Friday, March 27, 2009

Here it is!

It's the moment you've all been waiting for! As promised in a previous post, I have something exciting to share!

Oh I'm sorry...did you think I meant this exciting news? Nope. Not yet. (Am I the only one laughing here? Please don't hate, you'll find out soon!) Actually, the 'something exciting' I am referring to is a response to a question I've been getting for months now.

If you want to know how to become a CVSer, I've got the goods today. And as I always say, It's gonna change your life!
I'm actually not kidding about that. If you don't believe me, ask my mom. She would be the first to tell you that she never thought that becoming a couponer was in her dna, until I started teaching her about CVS. She's nearing retirement age, folks, (Is that ok to share, mom?) and has never used coupons or followed ads until about two months ago. Now she calls me each week feeling hyper (her words) about the deals that she scored.

Since joining the world of the drugstore game (Walgreens and Rite Aid also have great deals), I estimate that I've saved my family over a thousand dollars. Crazy, huh? And the better I get at the game, the more money I am saving.

If you’d like to join the game, I’m going to give you the simplest tutorial I know how and then leave it up to you to bring on the questions.

Here goes!

The CVS ExtraCare Program provides shoppers with something called Extra Care Bucks (ECBs). These are ‘coupons’ that print out at the end of your receipt after you purchase certain items. The coupons are a dollar amount that can be used on your next purchase at CVS.

Weekly and monthly, CVS promotes products by offering a certain amount of ECBs if you buy them. My goal when I shop at CVS is to figure out how I can get the most ECBs for the least amount of money. This means buying items that either offer a high amount of ECBs or items that I have a coupon for or BOTH, which is the ultimate deal.

(For example, CVS has toothpaste this week for $3.49 that will earn you $3.49 in ECBs, PLUS I have a $1.00 off coupon. So, I will spend only $2.49, but get $3.49 back. That’s good stuff.)

When you earn your first ECBs you may feel that you have a coupon burning a whole in your pocket and you should use it right away. Actually, the best idea is to save your ECBs so that you can use them when there is a new week with new deals and new coupons. Again, the goal is to figure out how you can get the most ECBs for the least amount of money. And now you have a coupon that will make it that much easier to do so!

What made learning this game possible for me is that there is a whole world of resources available online. There are numerous web-sites dedicated to helping you figure out the best deals and the coupons that you can use with them. Stick with me and I will introduce you to these sites and help walk you through them.

Here’s what you need to do to get started:

1) Sign up for a CVS Extra Care Card. You can do so online, but I suggest just signing up in the store so that you can start using your card right away.

2) Start saving your Sunday coupons. If you don’t get a Sunday paper, it’s time to start! For tips on the easiest way to organize your coupons, go here.

3) Plan your shopping trip in advance. Check my blog each Sunday for the upcoming week’s best deals. Look through the store flyer to see if there are any deals that you don’t want to miss.

4) Take a carefully planned list and the store flyer with you, so you can be sure you are getting the exact items that are advertised.

5) If at all possible, take NO children with you! You will end up feeling stressed and rushed and paying more than you intended. (Besides, the CVS carts are about the size of my kitchen sink. No, I’m serious.)

Ok, let the savings begin!

(Check back later today for my CVS deals this week. I'm heading to the store this afternoon...without children!)


Anonymous said...

Listen missy!
I'll finish reading this when I get over the fact that you're still dangling the secret in front of me!
I've got Aunt Sharon involved now too!
Natalie ( :

Lula! said...

We have no CVS here, so this is totally lost on me.

But I love you and your couponing self. I do. And I miss you. We sooooooooooooooo need a girls get together. Big time.

Lindsay said...

I just wanted to tell you that last night at JoAnn fabrics I saved $40 with coupons. The cashier let me use three, I don't know what the policy is, the coupon said one per customer, but he swiped three of them, so I'm not complaining!
(If you sign up, JoAnn's sends you tons of coupons in emails and in the mail)

After that I went to Target to get mascara and the one I usually buy had two in a package for the price of one.

Geee.. it's staring to happen to me!