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See I told you, this would help!

Coupon Abbreviations
  • SC = Store Coupon
  • MC = Manufacturer Coupon
  • SS = Smart Source
  • RP = Red Plum
  • PG = Proctor and Gamble
Coupon Terms
  • WYB = When You Buy
  • B1G1 = Buy One Get One Free
  • .75/1 = 75 cents off one item
  • .75/3 = 75 cents off three items
  • EXP = Expiration Date

Going Nuts? I can help you understand coupon terms and abbreviations

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If you have had any issues with using coupons at CVS lately, this email is about the best I have seen as far as detailing out coupon issues and having a corporate answer for it.

I have removed the original person who asked the question but the remainder of the email is an untouched copy of their response.

From: Store Comments [mailto:StoreComments@cvs.com]
Sent: Friday, January 08, 2010 1:31 PM
Subject: CVS/pharmacy Response 08300079


Dear ,

Thank you for your e-mail regarding CVS/pharmacy coupon policy. I do apologize that each CVS/pharmacy you go to tells you something different.

Our registers are set to allow one CVS coupon and one manufacturer coupon per item.  However, the staff should be allowing customers to use Extra Bucks in combination with other CVS coupons since these are coupons you have “earned.”

In addition, they should be allowing the use of one “offer at the register” coupon which would be an open offer of $3 off of $15 or a certain dollar amount off of a specific item.  Since our registers are programmed to only accept two coupons (one CVS, one manufacturer) per item if the number of coupons exceed the items purchased a member of management will need to assist the cashier in processing the coupons.

CVS/pharmacy will accept coupons printed from the Internet.  They must have a legible barcode that scans at the register.  If the coupon does not scan at the register, the cashier should politely inform you that we are unable to accept your coupon.  We do not allow manual overrides at the register for coupons printed from the Internet.  CVS/pharmacy will not accept offers printed from unauthorized internet postings or reproductions, copies, or facsimiles.

When an item is on sale for buy one, get one free and the customer has a buy one get one free coupon for that same product, the coupon will be accepted and both items will essentially become free (plus any applicable sales tax).

Also, two manufacturer coupons can be used on a buy one get one free purchase as long as two items are scanned at the register.  The system logic sees two items scanned and will allow two coupons.

I have already notified the District Manager of that area concerning this matter and he will be speaking with the Store Manager and staff directly about the coupon policy.

Again, thank you for contacting us.  I hope this is helpful.  We value your patronage and look forward to serving you again soon.


Customer Relations

Earn 2% back on almost everything with the ExtraCare card in the store and on CVS.com. Log onto www.cvs.com for details.

It’s like free CVS money!

I’d say that about answers all the questions I always get.  Thanks Kerri for being so helpful!


      Can you put that CVS letter in a printable document?

      • ashley

        I just printed it buy highlighting the area, right clicking on the area, click print, then choose “selection”.

      • sarah

        Just copy and paste into word. then print!

    • Leanna

      Concerning your deal posts, I just wanted to say that I love your format for these deals: very neat and tidy, great color contrast between headers and details, accurate references…and on top of that, click to print! I can see the work you put into this site and I appreciate it.

      • Tana

        I completely agree with Leanna! I visit your site almost exclusively because of the great job you do with your website layout. Many of the other coupon sites are cluttered and hard to navigate. I work as a computer programmer and really appreciate and understand the hard work it takes to create a user friendly website.
        Oh, and to top it off the information in this site is truly exceptional.

        Thanks so much, Jenny!

      • Jenna F

        I agree as well! For a scatter brain like me I am able to get all my good deals and still stay organized thanks to Jenny and this great web site. I come here at least once a day!!

        • Mattie Hyde

          ditto, since finding this site I’ve gotten about 10 people at my work using it too. THANKS for all you do Jenny

          • Maureen

            I love this site. Thank you so much

      • Along the same lines, when I surf at work I using Firefox with the colors and graphics switched off. Some sites are very hard to navigate that way but yours is just as easy as ever. For the same reason, I love that you don’t use the human checking distorted word boxes for posting comments.

