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Q&A Tuesday: Which Drug Store Has the Best Deals?

I live pretty equidistantly from all the big three drugstores– CVS, Walgreens, and Rite-Aid. I do most of my drugstore shopping at CVS, since it happens to share a parking lot with my local Kroger and saves a few precious moments of travel time.

However, I’ve begun to think more seriously about which chain in fact has some of the best deals or the best rewards system. I can think of pros/cons of all three chains, but what does everyone else think? Sincerely, Ellen

Great question and I’m fascinated to hear input from everyone on this!

I personally can’t give a very educated answer since I’ve never stepped foot in a Rite Aid store before — we’ve always lived hundreds of miles away from them!

When we lived in Topeka and Kansas City and had both a CVS and Walgreens, I chose CVS over Walgreens nine times out of ten because I found that I paid much less money out of pocket on the CVS deals. I only went to Walgreens when the deals were smoking hot — which happened to be about once every 6-8 weeks at that time.

Now, we live in a town with no drug stores but Walgreens (sniff!). I only shop there occasionally because they usually aren’t very coupon-friendly and I’ve often found it to be more hassle than it’s worth. But if I have extra time or there’s a can’t-miss deal, I still find it worth it sometimes.

I think which drugstore has the best deals will depend somewhat upon the area you live in and what kinds of items you routinely buy. Some stores are notorious for being out-of-stock of the weekly deals. Some stores, like our Walgreens, aren’t coupon-friendly. These types of factors will play into which drug store has the best deals for you.

So if you have easy access to all three drug stores, I’d suggest trying out each of them (preferably one at a time) for a few months. At the end of this experiment, decide which drugstore(s) seem a good fit for you.

What about you? Do you prefer CVS, Walgreens or Rite Aid? Why? I’d love to hear!

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215 Comments

  • Misty says:

    I totally prefer CVS over Walgreen’s. Better deals, more coupon-friendly, don’t have to have ‘filler’ items, etc. I still venture into Walgreen’s occasionally but sometimes find it to be more of a hassle than it’s worth. CVS rocks!

    • Diana says:

      @Misty, I completely agree! I used to think Walgreens was IT but mainly because of their clearance racks. When I go in I still look thru their clearance. I thought CVS was a waste of time and money. I can’t believe I missed out all those years!

  • Heather says:

    I, too, live fairly close to all three stores and I choose CVS over the other 2 almost every time.

    I don’t like putting out cash at rite aid and turning it in for the SCR and I always get nervous jitters before I check out at Walgreens. With CVS, there is hardly ever a hassle and I can usually get the same deals if I wait a little bit.

    All that being said, I’m now looking really hard at walgreens deals though because the commissary takes RRs like cash!!

    • Sonja says:

      @Heather, the commissary takes RR as cash!?!? how did you find that out? how does that work?????

    • Lea says:

      @Heather, Heather – You should DEFINITELY check out Rite Aid again – They’ve released 2 new programs in the last 6 months that make it practically stealing to shop there… I’ve been taking an average of $600 worth of product out of the store EACH WEEK for the past 3 months with a TOTAL OOP of $15 in that time frame! Check out their Video Values program (lots of $ off total purchase Qs) combined with their wellness program, SCR program and new +Up program (like ECB) – they let you stack in ad Qs with Video Values Qs with MQs and their rebate and +Up programs – not to mention the constant supply of $5 off $20 and$5 off $25 total purchase Qs – There are so many programs it may take you a while to get the hang of it, but it is COMPLETELY worth it!!!! I get a 20% discount off of EVERYTHING with my wellness card as well – if they sell it at Rite Aid I won’t buy it anywhere else!!!!!!

      • Dawn says:

        @Lea, I agree. With all of the new programs, I pay pennies at checkout. I have even paid less than the tax amount several times. Also, I save my Single Check Rebate money to purchase items that have rebates, so I am rolling my same out of pocket amount every time. That way it isn’t coming out of my monthly grocery budget!

      • Kara says:

        @Lea, We have a rite aid & I am a little scared of all their programs, shop the other two a lot, there is so much to understand at rite aid, have any suggestions on where to get clarity so I can get the deals like above!!!

        • Kara says:

          @Kara, what is video values?

