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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

CVS Grand Plan

on 1.30.2009 at 11:27pm

This post may contain affiliate links. Read our disclosure here.

Because there are so many CVS posts today with weekly deals x2 (thanks to CVS’s craziness) and monthly deals all starting on the same day…  I am putting this weeks Grand Plan in it’s own post.  It is also in the main weekly post too, but this way everyone can find it.

What is it?  This started as my way of showing everyone a way to roll ECB’s every week.  It is my exact plan for CVS though some weeks I just don’t make it.  This week with monthly and weekly deals starting at the same time I’ll be there Saturday night around 7pm rain or shine.  Want to join me? :)

Here’s my plan: (These deals can be found in the weekly list and monthly list)

**Some asked for a starting plan using no ECB for the first transaction, scroll down…**

My Grand Plan: This is what I plan on doing with the coupons that I have. I have thrown in one thing that my family needs this week (paper towels) and it is great to get it for FREE, ah how I love extracare bucks!!

(1) Children’s Aspirin $1.99
(1) Extreme Energy Shot $4.99
(1) Earinse $7.99
(2) Electrasol Powerball Tabs $2.99
(2) -$2.50 off Electrasol coupons
Total Due: $15.95 pay with $3, $5, $7.98 ECB (have cashier “downgrade last ECB buy .03¢)
Get Back: $14.97 ECB ($1.99, $4.99, $7.99)

Buy: (2) L’Oreal Revitalift Cleansers $5.99 ea
(2) J&J First Aid pads $4.99 ea
Use: (2) -$2 off L’Oreal
(1) -$3/2 J&J products
Total Due: $14.96, pay with all ECB from #1 (have cashier downgrade by .01¢)
Get Back: $16 ECB ($10, $6)

(1) Excedrin 10ct $2.49
(1) Gillette Razor $7.99
(1) Gillette Shampoo $4.99
(1) Bounty Basic 8pk $5.99
(2) CVS Cotton Balls $1.99 ea
-$4 off Gillette Fusion
-$2 off Gillette Shampoo
-$1 off Bounty
(2) -$1 off CVS Beauty Item
Total Due: $16.46, pay with ECB from #2 and .46¢
Get Back: $11.49 ECB ($2.49, $4, $3, $2)

Total Value: $63.87
Total out of pocket: .46¢
ECB remaining: $11.49

Starter Plan

(1) Children’s Aspirin $1.99
(1) Excedrin 10ct $2.49
Total Due: $4.48 (pay out of pocket)
Get Back $4.48 ECB ($1.99, $2.49)

(1) Gillette Hair Care item $4.99
(2) CVS Cotton balls $1.99 ea
-$2 off Gillette
(2) -$1 off CVS Beauty item
Total Due: $4.97, use ECB from #1 and .49¢
Get Back: $5 ECB

Total Value: $13.45
Out of pocket: $4.97
ECB remaining: $5 (use this to just keep on going…)

If you have a master plan for this coming week and want to share, leave a comment below.  If you view it as a trade secret that’s okay too :) Oh, and don’t get used to this being a separate post…

    • Hi Jenny, I was wondering if you always buy the monthly items right away. I tend to wait to see if I get a $ off of $$ coupon or some other coupon. Yet, this past month I missed out because some of the items were out of stock. So I am curious as to your preference. THanks for all of your hard work!


    • Jean

      I went last night to CVS and noticed that they are getting ready for the sale on sunday. I am in Florida, and they had flats and flats of soup, the V05 stuff and other things. So, I think we are getting the test ad. Not happy about it, but what can you do.

      Does anyone think that we are getting both ads, by chance, or just the yucky one?

    • Jenny

      Delores – I always get the free items at the beginning of the month. Rarely do our stores restock the item so i have a get it while I can. Since there are always things that you can get every week if a $/$$ coupon comes along you aren’t really missing out.