    • AC

      Thanks for this, I just got told on Tuesday that I couldn’t use a $5 off $20 coupon and ECB’s together.

    • ashley

      Thanks Jenny! This is great info!

    • Amanda

      Thank you – Thank you! I always like having this type of information available.

      I think I’ll copy and paste to a word document and print just to keep handy.

      I will say Jenny, I would like to see Walgreens policy – It seems I never have problems with CVS…but walgreens is another story!

      • j.hayes

        I agree with viewing walgreens policy. This I know as a fact. If you fully know an item is on clearance and want to purchase, then simply do so. Do not make a price inquiry. If you do, then so manager’s will go into the system and price the item to a higher price. They will then tell you to wait a minute. Therefore, it makes me wonder, why Wal-greens does have scran’s machine within their store for customer to price their own items,

    • Amy

      That was a great response. First one I’ve seen in over 2 years of doing this. Finally!

    • Alison V.


    • Carrie

      What a great response from a store! I always knew I liked CVS! I haven’t had any problems at my CVS but I’m going to print it out and put it in my coupon book just to be on the safe side.

    • Nicole

      have they changed the coupon policy on if it is buy $xx get xx ECB before coupons because my ECB’s didnt print on the loreal shampoo deal that was buy $20 get $5 ECB i bought 3 $6.99 shampoo that was 20.97 i then used 3 $2 off coupons which made it 14.97 and they said it had changed to AFTER coupons which means you have to spend $20 oop Anyone get this as well???

      • rydergal

        That’s not true; ECB totals are based on your before-q price. Either you got something that wasn’t supposed to be included in the deal, or you got something that should have been included but CVS hadn’t programmed properly. If you had the right items, you can call CVS customer service (1-800-SHOP-CVS) and they should be able to look up your receipt and and set an ECB to print the next time you visit CVS. Alternately, the store manager where you purchased the items should be able to print one for you (I don’t know if you’ve talked to him/her yet by your post).

        • Ailin

          I think Nicole might be right about a change. After reading about the great ECB profit people here got from combining the B1G1 Oust coupon with the 3ECBs per can, I ventured to try it. I bought 6 cans, used 3 coupons, and, sure enough, I received “only” 9 ECBs back. I am fairly certain that in the past it would have printed for all the cans.

          • Shauna

            I wonder if that is a matter of the deal limit being defferent from store to store. It sounds like you got 3 deals instead of 6. I know at my store some of the limits were different that listed here. Check the bottom of your receipt and see if it says anything about the 3 out of 3 or 6 out of 6

          • Devon

            For the items like the OUST that say limit 3, but actually are a limit of 6, you have to do them in different transactions. Buy 3 in one, then 3 in another if you are using the BOGO coupon and the $2/2 or 2, 2, 2 if you have only BOGO coupons. Hope this helps!

            • Ailin

              My receipt did not mention “limit reached” after the six I purchased. You might be correct about doing the purchases separately instead. I’ll try that next time. I really don’t need any more Oust, so i don’t think I’ll try another round of it, since there will be OOP involved. Thanks, everyone!

    • Kate

      This will be AMAZING to print off and carry with me for times when I get grumpy cashiers!! Thanks Jenny!

    • Natalie

      After having just today experienced a coupon policy problem, this document is awesome!

      Does anyone know if we have a similar for Publix?

      Thanks again!!

      • Haley W

        One for Publix would be great. I emailed them on Tuesday and no one has responded to me yet. The Publix closest to my house are really becoming aggravating lately.

        • Natalie559

          I had to email them myself yesterday. Maybe between the two of us we will get something. . .

    • Megan

      Am I reading the third paragraph correctly? Are the managers supposed to do some sort of override if our coupons outnumber our items? Fillers aren’t nearly the problem at CVS that they are at Walgreens, but it would be great not to have to worry about them at all.

