How to Shop at CVS

Shopping at CVS is a great way to get a lot of products for little money. The system for maximizing your savings at CVS is a little complicated, but it is worth the effort to learn. Here is a list of how to get started at CVS:

  1. Apply for a CVS card at the register. This is how you earn ECBs (Extra Care Bucks). It does not cost anything, and the rewards are effective immediately.
  2. Check the monthly and weekly circulars for sale items and ECB deals. The weekly circular is in the Sunday paper (usually – sometimes it is not there for some reason). The weekly sales begin on Sunday and end on Saturday. You will have to pick up the monthly circular in the store.
  3. Make a purchase. Make sure to have your card scanned. If you have purchased items that allow you to receive ECBs, the ECBs will print out at the end of your receipt along with other coupons. ECBs work like cash and there is no minimum purchase.

Here is a scenario from this week:

Dry Idea deodorant @ $2.99; use $2.00 off coupon
Pantene Pro-V shampoo or conditioner @ $3.50
Pantene Pro-V styler @$3.50; use B1 shampoo or conditioner, G1 styler free MC coupon from 3/15 insert

Total: $4.49 OOP
You will get $4 in ECBs to use on your next purchase!

This system is a little more complicated than just purely using coupons, but, once you figure it out, it won’t take much time to plan. In my next CVS post, I will help you figure out what to do with those $4 in ECBs!



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4 responses to “How to Shop at CVS

  1. Leigh


    Thanks for posting your system on-line. Ben told me a little about it after a Ben-Logan-Dan Thursday game night. I plan to forward your website.

    I just realized last night that Wal-mart will honor prices listed in competitors sale ads. There was a lady in the check out line before me who used several competitor coupons for lots of items. At first, I thought how unfortunate it was that I was behind her because it took so long for the cashier to override all those prices. Then, I realized it was fortunate to have seen the process. I had no idea that Wal-Mart will honor competitor’s sale prices on EVERYTHING.

    Today, I happened to see a portion of Good Morning America about the same topic…couponing. Some of the websites they promoted included:,,, and The segment (“Save Big Online”) is posted on the Good Morning America website for 3/20/09. GMA anchor stated that on-line couponing is up by 160%

    There is no reason not to take advantage of the savings. Afterall, it’s not what you make, it’s what you keep that counts.

    Thanks for the information!

    – Leigh

    • mjslp

      Thanks for the comment! I agree…we should all be trying to save as much as we can, and using coupons is an excellent way to begin that process!

  2. Stephanie


    Just had a question about the CVS circular. It used to go Wednesday – Tuesday. Is it back to Sunday – Saturday? Thanks for the helpful tips!

    • mjslp

      Yes, it is back to Sunday to Saturday. I think having the sales run from Wednesday to Tuesday was just a trial, and then they switched back.

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