      Jean- Some folks are saying there store showed them both ads, but many are saying that there managers said the test ad is all they are getting. CVS is trying to see if customers will still shop without ECB deals…

    • I’m in FL and noticed this week that the ECBs from each deal no longer print separately. So, if I should have received $7.99 (NasoGel), $3 (Shampoo) and $10 (Pepsi Deal), instead I get ONE ECB for $20.99. It happened at two different stores. Now my trips will require more planning as I don’t want high amount ECBs on week’s when I only want to pick up one or two lower priced items.

      Of course, CVS benefits from lumping them all together – forces the buyer to spend them all on their next purchase, thus (most likely) lowering the amount of ECBs they will be able to get back and spend again.

    • laura

      Can you give more info on having the clerks downgrade the ECB? Is there anything about this in their policy? The CVS stores that I go to expect me to spend more $$ than what my ECB add up to making sure that I always have cash out of pocket. I would love to be able to quote a policy to them but instead I end up grabbing stuff I don’t need and spending money plus tax…

    • Shannon

      New to all of this….do you have to have some ECB saved up to complete transaction #1 or can you start fresh and still only pay .46?

    • JT

      Mine too Laura, they don’t downgrade, so I use the larger ECB’s first and then I just pay the change instead.

    • Jenny

      I have never had a problem getting them to reduce the amount of ECB. I just ask them “can you enter it for the amount that is left rather than the full amount of the ECB?” and they always say yes.

      If you store refuses I would throw in another .50 cent or less item and not worry about it.

      Shannon – My #1 does start with ECB’s I already have, I will make a different plan for those starting… hold please…

    • Shannon

      Ok thanks!

    • Vanessa Jones

      Do the monthly deals start the day before also? Since today is the 31st can I go tonight and get the Feb deals?

    • Jenny

      I am fairly certain at a non 24hr store that they will work tonight after 6pm. I plan on going in and asking the manager first. If you do a transaction with a monthly item and they do not print just return them and buy it tomorrow! The Children’s Aspirin would be a good test item.

      But again I am fairly certain that they will start tonight.

    • Vanessa Jones

      Thanks. I will give it a try.

    • Thanks as always Jenny! You rock! So, have you thought about starting a group for CVS dependents on you? If so, sign me up!!! :)

    • Kimberly

      First…YOU ROCK! Second – a question for you. For January I bought my limit in the Gillette products….I am hoping the limits reset for February….do you know if that is the case?
      Thanks so much, for all you do!

    • Jennifer C.

      Jenny, on that J and J coupon idea, is the coupon you are using the one that has the picture of the baby care items?

    • Jenny

      The J&J coupon is the one from Smart Source for first aid products.

    • Jenny

      The Gillette limit carrying over to a new month probably will reset but it is an unknown. Buy it and just be ready to return it if necessary. Sorry I can’t give a more precise answer.

    • Gwen

      Thank you SOOOO much for the starter plan. It is a bit overwhelming when you are just starting out.

    • Shannon

      Jenny I know you said that you live in FL but is the above “Grand Plan” for the test ad as well or for non FL/MI residents?

    • Wendy

      When I purchased the Stayfree pads tonight, they didn’t give me any ECB’s, but they did print for the other items. What happened and what should I do?

    • Jenny

      You can all CVS customer service and they load the ECB to your card to print the next time you shop.

    • Jenny

      The grand plan is only for everyone NOT in the test area. I’m in SC. For those of you in FL, with no ECB deals you don’t really need a plan. You just treat CVS as a normal store now, no planning…

    • Jamie

      The Stayfree ECB’s didn’t print for me either. It must have been because they were a Feb monthly deals and the others were just weekly deal.

    • Lee

      CVS monthly ads DO NOT start early. Unlike other ads.

    • Haley

      Lee is right. Monthly ad never start early, which is why you end up having to go twice in one weekend at the start of every month.

      Too late now, but always remember to get your rain checks for free’s they are out of stock on! They are good forever.

