Why I'm not a huge Walgreens fan...

Perhaps you have noticed that I tend to favor CVS over Walgreens and other drug stores. Really, I don't mean to play favorites. It is just that Walgreens has soured my grapes a time or two. Don't worry, I'll still report all the great Walgreens deals for you to decide for yourself. I've just had some interesting experiences. I'm really not one to complain, but here's why I'm not the biggest Walgreens fan:

  1. Learning the Walgreens system is a little like rocket science. I'm a doctoral student. I understand difficult stuff but Walgreens registers, rebates and coupons are only understood by quantum physicists. There are really three systems to learn at Walgreens- the register rewards (which works like CVS extrabucks but expire quicker- we'll get to that later), the monthly rebate program, instant value coupons. These are of course in addition to manufacturer's coupons. This is a lot for my brain to handle!

  2. I don't care for the register rewards. This is my biggest draw to drugstores but I honestly don't care for the Walgreens register rewards. They expire really quick and have lots of restrictions on what they can be used to purchase. It used to be that these coupons could buy anything in the store. Not so anymore! No gift cards, stamps, and not if you have too many other coupons; some stores have limited these to one per order. Not cool.

  3. Walgreens is inconsistent. Say there is a fabulous buy one get one free sale this week. One store might ring the items at half price each, another might ring the first item at full price and the second at $0. It makes planning ahead of time really challenging unless you know how every individual store will work.

  4. Walgreens is not as coupon friendly. I understand that people ruin things for everyone by using coupons fraudulently. While some people are really excited to see you save, my local Walgreens stores have become vigilantes about everyday coupon usage. If you have a lot of them, you are suspect.

  5. There's a lot to learn about Walgreens crazy registers. Have you figured out that you can only use as many coupons as the number of items you are buying? If, for example, you want to use a mfg. coupon and your register reward coupon, you actually have to buy 2 items (2 coupons for 2 items). Two coupons can't be used on only 1 thing. Or have you discovered that Walgreens coupons deduct the amount of the coupon for as many items as you have? Say you have a $2 Walgreens coupon for diapers. You buy 3 packs but scan only 1 coupon. Good enough. Walgreens gave you a $6 discount ($2 for each pack you bought even though you only scanned the coupon once). With Walgreens in-ad coupons, IVCs, and other items in addition to the manufacturer's coupons, this is actually craziness.

Don't get me wrong here. I still shop at Walgreens, just not as frequently as other drugstores where I can snag similar deals. I'm not even really complaining about the store, I've just had a difficult time both with my own stores and have read so many responses from the readers on bad experiences after I posted a great deal for you. I don't want you to head out to snag a fabulous deal only to be disappointed that you first needed a physics degree to figure the deal out. Rest assured that, like anything, once you get the hang of Walgreens, it seems like nothing. For me... you know where I stand.


Anonymous said...

I found your comment interesting because I prefer Walgreens to CVS any day. I prefer the rebate Giftcard as it doesn't expire and you can use it for whatever amount you want. It may also be I have always had very pleasant staff there who are always impressed with my deals and I haven't spent any OOP after my first month of Walgreens. I have had similar experiences as you've stated at CVS. So I guess it's where you live.

The Financial Diva said...

Yeah, I guess that's the beauty of the ways we all shop. It's different everywhere & for different people too!

Sarah Denton said...

I prefer CVS too for some of the same reasons you listed. It seems like though since the economy has been slow and things have gotten tighter, more cashiers at ALL stores are actually UPSET that you are using coupons and trying to save money.