Walgreens is one of the best places to save money because of their wide variety of money saving options. It’s also a great place for lazy couponers to shop! Be sure to read this post on how to get the most bang for your buck at Walgreens.
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When I think about places I love to shop, Walgreens isn’t the first one that comes to mind, simply because I typically equate it with being a pharmacy and photo developing place. That’s a silly association, but it’s pretty much what I used it for growing up. However, I’ve recently discovered that there are a lot of great ways to save money and how to use coupons at Walgreens, so I thought I’d share those with you, as well as why I think Walgreens is a great place for a lazy couponer (like me!)
First of all, in order to really take advantage of all the great deals at Walgreens, you need to sign up for their Balance Rewards program. You can sign up online or when you are in the store. When you sign up, you’ll get a card that you can swipe whenever you use it, or, if you are like me and don’t like carrying around rewards cards, you can give them your phone number. This is linked to your mobile app, your online account, etc., so it’s definitely necessary to have!
If you want to make the most out of shopping at Walgreens, make sure that you are getting their weekly ad, or that you can view it online. This will help you find some of the things I mention below.
1. Balance Points
Balance points are one of my favorite things that Walgreens has because most of the time, I don’t even have to do anything to get them! On purchases that have balance points (Forrest actually talked a little bit about Balance Points awhile back) that gets applied to your account to go to a future purchase. Once you reach a certain threshold, those points will get applied to your purchase as a discount. The weekly ad shows you which products you have to buy that week that will result in Balance Points so you can really make a great plan of attack when you look at the ads like that. Here’s a little chart showing how many Balance Points you need for certain cash back levels:
However, if you are the lazy couponer like me, it’s just kind of a nice surprised when you purchase an item that has a Register Reward attached to it. It kind of makes you feel like the lottery when you go in the next time (having completely forgotten about them), and the cashier asks if you would like to use them. Who says no to discounts?! Not this girl. I’ve found that they actually rack up pretty quickly.
2. Register Rewards
Register Rewards are an excellent way to get money back for buying certain products are Walgreens. Basically, when you purchase a qualifying product, these will print off with your receipt. They are very similar to the Catalina coupons that you can get at the grocery store. You can use them on your next purchase and they typically are a pretty high value.
Either way you use Register Rewards, you can really end up getting some great deals. I believe they expire two weeks after you get them. To learn more about this great program, be sure to read Walgreen’s Register Rewards page. There’s also a lot of ways you can maximize your Register Rewards, but it’s too complicated for me (remember, lazy couponer here.) However, if you Google “Rolling Register Rewards”, you’ll be able to find some good information on this!
3. Mobile App
This is the ultimate reason why I think that Walgreens is a great place for a lazy coupon-er. I have absolutely no desire to sit and cut out coupons. I know that it can save me a lot of money doing it, but it’s just too much work right now. So when I discovered their mobile app, I was really excited. It has all the same coupons as the website does, but there’s no printing or cutting involved. All you have to do is scroll through the coupon section of the app (you can browse by category or just all the coupons at once), and when you see a coupon you want, simply press “clip to card”, and it will automatically be added to your rewards card. At the bottom of the app, it shows you how much you will save with all your coupons.
These coupons can be used with other in-store deals, as well as with manufacturers coupons, which makes the savings even better. For instance, we just bought some Haribo peach rings for our upcoming roadtrip. The mobile app had a coupon for 30 cents off of one, and in store, they were already on sale for 79 cents! So, we ended up only paying 40 cents for a bag of peach rings.
The coupons on the app can also be printed off of the Walgreens website, but since you don’t have to print off any paper, it makes it a lot easier (plus you won’t run out of ink as quickly!)
4. In-ad coupons
Even if I’m not the greatest coupon-er, I’ve always loved looking through the ads in the Sunday newspaper. I feel like Walgreens always has a thick ad each week, and it’s usually full of some great deals. This is definitely a place to look for the deals that week but also for coupons that can be redeemed in store. The best thing about these ads are that you can “stack” them with manufacturers coupons, which really can increase your savings. I’m obviously not a coupon blogger, but there are a lot of great blogs out there that do all the hard work and show you which coupons you should use at Walgreens to get the most bang for your buck. Walgreens consistently has low prices and great coupon deals, so keep an eye out for the weekly ad!
