There is an ancient proverb about giving a man a fish and feeding him for a day vs. teaching him how to fish and feeding him for a lifetime. In this saying, the basic point is that instead of providing their living, it helps a person more when you instruct them on how to earn their livelihood.
Since its beginning, the Savvy Shopper has provided extensive information about specific deals, coupon match-ups, and any available rewards. In a way, this is a lot like giving Savvy Shoppers a fish.
In the interest of learning to fish, I thought I would mix in articles that emphasize instruction about taking advantage of coupons and rewards programs. While deals summaries will continue in the following weeks, this Sunday’s deals article will provide some pointers about ways to fully utilize rewards programs at CVS:
• CVS ExtraCare: The ExtraCare program is the centerpiece of saving at CVS and it enables you to take advantage of rewards, sale prices, and a wide variety of other opportunities. In particular, the program offers incentives in the form of “ExtraBucks.” For those who haven’t shopped at CVS, an ExtraBuck can be thought of as store credit. Upon issue, ExtraBucks expire after 30 days. Although it would be nice if the rewards never expired, the good news is that great deals are abundant so expiration dates shouldn’t pose too much of a problem. To participate in the savings, pick up an ExtraCare card at any CVS and register it online.
• Email list: When you register your card, absolutely sign up for their email list to get store coupons. Although what you receive waxes and wanes, there are periods where CVS will send several coupons for substantial savings. As an example, there is a class of coupons that give dollars off a transaction (i.e.: $4 off a $20 transaction). What makes these coupons even more powerful is they can be stacked with manufacturer coupons, store coupons, and ExtraBucks. To sign up, go here: https://bit.ly/3iAXDka.
• Carepass Program: Recently, CVS initiated what is called “Carepass.” If you regularly shop at CVS, you should join. For $5 per month (or $48/year), you receive $10 in ExtraBucks every month. At the least, that’s a 100% rate of return. Try duplicating that with a CD! In addition, membership in this program entitles you to free prescription delivery and 20% off of CVS brand products. I have used it and have no complaints. For more information: www.cvs.com/carepass/join.
• CVS Beauty Club: When you register your card, join the CVS Beauty Club and earn $3 in ExtraBucks when you spend $30 (over time or at one time) on qualifying beauty products. With the money you spend tracked by CVS, your account receives $3 in Extra Bucks once $30 in purchases is reached. Even if you don’t use much in the way of cosmetics, a lot of other items at CVS qualify for this program. Consequently, even guys can earn the ExtraBucks fairly quickly. Even better, this offering is free and takes little time to join. To get started, go here: www.cvs.com/extracare-cvs/beauty-club/join.
• CVS app: If you have a handheld device like an iPod or a smart phone and don’t have the CVS app, download it and link it to your ExtraCare account. With all the exclusive coupons available, CVS app users save three times as much as a CVS shopper who doesn’t have it. For more information: www.cvs.com/mobile-cvs/apps.
• Coupon kiosk: Before doing anything else at the store, scan your Extra Care card at the coupon kiosk and receive CVS store coupons. In addition, you can use this resource to print out rewards you have earned through the CVS Beauty Club.
• Pharmacy Savings: Earn $5 in ExtraBucks by filling 10 prescriptions. In addition, rewards are available for immunizations and other services. At times, CVS also offers incentives to transfer your prescription. To sign up, go here: www.cvs.com/extracare-cvs/rxrewards/join.
• Checking out: After you finish shopping, check the bottom of your receipt for even more store coupons. When you find something promising, file it away in your coupon organizer immediately at the store. If you don’t, I promise that you will overlook and misplace more than a few. Learn from the voice of experience.
• Quarterly bonuses: Even after trips to the store, the ExtraCare program is a gift that just keeps on giving. Every three months, CVS issues ExtraCare members 2% of their quarterly purchases back in ExtraBucks. More specifically, these rewards become available on Jan. 1, April 1 (no fooling), July 1, and Oct. 1. By going online to your ExtraCare account, you can load this credit to your card or print it out at the CVS coupon kiosk.
While this article is mainly intended for beginners with a few nuggets thrown in to please experts, there is even more to CVS than what I have summarized. From my standpoint, CVS has so much to offer that I have been guilty of leaving money on the table myself. The good part about most of the opportunities is that once you sign up, the rest is on autopilot. CVS does the rest!
In addition, all the programs I outlined cost nothing to participate in. If you have questions, insights or tips, please visit and “Like” our Facebook site (www.facebook.com/LubbockSavvyShopper or log on to Facebook and enter “Lubbock Savvy Shopper” in the search tool) or write us at [email protected] and let us know about it. To stay abreast of developments, follow us on Twitter to get updates: https://twitter.com/LbbSavvyShopper.
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SEAN FIELDS is the A-J’s Savvy Shopper. Read his columns Sundays and Wednesdays. Email him at [email protected], like his Facebook page at Facebook.com/LubbockSavvyShopper, or see previous columns and deals at lubbockonline.com/savvy-shopper.