        • Kara says:

          @Kara, I see that you can Q’s, but I don’t know what a video Q is, where do you get that… I am starting to see where you save a ton! Then you get the money back, the rebates, & the 20% off- wow!!! How much do you have to spend to get to 20% off? I guess the only thing I don’t understand is a video q, are these all seperate cards, or does their card keep track of all this? I know I prob sound dumb, but I just started doing any of this last month:)

        • Kara says:

          @Kara, Oh my & the stacking of all those rebates & coupons, etc. I am getting excited!Lol!

      • Laura says:

        @Lea, I agree, RiteAid was great recently since they had so many programs going that “overlapped”. But just so you know.. they are supposedly ending the rebate program either the end of July or the end of August. Then it will be the +Up rewards which are just like CVS Bonus Bucks & Walgreens RR. However!! RiteAid’s +Up rewards expire in only 2 weeks!! So I think I will still prefer CVS since it give me a full month to roll over my Bonus Bucks.

  • Andrea says:

    Definitely CVS! I feel like the ECB program is easier to understand than RR’s at Walgreens, and at my stores the employees are so much nicer than the Walgreens! No Rite Aid anywhere around me.

  • Sarah says:

    We do not have a CVS anywhere near us 🙁 I would have to say Rite Aid for the most part is much more coupon friendly than Walgreens – at least in my experience. Although, it really depends on which location I go to. I have one Rite Aid that I really have never had any issues and there is another one where I have major issues every time.

  • Denise says:

    I like CVS, but I just moved somewhere with a RiteAid and have found I like it too! The program is VERY similar to ECB and they also have “single check rebates” that also save you money. With last time’s P&G Crest coupons I got a bunch of toothpaste and mouthwash for practically free!

  • JulieD says:

    I used to prefer Walgreens but lately CVS has been having the better deals. I look at both ads every weekend and decide what I’m going to purchase…sometimes they have the same things on sale but one will have a better deal because of Register Rewards or Extra Care Bucks. No Rite Aids around me in Florida. I usually go to both every weekend.

  • Elena says:

    I’d have to agree and pick CVS bc their rewards program is less problematic than Walgreens ex. you can’t roll rrs on the same manufacturer… cmon Wags, get with it lol

  • mindy says:

    CVS all the way. I think they have much better deals than Walgreens. I find that when I do Walgreens one week the next two weeks are not good enough deals to go back. So either my RR expire or I go in and get something just to use them and not roll them. CVS is the best because you can go in and scan your Extra Care card at the coupon machine and typically the coupons that print are good for that weeks sales or for the next weeks sales. Using those in conjunction with a mnf cpn saves good money. Rolling thei ECB are easier for me! Another great thing is if you register your Extra Care card on CVS’s website they send you coupons for $4 off $25 or $5 off $30 purchase and that helps bring down your oop cost! Love CVS!

    • Dianne says:

      I agree with Mindy in picking CVS bc of ALL the reasons she cited. I shop Walgreen’s but I’ve become a much more satisfied customer at CVS.

  • mindy says:

    CVS all the way. I think they have much better deals than Walgreens. I find that when I do Walgreens one week the next two weeks are not good enough deals to go back. So either my RR expire or I go in and get something just to use them and not roll them. CVS is the best because you can go in and scan your Extra Care card at the coupon machine and typically the coupons that print are good for that weeks sales or for the next weeks sales. Using those with a mnf cpn saves money. Rolling ECB are easier for me! Another great thing is if you register your Extra Care card on CVS’s website they send you cpns for $4 off $25 or $5 off $30 purchase & that helps bring down your oop cost!

  • Erin says:

    I find CVS to be much easier. I don’t have an RR card and I have never been offered one despite shopping at Wags somewhat frequently, but I can say that they often have coupons in the circular that you have to point out to the cashier or you won’t get the discount. It makes it very confusing and I find it a little deceptive that they don’t give everyone the advertised price, you have to ask for it. I have never experienced that at CVS.

    • Cindy says:

      Hey there, Erin. I totally understand everyone’s frustrations with Walgreens. I just was reading your post and thought I’d point out that they do not have an RR card. It is just a catalina that prints out on a machine next to their register, when you make a qualifying purchase from their weekly ad. I too have found Walgreens to not really be worth my while, but there are sometimes that I can get things FREE or almost free from stacking q’s, using RR’s, and rolling them for the next week’s ads!!!

      • Rachel P says:

        @Cindy,

        Hey Cindy! Actually they do have a RR card in some areas. They are testing it in a few areas to see how it goes for them. So maybe everyone will have it soon! I love walgreens but it takes more time and effort to score things for free!

