October 21, 2018

CVS 101- How to Shop and Save Money at CVS

Oct 3, 2008

CVS Couponing 101 - How to shop and save money at CVS!

This is a simple guide to shopping at CVS for those who are unsure of how this whole CVS thing works!

CVS Extra Care Card:

CVS has a loyalty card called an Extra Care Card that you use every time you shop there. Let me repeat: EVERY TIME you shop there. There are some sale items that will only scan at the sale price if you use your card. You also earn 2% back on all your purchases. CVS Extra Care cards are FREE and limited to one per person. You can pick one up the next time you are in a CVS or you can sign up for one online and have it mailed to you. If you get one at the store make sure to register it online. CVS occasionally sends emails with printable coupons for card-holders.

Extra Care Coupons:

There are Red Price Scanners near the front of the store. When you go into CVS the first thing you should do is go to the scanner and scan your Extra Care Card. It will print CVS Store Coupons. These coupons can be used on items that you are also using a manufacturer coupon on. CVS allows the use of one CVS coupon (the store is giving the discount) and one manufacturer coupon (the manufacturer is giving the discount and will reimburse the store) per item.

Extra Care Bucks “ECBs”:

Extra Care Bucks, aka ECBs, are like CVS money or instant rebates. When you buy an item advertised as earning extra bucks you will pay for the item and then the ECBs will print at the bottom of your receipt. You cut these off and keep them like cash. Then the next time you buy something at CVS you can use your ECBs to pay for it. Example:

In the ad: Buy Chips at $4 and receive $2 ECBS.
Buy Chips – pay $4
Receive $2 ECBs on receipt
Next visit – Buy Diapers $8.99
give the cashier your $2 ECBs
Now pay $6.99

The best way to maximize your ECBs is to “roll” them. Buy something that earns ECBs then use those ECBs to buy something else that earns ECBs. This way you make an initial cash purchase and then use CVS money for all future purchases. Now, don’t waste ECBs! You cannot use a $10 ecb on an $8 purchase and keep the $2. Your purchase must be equal to or greater than (before tax) the ECB amount. You will not get cash back and your ECBs will not be carried over. ECBs can be used on anything in the store except the usual exclusions (Prescriptions, tobacco, stamps, etc.).

Quarterly ECBs:

In addition to the weekly ECBs that you earn for buying advertised products, you earn quarterly ECBs. CVS gives 2% back on all your purchases! So, every 3 months you will get an ECB for 2% of what you spent at CVS that quarter. If you spend $100 in one quarter then you will get a $2 ECB. Occasionally CVS issues Triple ECB coupons. You scan it once and it will triple your quarterly earnings from that point until the quarter is over. So, once you scan it you will start earning 6% back on all your purchases. The triple ECB coupon is not for the Weekly ECBs that you earn.

Weekly Deals:

Every week CVS puts out a circular with deals that are good for one week. There are regular sale items and there are ECB deals. ECB deals usually are the ones you want to look at for saving money. Though there are some good non-ECB deals too! With ECB deals you have the opportunity to maximize your savings! For one deal you can use a manufacturer’s coupon, a CVS coupon AND earn ECBs! Example:

Deal in Ad: Buy Colgate Toothpaste at $2.99 and earn $2 in ECBs
You have a $1 off Colgate Toothpaste coupon that you got when you scanned your CVS card.
You also have a $1 off Colgate Toothpaste coupon that you printed off the Internet.
So, buy Colgate Toothpaste at $2.99
Use $1 CVS coupon.
Use $1 Manufacturer’s coupon.
Pay 99¢.
Earn $2 ECBs…a $1.01 profit!

So, even if you don’t use Colgate toothpaste, it is still worth it to do this deal because you now have $1 more than you had before to use on something that you need. You can always donate your freebies! ECB deals always have limits so read the fine print! Underneath the deal in the ad it will say “Limit x per household.” If it is limit 1 then it means that if you buy more than one then you will only get extra bucks for the first one you purchase.

There are also some ECB deals that require you to buy multiple items. You do not have to buy all the items at one time. You just have to purchase them before the sale period is over. Once you buy all the qualifying items or reach the dollar amount required then your ECBs will print.

Monthly Deals:

Each month CVS puts out an Extra Value Book with ECB deals that are good all month long. Some of these deals are featured in the weekly ads. Make sure to pay attention to the limits. If it is limit one in the monthly ad and is featured in the weekly ad at limit one that means it is limit one for the whole month. You don’t get to buy it when it is in the weekly ad and then buy it again later in the month. You will only get ECBs for the first one you purchase.

$/$$ Coupons:

CVS occasionally sends out $/$$ coupons. They are typically $4/$20, $5/$30, or $10/$50. That means if you buy $20 worth of merchandise (price BEFORE manufacturer’s coupons!) then you can use the coupon to get $4 off your total. You can use one per order and you can use all other coupons and ECBs in addition.

Coupon Order:

When shopping at CVS it is best to give your coupons in this order: $/$$, manufacturer & CVS coupons, ECBs. This way there is no confusion over whether your total meets the $/$$ requirements and you also can make sure your total is high enough to use your ECBs effectively.

My CVS Deals Posts:

CVS deals are generally the same in all states (double check your ad though). You can find the weekly CVS Coupon Match-Ups HERE.

If you have any CVS shopping tips, feel free to share!


