For more than a century — 115 years, to be exact — Walgreens has been helping Americans get the medicines they need.
Established in Chicago in 1901, Walgreens is the nation’s biggest pharmacy chain, although relative upstart CVS is nipping at its heels.
Walgreens has more than 8,000 locations and can be found in all 50 states. So chances are good that you have one in your neighborhood. And we’ve got tips to save you a bundle the next time you shop there.
From great digital coupon offers to senior discounts and rewards for blood pressure checks, following are eight ways to save at Walgreens.
1. Get the Loyalty Card
Sign up for Walgreens’ free Balance Rewards loyalty card. Walgreens says you can earn “10 points per $1 on almost everything — every day. Plus, get bonus points on featured products each week.”
You also get 100 points per immunization and up to 300 points for prescriptions — even if you’re covered by Medicare and Medicaid.
When you rack up just 5,000 points, you can trade them in for $5 off your next purchase. And the more points you rack up, the bigger your cash reward. For example:
- 10,000 points — $10
- 18,000 points — $20
- 30,000 points — $35
- 40,000 points — $50
You can discover more ways to get cash back by viewing out this expert guide about cash back credit cards.
2. Turn Good Health Into Points
Achieving and maintaining good health is another great way to build up Balance Rewards points. For example, if you set a health goal, you’ll get 250 points. Actually achieve the goal, and you’ll get another 250 points.
You can also accumulate points for walking, running or cycling (20 points per mile) and 20 points for monitoring your blood pressure and keeping a daily log. And that’s just for starters.
3. Use Age to Your Advantage
On certain days known as Seniors Days, Walgreens offers discounts to those aged 55-plus and AARP members. The only caveat is you must have a Balance Reward Card.
On Seniors Days, you can land great deals, such as 20% off regular in-store merchandise, or 20% off beauty and personal care items purchased online.
There are also select bonus points offers. For example, one recent Seniors Day offered 500 Balance Rewards points to any senior who asked the pharmacy staff about shingles and pneumonia vaccines.
4. Redeem Register Rewards
Pay attention to your printouts. Register Rewards are the coupons that print at the store’s register after you purchase certain items, much like the Catalinas you get at the grocery store.
You can use Register Rewards to save on future purchases of eligible items as long as you adhere to the retailer’s redemption policy.
5. Clip Those Coupons
Coupons can be found in Walgreens’ weekly circular (in the Sunday paper) or on the retailer’s website. Clip the paper coupons to bring into the store, or add the digital version directly to your Balance Rewards account to save on items you plan to purchase.
Also, pick up a copy of Walgreens’ monthly coupon book and be sure to keep an eye out for paper and digital manufacturer coupons, because the popular pharmacy chain honors these as well.
6. Shop the Clearance Section
The Walgreens clearance section boasts some big savings if you’re willing to hunt around a bit. I have personally seen prices slashed by as much as 50%. You can search for clearance deals online or take advantage of store-exclusive savings (or both).
7. Shop for Discounted Gift Cards
Websites like Raise and Cardpool allow users to buy and sell Walgreens and other gift cards at a discounted rate. Recently, Cardpool’s top discount on Walgreens gift cards was an impressive 12.5%.
8. Use a Cash-Back Site
Cash-back sites offer you rebates when you visit the site, then shop at your favorite retailers. Recently, cash-back site Ebates offered up to 7% off on purchases made at the Walgreens website.
Savings on prescriptions or other items at Walgreens can help you put your hard-earned money toward other financial goals. You can find more tips on saving money in your day-to-day life here. You can also keep track of how your spending choices are affecting your credit score by looking at your free credit report card, updated every 14 days, on Credit.com.
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Image: Anna Bryukhanova