Walgreen’s beats CVS for deals

Previously, I had waxed poetic about my love affair with CVS.  Well, there’s a new beau in town and its name is Walgreeens. 

I noticed in the Sunday paper that Walgreens and CVS had many of the same items posted in their flyers.  They also had many of the same items on sale.  In general, Walgreens tended to be less expensive than CVS item per item.  What really got my attention were the items at CVS that had Extra Bucks tied to them.

At CVS they have a program called Extra Bucks.  The idea is that if you purchase a product that has extra bucks listed for it, you will “earn” those extra bucks to be spent at a future purchase.  The difference between Walgreens and CVS is that Walgreens gives you the savings up front and doesn’t make you come back in to “use” your saved dollar. 

For example: CVS charges $2 for Puffs Plus and gives you $1 in extra bucks for your next purchase.  They say it’s like purchasing Puffs Plus for $1.  That’s splitting hairs.  You have to give them the $2 and then you have to come back and “spend” that $1 savings on something else.  You have to keep spending money to keep earning your savings rewards.  At Walgreens they just give you the savings up front, no strings attached.  Sounds easy enough.

So I gave Walgreens a try.  I picked the items that were on sale via Walgreens specials/coupons and matched my coupons to them.  Here’s what I purchased:

This all cost me $40.56 pre-tax post coupons, discounts, and specials.

This seemed a little high to me.  I was worried that the drugstores were jacking up the prices so they could “discount” them to get people in.  To soothe my penny pinched mind, I went to WalMart to do price checks.

FYI – Last year I created a spreadsheet of all the grocery stores in the area to compare prices of our commonly purchased items.  Aldis and WalMart tied for #1 cost savers with Aldis slightly higher.  I chose Wal Mart for my Walgreens price check because they would have comparable brands.  (Aldis has their own brand)

Here’s what I found:

Item for item sans any sales/discounts/coupons, Wal Mart was $3.17 less expensive than Walgreens.   

WalMart = $67.66  Walgreens = $70.80

However, AFTER sales/discounts/coupons, Wal Mart was $27.10 more expensive than Walgreens.

WalMart = $67.66  Walgreens = $40.56

Final analysis?  Walgreens is actually less expensive IF you buy the items that are on sale and use Walgreen’s coupons from the Sunday paper.  The savings amplify when you match those sale items with manufacturer coupons.

Frugal Tip of the Day:  Love drugstore sales, but Beware!  Only buy what is on sale or discounted.  An extra bonus if you have a manufacturers coupon to match that sale item.  Many items that were NOT on sale were outrageously more expensive than a grocery store.  I’m guessing that they hope you make some impulse buys once you get in there to buy the sale items. 

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2 Responses to Walgreen’s beats CVS for deals

  1. Rebecca says:

    I’ve never gotten into going to Walgreens… just because I loved CVS so much. Is it just a straight forward sale on items, or do I need a Walgreens card?

    • Salee says:

      It’s a straight forward sale – no card needed. Just remember to cut out the Walgreens coupons from the flyer. That seemed to be the only catch. No coupon – no deal. I liked CVS too, but I kept forgetting to redeem my extra bucks and got tired of trying to keep track of it all.

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