Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Frugal & Fab's Newbie Tip of the Week!

Frugal & Fabulous is adding a new weekly feature! After reading some of the comments & emails I received last week, I have decided to add a Newbie Tip of the Week column!

This week, I'll explain a little about how to "CVS" (as a verb) and "rolling your ECBs"

Every week and or month, CVS has a sale promoting an item that is "Free after Extra Care Bucks ('ECBs')." What I, and many other "CVSers" do is buy that item and roll the ECBs from that transaction into buying the free item the next week.

Here's an example. Imagine that during "week one" CVS has Crest toothpaste for $3.49 and it's free after ECB. I buy the toothpaste and use a $1.00 off coupon from the newspaper. My total comes to $2.49. I pay the $2.49 and I receive $3.49 in ECBs at the bottom of my receipt. (So I basically made $1). These ECBs are good for anything in the store and are basically like CVS cash (except better because they take off the sales tax!)

Hypothetically, during "week 2" CVS has Aussie Shampoo for $4.49 with $4.49 back in ECB. You take the $3.49 from last week, as well as a $1 off coupon from the newspaper and you're paying ZERO! You now will have $4.49 to spend and have only spent $2.49 out of pocket!

Your ECBs will fluctuate up and down depending on the week and the amount of coupons you use.

Some quick hints about ECBs:

  • They expire usually about a month after they are printed.
  • You can use them to buy the same item over and over again up to the limit (Walgreens' system is different than this...)
  • They can be adjusted down (i.e. your total is $9.97 and your ECB is for $9.99) but if you only spent $7.99 you'll lose out on those $2.00. (This is why inexpensive items like candy, pocket kleenex and chapstick are sometimes called "fillers")
Have questions? Did I miss something? Leave me a comment or email me at frugalfab at gmail dot com !

Come back next week for more newbie tips!

Happy Shopping!

Looking for newbie tips? Click the keyword 'Newbie'

6 gave me some sugar:

frugalsuz said...

That's a great idea! I think its easy to forget all the questions we had as newbies, and these posts will really help folks out.

AJ said...

Hi Lindsay,
I went in because I had 3 of those $10 gift of savings victoria secret gift cards. I really wanted a big long soft robe for Christmas, so I gave my DF 1 gift of savings and a 60% off 1 item coupon and he was able to get my $60 robe for only $19.99. I didn't know about it until he gave me the receipt after we exchanged gifts for the holidays. He was so proud of himself. However now the robes are marked down to $39.99. There is a 20% off entire purchase coupon out there I received via email but you can probably print off slickdeals or couponworld website. I happened to notice that all Holiday gift sets(as of Sunday) are 40% off. They have purses with large bottles of the secret garden scented spritz, lotion, bubble bath. Small makeup bags with the smaller 3-4oz sizes with the various scents ($9/each after discount). They had cut hat box types with samples of the dream angel purfume and lotion (small sizes) that were marked down to $11. I bought 3 of the small makeup bags for $9/each in Love spell which is what my gal pals from college love. We always get together after Christmas to do our exchange and all love a good deal. I paid $4 including tax for all 3 of these(used 20% off whole purchase, 25% off one item coupon, and then 2 of those gift of savings which was $20 off). I would expect all the gift sets will be more than 40% off after christmas. They had the small 3-4oz scented spritzs in a gift set with 6 different scents. It was pretty cheap.

PS. Nice to meet you, and nice thoughts for the newbies. I have been teaching friends how to do what we all do and sometimes I forget to tell them about the simple stuff we all think of as second nature.

AJ said...

Lindsay-I left some victoria secret notes on deals right after your comment on my blog. :) Happy shopping.

Jennifer said...

Great idea!!

Anonymous said...

I'm new to CVSing, though not new to your site. I'm wondering if you can use more than "1" ECB per transaction and how do their $x off a $20 purchase coupons work. Are they psp or not? Or for the offers spend $25 get $10ECBs. Thanks for any help you can offer.

Lindsay said...

Hi Anonymous,
You can most definitely use more than one ECB per transaction! And yes, $x/$xx coupons work before all other coupons, just make sure to give the cashier this coupon first so that you at the $xx amount when they take the amount off. :)