Save Big With Drugstore Rebates and Rewards

The CVS Extra Care Catalog is different from the CVS circular. It is available only in CVS stores. But here's a hot tip: the Web site www.BeCentsAble.net scans the CVS Extra Care catalog and posts it online so you can look for great deals from the comfort of home.

Here are the rules you need to know to take full advantage of CVS Extra Care Bucks:

1. Expiration date: CVS Extra Care Bucks expire a month after the register spits them out.

2. No change: Like at Walgreen's, you don't get change back when you redeem one. So it's important to plan a purchase that is slightly over the amount of Extra Care Bucks you want to redeem.

3. Higher purchase: Your total bill must be more than the amount of your Extra Care Bucks. If it is less, you need to add another item to your purchase to make it higher.

Combining Savings Strategies

There are also some CVS policies that work in your favor. You can combine them with sales, with manufacturer coupons and even with other CVS store coupons for a quadruple whammy! Here are a couple of examples where I've combined four different savings strategies for a deep discount. First, one for the ladies:

Clairol Perfect 10 Haircolor

Clairol Perfect 10 Haircolor

Regular price: $11.88
Sale price: $9.99
Manufacturer coupon: $3
Extra Care Bucks: $2
Final Price = $4.99
BIG SAVINGS = 58 percent

Now, another for the guys:

Schick Intuition Razor Cartridges

Schick Intuition Razor Cartridges

Regular price: $9.06
Sale price: $6.99
Extra Care Bucks: $2
Manufacturer coupon: $2
Final Price = $2.99
BIG SAVINGS = 67 percent

The amazing thing at the drugstore chains is that Guerilla Grocery Shoppers can actually make money on their purchases, in the form of a store credit. Here's a really basic one. Oral B Mouthwash costs $2.99, but when I looked CVS was offering $2.99 in Extra Care Bucks if you buy it. Great, free mouthwash. But wait! There is also a one dollar manufacturer coupon for Oral B Mouthwash. Since the two savings opportunities come from different sources, you can combine them and get money back!

Oral B Mouthwash

Oral B Mouthwash

Regular price: $2.99
Extra Care Bucks: $2.99
Manufacturer coupon: $1
FINAL PRICE = $-1

There you have it. You can actually pay negative $1 for a bottle of mouthwash. You get money back! Guerilla Grocery Shoppers who work the angles at CVS end up with $15 to $20 in credit each month, which they use to make their next purchases. If those purchases are also eligible for Extra Care Bucks, the cycle of savings continues.

I once did a "Good Morning America" segment with Kristin McKee and Chrissy Pate, the two Missouri moms who founded BeCentsAble.net. Now, they teach others how to SAVE BIG. We loaded up a table full of a hundred different groceries that would normally cost $369.75. Then, we asked our studio audience to try to guess how much Kristin and Chrissy paid for the entire pile.

Not one person got the answer right. You know why? Because their cost was better than free! They actually got a store credit of $6.20! That's right. The store paid Chrissy and Kristin to take all those goodies home! And it was drugstore rebate and reward purchases that made this little coup possible.

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