I had a long conversation with friends Monday night on the greatness that is CVS. I got one friend onto the deals, and now he (yes, he) is a fanatic. I'm delighted. We sat & tried to convince other friends of the benefits of not paying for shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant, and many over-the-counter medicines. What's so great about CVS, you may ask? Here's a high level run-down.
CVS has a program called Extra Care Bucks (ECB), where they run deals in their weekly flyer. These deals will involve, say, buying a $3 tube of toothpaste, then getting $3 in ECBs back. ECBs can be spent like a gift card to CVS, on almost anything in the store. That's great, right? You spend $3, and get your money back to spend on something else!
But it gets better.
You see, if, for that tube of toothpaste, you have a $1 Off coupon, you only will spend $2 to buy the toothpaste, and will get $3 back. CVS just paid you $1 to take the toothpaste from them. That $3 ECB can be used to buy, say, the $4.50 shampoo that you have a $1.50 Off coupon for, and gives you back $4 in ECBs. So, in the end, you spent $2 out of your pocket, and have toothpaste, shampoo, and $4 to spend. Do you see where this is going?
These ECBs can be "rolled" indefinitely- provided you're able to use them before their expiration date about a month from when you get them. CVS offers both monthly deals and weekly deals, and by keeping up with the ads, you'll be able to quickly stock your medicine cabinet and toiletry supply.
But, as I said, these can be rolled indefinitely, so one you're stocked up, what to do with all that shampoo and toothpaste?
Here's what I do:
Food pantries need more than just food. CVS' ECB deals make it easy to donate to local food pantries by buying the loss leaders every week and rolling your ECBs for next time. Typically, you'll have a small out of pocket expense to start- like the $2 in the example above- and end up with a full bag of supplies to pass on to those in need- with money left to spend for next week!