Cool Ideas

Get Many Free Deals with the CVS Extra Bucks Program

by Stephanie Nelson

I like easy ways to save money with coupons and rebates, so I take advantage of the monthly rebate programs at my drugstores at least a few times a year. You can find special rebate booklets for chains like Walgreens, Rite Aid and Eckerd that allow shoppers to get rebates for several items by using only one form each month. CVS also has an easy rebate program called "Extra Bucks Rewards."

There are even items that are completely free after the rebate. With a little effort shoppers can get a few free items monthly, which adds up to several items over the course of a year. You can find all the "free after rebate" items listed on weekly lists of best deals for each store at couponmom.com. Deals are updated on Sunday mornings.

In my opinion, the CVS rebate program is the easiest to use. he "Extra Bucks Now" program prints your rebate as a coupon at the bottom of your receipt at the time of purchase. For example, let's assume that a $5 bottle of lotion had a $5 Extra Bucks Reward available.You would pay $5 for the lotion on the day you bought it, and your receipt would have a coupon printed at the bottom for $5 off a future order.

Although you do not have to mail in a form or a receipt to get your $5 back, you do have to remember to use that coupon on your next visit to CVS. Most Extra Bucks coupons expire in one month.

Save even more by combining this easy program with coupons. If you had a $1 coupon for the $5 lotion, you would actually pay $4 for the lotion and still get the $5 Extra Bucks reward coupon on your receipt, which is like earning a $1 profit!

Although this may sound complicated, the weekly CVS deals list at couponmom.com does the work for you so you do not have to figure it out yourself. If there is a printable coupon from CoolSavings that matches featured items, the Coupon Mom list will tell you that!

ExtraCare cardholders also earn 2% of their nonprescription spending in their ExtraCare account and $1 for every two prescriptions filled. The balance in your ExtraCare account is printed as a store coupon at the bottom of your receipt on a quarterly basis. You could also register your ExtraCare card online and print a coupon from CVS.com for the current balance in your ExtraCare account at any time.

Stephanie Nelson has shared her savings tips on ABC News' Good Morning America, Good Housekeeping Magazine and hundreds of local radio and TV stations. You can find more of her savings tips in her book "The Greatest Secrets of the Coupon Mom" and on her website at www.couponmom.com.

Copyright 2008 Stephanie Nelson

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