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Does Anyone Really Save Money at CVS?

I’ve been trying to save money each week by clipping coupons from the Washington Post and searching the weekly circulars for deals. I shop primarily at Giant, Rite-Aid, and CVS, which are all within a mile of my home. A co-worker told me she saves a ton of money at CVS through their ECB program. ECB, stands for Extra Care Bucks, and it’s CVS’s form of a loyalty program. If you belong to the CVS Care program you will receive coupons for buying specially marked items listed in their sales circular. Two days after purchasing the item, you can log in to your CVS account online, and print out the ECB coupons.

So far the CVS program hasn’t saved me much money. First of all, the coupon isn’t available at the time of my purchase, so I’m forced to spend money today, in order to save money tomorrow. Second, I have to go home and wait for two days before I can print the coupon. Third, my local CVS will only take one coupon per visit. Most of the coupons are only $2 or $3, and it’s not worth my time to repeatedly drive to CVS just so that I can use all my coupons. Fourth, CVS usually requires it’s consumers to spend a certain amount of money in order to be able to save money. So for example, they’ll give you a $5 ECB if you purchase $20 worth of products. Fifth, the coupons appear to expire after two to three weeks.

So what am I missing? I know that I can use an ECB to purchase a product that will earn another ECB, but when all is said and done I still seem to be spending more money than I’m saving at CVS. Does anyone out there really save money by shopping at CVS?


Sunday 19th of February 2012

Naturally you aren't saving money with CVS reward programs. Do you think retailers try and SAVE you money? They lay awake nights dreaming up ways to TAKE your money. Very few coupons actually save you money unless it is on a brand that you know you buy and won't substitute generic brands.


Tuesday 27th of September 2011

CVS couponing is a racket to get you to spend more money at their store. I figured it out the first time I laid down $20 to get my coupons. Fool me once but not twice. I have never done that again.


Sunday 21st of August 2011

NO, I really think CVS ecb is absolutley pointless, the way I see it is your basically giving your own money(what they consider ecb) to CVS until next time you shop there or your next purchase. so its still your money, which your not saving any, and it only ensures your shop there next time, and use the money YOU have given to them to "hold onto" so I dont see how people can think that their really saving money. when i coupon i want to save money right then, and in the long run. Again, I think it is so pointless to put your money in CVS's "bank" if you care to look at it that way, until next time you shop there.

Carmen Ramirez

Monday 4th of July 2016

I agree. On top of that, I need to say that CVS is more expensive than Publix here in FL.


Saturday 14th of June 2008

There are a few things to do to be more successful. See the fliers in advance and plan. is a great place to view nearly a month in advance.Save coupons from the Sunday paper.Look for the free (after ECB).

For example, last week, Bouty Paper Towels were on sale for $5 an 8 pack. Buying 4, you get $10 ECB. (Even at $5 each, that was good, a sale).

Yesterday, I went in, bought 2 listerine mouthwash ($3.49 ea) and 2 two pack of toothbrushes, ($7 ea). Total $21. I used a $4 off $20 coupon from an old slip, the $10 from the Bounty, and two Sunday $1 coups for the mouthwash. So I paid about $5 out of pocket, but walk out with $21 in new ECBs for next trip, $11 more than I started with.

Now, there's a school party this week, and I promised to bring some candy. Tomorrow, there's a deal to get back $5 on $10 worth of candy. Good for multiple offers. So $20 worth of candy will get me $10 in new ECB. I have another $4 off $20, so as a standalone deal, this is like paying $6 for $20 worth of candy already on sale.

Each week, and each month, there are deals that fall into three categories for me and my family:Need: like TP or coffeePantry item: Toothbrush or other item that may not get used for a few months.Giveaway: A glucose monitor or item that can be passed along to an elderly home or shelter.

On a final note, the ECB prints same visit, so on more than one occasion, I've walked right back in for a second round. My CVSs here (MA) allow multiple sunday coupons, one per item, and as many ECBs as will pay for the balance. I have actually walked out paying zero, with more ECBs than I walked in with, and with stuff I'll need within a couple months. (Of course you need to hand the coupons and ECBs over in proper order)Joe


Thursday 15th of May 2008

I know someone who's been saving a LOT of money at CVS, using coupons and ECB. I'm just now starting to get into it.

Hope that helps.