Shopping at CVS is a game, and I want to win

For me, the crinkle of a long CVS receipt is like the sound of a slot machine dropping coins.

I’m not a crazy coupon lady (although I do admire them); I’m just a regular shopper with a few tips to win at the CVS game.

This morning I walked out of my local CVS with a $17.99 CeraVe sunblock without paying even one penny and, no, I did not shoplift. Here’s the receipt to prove it:

I saved $17.99 and got the sunblock for free.

Here are my tips for winning at CVS:

1. Do NOT throw out the receipt. Scan your receipt right away for a coupon or ExtraBucks. If there’s a coupon for something you want, head right back into the aisles. I often checkout two or three times on a typical CVS trip. (Pro tip: don’t wait to check out for your coupons, head to the red coupon kiosk as soon as you arrive.)

2. Use your ExtraBucks right away. This is free money you’ve earned and if you walk out of the store not having spent it, chances are you are going to forget it. (Pro tip: set up a CVS.com account and load deals to your card.)

3. Use a manufacturer’s coupon. CVS lets you combine coupons, so look for an item with a manufacturer’s coupon attached or bring one from a flier, paper, or online. I snagged a $3 coupon attached to the sunblock: Just peel and use.

4. Obviously, sign up for the ExtraCare card. That’s basic, but must be said.

5. And, most importantly, have fun (and bring your competitive spirit).

Jen Rogers is an anchor for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @JenSaidIt.

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