    • retro mama

      I just read the comment about shopping after 6 at a non 24hr store. Does this mean I can get the previous weeks ECB as well as the weeks coming up??

    • sarah

      today at cvs i had an experience where the cashier wouldn’t scan my coupons because they were more than the price of the item. (loreal products that were 75 percent off). i asked her to either downgrade the coupons or to just try to scan them in as is since i knew the computer would take them, but she wouldn’t. i had other items so i still would have paid at the end. i ended up leaving and not buying anything. have you ever experienced this? do you know what the official corporate policy is? thanks in advance for any insight you have. your site is amazing :)

    • Natasha

      I’m new to CVS can you explain “(have cashier “downgrade last ECB buy .03¢)” Thanks

    • Jenny

      It means just ask them if they can enter the ECB to be equal to the amount you owe rather than entering the ECB for the amount that it is worth. Like how if you buy something for .99 cents and use a $1 off coupon, they can reduce the coupon to be .99 cents.

    • CJ

      Interested in a response for Post #26..as i have the same question. My local store is not 24hrs, but the cashier said the sale prices are in effect after 6pm for the following week. Obviously this week was a different story with the new month and week falling on the same day. While sale prices are valid for both weeks at at 6pm on Sat, the cashier said the ECB will not print for the new week, or new month until Sunday Morning..Is this typical, or will the weekly add ECB for Sunday always print the night before?

    • Jenny

      It does mean that you can go in and get both weeks ECB deals at the same time. It is great for me if I want to get in a habit of going every 2 weeks. I have never had a problem getting ECB’s to print as long as you go after 6pm to a non 24 hr store. 24 stores won’t print until a little before midnight (I don’t know the exact time, it’s too late for me.)

      Sometimes the cashiers just don’t get it, but you can always buy one small item to test it at your store and then you know. They follow the same routine every week so once you know it works you have no worries.

    • Lindsay

      Hi Jenny,
      I am new to “CVSing” and am really enjoying learning about all this. I just got a ECB card and applied online for the coupon you talked about getting via email. I did give them my email and I got an email confirming my new account but no coupon. Did I do something wrong, or is there something more I need to do to get the starter coupon? I truly appreciate all you do with this site. Thanks!!

    • Jenny

      They are getting a little behind with the emailed $4 off $20, a friend of mine just got her coupon about 3 weeks after she signed up. So give it a few weeks. You will get some coupons that print on your receipt when you first start to use your card though!

    • BTW some of the J&J gauze pads at my CVS had $2 peelies on them, making them free.

      Also, I *tihnk* that the shampoo deal reset. But the price last week was 4.99 get 3 ECB-now its 5.99 get 3 ECB-at least in Chicago.

    • Pamela

      Where can I find the $1 off CVS Beauty Item coupon????? I want to do the “starter” example, but don’t have that coupon…..Help!

    • Jenny

      They are in the Reinventing Beauty Magazine at CVS. Sometimes you can find just the coupons torn out near the front checkout or if your store has a card scanner they will put them there too. If not the magazine is .99 cents but has 12 or so coupons in it for CVS that are all good through 3/31.

    • Pamela

      THANKS YOU ARE QUICK!!!! I am loving your website! I have several friends who swear by it……I am from TN and you are changing the way SAHM’s function! With this economy YOU are exactly what I needed! :0)

    • Pamela

      One more question…..is the Gillette coupon printable???

    • Jenny

      No it was in the Procter and Gamble 01/18 insert.

    • Charity

      I just started shopping at CVS and got a $4/20 coupon emailed to me and used it today. Can I print up extra copies and use the coupon again or is it a one time deal?

    • Jenny

      Charity – It depends on the barcode on the coupon. If it is a 13 digit bar code it will not work again, but will prompt the computer saying that it has already been used. If it is not a 13 digit number then yes you can use it again until it expires this weekend.