This or That: CVS vs. Walgreens

Between CVS and Walgreens I would easily choose CVS ( when I wrote this I hadn’t stepped a foot into Walgreens in months but I am slowly warming up to Walgreens again!)!

When I first started couponing, CVS was the only place that I did super coupon shopping.  In fact I didn’t even use a single coupon at any other drug store until a year and a half into my coupon obsession.  I feel very comfortable shopping at CVS and I have only ever had problems using coupons at one particular store with the same 2 cashiers (when I lived in Ohio) and that was almost 2 years ago.  Walgreens is a whole other story when it comes to my coupon/cashier experience!

Pros of shopping at CVS:

  1. Most cashiers are educated on their coupon policy.
  2. They practically beg you to scan your card at the “coupon machine” to get store coupons (which often result in free items) .
  3. They allow you to use a manufacturer coupon AND a CVS store coupon on a single item.
  4. They will sometimes email, send though postal mail and/or produce $/$$ coupons from the registers/coupon scanner.
  5. You get back 2% back in Extra Bucks on your purchases each quarter.
  6. They have some really great clearance deals that you can find.
  7. If something is out of stock you can get a raincheck with no hassle and it can be used at ANY CVS location & NEVER expires PLUS you will still get the Extra Bucks if the deal was for an offer with Extra Bucks.
  8. Most locations will start the sales for the next week on Saturday evening.  This is  a plus if you want to get something that offers ECBs before it sells out if you won’t be able to make it out early Sunday.
  9. They have a price checker ( same machine as coupon kiosk) so that you don’t have to wait in line to ask a cashier for a price check.
  10. Extra Bucks have 1 month until they expire so you don’t have to rush out to use them.
  11. You can “roll” your ECBs.
  12. It doesn’t matter if you are buying just 1 item, you can use as many ECBs as you want until your subtotal reaches $0.00.

Pros of shopping at Walgreens:

  1. They have a new coupon booklet that comes out each month and is filled with Walgreens store coupons.
  2. They allow the use of a manufacturer coupon AND a Walgreens coupon AND an in-ad coupon per item ( that’s 3 possible coupons that you can stack on an item!).
  3. They always have a bunch of great clearance deals.
  4. Their register reward offers are unlimited (for now) which allows you to really stock up on an item for free or cheap.
  5. They have several 24 hour store locations which is nice for an insomniac like me that prefers to shop very late at night without a million people crowding the aisles. J
  6. You don’t need a store rewards card to get in on the great sale prices and RR deals.

Cons of Shopping at CVS:

  1. The ECB are limited per card, often at a limit of just 1.
  2. You have to have a CVS Extra Care card to get in on the deals ( I don’t personally mind the card but some do)
  3. CVS doesn’t seem to have as many store locations as Walgreens does.

Cons of Shopping at Walgreens:

  1. More often than not I hear complaints that some cashiers/managers aren’t educated on Walgreen’s coupon policy ( not their fault…they should have been trained correctly on the coupon acceptance policy) which can result in frustration for both the customer and cashier.
  2. Since Walgreens doesn’t have a store card it makes it easier for 1 or 2 people to clear a shelf which may make it harder for other customers to get in on the deals.
  3. If you try to get a raincheck on something that offers register rewards then you never know what the outcome will be.  The stores all seem to have their own policy on this.
  4. They don’t put out $/$$ coupons like Rite Aid & CVS ( although they do the friends and family discount a couple of times a year).
  5. They don’t have a price checker.  For some, that may not matter but it makes life SO much easier when checking prices on unadvertised deals that we all find from bloggers and other deal sites.
  6. Unless there is a glitch ( which is usually fixed pretty quick), you can not “roll” your Register Rewards with another RR deal from the same manufacturer.
  7. Register Rewards are technically manufacturer coupons ( as stated at the top of the RR) and you often have to buy extra fillers in order to use your RR.  Walgreens allows 1 manufacturer coupon per item. [For example: let’s say you buy  a crest toothpaste $2.49 and a bag of Halls cough drops $1.00 and you have a $1 Crest coupon and a $0.75 Halls coupon and want to use a $1.50 Register Rewards that you have from a previous deal to pay the rest of the total.  You will need to pick up some cheap “filler” item for each register reward that you plan to use in that transaction since the amount of manufacturer coupons you have would exceed the amount of items you have.]

So….there is my opinion.

Which store do you prefer between CVS & Walgreens?  Why?  Do you have something to add to the “pros” and “cons” list that I came up with above?  Cast your vote and the winner will take on Rite Aid next week!

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2 Responses to This or That: CVS vs. Walgreens

  1. Kate says:

    Definitely CVS. I don’t ever shop at Walgreens.

    I’m a student at the University of Buffalo and there’s a CVS on campus, so I walk over after my classes at least once a week and pick up the freebies. If I get busy with work and classes, I know that my ECBs will last a month and I can skip a few weeks of shopping if need be.

    Just got back from CVS:
    4 boxes of Quaker oatmeal packets (including some wild blueberry muffin!)
    1 Sunsweet dried apricots
    1 CVS Lemon-Lime soda
    1 Brach’s candy corn
    2 Colgate Total 4oz toothpastes
    Paid $0.56 cash for all that. I even got back $2 more ECB than I spent!

    • couponlove says:

      I have yet to go to that CVS. Are they coupon friendly? Great trip!! I was able to print out the $2 Quaker coupons at my friends house and I hope that I get to use them at CVS before the deal is over!

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