  1. VERY helpful…thank you so much!

  2. Thanks for this. I just started doing the CVS ECB’s last month. I was excited to total up what I spent and my “profit”, it came in that I had an $82.87 profit. Just had to share and say thank you!
    You do a great job!! 🙂

  3. I accidentally stumbled upon this trick with buy one get one free manufacturers coupons and thought I would share…
    I was purchasing shampoo and conditioner, which were regularly $7.49, but on sale for $5.00 and earned 3 ECB with purchase of both. I had 2 manufacturers coupons, a buy one get one free and $3.00 off coupon. (Yes you can use them both!) Meaning I would pay $2.00 out of pocket and earn $3.00 ECBs yielding a profit of $1.00. If you have your CVS card scanned last after the coupons you actually earn more. I received a $7.49 credit for the buy one get one coupon and then when the CVS card was scanned the price was reduced to $5.00, meaning I earned an extra $2.49. You must be careful though because in this scenario the balance would have been -$0.49. ($10.00 – $7.49 – $3.00). If you purchase something else, then you won’t through up any red flags.

  4. This is very helpful. I just started using CVS card in the last week or so and am not yet real familiar with it but look forward to using it and learning more. Thanks for all this help.

  5. In scenarios where a product is being sold as buy one get one free, and then at the bottom it says limit 4, are the 2 free ones a part of the limit of four?

  6. Stephanie says:

    It depends on the deal. If it is an ECB deal you can buy two and then look at the bottom of your receipt to see if it says “limit reached” or not.

  7. Hai,
    I’m one of the NBC viewers who got to know about ‘bargain blogging’ yesterday only…& really very much shocked to know how much I might have saved… anyways I started working on it today.
    u guys rock!!!
    All your Tips in getting started is realllllllllly helpful..
    in that under CVS 101, I have some doubts in Quarterly ECB’s.. it may sound childish to u but I really don’t understand! Is there any specific month to redeem that particular Quarters ECB’s?,i’m using CVS Card for atleast 2 years..until today i’ve never used this quarterly ECB so will that all be available as ECB’s in my card..? & how & when can i redeem this Q-ECB’s?

  8. Honey,

    First of all, Welcome! I’m glad you are excited to get started saving money!

    All ECBs can be redeemed from the moment they print out until they expire! They usually expire 1 month from the print date.

    I hope that answers your question. If not feel free to email me: Stephanie (at) Couponing101 (dot) com.

    • Peter R. says:


      Thank you so much for putting together all this info. I have a question about the “limits” at CVS. I saw in the flyer that the ECB limit of the body wash this week was one. But when I bought 2 with a BOGO coupon I got 8 ECB, not 4. What am I missing????

      Thanks again,

      • @Peter R., Yes, that does happen occasionally but is quite the exception. Generally you won’t get ECBs for any items you purchase above the limit. It is a very nice surprise though when the limit is actually higher than what is advertised! 🙂

  9. Thanks! I’ll see for it…

  10. Does CVS take expired coupons? Do any stores take expired coupons? I’ve noticed that some coupon handlers will offer expired coupons–why would anyone want them?


  11. Hi, I’m a newbie here… can’t help but notice the wallpaper of advertisements . Is that part of the strategy of having a blog? Do companies send blog owners money every time someone clicks on an ad? I always wondered how all of that worked…. I’m also curious to know what kind of things one can learn from a blogging conference. Sounds interesting. Thanks for all of your tips, they’re great!

  12. Terri,

    CVS does not take expired coupons that I know of. Some stores do though!

    Yes, I do get paid for the advertisements. It helps support my blogging addiction and keeps Couponing 101 a FREE resource! 🙂

    Fortunately, right now, I am able to choose all of my ads ( I can’t speak for the future)! So, with the exception of the google ads I have handpicked every one!

    I have never been to a blogging conference, so I couldn’t tell you! They do sound interesting and I hope to make it to one someday!

    Thanks for reading Terri!

  13. I am very new at this and im having a little trouble with the lingo. On the Weekly deal page what does (1/18 PG) and (1/25RP) mean?

  14. Carrie,

    (1/18 PG) = The Procter & Gamble insert from the January 18th Sunday newspaper

    (1/25 RP) = The Red Plum insert from the January 25th Sunday newspaper

    You can find a complete list of couponing terms and abbreviations here: http://www.couponing101.com/2008/10/couponing-terms-abbreviations.html

  15. can I use the ECB to purchase CVS gift cards?

  16. sv,

    At the bottom of the ECB is a list of exclusions, including gift cards. Wouldn’t it be nice though?

  17. No, you can’t use the ECB to purchas gift cards but what I have done is transferred 5 prescriptions to CVS and got a $30 gift card for each transfer and I use this as my “out of pocket”

    • @Nichole, they will give you a $30 gift card to transfer prescription to cvs? There’s no limit on that? That seems crazy that they would keep giving you a gc after the first transfer. But is awesme if this is true???

  18. Mary Beth says:

    Hi Stephanie! Your site is a daily read for me (sometimes more than once a day) and I really appreciate all the money saving advice . . . especially the CVS info. I’m finally starting to get the hang of it, but still have a couple of questions: are the ECB’s and $/$$ e-mailed coupons tied only to the person’s CVS card?

    For instance, if my mom wanted to use some of my ECB’s or one of my $/$$ coupons (she doesn’t have e-mail) towards a purchase, but would be using her CVS Extra Care Card at the register would it work (& is it kosher)?

    Also, how does it work if you have a coupon that will make something free, and CVS is running a B1G1 at 50% off? I have a coupon for Glucerna cereal that will make a box free, but I don’t know if I can pick up a second box and get it half price, if I didn’t pay anything net for the 1st box. Sometimes the cash register seems to negate a sale or a coupon if something’s already on sale.

    Again, thank you SO much!

  19. Mary Beth,

    Thank you so much for your comment! Those are excellent questions that definitely needed to be addressed!