    • mary


    • krks

      I have been told in the past by both Publix and Walgreens corporate offices that they will not put their coupon policy in writing. The other frustrating thing when you call with a problem at WAGS is they take your info and have that store’s manager call you to discuss. When I end up calling WAGS, it is always because I’ve tried to clear it up with that manager already. I don’t bother anymore. I just get refunds when things don’t work. However, we have all new (and more helpful) managers at my closest WAGS, so that has been a light in the darkness. :)

    • Sue

      The only issue I do not see addressed here is the “Buy This, Get That” plus “¢ off” this. I was told at one location that they both could not be used, however another location accepted them without a problem.

    • Christy

      I heard a nasty rumor that CVS is no longer including ECBs on rainchecks. In other words, you can get a raincheck to buy the product at the sale price, but you will not get any ECBs back when you buy it! I hope this is not true–they are out of so many things when I go and are always so nice about giving my rainchecks!

      • Deana

        I am not sure about your local CVS but just yesterday I was given a rain check for the energy smart bulbs that included the ECB’s. Hope that is just a nasty rumor!

        • nik

          i also was able to get a raincheck last week for and item and they included the ecbs without a problem.

      • The Mentalist

        This sounds incorrect and runs counter to raincheck marketing. It is not your fault when the item is out. They want you to keep coming back and buy them. Therefore, such a policy would only hurt the sales as I wouldn’t just but for the sales price.

        Also, extra bucks are a deal that CVS makes with manufc. for marketing purposes. CVS receives its money from manuf. for the use of ECBs (and rebates in case of Rite Aid). Therefore, CVS or any other stores do not have anything to lose but actually gain

      • Virginia

        CVS just changed their rainchecks around November of 2008. The rainchecks used to not have a space for Extrabucks information, but they changed the format of the rainchecks to include a space for that information, and they also started printing the ‘event/offer code’ in the weekly and monthly ads at the same time that they changed the rainchecks so that this info could be included. I ASSume that there used to be a lot of complaints about stores being out-of-stock on advertised items, and most stores not offering any type of raincheck compensation for the extrabucks that were offered with the deal (SOME stores used to subtract the amount of extrabucks to lower the sale price they put on the raincheck, some wrote down the ECB info and then actually gave cash back, but MANY stores refused to account for ECBs on the rainchecks at all). With the change in raincheck format, it became easy for stores to offer the EXACT deal that you would have gotten even though the item is out-of-stock. I’m sure this cut back on complaints, created happier customers, and increased sales for CVS overall when customers return at a later date to make the purchase they originally wanted to make during the advertised sale week. I cannot think of ANY reason that CVS would want to change the ‘new’ policy. If individual stores are telling you that they are not going to write in ECB information on the rainchecks, when OBVIOUSLY CVS corporate wants them to do so, I would call CS 1-800-shop-cvs lickity-split and get them to set the store straight.

      • kayla

        I am a cashier @ CVS and that is just a rumor. Our rainchecks have a special line where we put the ECB amount and also a line for the event code of the raincheck.

    • RebeccaF

      Wow! What a fantastic effort at reaching out to the couponing community! I can’t think of any major problem I’ve ever had with CVS but as others have stated Walgreens is my main mountain to hurtle with coupons and cashiers that don’t know either how to read a coupon, how to treat a customer, what they’re deals are or how to be helpful. I’ve had great experiences at Walgreens though so it keeps me coming back but CVS has always been an easier business to deal with and this just proves it 100%. Great job CVS! Thanks Jenny! :D

    • The Mentalist

      This is not something new for me. I go with system logic and it works perfectly. I cant tell you how many employees I have educated where any of such issue shave come up.

      On a side note, I had also confirmed iwth Rite Aid about B1G1 free at store sales and then using manuf. B1G1 coupons. They also take thye coupn making both itens essentially free. I have had terrible experiences at Rite Aid where I am and have corrected multiple stores in my area where I had to be bully with them sometimes just to get my deal that was legit.

