New to CVS? Get Started Here!

Things You Need to Know…..
CVS can be an EXCELLENT store to score some really great deals…you just gotta play by the rules and every store has their own. My goal is to help guide you through the maize. I do weekly CVS matchups on my blog to help you maximize your savings. I give you money saving scenarios using the coupons available and all the tools below. Hopefully this information will get you started off on the right track! New CVS Ad.

Your first step is to get an Extracare Card

Visit your local CVS/pharmacy and get a FREE ExtraCare card at the store. Or you can sign up for an ExtraCare card when you create an online account. If you already have an account, sign in and go to the ExtraCare page, and follow the instructions to Get a Card now. Limit is one card per household. This is your passport to savings. Make sure your cashier always scans your card each time you make a purchase to ensure you receive your bucks!

Now that you have an ExtraCare Card and before you do any shopping always go to the coupon center kiosk (also a price scanner) and scan your card. Coupons will print out for you to use that day or anytime before the expiration date. Some CRT (Cash Register Tape) coupons everyone will receive while other CRT’s are customer specific. This way even if you aren’t able to print your coupons/rewards from home you can do it right in the store!

Now you’re ready to start earning Extra Care Bucks (ECB)
Extra Bucks are like free “CVS money” that customers can use to purchase almost any non-prescription item at CVS/pharmacy store or online. Extra Bucks are like CVS money in that you can use as many as you have in a single transaction in addition to any manufacturer or store coupons. You are not reimbursed the balance if you do not use the entire reward. However, they can be entered as less than their face value, for example if your total (before tax) comes to $1.97 and you have an ECB for $1.99 that you would like to use, and you don’t mind losing 2 cents of its value, the cashier will adjust the value to the balance due before tax.

Earn 2% back with every purchase in-store and online at CVS/pharmacy.
Earn 1 Extra Buck for every 2 prescriptions purchased in-store and online at CVS/pharmacy.
Every 3 months your Extra Bucks will print on your store register receipt, or visit CVS/pharmacy online to print your Extra Bucks.

For example, Buy 2 lipsticks, get $2.00 ECB. The ECB will print at the end of your receipt – clip them and keep them as carefully as you would cash. Your Extra Bucks will print on your receipt immediately following your qualifying purchase(s). You do not have to buy all the products for that particular promotion in the same transaction or at the same store. A tally is printed on each receipt showing what you have towards each deal and if your offer limit has been reached. They have very thorough tracking and reporting! Once a limit on an Extra Buck offer has been earned you will not be able to earn the reward again.
The required amount to receive the ECB is always calculated before coupons. So regardless of coupons you will be given the ECB based on the scanned price.
ECB’s can be used to purchase nearly anything in the store. (excluding prescriptions, alcohol, Gift Cards, lottery, money orders, postage stamps, pre-paid cards and tobacco products) They also cannot be used to pay the tax on a transaction. ECBs expire 4 weeks from the date they are printed.
Rolling your Extra Buck is when you use Extra Bucks from a previous transaction to pay for a current deal resulting in Extra Bucks to use on a future order, thus rolling.
For rewards that are redeemable online, click on the coupon description on the ExtraCare Rewards page to activate, and then apply it to your order by clicking on the Use Coupons/ExtraCare Rewards button in your shopping cart.
Extra Benefits of your ExtraCare card:
Additional special offers print on your store receipt frequently throughout the year.
Receive special savings exclusively at CVS/pharmacy when you sign up for email offers.
Turn everyday purchases into college savings with Upromise.
Use SavingStar, a paperless way of saving with eCoupons that link to your existing grocery and drug store loyalty cards. Click here for additional information.
The more you use your ExtraCare card, the more rewards you will receive.
In recent months, CVS/pharmacy also expanded the “personal shopping” capabilities of its rewards program to make product recommendations and offer special coupons tailored to fit each shopper’s individual interests through personalized email, direct mail, and register receipts. ExtraCare cardholders receive money-saving offers based on the products they purchase at CVS/pharmacy.
ExtraCare Beauty Club

CVS has launched a new extracare beauty club with several benefits to you:

      • 10% off beauty shopping pass after enrollment
      • $5 ExtraBucks rewards for every $50 (before coupons) spent on qualifying beauty products
      • $3 ExtraBucks rewards on your birthday

Enroll here.

Your cashier scans the extracare beauty club tag they keep at the register so your purchases are counted towards this reward. Just make sure they do!

