top of page

Learn to Coupon with Tired Mom Deals


Who, What, and Where of CVS

Um, wtf is a CRT and ECB? And what is the Redbox Machine?


CRT's & How to Use Them

Learn about the Four Types of CRT's and how you can make them work for you.


Types of Deals at CVS

Rules apply differently with Deals and how they apply Online and In-Store.  Get to know the Rules with Couponing at CVS.


Making your Scenarios from Deals posted on Tired Mom Deal

Considering all CRT's are customized to what you buy, you'll need to know how you can use Deals posted with your CRT's. 

Who, What, and Where of CVS

CRT's - Digital Version

These are your CVS Store Coupons. CRT is just short for "Cash Register Tape". Not everyone will have the Same Coupons like other Stores. CRT's are based on what you Shop for. This is great when you are an established CVS Couponer, because you'll mostly get Coupons that you'll find useful. You can stack them with Manufacturer Coupons to bring your Out of Pocket Cost down. You'll find them under Extra Care Deals & Savings in your App or Online. (Sometimes you get Bonus CRT's that don't show Online, but do show in your App!)


CRT's - Printed Version

These are also your CVS Store Coupons, but they are the Printed Version. You can also stack them with Manufacturer Coupons to bring your Out of Pocket Cost down. You'll find them at the Red-box Machine where they Print when you enter your Phone Number or Card Number. You can also find them Printed on your CVS Receipts if you choose a Printed Receipt.


CVS Text Subscriber

So you can sign up with your Phone Number and they will send you special CRT's. Typically on Thursday. Sign up by texting the Number in the Photo. I've randomly received a few Extra Care Bucks to spend just by being Signed Up!



CarePass is their Special Program that costs $5 a Month. In return you have Free Shipping on most Items, $10 Extra Care Bucks (ecb) to Spend every Month, 20% off all CVS Brand Products, and you typically receive better CRT's. Check Online or with a Store Associate to see if they are Running a Free First Month for all new Members. You can also do Yearly Signup where it will cost you $48.00 for the Year, or $4 a Month.


Extra Care Bucks

also called "ECB" for short, Extra Care Bucks are the Rewards System that CVS Offers to its Customers. By completing deals you will receive the Rewards amount at the end of your Receipt, but also will be available in your App to clip to your Account. Your Preference. I prefer the Digital Version because it's less to keep track of. Typically they last about two weeks. Sometimes the Paper Version will scan a day or two later than the Expiration Date, but I don't chance it personally.


Red-box Machine

This is the Red Coupon Machine at the Front of the Store. It is incredibly helpful if you want to Print your CRT's or Scan something for a Price Check. I prefer Clearance at CVS so much more than any other Store, because it skips any chasing of Employees for a Price Check. This gives the Option with a Printed Ticket if you'd like it.

Anchor 1
CRT's and How to Use Them
Anchor 2

Threshold CRT

This is what is called a Threshold CRT because it has a Spend Threshold (aka Spend Limit). Your Spend Limit is the Amount that must be in your Cart when Sale Prices are applied, this does not include ANY Coupons, Extra Care Bucks, or CRT's. This one picture has a Spend Limit of $15.00 and must be met before Coupons at Sale Price.

You'll  see other Couponers talk about the 98% Rule. This comes into Play with Threshold CRT's and Spend Deals. This means (Using the CRT pictured) that you'd only have to Spend 98% of your Spend Limit. Which in this case would be  $14.70. You'd have to test your Local CVS Store to see if it works there. There isn't a Guarantee. And this is In-Store Rules Only. Online has it's own Rules and is taught in a separate course.


How do I know if I spent enough? Well you must "Spend" that amount on Products at their Sale Price. You do not have to deduct anything else before checking against your "Spend Limit". So let's try some examples using our Threshold CRT pictured and test your Understanding.

Will it Apply?

You have three Garnier Fructis at $5 each & are Full Price.

$5.00 + $5.00 + $5.00 = $15.00. Your CRT will apply.

Will it Apply?

You have six Garnier Fructis at $5 each & Buy One Get One Free.

$5.00 + Free One + $5.00 + Free One + $5.00 + Free One = $15.00. Your CRT will apply.

Will it Apply?

You have 3 Garnier Fructis for $5 each & Buy Two Get One Free 

$5.00 + $5.00 + Your Free One $10.00 with the Sale. Your CRT will not apply. You would still need $4.70 if you are at a 98% Store or $5.00 if it's not a 98% Store.

Will it Apply?

You have 4 Garnier Fructis at $5 each & are 30% off this week.

