Drugstore Programs

Drugstores are known for great programs that offer savings on products they know you need to buy. They want to make it convenient for you so that when you're picking up your prescriptions, you'll do the rest of your shopping while you are there. Some people don't realize the wonderful deals that you can get at the drugstores on health and beauty products, paper products, over-the-counter medicines, and even everyday food staple items.

Perhaps you never thought about picking up bread or milk while getting your prescriptions. You probably assumed that even if the drugstore did carry them that they would be much more expensive than at the grocery store. Well, you might be surprised, because when the drugstores put those items on sale, they are sometimes cheaper than at the grocery stores. Of course, this will vary depending on your area, but it's worth a look next time you're there.

CVS, Walgreens, and Rite Aid are the three biggest national drugstores. They each have their own rewards program, and they all differ slightly, but what it comes down to is they reward you for making purchases in their store in the form of a coupon. You are required to make a qualifying purchase in order to receive the coupon, but the best part is, you can use coupons on those purchases to maximize your savings.

CVS Extra Care Program

CVS offers you Extra Care Bucks when you purchase qualifying items, as well as on everyday purchases, beauty products, and prescriptions. With the cost of health care, it's nice to get a little something back for prescriptions that you need! But one of the greatest incentives at CVS is the 2 percent cash back for your quarterly spending. This includes all products whether they were on sale or not. You'll receive the 2 percent cash back four times a year, and it's issued the first day of the quarter in the form of an Extra Care Buck. Extra Care Bucks are store coupons you can use on your next purchase, excluding prescriptions, tobacco, and a few other items. These Extra Care Bucks are like free money just for shopping at their store.

Earn Extra Care Bucks on Purchases Each Week

CVS also offers Extra Care Bucks every week on different products. Essentially, they give you an instant rebate back on certain purchases. The products are listed in their weekly ad, and they are always on sale, too. And let's not forget, you can use coupons on these purchases and still receive the same Extra Care Bucks rewards. And the best part is, if you roll your Extra Care Bucks from week to week, you can score items for free or close to it! Here is an example: One week toothpaste is on sale for $2.99, and you'll receive $1.99 Extra Care Bucks with this purchase. You also have a coupon for $1.00 off the toothpaste. You pay $1.99 after the coupon and receive $1.99 Extra Care Bucks. Then the next week shampoo is on sale for $2.99, you'll receive $2.00 Extra Care Bucks with that purchase and you have a $1.00 coupon for that shampoo. When you use the $1.99 Extra Care Bucks from the previous week combined with the $1.00 shampoo coupon, you will receive the shampoo for free since it's on sale for $2.99. You will also receive another $2.00 Extra Care Bucks to use next time you shop. You can then hold that for the next week or use it to pick up something you need that may or may not be on sale, like milk. But if you keep it for the next week, you can roll it into another transaction like the toothpaste and shampoo transactions. This is how people get things for free at CVS.

If you scan your CVS Extra Care card at the coupon printing center when you get to the store, you will not receive any coupons on your receipt when you make your purchases. You can only receive the coupons one way or the other. However, when you scan your card, be sure to scan it up to three times because you may get more coupons. The key is to keep scanning it until the machine tells you that there are no more coupons available.

Earn Extra Care Bucks for Your Prescriptions

CVS also has a program in which you'll receive Extra Care Bucks for your pharmacy purchases. For every two prescriptions you fill at CVS, no matter how you pay for them, you'll receive a $1.00 Extra Care Buck. These rewards are issued at the beginning of the quarter for the previous quarter. CVS has other programs in their pharmacy, including one for diabetes. Check with your local store for more information and to see if you qualify.

CVS Store Coupons

CVS offers their customers store coupons that you can receive several ways; the easiest one to find is on your receipt when you make a purchase. They print out almost every time you shop and since they are store coupons, you can combine them with manufacturer coupons and sales to save even more. If you'd like to check to see what coupons are available before you shop, scan your card at the coupon printing center and maybe you'll get lucky and receive a coupon for something that you are purchasing already. You may also receive a coupon for either a free product or a certain dollar amount off your entire order. Those are especially great since the total purchase required is before coupons. If you register your card online, you will occasionally receive CVS store coupons in your e-mail in-box.