        • Laura says:

          Wags doesn’t have a card in WA but when I visited OR I needed a card to get all the great deals. My concern is that the card will somehow limit all those great purchases that makes Wags a good deal.

        • Cindy says:

          Oh WOW, then I apologize for my mis-statement. I was very much unaware of them trying out a new RR card in some areas. Thank you for correcting me!!!

      • Lisa Rose says:

        @Cindy, When I first started couponing WAGs was it for me. Now I’m into CVS b/c they offer rainchecks that include the ECBs! However, the trade-off between the two stores is the limits CVS imposes. At WAGS, you can seriously stock up when the price is right (provided they are stocked, which is another WAGs problem.) Although, that may change if they implement a shopper card program.

        • Pam M says:

          @Lisa Rose,
          While visiting my mom last week, we made a shopping trip to Walgreens. I was told by a very nice clerk that they will be having a savings card available in all markets very soon.

          I am lucky enough to have all 3 stores and will shop at all them depending on the deals. I have been happy with all 3.

        • Dianne says:

          @Lisa Rose, No limits is the one main thing WAGS has in their favor.

  • Jen A says:

    I like Rite Aid and Walgreens. My local CVS won’t take the printed coupons. And all three are at the same intersection!!!

  • Maria says:

    CVS used to be #1 for me but just found out that Rite Aid is much much better. I love all of the programs they have (even if its taking them a few weeks to get them all in order) Single Check Rebate- I rather get a check than store bucks. Also the $5/$25 coupons help bring your OOP down. It can be a little difficult to start shopping at Rite Aid but once you start you can keep rolling your checks/Giftcards.

    • Lydia says:

      @Maria, Totally agree! Rite Aid rocks…once you get the hang of it. I have MADE so much money shopping there the last year thanks to their rebate program, Video Values coupons (store coupons) and $5/$20 coupons. In fact I totally stopped Walgreens and only get a few things at CVS anymore!

  • Victoria says:

    No RiteAid nearby for me… I definitely prefer CVS (when they’re out of something they offer rain checks…. Our Walgreens just says “uh… sorry….” which is especially frustrating when you only went IN for those one or two hot deal items. What I do like about Walgreens: I can go in multiple days for the same deal (last week stopped in a few different times to grab the toothpaste that was free after RR’s) and I think at CVS you use a card and therefore can only swipe it for a deal one time in a week. So, definite pro’s and con’s to both. I just go based on sales, and bite the bullet when it’s a less favorable scenario 🙂

  • Michelle says:

    I have all the stores within 5 min. driving distance. I love CVS the best. Their workers are nicer and coupon friendly, and they have good deals consistently, so I can roll ECB. Also, ECB has longer exp. date than RR so I can wait another week if I don’ t see good deals. I like that we can use ECB even if it’s greater value than the total price, so I don’t have to buy something I don’t need in order to fill the couple of cents. On the other hand, I would say Wags is the worst. They don’t let me use more coupon than the number of items (e.g. if I buy 5 items, they let me use only 5 or less coupons) and most RR is flat numbers like $3, $4, where as the item prices are $2.99, $3.99, so because it’s just 1 cent less, I cannot use RR and have to buy something I don’t want and more money out of pocket. I hate it! I like Rite Aid too. I never had problem with SCR and it’s good that I can get money which never expires and can use anywhere else.

  • Tami Seibold says:

    I LOVE CVS! I used to shop Walgreens and Rite Aid before we had a CVS. I took a break from doing major couponing while preggo with my last baby about the same time we got a CVS. Most of the time Walgreens didn’t have items that we wanted and the employees/ managers just were not friendly at all. Rite Aid was ok with the customer service but it took a couple of months with the rebates before seeing any savings and to be able to roll the rebates- we had more money tied up. I haven’t even tried RA since they added the new programs. If we were to move somewhere with no CVS and just Wags and RA then I would do RA. CVS is so so easy and friendly and just awesome!

  • KathyB says:

    I have a Walgreens, Rite Aid and now CVS (previously Longs) all under a mile from me. If I had to pick a fave for deals a year ago, I would have said Walgreens and then Rite Aid. When Longs became CVS it took me a while to get used to their ECB program, but now I find so many deals at CVS. CVS is by far my favorite now. I still love Walgreens, and agree that it’s awesome to be able to get multiples of RR deals. I do find it annoying that RR expire so soon. Since Rite Aid started their new card/video coupon program, I haven’t gotten into it.

