Sunday, November 2, 2008

Hints for starting the CVS game

okay...I have to share these thoughts and then I promise to post on a few things that are non-money related, so that I don't lose the few readers that I actually do have. Stick with me; you really might benefit from what I am about to say.

If you have never played the CVS game, I am going to walk you through how to get started. Once you start, you will be addicted.

First you need to sign up for a CVS card. You can do this online or in the store. If you do it online, it will come in the mail in just a few days. Once you have a card, you need to pick up a circular (the little booklet with the list of sales) from a CVS store, or you can find it in the Sunday paper. Each month there is one item that you can purchase and receive that same amount of money back in Extra Care Bucks (ECBs). This month you can purchase a tube of Crest Pro-Health toothpaste for 3.49, and you will receive 3.49 back in ECBs. For new players, your ECBs print out with your receipt. They are at the bottom. DON'T LOSE THESE. I suggest keeping an envelope in your purse where you can automatically put the ECBs. Now, you can leave the store at this point, and save the ECBs, or you can roll the ECBs. To roll the ECBs, you pick out something that costs about the same as your ECBs. For example, Ivory soap is on sale this week for .99. You could purchase 4 packs of Ivory, and pay only .50. Does that make sense? So, you would leave the store having purchased toothpaste, and 4 packs of Ivory for 4.00. Not could be better though.

Let's say you used that 3.49 of ECBs to purchase something that earns more ECBs. For example, always infinity pads are on sale for 4.99, and you earn 1.00 ECB when purchased. So you would pay 1.50 out of pocket (OOP) for a pack of pads, and you will have 1.00 ECB good towards your next purchase. And it just keeps going. The CVS game really helps add room to the grocery list, because you can purchase most of your toiletries from CVS for only a few dollars. My goal is to never spend more than 5.00 a week at CVS. I just keep rolling ECBs. I do suggest going during a time when not many people are in the store. I go fairly early in the morning, so that I am not holding up the line when I ask the cashier to do 4 separate transactions. And the cashiers are used to this. Those who play the CVS game are dedicated, and the cashiers typically do not mind doing separate transactions. I have even had a cashier help me figure out how to make the most of my ECBs. I think they find it fun as well.

Again, I welcome any questions!! And there are blogs out there that do a much better job of explaining this than I do. Just google the CVS game, and I am sure you will find what you are looking for.

p.s. if you use coupons, your prices will go even lower. I have a coupon for Crest Pro-health, plus I already have 4.00 in ECBS. I will be getting my toothpaste for almost free, and I will be receiving 3.49 back in ECBs.


Amy said...

Do you have any recommendations on saving money with cars? I feel like cars are a black hole for our money. We have one old one- paid for- but always needing work, and one new one with a huge car payment, argh. I feel like we are always spending money on them!

Jenny said...

Hi LB, I've been reading your blog through Jessica Hart Harman's blog...
I'm huge into the CVS game too, I've been at it about a month. Anyways, I went today to CVS and was so impressed by my savings that I wanted to share it with you! You gave me a GREAT tip about splitting the purchase up to use extra bucks on the spot, which was a great idea!!
Here's what I got:

12 pack Charmin toilet paper
4 12-packs of Coke/Sprite
2 packages of (PAMPERS!!!) diapers
One tube Crest toothpaste
One 3 pack of Ivory soap

All for 27 bucks! And a total savings of 32.75!

Thanks for being a great inspiration and for passing on the tips :)

Rachel said...

I am really confused as to how you know what products you get the ECB's on?? I look at the circular but I can't ever figure it out...

Jodi said...

I have to start doing this again - I fell off the wagon awhile back - I need to start going on Mon when my son is with his gma...great reminder!