Walgreens Shopping Guide - Savvy

Gift Cards Travel Walgreens Shopping Guide



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If you're a frequent Walgreens shopper, you're likely to be familiar with all the offers and discounts the store advertises. Beyond what is visibly available, there are more discounts and coupons that seem to be secretly hidden among the shelves.
These days its almost impossible to drive a mile without seeing a Walgreens or two on the corner of every neighborhood. The chain has more than 8,000 stores in the United States and Canada. A Walgreens store is located in five miles of 75 percent of Americans. About 8 million customers visit Walgreens stores each day and about 85 million are active members of the company's Balance Rewards loyalty program.

If you know the right way to shop, Walgreens is an affordable place to buy your household items. The problem is, it isn't easy to find the deals and you have to do a lot of leg work for the best prices. Walgreens has one of the most confusing coupon policies out there, especially with its Register Rewards program.
The good news is, we've done a lot of that leg work for you. We've collected some of our favorite shopping suggestions for you to use in your search for a great deal. This guide is designed to help novice and expert readers. Smart shoppers can save on costs by following these steps.


Become a Balance Rewards Card Member

This is the best way to save on cost at Walgreens and one of the most obvious. It's free to join the Balance Rewards program, which offers some benefits. You'll get 10 points for each dollar you spend on in the store or on the website. Each week, there will be a special deal or coupon for you to claim. When you have 5,000 points, you will get a discount of $5 on your next purchase.

The other advantage of having a Walgreens Balance Rewards account is the ability to get special offers and paperless coupons. With the latter, you'll be able to "clip" to add coupons to your rewards account and save automatically at the point of sale, but some of the deals can be confusing and you have to pay attention to the fine print listed under each. Note that a lot of the deals are for off brands, so if you're looking for something specific, you'll have to search carefully.

Members can also earn points for being active and for making healthy choices. You get 20 points per mile when you walk, run, or bike. You can also earn 20 points for every pound of weight loss, blood pressure test, blood glucose test, or cigarette smoke cessation. You will have to stay within a certain amount of time to complete each activity.


Search for Online Discounts and Deals

While Walgreens would love for shoppers to come into its stores, online shopping is becoming a big deal and the retailer takes care to offer plenty of online coupons. You can also find photo-coupons, free shipping codes, discounting and sales on cold and flu supplies online, for example. The Walgreens website and RetailMeNot are both used to provide updates on the sale prices. Walgreens will also accept manufacturer's coupons. The coupons change constantly, so always make sure you are scouring the best online websites for information. A short google will give you a list of Walgreens coupons and you can also find them on the Walgreens website.


Take Advantage of Register Rewards

Walgreens seems to offer fewer Registered Rewards (RR) than other drugstores, so look carefully at the weekly ad. RR is essentially an "instant" discount at the point of sale. You can earn a RR coupon when you buy an eligible item(s) as advertised. The coupon prints on your receipt and then you can redeem it on your next purchase. Typically, the Walgreens RR programs are limited to items but are usually something like "$2 off your next purchase of $25", so as long as it meets the $25 mark, you can still redeem it.

An RR coupon cannot be used with another RR coupon in the same transaction. Also, if you purchase separate items that aren't part of your RR purchase you do not get another two RR coupons.

Lastly, the RR coupon savings cannot be larger than the items purchased, as that would equate to free items.


Look for Items on Clearance

Clearance items are usually not proudly displayed at the front of the store. This is because clearance items are usually items that aren't universally desired (hence them not getting sold). Be sure to always check out the back of the store for the clearance items. You can also find items in the store on clearance in their regular places by looking for bright orange tags marked as such.

Clearance is conditional on several things such as too much stock of an item or the expiration of an item approaching. Items will start with a 25% off, but they don't stop there, with items getting cheaper incrementally by 25% (50% discount then 75% discount). You'll be able to find some of these items at 90% off, but they'll be gone in a few minutes. Coupon clippers love Walgreens because it easy to look down each aisle and see what's on sale. It's impossible to miss the bright orange tags. You'll be able to get by with just a few minutes of shopping, and if you're lucky enough to find some great deals, you'll probably be able to save even more. Always check out the sales of toys, office supplies, and household cleaning supplies.

Be careful though, clearance discounts are different for each store. Just because a product is marked down in a store doesn't necessarily mean it's going to be sold there as well. Usually, name brands, holiday sale outs, and such are discounted at a store-wide location.

