10 Foolish Ways People Waste Money at CVS

CVS is a great place to shop if you have pharmacy needs, but you might be surprised at the many extra ways there are to save at the retailer.
Updated April 11, 2024
Fact checked
CVS Pharmacy store

We receive compensation from the products and services mentioned in this story, but the opinions are the author's own. Compensation may impact where offers appear. We have not included all available products or offers. Learn more about how we make money and our editorial policies.

CVS is a great place to shop if you have pharmacy needs, but you might be surprised at the many extra ways there are to save at the retailer.

If you're not shopping wisely, it can cost you money. So, the next time you are at CVS, avoid these money-wasting mistakes.

Not using coupons

Scott Griessel/Adobe Latina woman with coupons

Coupons are a great way to save money no matter where you shop, including CVS.

There are manufacturer coupons for all kinds of everyday items, such as shampoo or toothpaste. So, make sure to use them at CVS.

You can also save some big cash by using coupons for prescription medications. In addition, look at websites such as GoodRX or RXSaver to pick up some extra coupons for your next prescription.

Not checking to see what is on sale

Africa Studio/Adobe Woman using laptop

CVS has great deals on different items from week to week. It’s easy to miss out on these if you don’t pay attention. So, go to the website and check what’s on sale before you head to CVS.

Also, sign up to receive emails from CVS that include additional savings.

Forgetting to scan your ExtraCare card

M-Production/Adobe woman pays at self-checkouts in supermarket

Sign up for an ExtraCare card through CVS, which can get you additional savings on everyday items.

You can earn an extra 2% in ExtraBucks Rewards on items you purchase when you present your card. And on your birthday, you get an additional $3 in ExtraBucks Rewards.

Forgetting to check for rewards on your receipt

Anastassiya/Adobe lady looking at long shopping receipt holding credit card

Yes, everybody complains about those extra-long CVS receipts. But don’t just throw away that long piece of paper when you get home.

The receipt might include rewards you can cash in the next time you go to CVS.

Failing to follow CVS on social media

Vadim Pastuh/Adobe guy is using smartphone while sitting on the comfortable sofa at home

Are you following CVS on social media? CVS sometimes lets customers know about extra deals or special events via social media.

So, if you want to get a leg up on saving, follow CVS online.

Skipping the ExtraCare Beauty Club

Mihail/Adobe person in the shop paying with cash and wallet

CVS carries a wide range of beauty items, from makeup and lotions to skin care and nail care needs. But you may be throwing money away if you aren’t taking advantage of the ExtraCare Beauty Club.

You can get a free monthly gift if you spend a certain amount of money on beauty items each month. Or, get rewarded with 10% back in ExtraBucks during specific CVS beauty events.

Forgetting about the coupon kiosks

vladdeep/Adobe woman at self-service checkout in modern supermarket take cash receipt

Skipping the CVS coupon kiosk can hurt your wallet, so seek it out before you start shopping.

If you scan in your ExtraCare card, the kiosk may print out special coupons for you to use throughout the store.

Skipping the CVS app

Postmodern Studio/Adobe CVS phone app

CVS has a mobile app that can help you find extra savings or alert you to special deals. The app also allows you to keep track of ExtraBucks Rewards which you can cash in for additional savings.

Pro tip: Check out the CVS app for other helpful uses, such as tracking prescriptions at CVS and refilling them if needed. You can also manage delivery and pick-up items, or schedule immunizations through the app.

Not signing up for emails and texts

nyul/Adobe man checking news on phone at home

CVS can send you emails tailored to your specific shopping trends and alert you to the latest savings at the store.

You also may find personalized offers if you sign up for text alerts.

Skipping the store brands

M. Suhail/Adobe cvs pharmacy building interior with medicine aisles

CVS offers plenty of store brands for common items and over-the-counter medicines. In many cases, these products are more affordable than the name brands. They also may be just as good when it comes to quality.

Compare the cost of the CVS store brand to that of name brands to see if you can save some money by choosing the in-store items instead.

Bottom line

denis_vermenko/Adobe African American man holding credit card and money

There are plenty of ways to save some extra cash at CVS. Avoid the mistakes on this list and you will keep more money in your wallet.

Another way to save even more is to use one of the best cashback credit cards when you shop at CVS or anywhere else.

Author Details

Jenny Cohen Jenny Cohen is a freelance writer who has covered a bit of everything, from finance to sports to her favorite TV shows. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and FoxSports.com.

Want to learn how to make an extra $200?

Get proven ways to earn extra cash from your phone, computer, & more with Extra.

You will receive emails from FinanceBuzz.com. Unsubscribe at any time. Privacy Policy

  • Vetted side hustles
  • Exclusive offers to save money daily
  • Expert tips to help manage and escape debt