    Your ECBs are tied to your card and you cannot use other’s ECBs. They will beep at the register (I’ve accidently had mine and my mom’s ECBs get mixed up, oops!). Same thing for the CRTs that print out. As for the $/$$ emails, I’m not really sure. I think they are only supposed to be used by the recipient but I’m not positive.

    For B1G1 50% off sales it can be tricky. If you have a coupon for a free product the cashier might automatically take off the amount of the lowest priced product. You could always point it out and ask if they would apply the Q to the higher priced item. But, you don’t have to worry about coupons affecting the sale. If you buy the right amount, they will ring up correctly regardless of coupons.

  20. I have a question if you have a sale that’s BOGO and then you have a coupon that is BOGO can you use it? I haven’t because I don’t want to look like a major cheapskate, but if I can get two free items….. I will 🙂 But will they let me?

  21. Lisa,

    You absolutely can! I occasionally come across a cashier who isn’t sure if it’s allowed, but according to CVS Customer Service it is perfectly okay!

  22. Thank you 🙂 I hate walking up without confidence… Thanks for the site and the info!!!

  23. Mary Beth says:

    Hi Stephanie:

    Thank you for answering my question so quickly! I wanted to mention something that happened to me at CVS today which still puzzles me, and then ask another question that I forgot last time. (The scenario turned out to be quite long . . . skip to the end for the question if it gets too boring!)

    Got a CVS $10 of $30 coupon at the end of my register receipt (yay!) on Sunday, when I did one of the Dove $5 ECB deals. Since it had a very short 4 day time frame, I had to use it by today. Wanted to do another Dove deal, but pay as little as possible OOP. Bought 2 Dove Cream Oil Body Washes ($8.99 each, using 2 $1.50/1 Q), 2 Glucerna cereals (using 2 $5/1 Q on cereals that were only $4.59 each), and an Aveeno lotion ($3.39, using a $2/1 Q — thought I’d get $2 ECB’s, too, but had wrong lotion . . . darn). And had a $4.99 ECB to use to bring down OOP.

    Anyway, gave the cashier the coupons in the proper order: CVS card, then $10/$30 coupon, waited for everything to ring through above $30, then handed over the coupons. The 2nd Glucerna coupon beeped, because there was a BOGO 50% off, and I explained that I was fine with both cereals at full price with the $5 coupons off (my brain had tried to explode when I tried to work out how to do the coupon + the BOGO, so I decided to play it safe . . . plus I wanted to pay very little out of pocket). The cashier went back in and made an adjustment.

    Thought that I’d be paying about $2 OOP. Instead, the amount went negative and I had to throw in a couple of candy bars to end at 67 cents. Since I had calculated pretty carefully, I checked the receipt in the car. The register had taken off the first $5 coupon, then adjusted the price for the second box of cereal to 1/2 price, then the second coupon scanned for $4.18 . . . $4.59/box times 2 minus first $5 coupon, as far as I can tell. I had sort of gotten it beyond free, and actually feel rather guilty about this, but since there had already been a small tussle over the Aveeno not counting towards ECBs I didn’t have the heart to go back in. And I’m still not sure exactly how this happened.

    Okay, that was a lot longer than I thought it would be!!!

    Short question — are the $/$$ coupons usable more than once before their expiration date? I know you have to hand the coupon over, but can you print another and do another shopping trip? I’ve seen other people ask this in the comments, but can’t find the answer.

    Thank you again for ALL your help.

    Mary Beth

  24. Mary Beth,

    I would not feel guilty about the Glucerna, they will get the full value of the coupon back from the manufacturer!

    I’m not sure about the $/$$ coupons. In my experience I’ve found that they either have a print limit or will tie to your card once they’ve been used. So, when you try to use a 2nd one it will probably beep. It would be up to the cashier on whether or not they would let you use it and push it through.

    I hope that helps! I’m happy to answer all your questions!


  25. Does CVS limit the number of coupons or ECB’s you can use per transaction or based on the number of items purchased?

  26. Karla,

    I have never been told I had too many coupons. I don’t believe there is a limit, but I could be wrong.

  27. I ran into this at Walgreens and just wondered if this was true for CVS, as well. I could only use one Register Rewards per transaction. Maybe this is just a local store policy, though.

    Thanks for all the info! I am just getting started and your site is quite helpful.

  28. happyleesh says:

    Hi! I work at CVS, and there is no limit to coupons used. The registers might act a little wonky sometimes, but we can override just about everything they want to do. 🙂

    If anyone has any questions for a real-live CVS employee, ask away. 🙂

  29. Happyleesh – I went to CVS to redeem the Tresemme deal. I purchased 6 bottles to get the $10 extra bucks. The cashier said I could only use ONE of the $1/1 because they all had the same code number. It was still a good deal, because I got a couple of bottles with 25% more (40 oz instead of 32 oz).

    The cashier thought I duplicated the coupons. What is the policy with CVS regarding these types of coupons?

    Your recommendation for what to say to the cashier would be appreciated. Thanks.

    I got this response from another blogger:
    Bargain Briana April 21, 2009 at 9:01 pm
    Marie Claire’s people said it was fine to use this coupon and print 3 times! 🙂 Even though the # is the same, it is that way on paper coupons. The coupon states one coupon per purchase which is not the same as one per transaction or one per person! It means one coupon per one item purchased! 🙂 So all is good but it is a YMMV by cashier. I personally dislike those types of coupons because they don’t look official like bricks, smartsource or the printable red plum ones, kwim?

  30. I had (stll have) a red CVS card. I have since received a white CareMark card. I am told that I can transfer any points, remaining on the red card, to the white CareMark card. How is this done? No one at the CVS store could tell me.


