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An Easy Way to "Treasure Hunt" for Free Money at CVS, Shopper Shares

You can get paid by the retailer for finding expired items at some of its stores.

As fun as shopping can be, going up to the register and opening your wallet is generally the worst part of the experience. Over the past few years, record-high inflation has made that final step that much more painful. But what if the tables were turned and stores had to pay you instead? According to a savvy shopper, that's what's happening at one popular pharmacy chain. He recently took to TikTok to share an easy way to get free money at CVS.

RELATED: 8 Things Home Depot Shoppers Don't Realize They Can Get for Free.

Actor and influencer Gabe Escobar posted a TikTok on March 26 to inform his 3 million followers about his recent experience "treasure hunting" at CVS.

While at one of the pharmacy chain's locations, Escobar says he noticed an enticing message on the checkout screens: "If you find an expired product, notify an employee and you will receive a $3.50 coupon."

Noting that he has "nothing better to do" with his night, Escobar decides to walk around the CVS store to see if he can find any expired products.

"I feel like the refrigerated food section is a good place to start," he says.


i fear whoever is eating CVS hard boiled eggs #cvs #cvscouponing #cvsexpireditems

♬ original sound – Gabe Escobar

After checking the pre-packaged eggs and protein packs with no luck, Escobar moves on to search the milk products, where he is finally able to hit the jackpot.

"You see that? March 19," he says, showing the expiration date on a milk carton he's holding. "And it's the 20th, so."

After finding one expired carton, Escobar decides to check the rest of the milk stock and finds another carton that had expired the day before.

"I've been here like five minutes, and that's already $7," he brags.

Escobar then films himself bringing the expired products to an employee, admitting that he is "nervous" to try to cash out.

"I found two expired milks and I saw this [message] so I was wondering how that works or if I could get a coupon," he tells the worker.

RELATED: 4 Ways to Get Things for Free at Walmart.

After marking out the products, the employee gives Escobar two "courtesy coupons," each for $3.50.

"This coupon is redeemable for a future purchase at any CVS/Pharmacy location," the coupons state. "Not valid on lottery, gift cards, money orders, prescriptions, or milk. Coupons are nontransferable and cannot be resold. Other restrictions may apply."

It's also worth noting that the coupons say they expire on April 19, less than a month from when Escobar was given them.

Regardless, Escobar seems thrilled with the exchange—and so do his followers. In the comment section of his video, which has been viewed more than 2.1 million times in just two days, many TikTok users said that they were going to try this at their CVS stores.

"New game: Look at EVERY food item at CVS," one person responded.

Another replied, "Now I want to do this."

Others, including former CVS employees, also shared insight on where shoppers should look for expired items in the store.

"I would check medicine. They usually have two year or more expiration but you wouldn't even realize and they are supposed to check," one person wrote.

Another commented, "Ex-grocery here: salad dressing. Every time we had to go through them we would find over 1000 expired bottles. The first time I did it was over 2000 bottles."

Users also advised coupon hunters to check the candy section, diet sodas, nuts and granola, cookies, Gatorades, baby food pouches, and protein bars.

RELATED: 8 Things Lowe's Shoppers Don't Realize They Can Get for Free.

But this might not be something everyone can do, as many commenters pointed out that free money for expired products is only the policy at certain CVS stores.

As it turns out, CVS has had to offer coupons to customers for finding expired products in stores throughout certain states due to lawsuit settlements. This happened in California in 2009 and Connecticut in 2011.

More recently, CVS settled with the state of Pennsylvania over expired products in 2016, with the settlement requiring the pharmacy chain to provide customers with a $3.50 coupon if they find an expired product in any of its stores in the state, CBS News reported.

The coupon policy was only supposed to remain in place for five years after the settlement, but in 2021, Coupons in the News reported that CVS had decided to extend the offer.

"Though our agreement with the State of Pennsylvania has ended, we remain committed to ensuring that expired products are not sold to customers," CVS Pharmacy spokesman Matt Blanchette told the outlet at the time. "In Pennsylvania, we continue to offer enhanced discount coupons to customers who notify store employees if they discover certain expired products."

Kali Coleman
Kali Coleman is a Senior Editor at Best Life. Her primary focus is covering news, where she often keeps readers informed on the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and up-to-date on the latest retail closures. Read more
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