5. Monthly Savings Book
Every month, Walgreens puts out a savings booklet that is full of high-value coupons. These are available at the front of the store, and I’ve found that coupons are usually for products that I actually will buy. You can stack these with manufacturers coupons for even more savings.
As I mentioned, I used to think Walgreens was mainly a place to fill a prescription. Even though I know that’s not really true, that doesn’t mean I don’t use it for that still! Walgreens is probably my favorite place to get a prescription filled because you can pretty much find a Walgreens everywhere. A time or two, we’ve filled a prescription at a local pharmacy, and we were out of town when we needed it refilled. It took so much longer to have to transfer the prescription to another pharmacy than it would have if we had filled the initial one at Walgreens.
Walgreens has a prescription savings program that is a great idea for anyone that has no insurance, or whose insurnace won’t cover your medications. It’s $20 a year for an individual, or $35 a year for a family, but you can save substantially on your prescriptions. You also get 5-20% discounts on immunizations, 10% bonus on purchases of Walgreens Brand and Nice! products, and 10% savings on services from the Healthcare Clinic (which we talked about here.)
Walgreens also will ship your prescriptions for free, which is awesome if you have a prescription that you need every month. No need to get in the car to go pick it up when it can be shipped to your house for free. Occasionally I will see Walgreens have an offer where you get $25 if you transfer a prescription to them, so be sure to look for those deals as well.
Bonus Tip #1: How to Save Even More at Walgreens
You may have read my post about how to save money with your smart phone. In that post, I mentioned Ibotta, and luckily, Walgreens is one of their participating stores! Ibotta gives you cash back for certain purchases that you make at participating stores. This is one of my favorite apps, and I love that Walgreens participates. You can get great deals using coupons in store and then get cash back on them as well! For instance, I saw today that they had a cash back offer for Wet Ones, and the Walgreens mobile app also had a coupon for this as well.
Bonus Tip #2: What We Buy at Walgreens
When I finally accepted that Walgreens has more than just a photo processing center and a pharmacy, I discovered that they have a wide variety of products for sale. While they aren’t as stocked as a typical grocery store would be, Walgreens is perfect for when you just need to grab a few essentials or even when you are stocking up for a road trip. I often find great deals on diapers and wipes at Walgreens, as well as on over-the-counter medicines, candy, and health and beauty supplies. I actually just bought some diapers and new shampoo/body wash for Jack because they were having a great deal, and we needed some before we leave on vacation.
Walgreens is also my go-to place for harder to find candy, oddly enough. Last year, I searched high and low for Pop Rocks, and the only place that carried them was Walgreens. We also noticed that they were having some great deals on school supplies while we were there (and also as I clipped coupons in the app.) Even though Jack isn’t in school, we are leaving on a cross country road trip tomorrow, so I decided to pick up some 49 cent crayons and a little notebook for him to color in. He was ecstatic. We also picked up some treats for him (the Gerber Puffs were on sale, plus we had a $1 off a purchase of three), as well as some nuts for the car ride. They are cherry pie flavored — can’t wait to tear into those!
So, I’ve made a commitment to always be authentic on our website. Because of that, I wouldn’t feel right not sharing this. We had a couple of problems with our mobile app coupons when we went into the store. Even though we selected the correct store, they didn’t seem to carry the types of nuts that there was a coupon for. I asked someone to help me find them, and when he couldn’t find them, he immediately told us that we could just take a dollar off an other brand of nuts. I was extremely impressed by that!
The other problem came when we went to check out. The cashier scanned the bar code on the mobile app, but it didn’t take off any of the coupons! I was a little annoyed by this, but the cashier just called the manager up to resolve the problem. Even though they couldn’t figure out how to get the coupons to scan, the manager didn’t ask any questions, and just took off the amount that the coupons should have taken off. It was a little bit of a hassle, but I was grateful for their excellent customer service and that we were still able to get our discounts! The mobile coupons is a relatively new feature, so there are some bugs that need to be ironed out. If this happens to you, just be sure to ask to have the assistance of a manager, and I have no doubt that they will help make things right!
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