  31. Marie,

    I don’t know anything about a CareMark card – I’m sorry I can’t help you.

    • @Stephanie, I think she’s confusing her prescription benifit card with her cvs rewards card. Caremark is a prescription plan company and they recently bought up all the cvs’s. Hope that helps !

  32. Stephanie,
    CVS told me that I can not use 2 coupons on bogo free items. I told her to check because she was wrong. She got on the phone, “checked” and said she was right. I emailed corporate with no response. How do you deal with this?

  33. Sarah,

    I have never had a problem with this. The email from CS will probably clear everything up for you.

  34. I have a question on coupon order. I had a CVS coupon for $10.00 off a $50.00 purchase plus several MQ’s. The cashier said she needed my CVS card before ringing up any of my purchases. No problem, I gave it to her, she scanned it, rang up my purchases and then started on my coupons. She said she had to use the MQ’s first before she could use the CVS $10.00 off $50.00 coupon. I had about $7.00 of MQ’s so my total then came to less than $50.00. I asked her if she was sure on the coupon order and she said yes it was CVS policy. She seemed knowable so I let it go and quickly found enough items to pass the $50.00 mark. Anyone else had this happen to them?

  35. Joy,

    The cashier should have let you use the $10/$50. I suggest emailing Customer Service with your question so that you can have the response in writing to show the cashier if it happens again.

  36. Hi, I’m new to this to, but LOVE it–and thank you for putting such hard work into it to help us! My question is: which stores allow you to only purchase one item at 1/2 price when it is on sale for buy one get one free?

  37. Sonya,

    I do not know of any stores that will do this. You could always ask, especially if there is only 1 item left.

  38. I didn’t only mean CVS, but any chain…I know Food Lion allows you to purchase one at 1/2 price instead of 1 at full price, 2nd zero…
    Any others?

    Oh, and what stores (asking not just about CVS) double coupons?

  39. Sonya,

    I’m sorry, but I don’t know of any stores that do that. At least not in my area.

    The stores that double coupons in my area are Albertson’s, Kroger, and Tom Thumb. Usually the store will advertise that they double coupons in the weekly ad.

  40. I clicked on the link for a coupon that I wanted($1/1 True North Coupon (All You Mag December Issue) or Printable Coupon)
    and when it went to the site for the printable one the coupon that I wanted was not on the site. It has happened more than once to me is there anything that I am not doing right. Some times I am able to get the coupon, but than there are times I can not.

  41. I am new to this and excited to get going. My question is: If I have to make a total purchase of $10 to get 3ECB, do I have to actually spend the $10 OOP or can I apply coupons that may make the OOP less than $10 and still get the ECB’s?

    • @Sandy, The $10 purchase requirement is BEFORE coupons! 🙂

      • @Stephanie, I was about to ask you this same question. I called customer service and asked them this question and was told that I could use the coupons to lower the OOP. However, the machine didn’t print out the ECB and the receipt stated that I needed $1 to reach the ECB (which was the amount of the coupon). I purchased another item to bring it up, but I couldn’t find a CVS coupon policy on-line. Do you know of one?

  42. I am new to shopping at CVS using the ECBs and I am a little confused about them.
    I want to purchase several items some give rewards back and some don’t, so how do I figure out the best way to purchase these items with the least OOP.

    Thanks in advance

    • @Roni, It all just depends on the coupons and products you plan on buying. I would buy the items earning rewards first and then use the rewards to buy the items not earning rewards.

  43. I was wondering about CVS return policy when earning ECBs is involved. Let’s say I buy an item that prints $2 ECBs at the end of the receipt (as advertised). If I decide to return the item, do I have to return the earned ECBs? What if I’ve already spend them – what should be the refund amount?

    • @Julia, You will get your full money back. They will not ask for the ECBs back, so it doesn’t matter if you used them. Unfortunately, a lot of people take advantage of this and it causes lots of problems for couponers, so please do not abuse the system.

  44. Oops, another question…If the store has a BOGO deal going on and I have a manufacture coupon for the item, if I’m purchasing 2 identical items (and getting one free as a result of the store’s BOGO promotion), am I allowed to use 2 manufacture’s coupons or just one?

    Thanks again.

  45. My CVS has a small tag (it’s leaf-shaped) that you can attach to your reusable bag (I got mine at the register).
    Each time you use the bag, the cashier scans the barcode on the back of the leaf.
    Every 4 times it gets scanned, you get a dollar off your purchase.
    I’m not sure if your CVS does that, but mine has started that. You may want to keep your eyes open for it!

  46. Hi, Quick question on CVS ECBs. I’ve been shopping CVS for about 1 month and can’t seem to build up ECBs. I usually end up with about $10-$20 each week in ECBs. How much do you usuallyhave when you leave? Do I need to buy more ECB items to build these up and then roll them?

  47. Rhonda Hall says:

    On a $10 off $30 that prints out when you go in and scan and you already have ECB’s from a previous visit and you have man. coupons, my question is: can you use all of these on one visit? even if I have 3-or4 ECB’s.also, do I need to buy filler items for all these extras that I have? Say I have 1 $10 off $30, – $5, $4, and $4 ECB’s and 2 manuf coupons and am only buying 3 $10.99 packs of diapers, do I need to add 3 filler items to add up ..? I hate to go in and ask, sometiomes they are very rude with this…

    • @Rhonda Hall, No, you can use them ALL at once!! CVS is wonderful! You don’t need fillers or anything. You could use a manufacturer coupon, a cvs coupon, and as many ecbs as you want (up to the purchase amount) on just a single item if you wanted!

