National Coupon Month Day 17: Understanding ExtraCare Bucks

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Yesterday we talked about shopping CVS and today we are going to specifically cover ExtraCare Bucks (ECB).

What are ExtraBucks (EB)?
EB are coupons that print attached to your receipt when you make qualifying purchases.  Think of them as instant rebates for products you buy at CVS.  EB can be used like cash towards your next purchases excluding postage stamps, alcohol, tobacco products, gift cards, prescriptions and lottery tickets.

How do I know what items will give EB?
Each week CVS will advertise products that will give you EB in their ad.  Occasionally you will see unadvertised EB deals in your local store indicated by signs placed on the product shelf.

Can I use EB with coupons?
Yes, since EB are considered as cash you can use them with manufacturer's coupons, store coupons, and gift cards. HOWEVER, there are manufacturer's coupons that will pop out of the CVS kiosk. Since they're manufacturer's coupons they aren't supposed to be used with any other manufacturer's coupons. The registers are being set to reject any of the manufacturer's kiosk coupons if a manufacturer's coupon is used with it. They don't beep when scanned, the register just kicks it out when your purchases are totaled.  Manufacturer's coupons will have a MFC printed on them.

Is there a limit as to how many EB I can use on an item?
No limit

What if my EB are more than my purchase, will I get change?
No change is given if the amount of EB used is more than the item. For example: you buy body lotion for $4.00 and you use a $5.00 ECB to pay for it.  You'll not get $1.00 back so you'll need to ad something to your purchase so the EB doesn't go to waste.

Will I still have to pay tax even if the EB used comes to more than my purchase?
Yes, if your states collects sales tax you'll have to pay that even if your purchase total is $0 after EB and/or coupons.

Do EB have an expiration date?
Yes, every EB will have an expiration date  printed on them. They usually expire about 1 week after printed.

Are EB the same thing as the coupons that print when you scan your card at the big machine at CVS?
Although EB can print from the machine, most of the time it's store coupons that will pop out.  EB will always state a $$ amount reward (like the picture at the top of the post).  Store coupons will state a specific price off of a specific item.

What is rolling EB and how can I do it?
Rolling EB refers to using the EB you earn one week to pay for the products you buy the next week.  If you've never shopped at CVS or don't have any EB right this moment then you need to start out with what I call a little “seed” money. That's money you'll spend for products in the ad to get your first EB.

For Example:

Week One: You buy several products from the ad that offer ECB when you buy them and use any coupons you can find to use on the items to get your out of pocket expense as low as possible.

Buy Schick Razor for $9.99 – get $4.00 EB when you buy 1
Use $4.00/1 Schick Razor coupon
Pay $5.99 after coupon and get $4.00 EB

Buy Dove Shampoo $3.99 – get $2.00 EB when you buy 1
Use $2.00/1 Dove Shampoo coupon
Pay $1.99 after coupon and get $2.00 EB

Buy Suave Lotion $4.99 – get $2.00 EB when you buy 1
Use $1.00/1 Suave Lotion coupon
Pay $3.99 after coupon and get $2.00 EB

You bought 3 items totaling $18.97 and used $7.00 in coupons for a total of $11.97 out of pocket. The $11.97 is your “seed” money.  You also got $8.00 in EB for buying the 3 items.

Week Two: You have $8.00 in EB to spend this week from last weeks trip, so you look over the ad and see what you'd like to buy that also offers EB when you buy it.

Buy Dove Deodorant $2.99 – get $1.00 EB when you buy 1
Use $1.00/1 Dove Deodorant coupon
You pay $1.99 and get $1.00 ECB

Buy Crest Toothpaste $2.99 – get $2.00 EB wyb 1
Use $1.00/1 Crest Toothpaste coupon
You pay $1.99 and get $2.00 ECB

Buy Nature Made Vitamin D $6.00 – get $6.00 EB wyb 1
Use $2.00/1 any Nature Made Vitamin coupon
Pay $4.00 and get $6.00 ECB

You bought 3 items totaling $11.98 and used $4.00 in coupons for a total of $7.98.  You use the $8.00 in EB you earned the first week to pay the remaining balance and get all 3 items for just the tax!  You also earned $9.00 more EB to use next week!

Hope we answered all the questions you have for CVS….if not, email me using the link below this post.

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