  • kris says:

    I’ve only been a couponing queen for about 10 weeks now, but I’m obsessed with it, already have a blog! lol I’ve done deals at Walgreens and CVS both. I prefer Walgreens for the most part because I can do good deals over and over. I like that feature. You have to finagle it a bit by alternating your purchases so you can pay with the RR you earned from the previous transaction but I’ve found nice wonderful helpful staff and great managers there. When I’ve found deals I like at CVS I’ve gone there. They’re always been very helpful as well. I like both but prefer Walgreens I think. That and its literally at the end of my street practically while CVS takes me about 5 to drive. I know, lazy but Walgreens is so close!

  • lovingcoiuponing! says:

    I like Rite aid the most then Walgreens. No CVS around, never have even seen one. I save the most money at Rite Aid. Both have good managers and customer service but friendlier at Rite Aid. My Walgreens is ALWAYS out of most of the hot sale items and that is frustrating. Rite aid sometimes is out but not always.

  • Lisa says:

    Having shopped all 3 to answer this question for myself, I prefer CVS. Rite Aid is just too confusing with their rebates and their new rewards program. Walgreens in my area can be difficult about coupons and their RR expire too quickly. I have found the best deals for me at CVS. I still check the sales at Walgreens because I will stop by to pick up free items if they are free without RR.

  • Stacy G. says:

    I have to come to the defense of Walgreens here; this seems to be the question of the ages. While CVS has good points such as being able to use ECBs on anything and not expiring for a while, I actually pay more OOP there. I LOVE WAGS and will continue to be loyal as long as the current system works for me the way it does. We have FOUR Walgreens just within our city and so many more less than 20 minutes away. Plus, our WAGS are very coupon-friendly, many of them actually cut coupons out and tape them to the products. I love that we have no limits on RR deals, like at CVS. It has to be a good week for me to stop by CVS, mostly I find it a burden to have to go there and roll my ECBs before they expire. I do all my “extra” shopping at WAGS too, such as paper plates and trash bags if I don’t want to pay for it. I made over $250 from the “Great Triaminic Deal of 12/09!!” That is how I paid for most of my children’s Christmas presents that year and it was wonderful! I heart WAGS!

    • cheryl says:

      @Stacy G.,

      I agree. I shop at CVS and Wags, I avoid Rite Aid even though I have one nearby just because I can’t take any more shopping and planning of scenarios. I love Walgreens. I agree that you have to know how to properly use coupons there but I have used overages so many times to get milk, eggs, chicken broth… I never do that at CVS because of the limits. In turn, I happily donate my surplus to my church’s food & supply pantry. Walgreens gets my vote.

      • Rae says:

        @cheryl, Some of us who hate Walgreens do know how to properly use coupons. I know more about their practices and rules than the employees there usually. It’s just that we find it not worth it. Even if I have a plan laid out perfectly, they usually end up being out of something which throws off my coupon to item ratio. And if I use my RR on other stuff that is not producing more RR then I didn’t really get the original bottle of shampoo (or whatever else) free. Now I do understand that some instances you really do get some great overages but spending them on full price items just seems to defeat the purpose to me 🙂

  • Denise G. says:

    CVS is much better than Walgreen’s. We don’t have Rite Aid here. It’s so hard to find items at Walgreens, even though it’s a small store. They are often out of the sale items and are not coupon friendly. The ECB’s don’t expire as fast as the RR’s and I think CVS has better prices.

  • Josie says:

    I was wondering why in your vlog you said that you haven’t found any toothpaste deals! That must not be very fun not living by any good drugstores!

    I think right now Rite Aid is my favorite but I’m sure once they fix the “kinks” in the UP Rewards program, CVS will be my favorite again : )

  • Danielle says:

    It has to be Riteaid right now with their new programs. They have so many store coupons, and it gets better with the 5 off 25 purchase or 5 off 20 purchase coupons. The up rewards, and rebates. They always take my coupons without problems.

  • I love love love Rite Aid! The new UPR program has made it even better. The last two months I made money at Rite Aid, that’s after taxes. I roll my rewards to pay for the next months deals. I shopped at Wags and CVS. I had too many problems with the Wags here. CVS is alright, but once my gift cards are gone, I’m going to only shop at Rite Aid. At CVS, I still must pay OOP for sales tax. This is true at the other stores, but I’m able to work the deals at Rite Aid with coupons, etc so that I get back more in SCRs than my total OOP. If Rite Aid ends the SCR program, then I might change my opinion to CVS being my favorite because the ECBs have a longer expiration date. If I end up moving to somewhere that there is not a Rite Aid, I might cry…lol

  • Molly says:

    Rite Aid has UP rewards, single check rebates, wellness card, and don’t forget video values coupons (google Rite Aid video values)! Love, love, love Rite Aid. I’m going back for more free stuff tomorrow.