Green Bag Tag

CVS is offering another way to earn extra care bucks! It’s called the green bag tag and it retails for 99 cents and are usually located at the register. It includes a leaf shaped scanable card that attaches to your favorite reusable bag. Each time you visit CVS and bring your reusable bag, they will scan your Green Bag Tag. The 4th time they scan your tag, you will earn a $1 Extra Care Buck that will print on your receipt. Just remember to scan it each time because chances are the cashier is not going to remind you!
Here is the technical stuff:
To earn Extra bucks for a transaction in store, your Extra care card, green bag tag, and reusable bag must be presented w/ purchase at checkout. You have to have at least one item scanned before your green bag tag otherwise it will not take it. (I don’t know why it just is!) Limit of one green tag use/scan per day per household. Every 4th purchase your ECB will print at the bottom of your cash register receipt as a $1 coupon good for your next purchase. Extra bucks can be used until the expiration date shown on the coupon.

Using Coupons
I always recommend becoming familiar with a store’s policies, programs, rebates, promotions, etc. CVS has released a very clear CVS Coupon Policy addressing many coupon issues, including the use of internet coupons, store coupons, and BOGO (buy one get one) coupons. Print it and take it along with you in case you ever have a problem with a cashier or a manager.

Here are key points of the policy:

      • CVS/pharmacy accepts one third-party manufacturer coupon and applicable CVS/pharmacy coupon(s) for the purchase of a single item, unless prohibited by either coupon offer
      • CVS/pharmacy accepts valid internet/print at home coupons containing a barcode.
      • In the event that any item’s price is less than the value of the coupon, CVS/pharmacy will accept the coupon only to the price of the item. CVS/pharmacy does not provide cash back in exchange for any coupons.
      • The coupon amount will be reduced if it exceeds the value of the item after other discounts or coupons are applied. (For example, a $5.00 coupon for a $4.99 item will result in a $4.99 coupon value).

Present your items in the correct order:

      1. ExtraCare card
      2. Scan merchandise
      3. Scan Green Bag Tag
      4. CVS total purchase coupons from email or kiosk (% off or a specific $ amount off, free offer emails, or $ off specific item cvs emailed coupon)
      5. CVS store coupons
      6. Manufacturer coupons
      7. Extra Bucks
      8. CVS Gift Card (always use this last otherwise you will not be able to use your ECB’s) or other form of payment

For questions or comments on anything CVS you can always contact CVS customer service.

Now that you have the basics to CVS shopping check out my CVS Deals to get your savings started!

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Leave a Comment


Marge Bonessi

February 25, 201212:01 pm

Hi Can you tell me what SS and NRA mean? They are usually on the CVS deals. Thanks


February 25, 201202:00 pm

Marge, SS stand for Smartsource insert. So if the coupon says "from 2/26 SS" that means it can be found in the Smartsource insert found in the Feb 26th insert. NLA = No Longer Available. This refers to printable coupons that I have posted about in the past, so hopefully you printed when I first told you about them and can use them for the deal. But they are no longer available to print. For a list of other abbreviations I use, check out this post:


September 3, 201105:52 pm

I didn't know about this green bag thing and I've been shopping at CVS FOREVER!!! Thank you!


April 5, 201101:05 am

dont forget to scan your extra card everytime you pick up medicine. for every 2 prescriptions you will earn $1 extra bucks (these extra bucks come out every quarter)

helen clark

July 31, 201001:25 pm

I shop CVS often and sometimes can find some really good deals. I will try the new green bag tag. LOVE OUR CVS.... KEEP up the good keep shoppers coming back for more.

CVS DEALS 2/14 – 2/20 « Coupon Katarina

February 13, 201004:31 pm

[...] sure the cashier scans your Green Bag Tag at checkout. Every 4th scan gives you $1.00 [...]

Coupon Katarina

January 7, 201003:15 pm

Yes, these are usually located close to the main entrance. Scan your tag and you will get one or two in-store coupons to use, usually good for just a week or so. Sometimes you get something really good, sometimes not. The kiosk can also be used as a price checker. Just scan your item and it will tell you the price...which is helpful because CVS and other drugstores are notorious for not advertising sale prices. Hope this info helps and thank you for reading!

Ruth in the Desert

January 6, 201003:44 pm

Wow, I will have to look for this kiosk at CVS. Is it usually near the registers? I shop there once in awhile but I so rarely get any extra bucks. I subscribed to your blog so perhaps I can find some products on sale that I actually use! :)