Learn the Coupon Lingo

OOP - out of pocket BOGO - buy one get one
WYB - when you buy CRT - cash register tape
ECB - extra care bucks (CVS) mannie - manufacturer coupon
peelie - coupon located on merchandise Q - coupon

Search & Win

February 17, 2009

CVS - Getting Started

1. Get an Extra Care Card
This is the very first thing you need to do! By getting an ECC you will be able to take advantage of all the great deals and begin to build up your Extra Care Bucks. CVS frequently has items that earn you ECBs when you purchase them. They have these items as part of their monthly and weekly deals. CVS also keeps track of your spending for the quarter - you earn 2% back. You'll get those ECBs at the end of every quarter.

2. Plan your trip
I'm very lucky - in ND stores (excluding gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants) are not able to open until 12 pm on Sundays. I'm usually able to sit down on Sunday mornings and plan out my trip. I also get a chance to look at the Sunday paper and clip out my coupons. As I've mentioned before I also pick up a copy of the Minneapolis Star Tribune to get their great coupons. I'm going to sign up for a subscription - I just checked out their website and realized that I can save over $7 by having it delivered!!

There are some great sites out there that can help you plan your trip ahead of time. One that I always use is i heart cvs - Erica posts the upcoming ads weeks in advance so you can have plenty of time to plan. I have also downloaded her helpful spreadsheet - it's how I am able to keep track of what I've spent vs. what I've saved. I also check out A Full Cup to help me find coupons. It is a free website to use but you must register.

Write out your scenarios so you will have an idea of what your OOP will be. I have downloaded Briana's helpful CVS spreadsheet - I use this almost every time I plan my trip to CVS.

3. Organize
You'll realize once you begin clipping coupons you will need to find a way to organize them. You'll need something portable that you can take with you. When I first started out I tried to just take the coupons with me that I was going to use, but unfortunately sometimes the scenarios don't work out so you'll need a back-up plan. When I first began clipping coupons I used a recipe box to organize them but it would not fit in my purse. For my birthday I received the Coupon Wallet - it's not a perfect solution but it works for me so far. I can fit it in my purse and it's not as bulky as the recipe box. I bought some alphabetical index cards to further organize the coupons. It's easy when I need to find a Huggies coupon - I just go to the letter H :)

4. Don't wait
I'm not sure about your CVS but if I don't get there by Monday night they are sold out of most of the items that produce the most ECBs.

5. Raincheck!
If they are out of the item make sure to ask for a raincheck! This way you can come back the following week and pick the item up. CVS is now able to manually print out the ECBs which means if the item you got the raincheck for is no longer an ECB promotion you can still get them!! This is a great thing to remember to get for the monthly deals. Last month I received a raincheck for the Children's throat coolers that were free after ECBs. I also had a coupon for BOGO free. I waited until the beginning of February to go and pick them up so I was able to buy 2 at $4.99 but with my coupon I earned $9.98 in ECBs :)

Ok - I think those are all my tips to help get you started. Let me know if you have any questions - I'll be happy to help!

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