Man talking(l+r), CVS sign(c)

JHVEPhoto/Shutterstock @gabesco/Tiktok (Licensed)

‘CVS is brilliant almost free labor!!’: Man shares how to make money while shopping at CVS. Viewers think it’s the store’s way of not having to pay workers

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


Melody Heald


Posted on Mar 28, 2024   Updated on Mar 27, 2024, 1:44 pm CDT

CVS offers $3.50 coupons for those who find and turn in expired food. TikTok user Emily Reidy (@emilyiscaffeinated), who often shares with her 10,000 followers “how to get rich” at different stores, spotlighted the now-viral offer in several TikTok videos.

Popular TikTok user Gabe Escobar (@gabesco), who has over 3 million followers, is following suit. He decided to go “treasure hunting” for expired items after seeing the courtesy coupon offer while in the store. “I’m at a CVS and I saw this in the little checkout pad,” he said, pointing to a promotion of the coupon deal on the checkout pad’s screen.

Escobar said he decided to spend his night looking for expired items because he had nothing better to do. “I feel like the refrigerated food section is a good way to start,” he said.

Escobar first took a look at the hard-boiled eggs, but they expire in May, which not only caused concern but proved his adventure to be more difficult than anticipated. “Who’s eating 2-month-old, pre-cooked hard-boiled eggs?” he questioned. “Think this gonna be harder than I thought it was.”

He then heads over to where the milk is, saying, “I think milk is the next place to go.” And he was right. He found two half gallons of low-fat milk that expired a day earlier.

“You see that? March 19, and it’s the 20,” he stated. “I’ve been here like five minutes, and that’s already $7.”

Since most of the other milks expired the next day, the content creator contemplated whether to leave the milk behind so as to not clue the workers in. “Do I put these back and hope that they don’t check the milk before tomorrow?” he questioned.

After debating it, he decided to end the adventure early.  “I think I’m gonna cash these out. Make my $7. Not gonna risk it. Not a big gambler here,” he stated.

The video wrapped up with Escobar getting his two coupons for the milks.

@gabesco i fear whoever is eating CVS hard boiled eggs #cvs #cvscouponing #cvsexpireditems ♬ original sound – Gabe Escobar

Escobar noted via text overlay that he was nervous when asking for his coupons. Viewers heavily related to this feeling. “This is all fun and games until the social anxiety of asking for the coupon outweighs the fun,” one said.

The Daily Dot reached out to Escobar via Instagram direct message and TikTok comment.  His video amassed 1.5 million views, and some viewers speculated this is a ploy by CVS not to not have to pay for labor.

“CVS is brilliant almost free labor !! Plus increasing sales with coupons !!” one viewer said.

“This is probably cheaper to give coupons vs having an employee go thru shelves!” a second agreed.

“Uhm CVS is extremely smart with this. Paying customers to do Employees job,” a third wrote.

The reason why CVS offers $3.50 coupons for those who find and turn in expired food is due to a legal dispute it got into with the state of Pennsylvania. As part of a settlement, CVS had to fork over $250,000 and agree to hand out $2 coupons to customers who found expired products being sold in the store. It later had to up the coupon amount to $3.50 after agents with the Attorney General’s office were able to successfully purchase expired products.

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*First Published: Mar 28, 2024, 2:00 am CDT