my walgreens adventures for september

September 9th, 2008

My Walgreens Adventures For September

I must say, I am enjoying figuring out Walgreens and how to get good deals there much more than I did CVS.  I still shop at CVS sometimes, for example, this weekend I bought 6 GenSoy energy bars for my spouse there for $6 and got $3 in extra care bucks back.  But, generally, I do not like to deal with extra care bucks and would much rather have a gift card to the store like Walgreens provides.

Over the past two months, I have bought a few items at Walgreens that provided a rebate, and had accumulated $16.49 on my gift card from those rebates.  This month, there were quite a few free-after-rebate items I wanted, so I went to Walgreens to start using my gift card.  My goal is to get to a point where I don’t actually spend any money out of pocket at Walgreens, just the balance of the gift card.  I’m not quite there yet, but I am getting closer.

I had to visit Walgreens twice, because the first time they were out of one of the free-after-rebate items I wanted, but in total, this is what I did.  I purchased the following items:

  • Crest ProHealth Toothpaste:  $2.99
  • Chemistry Shampoo:  $7.99
  • Walgreens brand water pitcher filter:  $6.99
  • Excedrin Tension Headache:  $3.99

All four of these items had a free-after-rebate offer.   I had a $0.75 off coupon for the toothpaste, so in total with 7% sales tax, I paid $22.70.  I had a $16.49 balance on my gift card, so I used that to pay and then paid $6.21 out of pocket.   I then submitted all these items online for my rebates, and since I am having the rebates put onto my gift card, I will get a 10% bonus on the values of the items in rebates.  According to my calculations, I should get a rebate of $24.16 applied to my gift card.  And I have a bottle of shampoo, some excedrin, a water filter, and some toothpaste to show for it.  The shampoo is fin, I would never pay $7.99 for it but free was good.  :)

Walgreens so far seems to have a shampoo or conditioner free after rebate every month, which is great for me because I am not at all brand loyal.  I am also not brand loyal to toothpaste, so basically actually getting paid to buy toothpaste because of my coupon worked well for me.  If I can pair coupons with free-after-rebate items, so much the better.  I am hoping that I now have a high enough gift card balance to continue to just buy free-after-rebate items every month, use my gift card to pay, and with that 10% bonus (which is effectively only 3% for me on taxable items, but still a bonus) slowly increase my gift card balance every month.  We shall see but I am doing pretty well so far, I think.

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13 Responses to “My Walgreens Adventures For September”

  1. I just started shopping at Walgreens again because of the digital camera deal and so I spent a lot out of pocket but now I have $55 on my card because of the $40 digital camera rebate(camera ended up being $15.99 after rebate) and $10 alavert rebate.

    I like CVS better cause I can break my purchases into multiple transactions and use the ECBs from the previous transaction on my next transaction. With walgreens, I have to wait til the end of the month to get the rebates.

    Each has their pros and cons.

  2. Another strategy to pursue is to try to time your purchase of FAR items with the $x off $xx coupons that Walgreens puts out once or twice a month– if you can pair up FAR items with coupons and use a $x/$xx coupon, you can make a tidy profit. I’ve been spending the same money over and over again for a few months now. : ) If you have a RiteAid in your area, you might like their Single Check Rebate program– similar to Walgreens (except no giftcard), and rebates are on pre-coupon prices, so you can make out quite well there too.

  3. I’m trying to get to that point too – not paying anything out of pocket. But I keep making stupid mistakes that prevent that. I bought diapers there a few weeks ago and had to mail in for the register rewards certificate because their registers weren’t working right. I mailed it too late (I still sent it in, so we’ll see if they have pity on me). Last month, I accidentally bought the wrong size Pert Plus. I was totally kicking myself because I was paying so close attention to what kind of make-up I needed to get it free after rebate and I totally didn’t even think to check what size shampoo I should be buying!

    Hopefully with that out of my system, I can be successful now. I’ll be buying at least the toothpaste this month, so that will grow my gift card about by a small amount.

  4. Wahoo! Congratulations!
    Thanks to you, we’ve started doing the same thing at Walgreens, and pretty much have the same goal. Luckily one of the cashiers is a “buddy” who’s been there as long as I’ve been going (have been getting Rx there since we’ve lived here) and he’s even separated out my purchases and reswiped the monthly discount coupon to max out savings. Now its a running joke: “I’m here, that discount coupon must be available”!
    I’m waiting now for my first gift card and apparently using the discount coupon, OR regular coupons, has had no effect on getting rebates. Amazing.
    Link for monthly $xx discount (with link to rebate page); nothing yet for Sept:

  5. that is some pretty impressive couponining!

  6. You make me wish I had a walgreens (the closest one is an hour away)! CVS and RiteAid’s programs are just a little too complicated for me.

  7. Another way to accumulate more rebates on your GC is to look for specials that produce register rewards (like CVS ECBs) especially those that you have coupons for. Then you can use the register rewards to buy your rebate items. No out of pocket and your gift card balance keeps growing. I love Walgreens and am also still new to the gift card thing but thank goodness there are enough people around the blogsphere to help out us newbies.

  8. We need to start doing this more often. It does actually sound kind of fun and challenging. I’m always up for a good challange.

    Regarding Walgreens vs. CVS, I’m a big fan of Walgreens. Love their product selection, and in my opinion their website and customer service are way above CVS.

  9. I do the Walgreens monthly rebates because I don’t have a CVS where I live. I am still working on growing my gift card, but I think I’m just going to have to suck it up and pay a bunch OOP to get some “starter money”.

  10. FWIW there’s a $10 off $40 coupon for Friday/Saturday
    (9/12 & 13) up now:

  11. Oh man. I never shopped at WG and thought it was too expensive … until I started actively couponing in May. I will NEVER pay for shampoo again. Or toothpaste. It’s free too often between WG and RA. I don’t find RA hard to figure out at all and they actually have more opportunities for free stuff.

    If you really want to get into it you should check out the Hot Coupon World forum. I’ve learned SO much and saved a ton.

    There is a $10/$40 purchase today and tomorrow and I will end up MAKING at least $4 and maybe even $12. Woohoo!!!

  12. I have yet to make a trip to Walgreens with the intent on getting free stuff or even making a profit. It is one of my girlfriend’s favorite stores though so I am now hoping to make a trip this weekend. The best part is that the closest store to us is in tax free New Hampshire!


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