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Monday, May 10, 2010

CVS -- How To Shop There

Since a lot of us live far enough away from a WalMart, but have a CVS so close by, I think we should all learn how to shop at CVS. WHAT??? Obviously we all know how to shop, but CVS (and Walgreens) have their own systems and can almost be more like "playing their game" than shopping. Every week they offer certain products for "free" with their ECB program. So first I will explain the program:

You need to go in and sign up for an Extra Care Card. You will scan that card each time you shop there and with certain purchases it will generate an Extra Care Buck (ECB) or a few ECB's. The best way to work these stores is to start small to reduce the amount of money you would spend out of pocket (OOP). Each week when I shop there, I use ECB's I got from the previous week's purchases so I pay VERY LITTLE OOP and then leave the store with new ECB's to use the next week. The goal is to pay for new products with the store's money instead of my own. Another way to look at ECBs is kind of like a rebate, but it is instant and only redeemable in that store.

There is a RED machine inside each CVS that you need to go to first when you enter the store. Scan your Extra Care Card and it will print out coupons for items in the store. Make sure to scan it 2-3 times as new coupons will print.

CVS has a few great features in that you can combine a sale price item with a manufacture coupon (printed online or from a newspaper or magazine) AND use a CVS store coupon too (found HERE). This makes for some very inexpensive items.

Usually when I shop CVS I do NOT take all my items to the register, ring them through and pay. It is usually 2 or 3 transactions so I have less money spent OOP and can use ECB's from the previous purchases. Like I said, the goal is to spend less of your own money and more of theirs. So I do take all the items up at once to save my time, but I tell the cashier it will be a few transactions. They really are used to this and it is NOT a big deal. Eureka CVS cashiers are very coupon friendly. Washington is hit and miss.

Well, Nathan is waiting for me to go work in the garden so I'm off. I will come back later and explain this week's deals and how I will purchase them. HAVE FUN! THis is NOT as complicated as it sounds, but it works best to know all their secrets to make the most of shopping there.

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