Understanding CVS

cvs

CVS has some great deals. Before this year, I never thought I would be shopping at CVS so much. I always thought CVS was very expensive. In fact, for a lot of items it is, but if you think about their business model it makes perfect sense. CVS stands for Consumer Value Store, and is a neighborhood drugstore and convenience store. For a normal consumer walking in to get their prescription filled they walk into the store through the aisles and pick up a couple items that they need before approaching the pharmacy. Then to bring in more consumers they put items on sale. While some products cost more, others are cheaper. Then CVS went a little further, they provide ExtraCare Bucks (ECB) which are wonderful! ECBs are coupons at the end of the receipt that expire exactly a month from the date you receive them. You can use them like cash and purchase almost anything with them in the store. This system allows the consumer to get things on “sale” or “free” and CVS has a “ticket” hoping that consumer will come back. A very good marketing strategy. In addition, CVS offers CVS coupons to use in the store, plus they accept internet and manufacture coupons.

Now, I’m new to the art of coupons and I recommend CVS to get started. I live where there are a lot of CVS stores but not any  Walgreens and only a couple Rite Aid stores.

Other stores like Walmart have a different approach. Instead of having “weekly” sale ads they try to keep their prices low, and if possible lower prices when they can on popular items. This model works very well because everyone seems to think that they can always get it cheaper at Walmart.

If you shop with coupons and follow the sales at CVS, Walgreens and/or RiteAid you can get most of the things you use for less or free compared to Walmart. If you “need” something Walmart can be the best deal.

The number one lesson to learn about coupons is to understand the concept of stockpiling. The truth is you want to buy the items you use for less or free and when it’s at the rock bottom price buy as many as you can. When the items goes back up in price you have a stockpile on hand. Simple as that.

I started to shop at CVS in August 2008 and I estimate I’ve saved over $500. What am I buying? I’m buying all sorts of items including: diapers, wipes, headache medicine, shampoo, deodorant, cold medicine and make-up to name a few. If something is “free” I will probably buy it even if I don’t “need” it and in turn I can give it to someone that can use it or donate it. A lot of people donate their extra “free” or cheap items. You will be surprised how much you can get for very little.

I’ve mentioned some of these blogs.
To get started at CVS check out the following links:

The Thrifty Mama – CVS 101
I heart CVS
Hot Coupon World – CVS Forums
Couponmom.com

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