Rite Aid Savings Program

Rite Aid has a few different savings programs to help customers save on their everyday products including rebates, +UP rewards, and store coupons. Their program is similar to CVS's; you'll earn rewards for making qualifying purchases during the week, and a reward after spending a certain amount of money in the store. They also offer discounts on their store-brand products, which is really nice since you don't normally find coupons for store-brand products. To receive these savings, you are required to sign up for a wellness+ Rewards Card, which you will then present to the cashier each time you shop, to track savings and receive your rewards. If you forget your card, they can look it up with your phone number as long as you register it online. You can sign up online or in the store to receive your card, and it will fit on your keychain with all the other rewards cards, just in case you didn't have enough already!

Will the shopping passes at Rite Aid work with sale prices?

If the Rite Aid store-brand product is on sale and you give the cashier your wellness+ card, you'll receive the lower price of the two amounts as your final discount. If the 10 percent off is greater than the sale price, you'll receive that discount. If it's not, you'll receive the sale price. This is the same for the 10 percent and 20 percent shopping pass you can earn for all your items. You'll always receive the greater discount and you'll know that you will save at least 10 percent to 20 percent depending on the shopping pass.

Once you receive your wellness+ card, you'll be eligible for savings on products just for having the card. These items will be noted in the sale ad for those who have a wellness+ card. You will also receive 10 percent off Rite Aid brand-name products every day. If you purchase enough products, that can add up to a nice savings!

Earn Points for Every Dollar You Spend

At the same time that you are saving with the wellness+ card, you're also accumulating points that then turn into rewards. Each time you shop at Rite Aid and have your wellness+ card scanned, you'll receive points for your purchases. The more points you receive, the higher your member level will be, and the greater your reward. For every 125 points, you'll get a one-time 10 percent shopping pass. This coupon is good on regular-priced items and some sale items. You can also use coupons along with this shopping pass to save even more! So that would be the perfect time to purchase that item that you need that never goes on sale. When you reach 500 points and Silver status, you'll receive another 10 percent shopping pass, but this one is good for the rest of the calendar year. It will work just like the other shopping pass, and it is for some sale items and regular-priced items. If you continue to spend more during that calendar year and reach Gold level with 1,000 points, you'll then receive a 20 percent shopping pass that will also be valid through the end of the calendar year. It's a nice incentive for you to continue to shop at their store, and it's a great way to save on those items that either never go on sale or for which you can never find coupons.

Single Check Rebate Program at Rite Aid

Rite Aid also has a rebate program in which you'll receive cash back in the form of a rebate check at the end of the month for making qualifying purchases. These items are noted in the weekly ad, but they also have a special ad in the store with all the Single Check Rebate items for the entire month. You can find that ad in the store with the weekly ads. When you purchase the qualifying items, you can use coupons with them as well and when combining the two, you will sometimes receive the items for free—or even better, make money on them. For example, toothbrushes might be on sale for $2.99 and you'll receive a $2.99 Single Check Rebate back, making the item free after the rebate. You might also have a coupon for $1.00 off the toothbrushes, which means you'll only pay $1.99 at the store and then receive a Single Check Rebate for $2.99 with a final profit of $1.00.

It's very easy to submit the Single Check Rebates because you can do it online. All you need is the receipt and some information from it. First, sign up online at www.RiteAid.com. Look for “Single Check Rebates.” Once you sign up and log in, you can view the offers for that month, enter receipts, and then at the end of the month, request your check. Do not request your check before the month is over or you won't be able to submit any more receipts for the remainder of the month. You have about thirty days after the month ends to submit your receipts and request your check. If you don't manually request your check, it will be automatically sent after the extended time period is up. You will then receive a check that you can cash, deposit, or use at Rite Aid toward your next purchase. You can check the status of your rebate anytime online.