  48. How do I retrieve my quarterly ECBs?
    I just set up my account online and it says that my Spring balance was $15.12 and that 2% of that (.30) will be issued on July 1st. But I don’t recall ever receiving any print off of that sort. My current balance is much more than $15 and it would be nice to be aware of what to expect.
    Thanks in advance.

    • @Bree, The print once per quarter either at the CVS Coupon Printer or at the register when you make a purchase. They will look just like any other ECB.

    • @Bree, Also if you signed up your Extra Care Card online to receive coupons to your email, they will send you the EBs to your Email for you to print. When you use the emailed EBs the one on your receipt wont print out. *And it is not possible use both the emailed coupon and the receipt one, if you end up getting both. The second one will not ring up and the register will alert the cashier that the EBs were already spent!* And if you ever lose your EBs or dont receive them you can call 1-800-SHOP-CVS and they can re-issue them and it will print on your receipt the next visit 🙂

  49. kay harris says:

    what does this mean at the bottom of my reciept
    coke, buy 9 get 1 free
    quantity toward this reward 2
    quantity needed to earn this reward 7

    does this mean that when I have earned 7 ecb’s that I would have to use those to get 1 pack of cokes free?

  50. kay harris says:

    also the offers like coke buy 9 get 1 free with so many ecb’s are the only thing I ever find printed at the bottom of my reciept, so far no bucks? but it will say that I have a quantity of 2 toward that offer? Can I use those 2 for something wlse or must they be used for the offer printed?

    • @kay harris, If you buy something that earns ecbs they will print at the bottom of your receipt. If you need to buy 2 items to get an ecb then your receipt will track it and say that you need 1 more item to get the ecbs. Once the ecbs print, you can use them on anything.

  51. Question about ECBs:
    Am I allowed to purchase an item 2 days in a row and still recieve it’s ECB on the 2nd trip even if it has a “limit 1” ?? Thanks! -Amanda

  52. Hi, I would like to know if there’s a web site where i can view CVS’s weekly flyer by wednesday or thursday. Some time i don’t wanna wait for sunday flyers. Is there a way to get sneak peak at flyer online, website plz.

  53. Can anyone tell me what the CVS policy is for coupons on multiple items? Like if I were to buy 4 identical items, could I use 4 identical manufacturer coupons? Thanks in advance!

  54. Hi, If after purchasing something at CVS you see a better sale the next week; can you bring your receipt back for an adjustment or do you have to actually bring the products in and return them? Thanks!

  55. Tiffany says:

    Hi, I just wanted to make sure that I understand something correctly. When I aquire ECB’s on a visit, I cant use them during that transaction. I would have to end that transaction and do another one to use the ECB’s that I earned. For example this wk w/ the Complete Multi-purpose solution you earn 8.99 ECB’s, but when I buy the solution I cannot use those ECB’s toward the solution itself but I can end the transaction and do another one and apply the 8.99 ECB’s to my new transaction. Am I understanding this correctly?
    By the way, thank you for your blog. It is so informative and you do an amazing job.

  56. Dont know if anyone has added this yet, but I was a CVS employee for 3 years and there is one thing that was not mentioned in this article I always liked to tell customers… For every 2 prescriptions you purchase at the Rx you receive $1EB towards your quarterly EBs. So dont forget to scan your Extra Care Card at the Rx everytime as well. This goes towards your total spending as much as Front Store purchases. If you dont get your scripts at CVS, they usually are running the promotion of getting a $25 gift card when you transfer a script to CVS! Which you can use in the Rx or Front Store! 🙂 If you know how to shop CVS deals, you can walk away with free things every purchase!

  57. HOLY COW! I cannot believe this. I have been working at a company for almost four years now and our prescription plan is through cvs/caremark! My hubbie and I spend about $300.00 on our medicine. Lord at the money I could have earned in EB’s. I had no idea that I could save so much at CVS! Well we are going to start now! Can anyone say GOOD BYE WALLY WORLD! well mabe not i did get degree deodorant from walmart for .96 with a $1 off q. 🙂

  58. With CVS, if they are advertising a deal for 2 for $5, do you actually have to buy 2 items, or can you simply buy 1 for $2.50?

  59. CVS has a “beauty club” for every $50 you spend you get $5 in EB. Plus $3 EB on your birthday. I just signed up on cvs.com/beautyclub. In my welcome email (with 10% off coupon) was a great link that outlines ALL the ways one can earn EB!

  60. Hello!
    Can someone help me out with ECB question? I read through comments and couple article but couldn’t find an answer.
    Let’s say there’s a promo at CVS:
    buy $15 of product A,B and C get $5 ECB.
    all 3 products are on sale @ $6.99 ($8.00 regular).
    So, does ECB apply when I buy just 2 products? Does it count towards regular price or promo price? Or is it a trick by CVS where you have to buy all 3 products in order to get $5 ECB?

  61. CVS is my couponing store of choice. I always get good deals if I watch the sale paper, and I love the extra bucks. The only problme is they do not have a great selection for cleaning supplies and run out of things quickly. You have to get to the store as soon as the ad comes out to get the products.

  62. Courtney says:

    I work at a cvs, and in most cases cvs will accept out of date ecb’s and in store coupons. Excluding X% off and 3 day only coupons.

  63. jessica says:

    Okay, I tried the CVS matchup/ECB thing two weeks ago and through coupons and in store promos I saved $53.46 (34% savings) and got back $20.77 in ECB to use next time! Plus I was able to stock up on H&B and household items. Thanks!

  64. Hi, this would be my first time to use coupon at CVS and I’m just wondering after using coupons and I’ve already got the total amount for the grocery, will I be able to use right then and there my accumulated ECB’s to lessen my total amount?

