This post is dedicated to getting started at CVS! When you eat GF, you have to save elsewhere, so household/personal care products are the place to hit hard, and CVS is a great place to start.
The first thing you want to do is get a CVS Extra Care Card. All the sale prices and rewards are linked to this card. They are a limit of 1 per household, but that is okay, because with only 1, you can get a TON of great deals! You can get the card in-store (quickest) or order it online and have it mailed.
All right, now that you have your CVS card, you want to find an ad. Wait until your Sunday paper comes and pull out your CVS ad and look it over. Basically, CVS offers Extra Bucks (play CVS money) when you buy certain items. They will often have FREE items after ECB’s. You buy the item with U.S. currency, the register spits out play money at you in the same amount. So, you buy the item the first time, but, say the limit is 3 on that item, you can turn around and do it again, this time paying with your CVS money, until your limit is reached. Sounds nice, huh?
OK, so now is where it gets really fun. Because, those free after ECB items are free even with no coupons. Add in a coupon, and you have yourself a MONEYMAKER! Example: Crest toothpaste is on sale for $2.99 with a $2.99 ECB. You go in to CVS with a $1/1 Crest toothpaste coupon. You pay for the toothpaste with your $1/1 coupon and $1.99 in U.S. currency, BUT you get back $2.99 in CVS currency. CVS also releases their own coupons, which you can STACK with manufacturer coupons (yes you can use a CVS coupon and a manufacturer coupon on the SAME ITEM).
So, you went in and paid $2, but you now have $3 to spend at CVS next time you go in. Next week, you go in with another free after ECB deal in mind, with another coupon, and use your $3 that you already have.
CVS also has dollar off total purchase coupons, for example, $5/$25, or $5/$30. These are applied BEFORE all other coupons. So, if you have a bunch of ECBs from a previous week, and a bunch of coupons, and a really good sale on items that will produce more ECBs, you can leave CVS, week after week, with a cartful of items for FREE, plus sometimes more ECBs than you walked in with.
If you have a B1G1 coupon, and CVS has a B1G1 sale, you go in with the coupon, and you get them both FREE. If there is a B1G150% off sale, and you have a B1G1 free coupon, you end up paying 50% for 1 of the items, and you can use a coupon (say a $0.75/1), on that item. If you have a B1G1 coupon, you can use another coupon on the item you are not getting for free. This is true pretty much everywhere.
You will need to adjust your shopping trips to what your family wants and needs, but this hopefully helps you understand how it works. I will post links each week to a site that outlines the best deals for the drugstores every week, so you don’t have to spend a ton of time poring over ads (I sure don’t!)