Sporting over 8,000 stores in all 50 states, Walgreens is one of the biggest pharmaceutical chains in the U.S. So odds are you’ve bought from a Walgreens at least once — if was to get a prescription filled, grab a few headache pills or pick up hygiene products for the missus.
This pharmacy offers more than medications, groceries, beauty products and an array of everyday essentials, but Walgreens also provides medical care and immunizations at its walk-in clinics in over 400 of its stores. It also offers customers an array of opportunities to cut costs of shopping at its stores or on its website. Here are nine ways to save money at Walgreens.
1. Sign Up For The Balance Rewards Program
“The easiest way to save at Walgreens is to sign up for a Balance Rewards card,” said Kyle Taylor, founder of personal finance blog ThePennyHoarder.com. This program is free to join at any Walgreens store, on Walgreens.com or with their free app.
Members will get 10 points for every $1 spent on most mechandise, and extra points on featured items. You also get 100 points when filling 30-day prescriptions at Walgreens, 300 points for 90-day prescriptions and 100 points for vaccinations given at a store.
“Once you earn 5,000 points, you will receive a $5 reward to redeem on your next purchase,” Says Taylor. “The more points you earn, the bigger your reward.”
The maximum redeemable is $50. Points and rewards mean dollars off the bill, and you can redeem points both in stores and online. They'll expire if you don’t use them within three years or if you don’t make use your Balance Rewards card for half a year.
2. Be Rewarded for Healthy Habits
Being healthy can pay off when you use Walgreens’ Balance Rewards for the healthy choices program. You can join your Balance Rewards account to this program online. Then you can start racking up reward points for setting and achieving health and wellness goals, like losing weight, and for registering activities, like exercising or keeping track of your blood pressure.
You can log activities on the Walgreens site, or automatically get points by syncing fitness apps or devices that record activities to your Balance Rewards account. Ashleigh Evans, of money-saving blog DashOfEvans.com, says she linked her Fitbit to automatically get points for walking. “It’s free money for being active,” she said.
You will earn 250 points for setting a goal, 250 for achieving a goal, 20 points for every mile run or walked and 20 points per day for tracking blood pressure, blood sugar and various other activities.
3. Enjoy Even Further Rewards for Being an AARP Member
AARP members, the organization for adults 50 and older, can gather even Further benefits if they sync their Balance Rewards account with their AARP membership online, in a store. You’ll get 50 points for every buck spent on Walgreens brand health and wellness products, and get 1 1/2 times the points for healthy choices activities.
4. Use Those Register Rewards
“The Register Rewards program at Walgreens is a great money saver,” says Dian Farmer, of GroceryShopforFREE.com. Register Rewards are coupons you’ll earn at the register if you purchase chosen items, which are marked in the Walgreens weekly ad, and offer a specific dollar amount off your next purchase.
Think of your Register Rewards like they're cash, because you can use these coupons to buy almost anything in the store, Farmer said. However, there’re usually only valid for a short period of time. “So be sure to keep an eye on the expiration dates so you don’t miss out on your savings,” she say.
5. Use and Abuse Store Coupons
Every month, Walgreens comes out with a coupon book that’s available at the front of every store and has hundreds of dollars’ worth of coupons, Taylor said. For instance, the April 2016 booklet contained over $460 in coupons, he said. So you should get one as you enter to see all the savings on items you were planning to purchase anyway.
Alternatively, you could be more strategic in your approach. Walgreens also offers these coupons online, and you can join them to your Balance Rewards card when you log into your account. “Rather than carrying around a stack of paper coupons, simply log onto Walgreens.com, choose the deals that match your shopping list and click ‘clip to card,'” Taylor says.
6. Stack Your Savings
Walgreens lets its shoppers use its coupons alongside manufacturer coupons. shoppers can also use manufacturer coupons alongside sale items and Register Rewards promotions to get even more of a discount.
“Walgreens has great clearance sales, so make sure you look for their clearance tags on the shelf — and don’t forget to pair that sale with a coupon and other offers when you can,” Farmer says. Be careful, though, that the amount of manufacturer and Register Rewards coupons you use can’t exceed the amount of items you’re buying.
7. Mark Out-of-Stock Sale Items to Buy Later
When Walgreens puts an item on sale, but is out of stock by the time you get to the store, you can get a rain check to get the item for the sale price at a later date. Or a store worker might let you substitute a similar product of the same brand at the sale price, according to Walgreens.com. Rain checks may only be used for in-store transactions, and they're only valid for 60 days.
8. Shop Online
when you only shop at Walgreens stores, you miss out on its online deals. Walgreens.com offers up to 50 percent off certain items each week. Or maybe you'll find special bonus rewards points offers on some online purchases.
9. Arrange Repeat Deliveries
You can save more than 10 percent off select items purchased on Walgreens.com when you choose to have them delivered to you on a recurring basis. also, they ship for free.
Items eligible for the Auto-Reorder & Save program are marked as such on the product details page and in the checkout cart. You can still earn Balance Rewards points on Auto-Reorder & Save purchases, but you can only use points on your first recurring shipment.