If you are ready to conquer CVS couponing you are in the right place.

The very first thing you need to do is sign up for a CVS Extra Care Card.  This card allows you to get all the great sale prices and also prompts your Extra Care Bucks (ECB) to print.  When you sign up for your Extra Care Card you should also buy a “Green Bag Tag”.  The green bag tag gives you $0.25 ECB each time it is scanned by the cashier.  Once it has been scanned 4 times you will get a $1 ECB on the bottom of your receipt.  It is scanned when you bring in your own bags to use.  It can be scanned once per day.  You should also go to the CVS website and register your email and Extra Care Card.  CVS will send out coupons by email and you will receive an email for $4 off a $20 purchase just for signing up!

What is an Extra Care Buck?

If you are new to CVS shopping, an extra care buck is basically a store credit found on the bottom of your receipt in the form of a coupon.  It can be used like cash in the store.  You get them for purchasing certain items. The weekly ad will tell you if an item will produce an ECB. My favorite way to the ECB’s is on an item that also gives ECBs, this way I am giving them my ECB and they give me one back.  It is like trading paper money for more paper money!  For example, let’s say  Crest toothpaste on sale for $2.99 and it give s you $2.00 ECB back. I also have a $0.75 coupon for Crest.  I can use my coupon and pay $2.24 cash for the toothpaste get back $2 ECB to spend on something else in the store.  Even though I get $2.oo ECB I have still spent $2.24 of my own money.  If I have $2 in ECB from a previous purchase I can use it to buy my Crest toothpaste and the transaction will look like this.  I buy the toothpaste for $2.99 and use my $0.75 coupon to bring the price down to $2.24.  I then pay for the toothpaste with the $2 ECB I saved from last week and bring my total down to $0.24 (much better than $2.24!  I still get the $2 ECB back to spend on something else in the store.  I will save this to spend on something else that will give me more ECB back.  This is called rolling.  ECBs can be spent on anything, but, rolling them is how you will keep your out of pocket (OOP) very low! 
Occasionally CVS will advertise items as FREE after ECB.  As a couponer you can usually make money on these deals! For example Crest Mouthwash is on sale for $3.00 and you get $3.00 back when you purchase the mouthwash.  If you  have a $1 coupon you only pay $2.00 and get back $3.00 in ECBs.  You make $1 profit!  This $1 can be used towards other items in your order. Remember that you won’t get cash back if your total is less than the ECBs that you use.
Pay attention to the limits listed in the CVS ad.  Some Extra Care Buck deals have a Limit of 1 per CVS card and some have a much high limit.  After you have reached your limit the ECB will not print if you purchase the item again.

Stacking coupons at CVS

When you go to CVS you should scan your card at the red tower.  This “magic coupon machine” will give you CVS coupons.  These coupons can be used with manufacturer coupons.  You can use one CVS coupon and one manufacturer coupon on each item.  The coupon machine will also put out “dollar off coupon” such as $4 off $20 or $3 off $15.  These are great coupons to get and can really lower your OOP.  Basically your total is calculated before manufacturer or store coupons.  To have the lowest OOP you goal is to bring your total as close to the amount on your dollar off coupon as possible and then bring that total down by using coupons.  For example, you purchase the Crest Mouthwash for $3.00 and use a $1.00 coupon and get back $3.00 ECB.  You get to count the full sale price of $3.00 towards your total but you are actually spending a net of -$1.00 after coupons and ECB.  When you give your coupons to the cashier always give any dollar off coupon first, followed by CVS store coupons and then manufacturer coupons.  The registers seem to accept them better this way and are less likely to beep.
I hope I have explained this all well.  If there is something that doesn’t make sense or something that you have a question about please leave it in the comments or contact me through the button at the top right hand corner.  I would love to have to have your help refining this page and chances are you aren’t the only one that has the question. 


  1. I have noticed lately that the tax charged at CVS (and Walgreens) is calculated from the PRE-COUPON amount. My trip this weekend to CVS subtotaled to only $.05, but my actual total was $1.26. Why are they allowed to do this? Same at Walgreens. ARGH!!!!

  2. All stores do this. They have to pay tax on total and because coupons are a form of payment they don't lower the total that you have to pay tax on! So, even a "free" item you will still have to pay the taxes.

    Any deal you see listed on this blog will be pre-tax because the tax rate varies from place to place.