$5.00 x 30% = $1.50 which would bring all of them to $3.50 each with the Sale. If you are buying 4, your Cart Total is only $14.00. Your CRT will not apply. Not even at a 98% Store.

What can I use with this CRT? EVERYTHING! Extra Care Bucks, Paper Coupons, Digital Coupons, other CRT's all work well and are 100% stack-able. We will be playing with Scenarios later, so don't panic.

Quantity CRT

This is called a Quantity CRT because well, you guessed it, you must meet the Quantity of Products for it to apply. And a good Rule to remember - even if a CRT makes an item Free, does not mean you didn't "Buy" it and you can count it in your Quantities.

This one pictured will save you $2.00 when you buy two Garnier Fructis or Whole Blends as described in the CRT. Sometimes they are more vague like Save $2 on Facial Care. When it is worded like that, there isn't a Quantity required. Just a product that is Facial Care for it to attach to. Try to make it just over the $2.00 or so, this way you don't lose any value in your CRT. It will adjust down if it's below. 

Let's say you have two of them. You can stack them both on two Qualifying Products and save $4.00 on both. Let's say you Score Big Time and get two Buy One Get One Free CRT's. Use both and get both Products for free!

This CRT isn't picky with who you use with it either. Paper Coupons, other CRT's, Digital Coupons, all Deals & Markdowns, and Extra Care Bucks are all safe.

Percentage CRT

Percentage CRT's are just that, a Percentage off. 

This CRT will not apply to items that are marked to a Sale Price. For Instance, if your Garnier Fructis is 30% off, this will not apply. If it is normally $5.89, but is on Sale for $4.99, this will not apply. Typically it must be Full Price to work.

If it is attached to a Deal like Earn $5 when you Spend $20, those are okay. Your Products are at Full Price and will qualify for the Percentage CRT. Paper Coupons, other CRT's, Digital Coupons, and all Deals & Markdowns where the Products are full price are all safe.

When you are shopping In-Store, Percentage CRT's apply to the Total after all other Discounts, including Extra Care Bucks.

Let's say that you are buying $15.00 in Garnier Fructis which consists of 3 bottles for $5.00 each. You'll be using the following discounts: Save $2.00 on any Garnier Fructis CRT, Save $4.00 when you Spend $15.00 on Hair Care CRT, 30% off your Purchase CRT, Two - $1.50 off 1 Garnier Fructis, and One Digital Coupon Save $1.50 off any one Garnier Fructis.

First you need to add your Cart Total

(3) Bottles at $5.00 Each = $15.00

Next you can deduct all your CRT's & Manufacturer Coupons except the Percentage CRT's.

You Have: 

- Save $2.00 on any Garnier Fructis CRT

-Save $4.00 when you Spend $15.00 on Hair Care CRT

-Two - $1.50 off 1 Garnier Fructis

-One Digital Coupon Save $1.50 off any one Garnier Fructis

$15.00 - $2.00 - $4.00 - $1.50 - $1.50 - $1.50 = $4.50

Your Total Now is: $4.50

Last your Percentage CRT will apply.

$4.50 x 30% off = $1.35

$4.50 - $1.35 = $3.15 out of pocket cost.

Now remember that Extra Care Bucks would be taken off at Step Two and would drastically reduce your Savings with a Percentage CRT. This is why we don't recommend Redeeming Extra Care Bucks & using Percentage CRT's. 

Free & Buy One Get One Free CRT's

A Free CRT is exactly that, free. Don't complicate it anymore. Couponing is hard enough.

Let's take our example for instance. Everything that it includes is listed, and you can save $5.00.

If you grab an item that is under $5.00 you will not receive overage. Instead it will adjust down to the Price of the Lowest Item that it applies to. 

Something else that you need to remember is if you have two items, say one costs $2.00 and another costs $5.00 and as much as you want it to apply to the $5 item, it will adjust down to $2.00. I recommend making it it's own Transaction, alone.

Buy One Get One Free CRT's are awesome, especially if you get several of them! Here is how they work:

Let's work with the three Pictured.

1. Buy 2 Get 1 Free

2. Buy 1 Get 1 Free

3. Buy 1 Get 1 Free

These CRT's will make 3 Listerine Ready Tabs Chew-able Tabs FREE! Now you need to remember that just because a Product is paid with a CRT does not mean that you didn't "Buy" it. So as long as you meet the top Quantity, all the others will apply.

Types of Deals at CVS Pharmacy

It is important to Note* Redeeming Extra Care Bucks does not affect any Deals at CVS. It is not like Walgreens and Walgreens Cash.

"Buy Deals"

Let's take this Cereal Deal as our first example. 

