Think you’re a savvy CVS shopper? Well, I’m going to put you to the test. I’ve compiled 15 secret ways to save more money at CVS. This is a very comprehensive list. I like to think of this as your top secret CVS file that has all the deepest, darkest tips culled together by a very seasoned CVS shopper/adviser. Me. Well, it’s really that we need a place to keep all CVS money saving tips in one place, so let’s get started!
1.) Back to Basics. If you’re new to shopping at CVS and you don’t have an ExtraCare card, sign up now in store. The majority of the additional savings opportunities below can only be had with one. Why sign up in store? They’ll give you your card right there on the spot. If you sign up online, you’ll have to wait for one in the mail. I’m not a fan of waiting.
2.) CVS Email Coupons. Be sure and register your card online after you pick one up in store. You’ll need your ExtraCare card number, so have that handy. This will allow you to receive email coupons from CVS. They’re typically dollar value off total purchase (can be used on regular priced, sale or clearance merchandise) or percent off coupons (which can only be used on regular priced items). Either way, they amount to big additional savings and can be paired with store coupons AND manufacturer coupons.
3.) CVS Email Coupons – Part 2. Shop only when you have one of the total purchase or percent off coupons shown above. They come via email on Thursday, must be accepted in some form (print or sent to card) by Sunday and redeemed by Wednesday.
4.) Roll Your ExtraBucks Rewards. If you already shop CVS, this may seem obvious, but it’s the quickest way to continuously reduce your out of pocket costs. Always roll your ExtraCare Bucks. You can start the year by using only coupons and paying the rest out of pocket to get a $10 reward to get you started. For the rest of the year, be committed to intentionally using your ECB’s ONLY to generate more ECB’s. Use my matchups and deals! This will significantly reduce the amount you’ll pay out of pocket and you’ll save more in the end. There are very few weeks a year that I can’t find a deal that I can use. Thankfully, they don’t expire too quickly, so taking a week off isn’t a problem.
5.) Join the CVS Advisor Panel. If you do this, a few times a year you’ll receive an invitation to take surveys to help CVS learn more about their customer base including your personal shopping experiences and interests, the stores you visit, etc. To reward you for your time, you’ll be paid $10 in ExtraBucks Rewards. Obviously, you can’t count on this appearing at specific times each year, but it’s a nice bump to increase your weekly spending or to allow you to purchase something that doesn’t generate bucks. I typically use mine to roll, but if I don’t I’m purchasing things like umbrellas, gloves, tank tops, coolers, flip flops – very useful items for our family that never have coupons.
6.) Big Red Coupons. I call the red kiosk at CVS – Big Red. You need to be pairing manufacturer coupons and weekly deals with Big Red coupons. Scan your CVS ExtraCare card or your CVS App ID on your smartphone at the kiosk (We’ll talk about that next.) or login to your CVS account online to access these store coupons that can be paired with manufacturer coupons for additional savings. Note: If you access them online, you can print them or send them to your card. You can only print them at the kiosk and you can only send them to your card via the app. I always access them online because I use them for trip planning.
This is an example of some of my CVS ExtraCare coupons. These offers paired with high value manufacturer coupons and rolling ECB’s can get your out of pocket costs down to nearly nothing if not zero. I use them each and every week. They often vary by user and are tailored to your spending habits. Clearly, I buy a lot of diapers and Pantene. I’m surprised I don’t have a Nivea coupon. 🙂
7.) Download the CVS App. As I briefly mentioned above, CVS now has an app. In addition to being able to scan your CVS ExtraCare card bar code at the kiosk to retrieve coupons, you can scan your bar code via the app on your smartphone if you don’t have your ExtraCare card handy. In addition, you’ll have exclusive app-only coupons to pair with manufacturer coupons as well. Plus, just for signing up, you’ll receive a free $3 ECB bonus coupon that will be available to you under “My Deals and Rewards.” You can download the app here: Apple or Google Play.