On the first Tuesday of each month, Walgreens celebrates seniors who are 55 and older with a Seniors Day. Discounts can change from month to month, but usually include an extra percentage off pf some items or a discount code that applies to all purchases. You'll need to have a balance rewards card in order to qualify for this service; but, even better, the service offers bonus balance rewards points for senior citizens.


Use Manufacturer’s Coupons

Walgreens also offers manufacturer's coupons, which you should always look for in the Sunday newspaper. You'll be able to combine those discounts with Walgreens' weekly ad savings and your balance card rewards to save a lot of cash. Manufacturer's coupons can also be added to the list of items to purchase and paired with other coupons.

Coupons can be a great way to save money, but there are some limits to how they can be used.

For example, your coupon(s) cannot exceed the actual selling price of the item. In other words, you can't get any item for free.

You also can't get any cash back with coupons, as coupons expressly have no actual cash value.

Lastly, while it is possible to use multiple coupons you do need to check that the coupons don't interfere with one another and some items with limited stock aren't applicable for some coupons.


Sign Up for the Walgreens Newsletter

Walgreens also sends out emails with special offers and discounts. You can receive these emails by signing up for the Walgreens newsletter. After you've signed up to receive emails from Walgreens, you'll find that you have a great way to save money. Keep a record of all of your balance rewards and use them to pay for extra items as the cash register when you print them out or clip them via your phone or tablet.


Download the Walgreens App

If you're a smartphone user and want to save on paper, try downloading the Walgreens App. You can browse through the ads, clip coupons, and save instantly at the register, track your Balance Rewards points, and shop and fill up prescription right from home. You can even see their weekly ad there.


Join the Prescription Savings Club

If you're using too many prescription drugs, consider joining the Prescription Savings Club, which offers discounts on 8,000 medicines. The cost of the medication can be as much as $20 per person or $35 per family, and if you need it frequently, you'll be able to pay less than half of that amount. For example, Walgreens says that it will save you $324 per year on Fluticasone Nasal Spray.

You'll also find discounts on many immunizations, as well as discounts on in-store healthcare clinics and bonuses on certain store brands. The program is not available for people who are covered by Medicare or Medicaid, so make sure to read through all of the rules before you sign on. They offer additional discounts on medication that insurance won't cover, and even more if you choose Walgreens brands. Some locations even offer a kiosk where you can dispose of your used medical equipment easily, so you don't have to worry about keeping out of date medicine laying around.


Get a Rain Check for Out-of-Stock Items

When you have a great deal and your item is in short supply, do not hesitate to request a rain check to purchase the item at the discounted price. A store employee will sometimes allow you to substitute a similar product of the same brand for your purchase at the same price. Rain checks are good for 60 days, but you can only use them in the stores in which they are requested.


Use RetailMeNot Rx Saver to Save on Prescriptions

RetailMeNot Rx Saver is a free, easy-to-use, web-based tool that can help you save up to 50% on prescription drugs by comparing prices and securing coupons at nearby pharmacies. The cost breakdowns can be found by simply entering the name of a prescription drug into the search engine, and Rx Saver will show you what it's going to cost to buy it in different pharmacies. If you have a printed coupon, you could also use it to save on your prescription.


Find the Freebies

Walgreens offers free products to those who participate in the Register Rewards program. The offer is included in the ad insert of the newspaper each week. The offer requires customers to pay upfront for the purchase of an item. A customer who receives a Register Rewards (RR) coupon is entitled to free service on their next visit. Note: You can't buy the item with a RR that was generated for you; you can't buy an item with a RR generated for you. You can also buy other RR promo items and it will make a RR for that item. This is different than the regular RR's because they are fully free items and not just discounted prices. Fair warning, RR vouchers have a strict time limit, so be sure to redeem them as soon as possible.


Join Beauty Enthusiasts

Many shoppers choose Walgreens as their primary platform for all things health and beauty-related. For those who do this, we highly recommend joining the Beauty Enthusiasts program, which comes with several benefits. BE is considered as a Beauty Club by the company, but you must join it to get the benefits. You will need to go through a process of enrollment in the Beauty Club and then into the Beauty Club. The membership process isn't always easy and requires a little bit of effort on your part. To learn more about how to get enrolled, go to the website. You should have a balance rewards account to sign up.

After joining, you'll earn 5,000 points (worth $5) for every $50 spent on any of the products you buy, including cosmetics, nails, skincare, haircare, fragrances, beauty accessories, and bath products. 

However, these items are excluded from earning points: Baby products, skincare, drug prescriptions, infant hair products, infant products, skincare, and men's grooming items. You do not have to pay $50 for each of these items.