Rite Aid Store Coupons

Rite Aid has several types of store coupons, which can be used with manufacturer coupons and on-sale items, to save you even more. You can find store coupons in the weekly ad. They might say “manufacturer coupon” on them, but as long as the bar code begins with “RA,” they are store coupons. You would not be able to use them anywhere else like you would manufacturer coupons.

You must actually watch the Rite Aid Video Values videos in order to receive the coupons. How will they know? If you click into another window or open another program, the video will automatically stop and you'll have to go back to the beginning and start over. When the video is over, you need to enter a code to verify that you are sitting there watching the video. If you don't enter the code in the time allowed, you'll need to start over again.

Another place you can find Rite Aid store coupons is online at www.RiteAid.com. You'll find a section of the website called Video Values. There are short videos for all sorts of products, including items they will have on sale that month. Once you watch a video, you'll be able to print out a coupon for that item. You'll know beforehand exactly what the coupon is for, so you can decide if you want it or not. What's great about these coupons is they change monthly and while you have to watch the videos before the end of the month, you don't have to print or use the coupons until the end of the following month.

Walgreens Register Rewards

Walgreens's customer loyalty program is different from the other drugstores, but that doesn't mean it's harder to follow. The biggest difference is you don't have a card to scan. Anyone can receive the sale prices and participate in the program. They offer two things to their customers as incentives to shop at their store: the Register Rewards program and store coupons. Both of them work with sales and with manufacturer coupons to maximize your savings. Taking advantage of these programs will score you free items and even allow you to make money on some purchases, as well.

The Register Rewards program is similar to the other drugstore programs; you'll receive a coupon for money off your next purchase for making qualifying purchases that are listed in the weekly ad. You can use coupons, which will help you get items for free and even make money on purchases too! For example, shampoo might be on sale for $3.99 and you'll receive a $3.99 Register Rewards coupon to use on your next purchase. You might have a $1.00 coupon for the shampoo, which means that you'll only spend $2.99, so you will make $1.00 on that purchase. You can use the Register Rewards coupon from your purchase on almost anything. There are some restrictions and they are noted on the coupon.

Register Rewards coupons can be used on sale items, and you can use other coupons along with them, but you have to be careful. The system reads the Register Rewards coupons as manufacturer coupons, and since you can only use one manufacturer coupon per item, you cannot use the Register Rewards coupon if you are using a manufacturer coupon. As long as you have more items than manufacturer coupons, you can use the Register Rewards coupon in the same transaction. If you know this ahead of time, plan on grabbing a small item as a “filler” like a pack of gum or pencil. Otherwise you won't be able to use the Register Reward along with all your coupons.

You can use a Register Rewards coupon that you just received to purchase another of the same item, but you will not receive another coupon the second time. However, you will reduce the price of the item by the Register Rewards coupon, and possibly make it free. If you use the Register Rewards coupon to purchase a different item that also produces a Register Rewards coupon, you will receive that one since it's a different item, unless it's part of the same reward.

Walgreens also has store coupons that change weekly and monthly and can be combined with manufacturer coupons. You can find them in several places. Each week in the sales ad, there will be coupons that you need to clip in order to receive the sale price or discount at the time of your purchase. You can combine these coupons with manufacturer coupons. Usually there are limits noted on the coupon for how many items you can purchase at that price or discount. They also have a coupon booklet each month with coupons that you can use all month long. You can find it in the store next to the weekly ads. Some of the items that have coupons in this booklet may go on sale throughout the month to help you save even more. They are store coupons as well, and they don't normally have limits on them, but it's always best to read the entire coupon for any exclusions. You can also find these coupons online at www.walgreens.com and print them out.

Walgreens is testing a new program in some areas, in which you receive points when you shop and then you turn those points into coupons. This system replaces the Register Rewards program. It's a test program that may or may not be rolled out nationally. If it does, then the Register Rewards program will change.

It's best to keep your eye out in Walgreens for more coupons, since there is occasionally a store coupon booklet somewhere in the aisles or at the pharmacy. If you follow any blogs that cover Walgreens's deals, they will alert you to a new coupon booklet when it's discovered.

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