Realistic “Extreme” Couponing Session 3

Today, we will tackle how to use coupons at the drugstores. (In case you missed it, here is session 1 and session 2.)  The main drugstores in our area are: CVS, Rite Aid, and Walgreens. All of these drugstores offer rewards programs. Their rewards are given at the end of a transaction when you buy a qualifying purchase. You then use these rewards like cash toward your total of your next purchase. We buy almost all of our personal care products and even some foods at the drugstores really cheap or free!

We personally prefer Rite Aid and CVS. Walgreens can be rather difficult with their coupons. They only allow the number of coupons per number of items you bought and they count their own rewards as a coupon. So, say you go in to buy 2 items and have a manufacturer coupon for each of those items. They will make you buy something else to be able to use their rewards towards your purchase. (If you are confused, this might make more sense after you read the whole post.) We have also had problems with them taking coupons if they won’t scan (this is the case in some stores, but we have had Walgreens not even accept their OWN rewards because the ink didn’t print right so it wouldn’t scan). We do still shop at Walgreens occasionally, but it has to be a REALLY good deal for us to want to deal with their hassle. However, other people have never had problems there so you still might want to give them a try.

The first “deal” that I ever did was at Rite Aid.  My sister introduced me to some of the sites online that teach you this stuff.  Our little one was less than a year old and summer was approaching.  I went to Rite Aid and bought 2 packages of diapers and 3 packages of swim diapers.  After calculating the rebate money I was getting back (Rite Aid just did rebates not rewards at that time) and a coupon for a free package of diapers that my purchase qualified me for, I ended up making over $3.00 and that is how we got hooked!

Obviously, for some things you can’t be picky about the brands.  We used to prefer Luvs diapers.  Luvs never have good deals so now we end up using Huggies and occasionally Pampers because they often are on sale and have coupons.  But, you can still be picky about brands and just stock up when there is a good deal.  I prefer either Degree or Dove deodorants and am not crazy about other brands….we just stock up on either of those when there is a good deal and I have yet to ever run out of deodorant and need to “settle” for a brand I don’t like.
Here is some information about how the 3 drugstores work. You can also find this information on our site at all times by clicking “Drugstores 101” at the top.

CVS: Extra Care Card-must have card to get any sale prices.

  • Sales run from Sunday through Saturday.
  • Accepts manufacturer’s coupons and store coupons for same item.
  • Gives Extra Care Bucks (ECB’s) to use on future purchases.
    • ECB’s print on the bottom of your receipt.
    • ECB’s expire one month after you receive them.
    • ECB’s have limits.
    • Can use ECB’s to buy other products and still get more ECB’s.
  • Can get extra savings by having your card registered online.
  • Must buy both items to get B1G1 free deals.
    • May use 2 coupons on B1G1 deals including B1G1 coupon making both items free.
  • Will give raincheck including on ECB promo items.

RITE AID: Wellness+ Card-must have card to get any sale prices.

  • Sales run from Sunday through Saturday.
  • Accepts manufacturer’s coupons, video values coupons, and in ad coupons for same item.
  • Accumulate points through the wellness+ program to get more discounts through the year.
  • Gives UP+ rewards to use on future purchases.
    • UP+ rewards print on the bottom of your receipt.
    • UP+ rewards expire 2 weeks from the end of the sale week that you receive them
    • No limit on amount of items you can buy and get rewards if no limit is specified.
    • Can “roll” rewards to buy same item and get another reward.
  • Does a Single Check Rebate system each month.

o        SCR’s run from Wednesday through Tuesday.

  • Periodically does promotions like “Gift of Savings” program.
  • Must buy both items to get B1G1 free deals.

o        May use two coupons on B1G1 deals including B1G1 coupon making both items free.  Sorry…forgot to update this before copying – Rite Aid changed their policy and you can only use 1 coupon now on B1G1 deals.

  • Will give raincheck including on +UP reward items.

WALGREENS: No Card

  • Sales run from Sunday through Saturday.
  • Accepts manufacturer’s coupons and in ad coupons or booklet coupons on same item.
  • Will only accept one coupon per item purchased
  • Gives Register Rewards (RR’s) to use on future purchases.
    • All RR promotion items are a limit of one per transaction.
    • RR’s expire two weeks after you receive them.
    • RR’s print separately from your receipt.
    • RR’s are considered manufacturer’s coupons.
    • RR’s cannot be “rolled.”
    • Can’t use RR’s to purchase another product from the same manufacturer and receive another RR.
  • Must buy both items to get B1G1 free deals.
    • May use two coupons on B1G1 deals including B1G1 coupon making both items free.
  • Will give raincheck except on RR promotion items.  They will give you a raincheck for the sales price but not on the RR.
So, have you started playing the “drugstore game” yet?  What is your favorite drugstore?
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9 responses to “Realistic “Extreme” Couponing Session 3

  1. I have a question about when you say that at Rite aid on the b1g1 sales you can use a b1g1 coupon to be able to get 2 items completely free. Is that correct? I use one b1g1 coupon and get 2 items completely free if the item is on sale for b1g1. I don’t shop at Rite aid much, because I dont understand the video coupons. I might start trying rite aid more though. For this week do you mind writing your shopping list for rite aid up, so I can get an idea how to do good at rite aid as well. Thanks so much

    • Jessica, thank you so much for pointing that out. I changed the post because I forgot to update our information. Rite Aid changed their coupon policy a few months ago so that they now only accept one coupon for a B1G1 deal. You can no longer get both items free. So sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused.
      Also, the video values coupons are Rite Aid store coupons (I added the link above). You basically watch a video and then you can print a coupon for a particular item. These can be combined with manufacturer coupons to make some good deals. They used to have things where you watched so many videos in a certain time frame and then you can print a $5 off $20 purchase, but they haven’t done that sort of coupon in a looooong time. I will respond by email with our shopping list because I’ve already written so much here. Hope that helps and let us know if you have any other questions!

  2. Pingback: Realist “Extreme” Couponing Session 4 | Life's a Beach…When Saving Money!

  3. Pingback: Realistic “Extreme” Couponing Session 5 | Life's a Beach…When Saving Money!

    • Yes, Monica, you can use more than one per order, they just have to be for less than your total amount. For example, if your order comes to $4.79 and you have two $2 up rewards, you can use both and pay just $.89. But, if you only have a $2 up reward and a $3 up reward, you would only be able to use one of them. I hope I explained that clearly enough. 🙂

  4. Pingback: Realistic “Extreme” Couponing Session 6 | Life's a Beach…When Saving Money!

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