8.) Quarterly ExtraBucks Rewards. You don’t even have to do anything to take advantage of this one except shop with your ExtraCare card! Continuously spending at CVS will earn you Quarterly ExtraBucks Rewards! In January, April, July, and October, you’ll receive your ExtraBucks bonus. Access it via the app, online, or at the kiosk. How much will you get? You’ll earn 2% back in ExtraBucks on everything you spend at CVS.
9.) The 98% Rule. What that means is that an ExtraBucks Reward offer will print when you reach 98% of the purchase total required for the Reward. For example, if a $10 ECB will generate on a $30 purchase, you’ll need to spend 98% of that $30 for it to print. That amount can be figured out by multiplying 30 x 0.98 and you’ll get $29.40. That’s the minimum amount you need to spend for the ExtraBucks Reward to generate BEFORE coupons. You could knock that down to 50¢ with coupons and offers, but you must have that total figure before coupons are removed. Now, this does not work on tiered offers. Sometimes CVS will have offers like $5 ECB on $20 or $10 ECB on $40 for the same set of items. You MUST spend the minimum amount for those ECB’s to generate. This is the one area that the 98% rule doesn’t apply.
10.) Rainchecks. Rain checks are vouchers you can use to take advantage of deals on out of stock items after the sale has ended. This is a hidden gem at CVS! They NEVER expire. (Hence, the picture above.) They also have a location on the rain check where employees indicate the value of the ECB that should have been generated on the item. This means you can still get your deal when an item comes back in stock! For something like, oh say, Zantac 24ct for $8.99 with an $8.99 ECB, it’s still free! The only drawback is that any manufacturer coupons you may have planned to use could expire, but if you have a CVS coupon? You can still use it. They will accept that coupon for the rain check item after its expiration date. As for manufacturer coupons, check our coupon database for new ones before you use your rain check.
- 10% off beauty shopping pass after enrollment
- $5 ExtraBucks Rewards for every $50 spent on beauty
- Exclusive emails with coupons (typically on Monday), tips and new product info
- It’s FREE to join!
12.) CVS Beauty Club Birthday Reward. When you enroll in the Beauty Club Rewards program, be sure and check to see if you’ve entered your birth date. This will enroll you in Birthday Rewards. You’ll receive a $3 ExtraBucks Rewards on your birthday that you can use on anything you want! (Ahem, roll it!)
13.) ExtraCare Advantage for Diabetes. If you’re a diabetic or household member and/or caregiver, you can sign up for this program that will earn Double ExtraBucks Rewards (4%) on over 100+ related products like Lancets, BP Monitors, Diabetes Monitors, Glucose supplies, Pain Relief, Foot & Skin Care, Sugar-Free Candy and more. You’ll also receive additional email offers and savings throughout the year.
14.) Pharmacy & Health Rewards. The premise is simple: Get 10 credits (one for each prescription filled; 3 for a 90 day supply) and you’ll earn a $5 ExtraBucks Reward (max $50 per year). You’ll also earn a credit for each vaccination or flu shot you receive (excluding those at MinuteClinics).
Other ways to earn points:
- Add prescription management to your online CVS account and you’ll receive 3 credits.
- Sign up for Refill Reminder Emails in the Online Prescription Center and you’ll receive 1 credit.
- Sign up for Prescription Text Alerts in the Online Prescription Center and you’ll receive 1 credit.
OK, now if you’ve gotten to the end of this list and you do all of these things? Congratulations! You’re a CVS expert! If not, then I hope you’ll take advantage of these additional savings opportunities….hey, wait a minute. There’s one more thing I’ve yet to mention. Yep, you guessed it…
15.) This is it. You know, the one money saving opportunity I know you aren’t using? It can absolutely save you A LOT more on your purchases at CVS. Raise sells discounted gift cards including CVS Gift Cards! Right now, you can save 10% on your purchase of a gift card. That’s big savings! Sometimes it’s more or less – it varies based on what’s in stock, but check often from January-August. This is when gift card purchases dry up and stock is high. You’ll get higher discounts and that turns into more green for you. Gotcha…I hope. 😉
Have any more tips to add? I’d love to hear from you! Drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org anytime.Be sure and take a look at all the great deals we've posted today here!