    • @Daisy, You are able to use your ECBs any time. They print on your receipt so you can’t use them on the same order where you earn them. But once they print you can turn around and buy some more items and use them right then.

  65. And also, if I have 5 manufacturing coupons and 1 store coupon, will my one store coupon automatically applied for the other 4 manufacturing coupon once scanned in the register like Walgreens ?

  66. Melanie says:

    Silly question that I’m sure you get a lot, but I can’t seem to find an answer anywhere. Once I get an ECBs for something, say toothpaste for $2, can I use that ECB to buy more of the same toothpaste and have it print out another ECB? Or is it like Walgreens, where you can’t you a reward for the same product?

    • @Melanie,

      As long as the limit for that item is not reached then yes you can use the ECBs to pay for the item. For example, Deal in Ad: Buy Colgate Toothpaste at $2.99 and earn $2 in ECBs, limit 2. First purchase pay $2.99 (or less if you have coupons) get $2 back in ECBs. Second purchase use $2 EBC and pay $.99 (or less if you have coupons). The limit is printed in the ad in fine print. Most items are limit 1 or 2, but some have a higher limit. Happy CVSing!

  67. If I have a Buy 2 Get 1 Free Nestle Crunch CVS coupon, and the same coupon as a Manufacturer’s coupon, can I combine those in any way?

  68. Barbara Harvell says:

    Thank you so much for all the tips and advice on this site. I am just getting started couponing and am excited to see how much I can save on my family’s groceries and household needs. I am headed to my local CVS and Walgreens right away after reading your info here. Thanks again.

  69. Stephanie I went to the store and I had coupons for things like ,deodorant ,toothpaste ,shampoo ,etc and now it was time to do the coupons so the Guy ask to do them for me and when the registers statred to take some off so we call the MG, and he put some back on it was 98$ at frist but after the register had taken off some coupons it was 64$ and that was after the MG did what he did so all I had to pay was 28$ from 64$ and not from 98$ so if MG, is ok so am I! (frist timer )

  70. Thanks for the great website, as I am just getting started on the whole couponing thing. Really appreciate it.

    I can’t seem to find the answer to this, so I thought of this website first. Went to CVS today and I got a raincheck for an item. The cashier was very helpful as I had a ton of questions. He did tell me though that the raincheck would not give me my ECB’s. Is that because when I use it (after the sale is over presumably) that the particular ECB will be wiped out of the computer?

    Again thanks for they great info and website. This is a must read almost everyday as I have tons of questions and always looking for answers,

    • @Monica, I work at CVS, and there’s no reason he should have done that. We have the ability to issue extra bucks whenever, regardless of weekly sales or anything. If you look at the bottom of your raincheck, it should have a space for EB amount and code, where he should have written it. I would go back in and speak with someone else to get your ECB 🙂

      • @Katie,

        I went back the next day and the item that I got the rain check for was back in stock, so i just bought it and got the ECB. I have no idea why the guy did that. I got another rain check for something else and the lady never batted an eye and wrote all the info that needed to be on it. No harm, no foul this time. Next time I will ask questions. Thanks

  71. Beginner question: Ok, I made a purchase yesterday and at the bottom of my recipt printed extracare/coupon 30% off purchase 3days only up to $99. Small print excludes sale and promotional items. Also says savings applied after cvs and other coupons and discounts applied. What is the best way to maximize my savings with this ? Can I use it with BOGO ?
    Not sure what qualifies for sale and promotional items please advise.

  72. Hi Stephanie

    please I need to know if there is any way to get a coupon from smart source but 6/12 . or any other pass date

    • @THAIS, You can get those coupons through a clipping service for a small price or find someone to do a trade with you. Just search google (or swag bucks) “coupon clipping service” or something simlar.

  73. I am a beginner but I have read through the questions and answers and have not seen this but can you buy multiple ECB items and get them all during one purchase or do you have to make multiple purchases? I ran into this problem at Walgreens and I had to do like 8 different transactions it took forever.

  74. Hi, I hope someone can explain something to me. I went to CVS today with a 25% off your total purchase coupon from CVS that I got in the mail. I also used some other manufacturer coupons on top of that. I’m looking at my receipt and am wondering how the 25% off my total was calculated. My total purchase prior to coupons was $49.82 and after manufacturer’s coupon it was $47.22. My 25% coupon only gave me $4.50 off! How can that be when my tax at 9.25% was already almost $4. I’m new at this so I’d love an explanation. Thanks!

    • @REna, Most of those % off total purchase coupons also say “on non-sale items”. If you are like me then most of the items you buy are on sale… so the 25% off only applies to a couple items in your cart. I hope this explains it! Happy CVSing.

    • The % off only applies to non-sale items and AFTER all other coupons have been applied. So if your total is $25.00 and you have $5.00 in coupons then the % off will apply to the remaining $20.00. If you ever have a question about the coupons always speek to the front cashier or get a manager.

  75. ok, here is my CVS scenario:

    2/$6.97 pantene pro-v
    -$2.00 ecb
    -$3.00 off 2 mfr’s coupon
    lgif: 2/$1.97

    my question is: can i use 2 of the $3.00 off 2 coupons?
    i was under the impression, that since i was getting 2 products i could use 2 coupons.

    the manager @ my cvs was very insistant that i could ONLY use 1.

    next question: a product i want to buy has an ecb limit of 2 per household. is that per day or period?

    thank$ a bunch!

    • @vanessa,
      1. The manager was correct. You can only use one coupon in that situation. If the coupon says $3 of 2 items then the coupon applies to both items.

      2. The limit is per period. At the bottom of your receipt it will tell you if you have reached the limit.

      Happy CVSing!

