How to save at least 16% off CVS every time you shop

For my regular household shopping, CVS is usually the clear winner for me. Between the 25% off promotional coupons, ExtraBucks, sales, coupons, and now app-only deals, saving money can be easy there. But, what if there are no deals the day you need something? You’re in luck. With discounted gift cards that can be instantly downloaded and used, it’s very easy, as I did yesterday, to save on your shopping bill effortlessly.


Don’t pay full price for gift cards!

I have written a lot about discounted gift cards, here, here, and here in the past. What you are buying is the unused balance from a gift card, electronic or physical card, from someone who no longer wants it for any number of reasons. Depending on the store, they can be obtained at a pretty significant discount,up to about 50%. For example, CVS gift cards can be obtained for 16% off, but Wal Mart only 2.7% off. Prices fluctuate based on demand, the card provider, and the store.

Save money immediately, but be careful

Since gift cards come in various formats, it is possible to buy one and near instantly receive an email link to download it. From there, printing the number and PIN is usually how one ends up paying for an item in-store. For online purchases, all one needs to do is simply enter the number and PIN while paying. Be careful, though; this is essentially money that you are buying. Don’t buy more than you need and keep a close eye on your cards so that you don’t lose them. Cards have been hacked in the past, too, and drained of value. Once that happens, you are out of luck.

In the past, even buying electronic code or “printable” gift cards can take some time. I have had to wait days some times. And, when you are trying to save money on your shopping, waiting means potentially missing a deal. But, more sites, such as Raise or Gift Card Bin, can process an order almost immediately. Yesterday, I downloaded a printable gift card for CVS that enabled me to save me 16%, even before my other tricks I typically use. The only downside is that I had to use the regular checkout, not self-checkout. Kind of a bummer if you are in a hurry. But, 16% off is worth it.

Quick poll – holiday shopping

The holiday shopping season is upon us and we have you covered. To get a better idea of the type of information, advice, and strategies that will be helpful for your shopping, today I am asking about your expected holiday shopping habits.

How retail stores impact your spending

It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that retail stores, at least well-designed ones, optimize lighting and colors to impact shopping behavior. But, they may be missing an opportunity to stimulate shopping activity, and here’s why. While walking home the other evening, I heard two ladies discussing how one didn’t like to go clothes shopping after work because between the store lighting, and her hunger level and exhaustion, it made her ill. Since this got my attention, I did some research on the topic.

According to the paper, Impact of Color on Marketing, “Color is ubiquitous and is a source of information. People make up their minds within 90 seconds of their initial interactions with either people or products. About 62-90 percent of the assessment is based on colors alone.”  Further, “[findings] of the study are that managers can use colors to increase or decrease appetite, enhance mood, calm down customers, and, reduce perception of waiting time, among others.”

I found this particularly interesting as I never gave much thought about how colors could be intentionally used to impact appetite while shopping. I am well aware how music is used to brighten mood in stores, but that can backfire, too. And, after hearing the ladies discuss their aversion to shopping while hungry and tired, retailers should take note of studies such as the one I read to ensure that they are influencing consumer decisions – to enter or not to enter – their stores effectively.

retail stores

Credit: Wikimedia

Lighting and color changes in retail stores

Considering that consumer spending is a major economic driver, especially with the holiday season approaching, I have an idea. Just as it us never advisable to shop at a grocery store while hungry, because one tends to spend more, clothing and other retail stores should consider lighting and color that is adjusted throughout the day. During the day, bright colors and lights, and at night, a bit more subdued. And, another hook for shoppers could be having some sort of evening hors d’oeuvres. That way, there’s a bit of an incentive for shoppers to come in and stay awhile if they are hungry as well.