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CVS Tips and Tricks

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 If you’ve read this blog for long, you know that I LOVE CVS. When I know I can go to CVS, I get downright giddy. It’s almost a disease. It makes my heart go pitter-pat. I can’t wait to go each time and see how much I can save! Now, I realize this love is because I have found an awesome CVS. My mom doesn’t like CVS as much as me because the store in her town doesn’t have as good of a selection and it’s small. Poor Mama. :-( So, this post is dedicated to shopping tips for CVS. Go here to read a little more about shopping at CVS and Walgreens.
Now, the first thing you need at CVS is the Extra Care Card. This card allows you to take advantage of all the sales that CVS has to offer. You’re able to get these easily, usually at the front of the store with the registers. If you go to CVS and you realize that you forgot your Extra Care Card because you were running late and couldn’t find your keys because the baby hid them in the stroller basket, then you can just give the cashier your phone number and that will bring up your Extra Care Number. That doesn’t work though if you don’t fill out the paperwork and turn it in to get your card. Take the time to do this because you’ll occasionally get coupons from them in the mail. Also sign up to get the CVS emails so that you can get offers via email as well.
This is the Green Bag Tag. You can find them at the front of the store with the front counter displays…..where all the gum, candy, and some magazines are. You’ll pay $.99 for your tag. Each time you come into CVS with a reusable bag, you get them to scan your card. Every fourth scan gets you $1 off your next purchase. All you did was bring your own bag and they paid you! Now, that’s what I’m talking about! I wish I could get everyone to pay me for bringing my own stuff. If I go to a restaurant and take my own silverware, could I get $1 off my bill? Hmmmmmmmmm. You might get lucky like me and find a nice cashier who will scan your Green Bag Tag with each transaction instead of once per visit. It pays to be nice to the cashiers, people. If you’re nasty to them, they’ll be nasty to you. It’s the Golden Rule. If you do nasty unto others, you better watch out! Like my sister always said growing up: “That’s what you get, and that’s what you ‘zerve.”
See the little yellow tag under the soap? Be on the look out for these while you’re in the store. If you see one, glance around really quick to make sure no one else saw it and descend on it like Dottie on peanut butter. Be secretive……hide it with your body. You found the treasure! Now, scan through your coupons to see if you have any matches. Example – today I found Listerine on clearance for $1.24. I had two $1 off coupons, so I got two bottles for $.24! Now I have no reason to have nasty breath……unless I forget to brush my teeth because I was trying to keep Annie from pulling all my shoes out of the closet. Also, your CVS might occasionally have buggies up front with clearance items in them. Mine almost always has one each week. I go through it to see if I can find any goodies with coupon matches…..or just goodies in general. Last week I got all our cold medicine for the winter for $.30 each! I bet you think they were about to run out of date, right? Nope, good until January of the next year. Jackpot! One more thing – CVS has great end of season clearance! Stock up after Christmas for next year!

Now, CVS is notorious for not having their sale items available for long. It’s best to go on Sunday when the sale starts or early Monday morning. If you get there later in the week and they don’t have what you went for, don’t freak out. Don’t stand in the aisle and cry. Trust me, it’s tempting. When you really, really want the deodorant and the shelf is empty you can feel that tear getting ready to trickle. Instead of boo-hooing, when you’re checking out ask the cashier for a rain check. You can come back later and get the item! When the sale is off, you have a rain check! It might take a week or two for them to get the stock back, but keep checking. You can even do this on items that have Extra Care Bucks listed. They’ll be able to print those for you when you do buy the items.

 Ok, I’m about to blow your mind. Do you know about the “coupon center” machine?! When my CVS finally got one, I did the hokey pokey in the front of the store! I said “Yes! Thank you Jesus!” A woman looked at me funny, but I just smiled at her and scanned my card. This wonderful contraption will print coupons for you! YES!!!!! It’s a miracle! You scan your card when you come into the store and it will print coupons. The coupons are not based on what you bought recently. They just run in a cycle, so it’s the luck of the draw as to what coupons you get. I keep getting coupons for diapers, but since I use cloth diapers this doesn’t get me very excited. Booooooo! You can really get some good coupons though. The last time I was there with Mama, she got a free bottle of Exedrin because it gave her a $2 off coupon and they were on sale for $1.99. You can only scan your card once a day. You’ll usually get two coupons, sometimes only one if it’s feeling moody.
If you want to know more about shopping at CVS, please try to attend one of my coupon workshops. If you would like to host one yourself, please use the contact form on the Workshops tab. Also, at the bottom of that page is a list of all upcoming workshops. Go to CVS. You’ll like it better than Wal-Mart. I promise.

You know you want these…….you know it. I KNOW it. So, please enter before it’s too late. You have until tomorrow 10/29 at 8pm to enter. Click the button below.

My friend Missy donated these for this giveaway. If you’d like to set up a class with her and make your own set, you can contact her at 423-383-9470. I love Fancy Schmancyz! Missy, please do classes on Saturday. Thank you.

Comment Policy: I love hearing your thoughts and input on what I write. Since I write about what works at my house, what pleases my handsome hubby and darling children; I'm sure we'll disagree sometimes. In those cases, do what's right for you and yours. As with any form of communication, please only post comments that move the discussion in a positive direction.

About Stacy

Stacy is the author of Crock On: A Semi-Whole Foods Slow Cooker Cookbook and Keep Crockin': A Poorganic Slow Cooker Cookbook, and a stay-at-home and homeschooling mom to her three children, Annie (June 2009), Andy (August 2012) and Eli (September 2014). After an “awakening” in March 2011, her family switched to a more natural, whole foods diet. She likes to blog about how to live on less than you make and how to eat good food while doing it. Her passion is teaching others how to save money and she tag teams with her husband in this endeavor. At Stacy Makes Cents you’ll find information on how to save money in the kitchen, how to have fun with your kids, and how to be thrifty in all areas of life. Her passion is teaching others how to live debt free. Make sure to follow her on Facebook, Youtube, Pinterest and more to keep up with her daily antics.


  1. Which cvs is ur fav?

  2. I am new to all of this and I am still puzzled about the +bucks or up bucks at CVS and Rite Aid. Can you give me an exmple on how this works. Thanks so much Stacy! You are awesome!!!

    • Christina, I am working on a post about a CVS scenario, so hopefully that will be up in the next week or two. +UP Rewards are at Rite Aid and Extra Bucks are at CVS. They work similar AND different. :-) I also have a post coming up about Rite Aid. Do you live local where you could attend a workshop? I have one in Abingdon on Saturday.

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