  • Kristen says:

    Unfortunately Wags is my only option – like you Crystal. And even worse, we don’t have much more than an overpriced grocery store and Wal-mart in our town, but that changes next week when we get an Aldi {SO EXCITED here!} but one thing that I like about Walgreens is that for non RR deals, I can almost always get a RainCheck. I have a small stack of rainchecks and they never expire at our store, so when I’m desperate for goldfish, pens, legal pads, or whatever else – I can get a good deal any time. That’s about the only thing I like about Walgreens. I hate how most deals say how low it is, but then when you look at the deal, it’s really that you are spending xx.xx and then getting potentially worthless RR (that either expire or they give you issues to use them again). I haven’t gotten many deals in the past few months at Walgreens.

  • Ginger says:

    Definitely CVS. There is no comparison with Walgreens to me. I don’t do Rite Aid because I just don’t have the time to learn a new system. Walgreens is not coupon-friendly here, either. In fact, the manager has gotten nasty about them sometimes.

  • Kelly Hess says:

    I shop all 3, but I feel the deals at CVS are the best. But often there are times I cannot pass up deals at Walgreens and Rite Aid. If I estimate my percentage I would say, CVS = 60%, Walgreens = 30%, and Rite Aid = 10%!

  • Reesa says:

    I live right outside Atlanta and have equal access to all three – and several of each store – on my regular travel path (church, school, soccer, etc).

    I’ve really slacked off this year with the coupon clipping and RR/ECB rolling but I am getting back into it. Our “reserves” are getting low. I’ve actually paid full price for at least 3 toothbrushes now!

    I am partial to CVS. I have 3 CVS stores within 2 miles of each other. My church (and kids homeschool school) is right in the middle. Even with those 3 stores right in line, it is hard to get the deals if you don’t get there on Sunday or Monday. They sell out fast. They are super friendly though which helps and several cashiers at each use coupons themselves.

    Now that my Publix takes the Walgreen’s Register Rewards, I will shop there if there is an item I want that is free or close to it. Like a toothbrush. I turn down many free weekly deals just because I don’t want to deal with the hassle of uneducated cashiers (w/coupons).

  • dee says:

    I have all multiple locations of all three within minutes of me. CVS is by far my favorite. Early in the year, I got loads of $5 off $25 coupons at the coupon machine. Combine that with the ECBs and cpns, I was cookin’ with gas.
    Walgreens used to be second. The closest one has one cashier in the cosmetics dept who hoards coupons. She keeps the leftover Sunday flyers and has stacks of tear pads from manufacturers (I didn’t even know they got them.) She will tell you, “Always come to me first to see what coupons I got in this week.” She must hit up the distributors for the tear pads. AND she knows the sale flyer by heart and can tell you how to stack q’s to get the best deals. If she isn’t there, the mgmnt and rest of the staff are surly and act like I’m bothering them by giving them my money. One time I had to go back to get the manager to give me the sale price on an item they charged me full price for. Grrr. Plus, I don’t think their deals are nearly as good as CVS.
    I used to avoid Rite Aid like the plague. The stores were dirty and there just weren’t any decent deals. I’m trying the Up+ and Single Check Rebates. I’ve watched the videos and got the coupons to prove it. Still, I find the store confusing, sale items missing or not shelf-tagged. I just don’t want or need what they have on sale that often. I’m not convinced yet, but I haven’t given up either.
    CVS always has what I want on sale. The staff is nice and very, very helpful. The cheer for me when I get $60 worth of stuff for $7 and they had me $25 in ECBs. Rite Aid is getting there. Walgreens is lagging way behind these days.

  • Catherine says:

    Rite-Aid, then CVS. I only go to Walgreen’s when the deal is really good and free or close to it. I’ve finally figured out the game at Rite-Aid using manufacturing coupons with Store Coupons, Video Values and SCRs. I shop with Up Rewards constantly now, rarely using ‘real’ money. I usually go to CVS once a week unless it’s something like the SoBe deal, then I go many times. Also figured out the ECB game too, but I usually end up using a little of my money too. So, Rite Aid is my favorite now. 🙂

  • Katie W. says:

    I love CVS. I don’t have a Walgreen or a Rite Aid close to me so that may be the reason. 🙂 I love how I can get a lot of stuff for practically free and the cashiers (certain ones ) even help me out with deals and ask if I have a certain coupon to help me get more off or suggest a website they go on to get a good deal.

