.98 ECB from our above mentioned trip to CVS and buy Revlon lip color that is on sale the next week for $9.99 with $9.99 in ECB back (FREE after ECB) plus we have $1 manufacturer’s coupon to go along with our $7.98 ECB. Yep, you guessed it, we would only have to pay around $1 OOP, you would have a nice lip color, and we would get back a $9.99 ECB for your next CVS trip! Make it your goal to keep rolling those ECB’s as much as you possibly can! I will tell you that there will be times when you will just have to spend the ECB’s. They could be expiring, or there is just nothing that week to “roll” them on. In times like these, I stock up on thinks like Laundry detergent or paper products.
I know that this has been a lot of information, but I really wanted to explain in depth the Extra Care program as I have had numerous people ask me about it lately. If I missed something or you still don’t understand the program, please contact me and I will be glad to help you out! Next up will be the 411 on the Register Rewards program at Walgreens! Stay tuned!!