    • I would love to have something like this for Walgreens, Publix, and Kroger. I have been couponing for over a month and had no problems and then suddenly I started having hiccups all over the place. I totally agree about Walgreens! I decided to try the RR for the first time two weeks ago and the cashier was friendly, but did not understand what was going on when my coupons would not scan and when she called the manager over, who was not friendly at all, did not want to explain why I could not use RR and a coupon for every item, I literally almost had to beg for her to tell me what was going on so that I would not have the same problem when I came back.

      I also want to give my Thanks to the creator of this site, I too have looked at other sites that were suggested to me and none of them compare to this one. Not only is everything neat and easy to navigate, but you are most def on top of your game! Other websites ads were behind a week or a few days! Thank You So Much!!

      • April

        I just had the same problem at Walgreens this week. If we could get somethinbg in writing for Walgreens it would help so much. Thanks for all you do.

    • Cool… i think we should cast this in metal and preserve it forever..

    • Carrie

      Gotta love CVS! Even their policy in print is music to my ears!!! :D

    • Steve

      Hope they get better scanners at CVS. A lot of my internet printed coupons won’t scan on their equipment but scan elsewhere. What are you supposed to do. Go to the cashier before you shop and see if your coupons will scan so you’ll no what to buy?

    • Heather

      Is anyone having any luck with finding Oust in Greer/Greenville, SC area? I found it last weekend, but went to 3 different stores yesterday and could not find any. I wanted to get more since I found out the limit is higher.

      • Virginia

        If you can’t find it back in stock, request a raincheck. It’s a regularly carried item since it’s not an actual ‘bonus pack’, so hopefully they will give you a raincheck, just in case they don’t get them back in until after the ‘bonus’ promo is over.

    • jill

      I truly love my CVS! I have NEVER had a problem and every cashier I’ve had has ALWAYS been friendly, even with all of my coupons, etc! I love that this email is so specific with the answers… and ok, I love the answers themselves as well :)

    • Anna

      I’ve never had problems using any coupons at my CVS, but I’m going to print this letter out and keep it in my CVS folder at all times — just in case. Thanks so much, Jenny!

    • Natalie559

      My friend printed the $5 off $20 from the online newspaper and one of our CVS here in Tallahassee, FL said they would not accept it b/c it was a copy. She said it wasn’t copied but printed directly from the internet. Cashier said sorry, but no. I would have argued, but she’s new at this and the line was becoming longer behind her so she let it go. Who would be right here and do you think its worth a call to the manager?

    • LaVerne

      I has a situation yesterday where I bought diapers for 8.99 + .5 CVS Buck and #.00 manufacturer coupon but they charged me tax on 8.49 instead of 5.49. Is that normal?

      • Virginia

        Your post is a little difficult to read, but I’m assuming that you meant to say that you used a $3.00 coupon… Here’s the thing with CVS and tax:

        First of all, it depends on the laws in your individual state. Some states charge tax based on the amount AFTER ALL COUPONS. Unfortunately, I’ve never had the pleasure of shopping in one of those states. I don’t know where you’re shopping, but I can tell you that NC and SC do NOT operate that way. In NC and SC, *actual CVS store coupons* will not have tax charged on them, and quarterly ECBs count as an actual CVS store coupon, as do coupons like the 5/20 and the CRT coupons that we get at the register. I’m guessing that your $0.50 ECB that you used was a quarterly spending ECB, which would explain why you weren’t charged tax on $0.50 worth of your purchase – *actual CVS store coupons* work like a store discount. Manufacturer’s coupons and *regular* ecbs work as a ‘form of payment’, so the register treats them just like you were handing over cash as far as tax is concerned. That’s why you were still charged tax on the $3.00 that your manufacturer’s coupon paid for. So yes, that was normal and is in fact correct in most cases. Some states do it differently, though.

