Shopping at Walgreens tip

monicatxMay 24, 2011

I went to Walgreens early Sunday morning to buy something in their newspaper flyer. My closest Walgreens manager told me that they did not receive that item so I asked him to call another store and ask. He called and found out that Walgreens now has a computer system that will tell him what stores received what items. Cool.

He was able to tell me that a nearby Walgreens had received 20 of my item. I immediately drove to that store and found what I was looking for. They only had one in the size I needed so I tracked down a salesperson who told me that they put everything out on Fridays and the others had sold.

Bottom line: Walgreens managers can search for an item you want from another store. Also, if your not busy on Friday afternoon just wander through Walgreens and check their newest flyer merchandise before everyone else. (No, I do not work or know anyone who works at Walgreens)

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I don't like Walgreens' frequent use of the rebate-or-credit-for-next-purchase "sale" technique.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2011 at 2:17AM
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I've had Wal-Mart and Target check for items they didn't have in the quantity I needed (drapes and banana leaf storage containers respectively) and see if they were in stock at other stores in the area, so it's not just Walgreen's.


    Bookmark   May 25, 2011 at 5:00AM
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DaDoes, I agree with you about rebates. For the first few years, I would fill out all that paperwork and usually get nothing rebated. Now I just will not shop a product with a rebate with it. J.C.Penney's, Macy's and Bed,Bath & Beyond also use them. If I see rebate in the advertisement, I don't go and shop.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2011 at 5:47AM
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MonicaTX, I'm referring to store "rebates" or credits that are good on the *next* purchase. One has to buy the items, then go back and buy them again to garner savings on the 2nd purchase.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2011 at 3:23PM
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Yes, that is what I meant also also. Those rebates for a store purchase of a fry pan or blender type item. I read a report that each manufacturer hires a separate rebate company to handle the forms. This company gets to keep any money they don't send out as a rebate so they have an incentive to not approve your rebate.

One time I received a $25.00 rebate in a brown envelope that looked like an advertisement. No return address. Normally I would have thrown it away but for some reason I opened it --- and inside was a check made out to me. The check had to be cashed within 30 days or it was void. Yes, they were trying to trick people into throwing away their check the then rebate company could keep the money.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2011 at 6:57PM
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We don't have Walgreen in this state--THANK Goodness!! Would not shop if we did. Prices way too high. Had a big run in with one in AZ because the refused to accept my Blue Cross pres card, went in at 10pm at night to get Prescription, --Only one other person in the whole store, had to wait an hour--because person claimed to be too busy, yet she did not fill a single pres (except mine) in that hour. Yes their head office heard about and yet the store still refused to accept the card, and I had to pay cash--would not even accept a debit card. She and the store manager heard about it from me--very rude and snotty.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2011 at 6:19PM
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I had a dispute with the Walgreen's pharmacy which I used for several years. Ended up transferring all of my prescriptions to Target and was shocked to find that ALL of them were cheaper except for two which were the same price. The only thing I sacrificed was having them available 24 hours per day since I could only pick up at Target from 8am - 8pm but I could happily accept that for the savings.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2011 at 4:44PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

An item on sale at walgreen's is still probably more expensive than at any other store.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 8:15AM
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They're expensive becaues Walgreen's aims at convenience (locality, smaller stores, long hours) not the suburban 'superstore' concept that CVS and Rite-Aid pursued.

It's a profitable, smart marketing strategy. They have done much better in per sq. ft. sales than their competition. They don't intend nor want to be the lowest-cost provider; they know better than to try and compete with Wal-Mart. Instead, they are the new 'local drugstore' in urban neighborhoods.

With the RE bust devastating far-flung commuter cities, and commercial malls faltering, Walgreen's urban strategy of smaller stores has been the market winner. You may not like them, but it's enabled them to survive and even prosper at a time when many long-familiar names are struggling.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2011 at 2:27PM
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"They're expensive becaues Walgreen's aims at convenience (locality, smaller stores, long hours) not the suburban 'superstore' concept that CVS and Rite-Aid pursued. "

Interesting idea... but the Walgreen's here are within 1/2 mile of a CVS or a Rite-Aid, and sometimes both!

    Bookmark   June 22, 2011 at 4:06PM
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I never liked Walgreen's before, but am slowing turning into a fan. I only go to a local store to pick up Rxs for an elderly client of mine. Since our Northern California chain Long's sold out to CVS, I've hardly stepped into one of their stores. And no one I know likes CVS, which compare very poorly in all ways to our dear departed Long's.

Why do I like Walgreen's more? Because they carry a wider, range of stock, while other stores like CVS, Target and Walmart (no Rite-Aid close enough to bother with) are carrying fewer brands, styles, sizes, etc than ever before. The shelves LOOK like they have a lot of product but it's just multiples of the same thing.

