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Drug-store rebate program basics

Posted November 30, 2009 2:16 p.m. EST


An ECB is an Extra Care Buck coupon that prints out at the bottom of your CVS receipt when you buy qualifying items. It’s like an instant rebate. Instead of sending away to get your rebate, it prints out right after you buy the product. You can then use it right away on other products or hold on to it to use later. Just make sure you use it before it expires. You can buy all the items in one transaction, and receive a separate ECB coupon for each item at the end of the transaction. Another option is to purchase each one individually, and use the ECB you earn to pay for the next ECB item you are purchasing. It reduces your out-of-pocket expense but takes longer at the register.


Walgreens also has a rebate program called Register Rewards. Just like ECB, the coupon – (called a Register Reward and also known as an RR – prints out at the end of the transaction. The RR is on a separate coupon and is not attached to the register receipt. RRs earned on Proctor and Gamble products can not be used to buy other Proctor and Gamble brand products.

Rite Aid

Rite Aid has a rebate program called Single Check Rebates (SCR). With this program, you purchase the rebate items listed in the monthly single check rebate booklet. If you use a manufacturer coupon to lower the cost, you will still receive the full rebate amount listed in the booklet (unless otherwise specified). Sometimes this means you make money on the item. For example, if toothpaste is on sale for $2.99 and the rebate is for $2.99, the toothpaste will be free after the rebate. If you also have a $1 manufacturer coupon, you only pay $1.99 at the register (plus tax, if applicable), but you will actually receive the full $2.99 rebate. That’s known as a money-maker!

Once you buy the rebate items, go online to the Rite Aid rebate site (listed in the rebate booklet), and enter your receipt information. You can then request your check, which will usually arrive in a few weeks.

Although these rebates are not instant, they are still a great way to stock up on bath and beauty items all yearlong. Purchase the rebate items you use this month, and then roll the first rebate check into the rebate deals for the second month, then use that rebate money for the third month’s deals, and so on. Ideally, you only pay for the rebates the first month, and then just keep rolling the rebate money each month into more free or almost-free rebate items you use.