You can identify the type of Sale by the wording BUY 2 get $1. To earn the $1, you literally just have to buy two participating products that match the description of the Sale. 

What products match the example Sale? Any General Mills Cereal that is between 10.4oz and 12.5oz will earn your Extra Care Bucks. 

Does it matter that they are Buy One Get One Free? Absolutely not! As long as there are two in your Cart, you are "Buying" them. Good to go! See "Buy" deals don't care what you "Spend."

Is that all I need to know? Not yet, but we will get there, with a few more examples.

"Spend Deals"

Let's use this Healthcare Deal as our Example. This is a "Spend" Deal. You can tell by it's wording - Spend $25 Get $8. 

What Products Qualify? - It states ANY Tums, Preparation H, Benefiber, Gas-X, Citrucel Capulet or powder. When it says Any, you can even include Trial & Travel. 

Spend Deals are calculated the EXACT same way as Threshold CRT's. You get your total cost of Products after Sale Price. And yes, before you ask, the 98% Rule CAN be applied in-store if your store happens to follow it. But you have to find that out with a test transaction.

So this Buy 1 Get 1 50% off will affect your Spend Limit. Say you have two products that are $15 each. At Sale Price you cart is only equal to $22.50, so you'd be short $2.50 from earning your Extra Care Bucks.

Things you need to know, when Reading a Sale.

Once a Week there is usually a big Sale that blankets a few select Products over multiple departments. Do you see the Icon on the Citrucel Sale? Each product that has that Icon is eligible for that Main Sale.

But if you want to be double sure, check the sequence number. See that number in Parenthesis on the bottom of each Sale? If you want to know if a Sale is the same, check the Sequence number.  Why do you need to know if it is the same sale?

Sometimes when shopping at CVS, you are shopping what seems to be two different sales that just have matching descriptions like Spend $25 Earn $8. Then you do both sales only to find they were the same and you just spent $50 to only earn $8, instead of $16.

Another thing you need to keep in mind is if you are limited on how many times you can do a Sale. CVS differs from Stores like Walgreens where you can keep doing Sales over and over until you run out of Money or Coupons. They place limits on each, usually 1 time per CVS Card. Oral Care seems to be the only ones that go to a limit of 2, except the occasional Revlon or Almay that go to 6 times. This is why most CVS Couponers have multiple accounts.

Checking the Limit and Sequence Number are the only ways to be sure you get the Extra Care Bucks you are supposed to.

Anchor 3
Anchor 4
Let's Make a Deal!

Making Scenarios for CVS is a bit trickier than other Stores because CRT's are customized to what you buy. So Coupon Creators do their best with matching the Coupons for you. It's your job to use those to put your deals together.

If you really don't have any CRT's but are loving the final price this week on Tide Simply, go get you some Tide Simply! But if you are emailed an $8 off $40 purchase CRT, you might want to add that deal in with a few others to meet that Spend Limit of $40. And since it is a more Generic wording and not brand Specific, you can add any kinds of deals you want with it.


Now if I had the Elvive CRT, I'd be very excited to see that L'Oreal Elvive deal! Since they are $5.29 each, I'd need to purchase three of them for my CRT to apply. Looking at the Deal, I have to buy two to earn the $4 ecb.  (Remember ecb = Extra Care Bucks) 

So I'd buy three at $5.29 each which comes to $15.87

Then deduct the $3 off of $15 CRT and the $3.00 off 2 Printable Coupon. 

I would pay $9.87 and earn $4 back making them 3 for $5.87!

Another CRT I would use for all of those Hair Care Deals is a Hair Care CRT like $6 off $30 any Hair Care Products. Depending on the Sale and what I find on Tired Mom Deals that week, I can apply a few Deals to that CRT and really make it work for you!


Of course I'd use the Schick CRT on the Schick Deal that is pictured. And seeing how my Spend Limit is $20 on it, I'll be getting more than the required 2 to earn the Extra Care Bucks.

Say I buy 4 at Buy One Get One 50% off. 

$6.99 + $3.50 + $6.99 + $3.50 = $20.98 - Spend Limit is Good

Deduct Your Coupons and CRT and you'd pay $6.98 & Earn $3 ecb

Bringing it to 4 for $3.98 or almost $1 each. What'd would be awesome is if it is a Limit of Two on the Deal, I'd earn $6 back. But that is something you'd have to check for on each deal.


I hope you have the Main Points of CVS Couponing. If you do have any questions, you can email me directly or come see us in the Facebook Group for more help. I'll drop both links for you!

XOXO Tired Mom

bottom of page