    • ShannonS

      Ok…so I went to CVS to get Loreal deal. I was wondering if it would work with the clearanced stuff. I bought Foundation for 4.25, eyeshadow for 1.99, (2)lipstick for 2.25 each, plus a rimmel foundation with free face primer for 2.19, and 2 cans Oust, and a coke zero. I used $3 off of $15, $3 loreal manu q, 3($1) loreal manu q’s, $1 rimmel q, and b1g1 oust q. and then $2 and $1 ECB. OOP 5.78 and saved 55.58.

      $6 ECBs printed for OUST (which btw, I got $12 ECBs last week for OUST – so limit is definitely 6), but no ECBs for spending $10 in Loreal. I noticed this in my car, so I walked back in and before I could say anything, the cashier said “you used coupons, so you don’t get the ECBs”. She said the total of $10 was not reached because of the coupons. Excuse me. I said that is not the case, as I use coupons for Gilette all of the time and still get my ECBs. She called the manager over and he agreed with her. I told him that I had a CVS coupon policy in my car and he got very irritated, said he wasn’t going to argue with me, and printed the ECBs.

      A. Is this true that you must now reach the limit post coupons? and B. Why do they managers and cashiers get so upset? Its not their money that they are giving away?

      Can someone please explain?

      • Melissa

        The problem was not the coupons, it is the Get It Before It’s Gone Make-Up Clearance. Clearance items are not eligible for EB specials and those UPCs will not count towards the purchase limit,even if they are the correct brand.

        • ShannonS

          Thanks. Where is that printed and why couldn’t the manager just say that? His reasoning was obviously flawed as well. I was curious as to whether the clearance items worked toward the Loreal deal, but I couldn’t find it written anywhere.

          • Virginia

            When people don’t know why something happened, sometimes they just make up a reason. That’s what the manager did. If he pays ANY attention to the deals that people do, he should already know that coupons NEVER affect an ECB deal.

            CVS made a mistake by not putting ‘excludes clearance items’ wording with the deal, they should have been smart enough to advertise that little issue since they obviously knew that they had a big clearance going on at the same time. Try calling or emailing CVS Customer Service, state that you purchased more than $10 in Loreal cosmetics expecting to receive the advertised $3.00 ECB, and that there is no statement anywhere saying that clearance items are excluded. Hopefully they will issue you the $3.00 ecb, it’s their mistake not saying anything about the clearance, not yours.

            • ShannonS

              The manager gave me the 3ECBs, but not after making a big deal about it. I wanted to tell him that there are at least 7 CVSs on my way home from work and to please not be rude, or I will have to shop at a different store.

    • Dawn

      An assistant manager at CVS just told me that I could not use coupons on clearance items. Has anyone else heard of this?

      • Carol

        That happened to me once too at a CVS in Orange City FL. All of this makeup was on clearance and I had lots of coupons for it. The cashier wouldn’t let me use the coupons and when I asked to talk to the manager he wouldn’t let me use the coupons either because “I would be getting the item free”. They acted like I was trying to scam. I just don’t go to that CVS any more. I never had any problems using coupons on clearance at any other CVS.

    • Rebekah

      Yesterday, I tried using a manufacturers coupon for True North Nuts (printed from the Target website – so it had the bullseye logo on it) at CVS, and the cashier refused it. When I pointed out that it was an manufacturer’s coupon, she explained that since it had a Target logo on it, then it could not be used at CVS. Of course, nowhere on the coupon does it state this. I was wondering if anyone else had encountered this??

    • jenniferbates

      I tried the huggies “deal idea”and I didnt get back $5.00 ECB on my receipt. I was wondering if any of you had the same problem?

    • Candice

      Does anyone know if CVS accepts walgreen’s coupons? I KNOW several months ago I read on the CVS sign “We accept all compeitors coupons” I went in today with a walgreens coupon for an item and was refused. A walgreens is located less than a mile down the road….but I was doing other shopping at CVS and really just wanted to shop one store today. Cashier stated she had never been told she could accept others coupons. Does anyone know?