  76. Jeannette says:

    There’s a deal I’m looking at where you get $10 free gas if you buy $30 worth of items. There’s an item that’s B1G1 free (store sale, not coupon). Say they go for a dollar each, and I get two, do $2 count towards the $30 or just $1 since the other item is free? Thanks for the site, it’s very very helpful, though as you can tell, I’m a very confused beginner still.

  77. Hi Stephanie,

    I’m just getting into the Couponing mode myself this last week & so much to learn but with your Awesome Website I’m learning fast! I did as you suggested calling today for coupons for Pop-Tarts…the lady was so kind & told me where I could find them online (I couldn’t locate any before) & she will also mail a bunch to me! OK so now I’m not buying PopTarts until my coupon arrives right?

    Yesterday I went to CVS & paid .35 cents for items that would’ve cost $12.45 so a Great Savings! I had 3 ECB’s (instore coupons for $5.00, $4.00 & 2.00$ off) 1 of them had expired but CVS took it Anyway!!!! I was Stoked! Now I’m hungry to learn more! I’ve spent 2 hrs learning…time to do something else besides couponing haha so addicting.

    Thank you so much for your great tips,

  78. It was my first time using the EB a few days ago. My BF wanted to get beer and I wanted to get a rain check for the Hershey’s Bliss, which was wiped out clean. It says that you can’t use the EBs for alcohol, but mine went through. I initially only gave one that covers the purchases other than the alcohol, but the cashier insisted that it’s okay to use as much as I wanted to pay for the transaction, and it was. Maybe it’s okay as long as you have other, non-exempt things in the transaction?

    I also learned that the EBs that come when you purchase things from a rain check do not automatically print out at the bottom of the receipt. You need to remind the cashier to do it.

  79. I am new to this and trying to figure stuff out. Last week I earned ECB on Pantene. It was limited to one. The Pantene was still being promoted this week. Is that 1 per week? 1 per card? Help!

  80. Hi,
    I have a quick question as well. Today I did my first coupon run at Walgreens. I earned $5 in register rewards and I noticed at the top of the coupon it said ‘manufacturer cpn’ so I won’t be able to use that in addition to another manufacturers coupon next time. My question is if the Cvs ECB works as a manufacturers coupon as well?

  81. I rarely shop at drugstores, so this is all new to me.

    Today I went to CVS to pick up a couple of toothbrushes that earned $3 ECBs each, which I also had coupons for. I guess everyone else had the same idea before me, because they were all gone. I was in a hurry so I did not ask if they give rainchecks (something else I have never used before). Assuming they do issue rainchecks, will I still get the ECBs when I use my raincheck? Or does that only get me the sale price?


    • Ah, nevermind! Found the answer just above… I guess I didn’t read through all of the comments!

  82. Hi, Stephanie –

    I’m new to couponing and just had a quick question. I went in to purchase some items and had a $4/1 Lumene wipes product that was priced at $3.19. It was not a trial size, though the cashier said that it was, and she said that she couldn’t use the coupon regardless because the coupon amount was more than the sale price and they could not give overage.

    I told her that I’ve been able to use coupons like this before several times and she said the cashiers shouldn’t have done the transaction…Is this correct?

    Thanks for your help!!

    • What the cashier should have done was adjust the value of the coupon to match the price of the item.

  83. My question is this:
    If the ECB deal says “spend $15 and get back $5 in ECB’s,” do I have to spend exactly $15, or will the ECB’s come through if I spend $14.99 or close to it? Sometimes the items are $4.99. If I buy three items, my total would be $14.97. I hate to have to spend an extra $4.99 to get over the $15 amount. Thank you for your help!

  84. I noticed at the top under the CVS Extra Care Card info it says “CVS Extra Care cards are FREE and limited to one per person”. This is incorrect. Yes the cards are free but it states on the back of the card they are limited to one per household. So no one should have multiple cards for each adult in the house.

    • LOL that’s technically true but most cashiers will give another one to you anyways (or will just scan a new card if there’s no ECBs involved) because the cashier that scans the most Extra Care cards gets a goodie of some sort (usually a gift card for a specific restaurant).

    • Yes, they used to be limited to one per person but they recently changed it to one per household due to people abusing the system.

  85. Counter Monkey says:

    -ALWAYS give rain checks before putting any item on the counter.
    -You can not trade CVS coupons. We will get fired.
    -You can not use competitor coupons. We will get fired.
    -ALWAYS check the sale dates in the ads.
    -PLEASE, PLEASE READ EVERYTHING. All signs, ads, fine print, everything (yes, it does get annoying but it takes no time).
    -We know when a fake coupon is presented (most couponers don’t use fake coupon technology, but a rare set do). Our managers reserve the right to okay them.
    -We WILL get fired if we let you cheat, but it happens, even if it’s a mistake.
    -The cashiers and the customers must both be polite to each other.

    Thanks :]

  86. I can’t find an official copy of CVS’ coupon policy. I just had a manager at a store refuse to let me use a CVS and manufacturer stack, he said that you can only use 1 coupon per product. I insisted that you can (I have seen on unofficial helpful hint websites like this one that you can) and asked for a copy of the policy from him but he didn’t have it. I ended up at the other CVS about 4 minutes away and got the products from there using both coupons. The manager there did have to do an over-ride but it was because the coupons outweighed the cost by .01, so they had to be entered manually. (The products were 1.99 each and I had a CVS Q for -1/1 and a Manufacturer Q for -1/1). Anyway, I just want a copy of the policy to keep with me to back-up what I know is right when dealing with cashiers/managers. I do my homework and usually know what I am doing. As well as clipping, organizing and planning can be a lot of work so it get’s rather irritating when you do it right and the store employees don’t. If anyone has a link to the policy or a pdf of it. I would love to have it! Thanks!

