There are some wonderful places to find detailed information on how to do the whole CVS thing. I couldn't do such a good job here. There are bloggers out there who have this down to a science. But I can give you what I feel are the most basic rules!
1. Get a CVS card--duh. Hey, I said this was basic!
2. Check the Sunday circular. The week's ECB deals are clearly marked, usually with a yellow square that tells you what you'll get if you buy a certain product. Also check your coupon stash to see if you have a manufacturer's coupon for the same product, for additional savings.
3. Use the card every time. If you forget it, you can give them your phone number and they'll look it up.
4. When you leave the store and get in your car, check your receipt before you even start the engine. (But don't get so excited about your potential savings that you forget to buckle your seatbelt!)
At the bottom of the receipt, you'll see a bunch of coupons printed out. These are called Extra Care Bucks, or ECBs for short.
There will be some ECBs that don't interest you. Forget those. But tear off the ones you like, especially the ones that are plain ECBs with no product named on them. You can use these for just about anything in the CVS store. Also save the ones that say something like "$2 off any $10 CVS purchase." And, of course, save the ones for money off products you like.
5. Put those ECBs right in your wallet. And get in the habit of checking your wallet every time you return to CVS.
6. I have been told by 2 cashiers that CVS will take outdated ECBs, so if you find one you forgot about, be sure to check if you can still use it.
So, what's this whole rollover thing? Here's a simple example:
Let's say CVS has Colgate toothpaste on sale for $2.99, and the circular tells you that you'll get $2 ECBs back.
And, being smart and lucky, you happen to have a $1 Colgate toothpaste mfr. coupon!
So...you buy the toothpaste, which costs you $1.99 after the mfr. coupon. And you find a $2 ECB at the bottom of your receipt.
You put this receipt in your wallet.
Next Sunday rolls around. You've been noticing more gray in your hair, so you decide it's time to go "Honey Ash Blonde." Excellence by L'Oreal is on sale for $5.99, and you get $3 ECBs back. And you have a $2 off mfr coupon!
So you combine the $2 mfr with the $2 ECBs you had from last week, and the haircolor costs you $1.99...but you get back $3 in ECBs! So you've actually made a profit.
And then the next week comes, and you start all over again...
I have shown the use of ECBs for only one product at a time, but of course you can do as many ECB deals as your heart desires. Some weeks, you'll find a lot. Some weeks, there won't be much of any.
Oh. one more thing: you get ECBs every quarter based on your purchases. So, I believe, the next one should come up after the first of April. Be on the lookout!