cvs extra care rewards and store brands

January 3rd, 2008

CVS, Extra Care Rewards, and Store Brands

This is a guest post by Pinyo at Moolanomy, who recently became a daddy for the first time as his wife gave birth to a beautiful baby boy in December. He’s learning the ins and outs of being a father and about reward cards, too! He blogs about personal finance and investing, and I urge you to give his feed a try.

Normally, I am not the one who does household shopping. My parents do most of the food purchases for the household. Although I do buy occasionally, I never bothered to sign up for one of those discount cards offered by supermarkets and convenience drug stores.

The Good

Ever since my wife gave birth, I found myself running to CVS more often. So I figured I would give their ExtraCare Rewards program a try. Well, I was pleasantly surprised. For the very first purchase of some diapers and baby wipes, I saved $5 on a $22 purchase — I will take a 23% discount any day. This is on top of the 2% savings points I am accumulating with CVS, and the 5% cashback reward from my Citi Dividend Platinum Select Card. All in all, I am looking at almost 30% discount on that purchase.

The Not So Good

Just like my friend at Gather Little By Little said, buying generic can save a considerable amount of money, but it could be a hit or miss thing. In general, I found generic store items to be a good way to save some money. So far, the results have been great with generic medicines, mouthwash, and baby wipes. Unfortunately, the CVS diapers I bought weren’t anywhere near as nice as the ones made by Pampers. So my wife made me return the extra package, and I am on a strict order to buy Pampers instead.

The Verdict

I am a believer and will be replacing my lost Pathmark card, and starting to use my Duane Reade card more regularly. I am also going to stick with the generic store brand when I can. As I am writing this, I also noticed a lot of deals on CVS web site that I am going to investigate. If you have look into these saving techniques before, I encourage you to take a look. It’s not much, but little things do add up over time.

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13 Responses to “CVS, Extra Care Rewards, and Store Brands”

  1. Great timing Pinyo, my wife and I were talking about this program yesterday and that we needed to begin using it more. Off the ExtraCare site now to do some reading!

  2. You’ve forgotten the most important thing about CVS–their Extra Care Bucks!

    When you buy certain items as indicated in the ad, you’ll get “Extra Bucks” print on the bottom of your receipt. You can use those like money in CVS.

    By combining manufacturer’s coupons, store coupons, and extra care bucks, you can walk out of there with bags of free stuff. Not exaggerating.

  3. I don’t know if you read Kacie’s blog, Pinyo, but it offers a lot of help getting started with CVS and I’d definitely recommend it.

    CVS generics are normally better than other store brands, but I think things like diapers and maxi pads are always touch and go generic. I can vouch for their tampons, however. And sensitive skin soap and face cream…

  4. @Paidtwice – thank you for the opportunity to guest post on your blog and share my writing with your readers.

    @glblguy – If you find more goodies, please share.

    @Kacie – I do see “Extra Bucks” mentioned, but nothing printed on my receipt except for my total spending. I will have to check it out more.

    Just this past weekend, I saved $4, on top of $2.50 coupon, on a $30 purchase…not bad :-)

    @Mrs. Micah – I will check out Kacie’s blog, but probably not the tampons (even if you vouch for it). :-)

  5. Reward cards do save some money but why would you buy from CVS? Their prices are extremely high for everyday items. You can easily get them at neighboring grocery stores for much cheaper.
    -Raymond

  6. I will do CVS for their prescriptions ($1 exra care buck for every 2 prescriptions filled) unless it’s liquid in which case I use target their upside down bottles are a real help with small children & liquids. Grin. We are now on Targets generic for diapers & wipes after my youngest hit 8 mos the name brands didn’t make a difference.

    FYI you can call the pampers site & tell them you have a newborn or thru their web site & you’ll get a bunch of coupons for the first 2 years from them for like 2 or 3 dollars off at the begining at least. Also with target you can get their “red card” linked to a bank account as a check card instead of a visa & get the discounts & extra coupons from their store as well.

    Keep trying generics as your little one gets older I used to swear by huggies but later we switched to target & it holds up the best.

    Aloha
    Dawn in Chicago

  7. @Raymond – CVS is the only good “grocery” store in walking distance. I can hop into my car to go to Target, but I have to pay $3 parking each time.

    @Dawn – We did go through some baby site to get coupons, but not sure if we did it directly through Pampers. Also, I am thinking about buying some diapers online to see if that save us anymore money. Then again, I have some gift cards from Babies ‘R’ Us that I have to use up.

  8. I love using discount cards! Our local grocery store, Giant Eagle, actually gives you 10 cents off per gallon of gasoline with every $50 of groceries you purchase. It’s not a lot, but being able to fill up my car at 20 cents off of the price adds up! :)

    Double check your Citibank rewards card. We have the exact same one (Dividend Platinum Select) and we just found out that the 5% has been discontinued. Now, according to them, it’s only 1%. Maybe it’s just us, though – maybe it was because we were making too much money off of them! LOL. Oh, well. It was their loss, because that was what prompted us to stop using credit cards altogether and start working on getting them paid off!

  9. The CVS deals get even better if you combine coupons, sales and extra care rewards. I like to check the slickdeals.net forums for great deals or coupons for CVS.

  10. If you really want to save money, CVS is the place to go. I rarely have to spend more than $1 out of pocket for $30 worth of items. Some stores vary, but I’m able to use $5 off $30, $4 off $20, $5 off $15, and $2 off $10 coupons all on a $30 order (when they are available, like now)—that’s immediately $14 off–and manu. coupons can be added on top! Plus each month they have items that are “free”–you pay the price and get an equal amount in extra bucks to use on your next purchase of anything. Even if the items aren’t something I need, I’ll usually buy them and donate them. I learned the system from http://www.moneysavingmom.com/ and now I have well over $50 in extra bucks to use on anything. It’s completely legit–the manager at my store even told me additional tips for saving money. The mentioned site tells you exactly what deals to buy to make money and what coupons to use (and usually has a link about where to get them). I always read the comments so that I can see what other readers have done too.

  11. Come see us at http://www.hotcouponworld.com/forums/cvs/ to save even more money! We have the ads posted in advance, a weekly newsletter dedicated to CVS and the best members on the net

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