Friday, October 16, 2009

CVSing: Making the Most of Shopping @ CVS

I promised way back in May that I would post the advantages of shopping at different stores. Well, then the summer happened. Vacations, holidays, birthdays, and etc filled our summer. I also taught a class on "couponing" which was time consuming. Anyway with out further is a breakdown of making the most at shopping at CVS:

**To start at CVS you need an ExtraCare Card. This is a loyalty card with them. This allows you to get the items on sale and earn ECBs.

**ECBs are Extra Care Bucks. These are CVS money that can be used in the store for purchasing items. Exclusions are: prescriptions, alcohol, tobacco, lottery tickets, gift cards, stamps, money orders, prepaid debit cards, and phone cards.

**CVS runs certain items each week that when purchased you earn ECBs. These are in the weekly store ads.

**ECBs are printed on the bottom of the sales receipt when items are purchased and can be used for a future purchase. They usually have an expiration date of 1 month from the day printed.

**Here is what I recommend for getting started:

-Go through the weekly sales ad and see what ECBs are offered for that week.
-Choose items that you have coupons for and that have the highest ECBs coming back to you. You may stack manufacturer coupons with CVS coupons and ECBs.
-The goal is to spend the least amount of money out of pocket (OOP) and make back ECBs on what you did spend OOP. Or even a profit on the transaction.
-At least at the beginning write out your shopping scenario before going to the store. Write down each item being bought and match up the coupons with it. (It can be quite overwhelming at the start.)
-You can also work up more than one transaction to spend the least amount of $ OOP. This is called rolling your ECBs.
-Use the ECBs earned from the transaction before to purchase the items in the next Trans.
-You use those ECBs to earn new ECBs.
Now when going to CVS for shopping here’s how to approach the shopping trip.
-Collect all the items that you have planned to purchase in your written scenarios. Many times the items that have ECBs may be out of stock. So take your coupons in case you need to substitute an item. Remember you can get rain checks for items on sale or with ECBs.
-Have the items rang out in separate transactions if needs be. For example if you have $20 of merchandise and have 2-$2/$10 CVS coupons splitting the transaction will allow you to save $4 extra dollars.
-Also with ringing the transactions separately this will allow you to use the ECBs from the previous transaction.
-Give your coupons to the cashier in a certain order. 1.) CVS coupons like $2/$10 or $3/$15, etc
2.) CVS coupons for items (in store cps)
3.) Manufactor‘s coupons
4.) ECBs
-Also remember they will not give back change on ECBs. So sometimes you have to throw in fillers to use your ECBs on a transaction.

-Check that you have received your ECBs earned from your transaction. They print at the bottom of your receipt.

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