  87. here’s the scenario

    revlon lip products 5.99 with ECB of $5 limit 6

    Question #1 can i buy 6 products in one transaction and get the 6 ECB’s?

    Question #2 if i buy 1 revlon 5.99 and get the $5 ECB and buy another Revlon and use the $5 ECB will it generate another $5 ECB since it says limit 6?

    • Liz,
      Short answer: Yes and Yes.

      Longer answer:
      1. If you buy all 6 in one transaction then CVS will add the ECBs togther. Your receipt will have an ECB for $30.
      2. If you want to do mulitple transactions then yes the ECBs will print even if you are buying the same item.

      Happy CVSing,

  88. Ashley Cooke says:

    Okay< im not sure in doing this right, first time CVSing! But im wondering if im on the right track ….I got a coupon $5 off of $25..so I was thinking of buying 2 schick razors @ $8.49 (also I have a b1g1 coupon)and tampons $8.49 2 shaving gels $2.1=$21.36 + scrubbing bubbles 2 for $6 ($2/2 off coupon) makes total $25.36 now spend 20 get 10 ecb (from razors) Diapers $19.99 get $4.ecb makes diapers $9.99 and the $4ecb I was going to get glade candles or spray free …idk if im crazy or on the right track the total with out coupons/ecb is $49.35 HELP!! thanks, Ash

  89. Hi,
    I have a question. I am making a run to CVS and was wondering if I should do two different transactions. I am getting the $30/$10 CVS cash + using coupons. I also have some other items that I need that will earn $18 in ECBs (spending 35.26) + MFCs. Also, is the total on the CVS cash before coupons??? Sorry if this doesn’t make sense. Its late and Im super excited….

    • The $10 off $30 coupon CAN be used before coupons. I recommend getting as close to $30 as you can and then buying the other items in another transaction so you can use the ECBs you earned in the 1st transaction.

  90. Christie says:

    First off, thank you, Stephanie, for sharing your knowledge on couponing!!! Question: What is ‘CVSCash Card Items’? Note: I am a newbie. : )

    • Hi Christie! Each week CVS does a CVS Cash Card promotion. If you by a certain dollar amount of those items, you’ll get a CVS cash card (basically a gift card to use at CVS). So when an item is marked as a CVS Cash Card Item, that means it is part of that promotion. Hope that helps! Thanks for reading Couponing101.

  91. I heard and have asked AND used the 5/25, 3/15, 10/50 coupons, as long as all requirements were met. Meaning I spent $90 and was able to use all those coupons together, even though it does say cannot combine with another coupon of the same. What manager and cvs customer care said was that since I am not using them all at one on a purchase of only $50, I am meeting the requirements for each CRT and it’s ok. This makes sense if you have a %off coupon and MFG coupons that will take your total really low.. since you can only use the %off coupon only once.

  92. Does anyone know if you can return or exchange items you purchased with ECB’s?

    • Yes you can return or exchange items purchased with ECBs. If you return it they’ll give you cash back. I found it strange at first and can see where some folks may try to take advantage of it, but that’s how it works!

      Happy CVSing.

  93. Hi there! How many CVS coups can you use on one product? I keep getting these $1 off 2 Dove bar coups and am wondering if I can use them all on one purchase or have to buy as many items as I have CVS coups for.

    • You have to buy as many items as the coupon specifies. So if you have (5) $1/2 Dove Bar coupons, you’d need to buy 10 products in order to use all the coupons. Does that make sense?

  94. edwin otero says:

    Your program is one of the best! Thank you.

  95. LORY A USEA says:

    Send me couponing 101

  96. CVS coupons are worthless. I am a reward club member – received 25% off everything in store (except sale items). When I checked out, for a $30. order I handed the 25% off coupon, along with other reward coupons (knowing I wouldn’t received the 25% off of any reward coupon item). The manager (not cashier) informed me my savings would only be .18 cents and do I really want it….first off yes, what kind of stupid question is that – secondly – if CVS advertises a buy 1 get 1 50% off and you only purchase 1 item, paying full price – the 25% coupon does not apply. Evidently unbeknownst to me every item that I purchased full price was a buy one get one at 50% – he suggested I go get the 50% item which would have increased my purchase to $40 still receiving only .18 off……I will never shop at CVS again. Searched for my receipt so that I could make a copy and send to corporate – lo and behold receipt was not in the bag as he told me…..I am done with CVS – their prices are higher than supermarket pricing – case in point – Claritan D Allergy 24 hour – 15 count tablets- their price 21.49 – local supermarket 18.99; Soft Soap 3.99 – local supermarket 2.89. I now refer to CVS as the Kohls of drugstores – double the fair market value of the product and offer 30% off in coupons – making a generous 20% on the deal……this drug store was located in Audubon, Pennsylvania.

    • I’m so sorry to hear about your horrible experience with CVS! I’ve always had a very pleasant couponing experience at CVS. It’s my favorite store to get deals at.

  97. I have a question. When it comes to the ECB rewards , are they generated in accordance with the final price of the product before taxes or after taxes. Example: Spend $20.00 on certain products to receive $5.00 ECB rewards and the products are $9.99 each. The total purchase price before taxes is $19.98. Once taxes is applied it will reach the $20.00 spending requirement. So would that mean I have to buy three products at $9.99 or would the two be sufficient since once taxes are included I will have reached the required spending amount?

    • It’s officially supposed to be before taxes, but some stores do trigger the ECB when you are just a couple cents shy of the required purchase amount.

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