Case in point, I was looking for a specific mineral supplement. The other stores carried one or two of the item in one or two brands, but I found a much wider range in strength, bottle size, manufacturer at Walgreens.

I've gotten to the point where I am quite disgusted with the lack of choices at many of the largest stores.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2011 at 4:18PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

I didn't say anything about liking or disliking Walgreen's but this is a forum about saving money, so I just wanted to make that point. It's an unlikely place to do planned shopping if saving money is your priority. Nothing wrong with paying more for convenience or wider selection.

When you factor in the cost of going to multiple stores, it can be possible to save overall by going to a single, more expensive store that fills all of your needs.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2011 at 4:58PM
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Hi, I just wanted to comment on the tip about stores having fewer selection of items. I agree. In fact I was amazed when I went to a large warehouse type grocery plus store in my area (central Texas) at the start of the recession. They had the same item in large supply on shelves in three different parts of the store. That was the first time I saw that done. Now, it is just insane. Everyone is doing it.

Yes, I am on an extremely tight budget, but my also my health is not good. I cannot go to 4 or 5 stores comparing prices so I end up paying a little more sometimes. If I watch the sales, I can get the items I need at a good price tho.

I don't understand how a store can save money if they have 20sf of a product in 3 different areas?? strange.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2011 at 8:43PM
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Monica, I don't expect Costco or Sam's to have a wide selection of product, not at all, but I'm not sure I understand the placement in different areas. That's strange.

Yeah, I have to arrange my shopping by groups of stores in one area. I make the list and then head out, hoping to go to several stores that are close together. But I still think that CVS is the worst, so I never go there unless there was something in their Sunday ad that I thought was good. ;-o

    Bookmark   June 27, 2011 at 8:49PM
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Hi, sushipup,

It wasn't Costco or Sam's. It was our local huge HEB! I am also seeing grocery stores lining the shelves with one jar or bottle with nothing in back. In fact, on a buy 2 get 1 in a pharmacy (not Walgreen's) there was only 1 of each item. Just strange.

I agree CVS is bad. I use my local Randalls pharmacy which only takes 10 minutes for a new prescription. Used to use WalMart until I was sick and they needed 1 1/2 hours to fill the new prescription. That was a bad day. Medicare has limited how much the pharmacy can charge for any approved medication, so my cost & Medicares doesn't change no matter where I shop.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2011 at 9:02PM
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>>the Walgreen's here are within 1/2 mile of a CVS or a Rite-Aid, and sometimes both! >>

I was not saying that all Walgreen locations are far from a drug superstore.

However, in both San Francisco CA and the Berkeley/Oakland CA areas, Walgreens far outnumber the CVS/Rite-Aid stores. This is especially true in downtown SF, where there are literally Walgreens every three or four blocks from one another, doing very well in per-sq.-ft. sales numbers. In this area there is one single Rite-Aid (not a superstore)and not a single independent pharmacy left; the last one closed up ten years ago.

In the SF Richmond district where I lived for 17 yrs, there are three Walgreens and again, one Rite-Aid regular store, along with half a dozen independents.

In our current neighborhood, there are two Walgreens and one independent. I have to drive to the CVS superstore, but they're being kicked out by their landlord and haven't decided if they're going to reopen a smaller store in the same open-air mall or not. The superstore concept doesn't really work in the city; if you're going to drive to CVS you might as well drive in the opposite direction, same amount of time, to Wal-Mart.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2011 at 11:57AM
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We live in a very small town. Its 25 miles to the closest Walmart or Target. We have a Walgreen's and a CVS across the street from each other. I have found that the people at Walgreen's are much more helpful. They have a better choice of products to choose from and it usually only takes less then 15 to get a prescription filled. With our insurance co, it doesn't matter what the pharmacy charges, I pay the same co-pay regardless of where I shop at. I have found that it is best to have as many of my medications delivered mail order. Walmart does have home delivery available for medications that I take all the time.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2011 at 2:02PM
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I don't have prescriptions so I can't comment on them but for many other things I really like Walgreens. I can often buy things there cheaper than other places. Dish soap is often quite cheap there and I laugh at how much cheaper than at the "cost club pay-more" places. I buy shampoo there and body wash for $1 each, they have great pork rinds that I get now and then - better than available anywhere else. They have special purchase items cheap. I bought a belt there far cheaper than anywhere else. Even certain things like eggs and butter can be cheaper, however you have to get there early because they don't stock a lot obviously, and the old folks get out to get the bargains! :)

I've found an easy way around the "next purchase" credits. I split my order up. Check out with the stuff that is subject to the reward bucks, then apply them to the rest of the purchase. Simple.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2011 at 2:52AM
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Walgreens is connected to AARP somehow, maybe that is the reason there are so many and prices seem to be higher. Wonder how much kickback is connected.
Not saving $$ for us no matter how we look at it.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2011 at 5:51PM
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