Free Stuff at CVS!

Close Encounters of the Cheap Kind has a new home at www.CheapEncounters.com!

I’m quite the sucker for deals and free stuff. My latest deal that I have been working is the Extra Care Bucks specials at CVS Pharmacy. Basically, when you use your Extra Care loyalty card selected items at CVS generate Extra Care Bucks at the register, which spend just like cash (with a few exceptions). This month, several items are free after the ECB, meaning you pay $x.xx for the item and an ECB coupon is generated for the same amount. You can then use that ECB coupon to pay for the next item on the promotion which will then generate another ECB coupon. Lather, rinse, repeat!

Some of the specials are for the entire month of April, some only for this week, and there were a few that were extended from March that now end tonight (Saturday 4/7). Some items have a limit of one, others a limit of five. To make the deal even better, you can use manufacturer coupons to lower your total and still get the same amount in ECB. I don’t have time to track down newspapers for coupons for all of these deals, so I order them from
The Coupon Clippers, which will send them to you for a small handling fee each. You can also get a $4 off $20 purchase coupon by entering your email address and Extra Care card number here.

There are extensive discussions of the CVS deals in the Hot Deals forum over at Slickdeals.net. Just search for “CVS”. Someone over there has also posted a very informative FAQ list on the program here.

A couple of helpful hints:

  1. ECB coupons do expire, and if your purchase is for less that the amount of your coupon you lose any remaining value on the coupon.
  2. You will need some “seed money” to get you going on these deals. If you have a prescription that you can transfer over to CVS, there may be coupons out there that can get you a $30 CVS gift card with your transferred prescription. That’s how I got my dealing started. If you have a Discover Card and have earned $40 in cashback bonus, you can redeem that for a $45 gift card.
  3. Each person in your household is allowed to sign up for a card, so sign up any other adult members of your house for a card and get even more stuff. Just remember that ECB coupons can only be used on the account they were generated.
  4. Plan your purchases carefully to minimize out of pocket costs on each transaction, and carry some change in your pocket for each transaction (unless you like the odd looks you get when charging 7 cents on your Visa card).

To give you an idea of the what I have done on my household’s two accounts, here are some numbers for you:

  • Retail price of stuff: $326.89
  • Total ECBs held (not yet spent): $101.52
  • Total out of pocket cost: $47.22
  • Net profit of transactions (not including value of stuff): $54.30

Here’s a picture of the loot:

  • 30 3-packs of Irish Spring soap
  • 16 bottles of Pantene Shampoos and Conditioners (about half and half, and some were even bonus bottles)
  • 10 Oral-B Pulsar Toothbrushes
  • 10 bottles of Listerine Tooth Defense Mouthwash
  • 10 Mitchum Deodorants
  • 2 SpeedStick Deodorants
  • 10 tubes Crest Nature’s Expressions Toothpaste
  • 9 tubes Colgate Advance Clean Toothpaste
  • 10 bottles SoftSoap bodywash
  • 2 tubes of Tresemme hair gel

Also purchased in these transactions were 3 2L Diet Cokes, as well as 3 other Tresemme styling products and one tube of Colgate Toothpaste. The Tresemmes and the lone tube of Colgate were an error on my part and did not qualify for the ECB promotion, so I will be returning those to the store, which should give me another $15 in CVS store credit to play with.


April 7, 2007 Posted by | CVS, Deals | 1 Comment