  • angela says:

    RITE AID by far! You get back MONEY to spend at any store you please and without an expiration date like the RR and EB from the other two. I hate being forced to go back to Walgreens or CVS just to spend bucks that I will lose, even when I don’t want anything from their store.

    The rebate system takes a minute to figure out, but there are plenty of websites to show you how it works. Now it’s as simple as coming home and typing in a few numbers to submit my receipt, then I get back a large check at the end of the rebate period! You do spend a little more out of pocket up front but it comes back to you in cash!

  • Lauren says:

    I like CVS the best BY FAR! I shop at all 3. Rite Aids in my area never have the good deal items in stock. I have on occasion been able to score some great deals, but not very often. I don’t like Walgreens as well, because they are not coupon friendly, the sale items are usually not in stock, the RR expire in 2 weeks and they don’t give out rainchecks.
    At CVS, ECBs list an expiration a month out, but I’ve heard that they never expire. Their rainchecks never expire. They have a magic coupon machine! They are VERY coupon friendly, they usually have the sale items in stock, and the customer service is outstanding. I often ask myself, when I go into the other two stores, “Why did I even bother coming in here?”

  • My Walgreens, Rite-Aid, and CVS are ALL notorious for being out of the sale items, so I can’t find the motivation to shop at any of them. lol

  • Heather says:

    Rite Aid is the best! I’ve been doing their Rebates for about 8 years now – got started long before I did any other couponing. It is so easy. Just sign up on the website. After you make your purchase, go home and enter some info online from your receipt. They even email you now when your rebate is ready. There have been times over the years when I have forgotten to request my check at the end of the month, and they have sent it to me anyway.

    I think Rite Aid is easiest to start with for beginning or casual couponers because you don’t have to worry about rolling over ECB’s to make sure you’re really saving money. Buy a tube of Crest for $2.49. Use a coupon. Get $2.49 check in mail. REAL MONEY.

    But I am now worried that Rite Aid is going to phase out the SCRebates, since they have recently started this new Up program – which is just like CVS. Anyone know if this is true?

    I do go to CVS when the deals are tempting, but it’s a pain for me to make sure those ECBs don’t expire, AND to find something else good to roll them over. Once I lost my envelope with $25 of ECBs in it. Don’t
    have a Wags.

    Disclosure: I am not a hard-core couponer. I do not get more than one paper insert, so I rarely have more than one of the same coupon. I will not do multiple transactions. I will not buy stuff I don’t need, like glucose meters. I do try to only get certain items for free or very cheap, like shampoo and dental items. If I were more hard-core, I might prefer CVS.

  • staceypunk says:

    RITE AID for me! Yes, it’s true it’s confusing, but if you figure it out and really work the system then you will make out like a bandit! They are counting on people not being good at their programs IMO. But for those who are- yippee! I find that I pay more OOP, but when the SCR’s are taken onto consideration I often PROFIT! Since their programs are changing all the staff are confused too. I have to explain things to them! But since I sound like I know what O am talking about they always give me the deal. It is more time consuming becasue of having to check your receipt and argue, but you really can’t compete with making money for buying items!

  • Amanda L says:

    I have done both CVS and Walgreens and find that CVS is better by far. The ECBs have a longer shelf life than the RRs, so I have more flexibility to save them for a week or 2 instead of buying something I don’t really want or need. I really want to start trying Rite Aid, but there isn’t one that is really close. We just moved back to Pittsburgh and I’m a little nervous to explore too much without the hubs to help me navigate. After we get settled, I think I might try them out because I also enjoy the thought of getting cash back instead of something to use at a particular store.

  • MaryEllen says:

    I am quite spoiled to have all 3 stores and all 3 are coupon friendly. I like them all for different reasons, and I usually rotate between the 3 and whichever has the best deals. (Sometimes I do all 3 but not often because I have two babies in tow.) As someone else mentioned, Rite Aid is great because you can get actual cash back from the rebates, and if you use your $5/$25 coupons wisely, you can spend very little out of pocket.

