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3 Secrets to Saving Money at CVS

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Woman shopping in aisle at the drugstore.

Image source: Getty Images

If you are a CVS shopper, you probably already know the drug store often runs sales and offers special promotions in its weekly ads. But buying items when they are discounted is not the only way to reduce the cost of what you spend at CVS.

In fact, if you’re smart about how you shop, you can often buy items for a fraction of their retail prices — or even get paid to make purchases in some circumstances. Just follow these tips to spend less than you expected, so you can bulk up your savings account.

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If you want to save more when shopping at CVS, the first thing you need to do is sign up for the ExtraCare program. This will give you access to an ExtraCare card that enables you to earn 2% back on all purchases if you scan the card whenever you shop.

Your ExtraCare rewards, called ExtraBucks, can be redeemed digitally online or using the CVS app, or you will receive a printout of them quarterly for redemption.

You can use ExtraCare rewards immediately after earning them. So, if you are making a big purchase or a purchase that entitles you to immediate ExtraBucks, consider splitting your transaction into two. You can earn some ExtraBucks in the first transaction and then pay using them in the second so you won’t have to worry about them expiring.

2. Print coupons from the store’s red kiosk

CVS stores have a red coupon kiosk located within them. Visit the kiosk each time you go to the store to print those coupons out and see what you can save money on.

If you scan your ExtraCare card each time you shop, you can also maximize the chances these coupons will be for items you actually want. That’s because CVS gives you personalized coupons based on your shopping habits if you scan your card with each purchase.

3. Stack coupons to score free items or even make money

CVS allows you to combine manufacturer coupons and store coupons. Often, this means you can get free items. For example, a manufacturer might offer $1 off a $2 tube of toothpaste and then CVS might also offer a coupon to save $1 on the toothpaste as well. If you combine the two coupons, you can actually get the toothpaste for free.

CVS won’t give you back money if your two coupons add up to more than the value of the item you are buying. But, sometimes manufacturers or third-party apps like iBotta give you money back for purchases. If buying that particular toothpaste lets you earn cash back on Ibotta, you could pay nothing for it and earn the cash back.

Or, if you are entitled to earn ExtraBucks for buying toothpaste because of a CVS promotion, you could get those ExtraBucks even though you actually didn’t pay anything at all.

By following these three tips, you can make shopping at CVS a much less expensive experience. You can hopefully bring home lots of items you need while paying very little for the purchases you’re making.

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