  • Michelle says:

    CVS and Walgreens are across the street from one another 2 minutes from my house. I prefer CVS because the ECBs are easier to use. For whatever reason my WAGS RR never seem to print or my coupons get rejected for various reasons. When I introduce people to the “Drugstore Game” I always tell them to start with CVS. No Rite Aids around here, so can’t compare that one.

  • Melissa says:

    CVS for SURE! So much easier there – doesn’t matter how many q’s you have, I always can spend less oop and you get your quarterly ecb’s also. I don’t have a Rite-Aid. We have lots of Wags and they are just not as easy as CVS.

  • Amy says:

    Definitely Rite Aid! With the overage they give on their coupons I can almost keep my family of 8 in milk at all times! I rarely spend more then .50-.75 cents OOP after using their +UP rewards.. which I love, btw!! Last evening got 15 items (including 1- 1/2 gal. of milk) for .33 and got back 11.00$ in +UP for next time! Whoo-Hoo!!!! 😀

  • Honey Smith says:

    I used to love Walgreens when they had the easy saver rebate program. And think I would like Rite Aid for the same reason, but we don’t have any here in Knoxville, TN. So my vote goes for CVS for the ease of use, longer expiration dates, and rolling capabilities.

  • Allison says:

    I prefer CVS because the ECB’s don’t expire for about a month. At Walgreens it’s more like 2 weeks. Rite Aid is about 30 min away so I don’t even bother with that.

  • Maura says:

    I’d have to say Rite Aid. I think this store takes more work b/c they do have in ad coupons, rebates, video coupons, and now up rewards and its hard to keep them all straight. But, that also means they have more deal scenarios.
    I’ve been going to CVS more and more b/c there are some ECB deals I can’t pass up. But Rite Aid is still my favorite.
    Plus it helps that the cashier at my Favorite Rite Aid is a couponer herself and makes my life so easy when I shop there. 🙂

  • Megan says:

    I just moved into a Rite Aid area and now have all 3 stores nearby. In the interest of time and sanity, I decided to quit doing Walgreens deals in favor of Rite Aid and I’m so glad I did! If you take a bit of time to learn about their programs you’ll be able to get more (useful) items for free or MM there than at Walgreens. But this is definitely a personal preference – others might benefit from the items Walgreens has RR deals on. Like Crystal said, try giving each a try, but don’t kick yourself if one doesn’t work out for you. Every drugstore has a learning curve and you need to give yourself grace 🙂

  • Lynn says:

    I have Walgreens and CVS here…and I prefer Walgreens! CVS is much more expensive and more likely to be out of stock. I’ve gotten tons of great deals over the last 8 months at Walgreens!

  • Susan says:

    Definitely Rite Aid!! The store where I shop is always well stocked. Great cashiers(who are also couponers) are extremely helpful. Very little out of pocket , easy rebates. Store #11828 rocks!

  • Michele says:

    I live in an area where CVS, Rite Aid and Walgreens are all pretty convenient. I choose Rite Aid over the others partly from habit, but also because I feel I understand their system a little better. The only problem I’ve encountered recently is that when I go online to enter my receipts in order to get my single check rebates, they have been denied. This has cost me quite a bit of money and I’ve stopped shopping there until I can get it sorted out. For example, I bought an advertised BOGO deal which wasn’t accepted when I sent it in. The email they sent me said that my receipt was not recognized by the system. This cost me about $16 as a result, which has made me furious. Maybe someone has some advice!

    • Laura says:

      This has happened to me once or twice. Other than making sure I am buying exactly the right item, I now save my purchase in its bag with the receipt, unopened, until I find out if it is accepted. I’ve returned things that are not accepted.

    • Sherri says:

      @Michele, When you have a problem with one of the single check rebates, don’t hesitate to contact customer service. They can usually straighten it out for you. I had an issue with a certain item not being recognized as part of an offer, but when I called the lady looked it up for me and adjusted my rebate accordingly. Definitely keep the item and receipt until you know the rebate is for sure.

  • Jill Dudley says:

    I agree that Walgreens is generally not worth the trouble. They are not coupon friendly and they seem to hate redeeming register rewards. I find great deals at CVS but sometimes get sick of the ECB system. I actually like Rite Aid a lot and when they have good deals (which unfortunately is not every week), they are easy to work with.

  • Julie says:

    I definitely prefer CVS. I love the fact that their ECB’s don’t expire for a month. That is my biggest problem with Walgreens. Well, that and the fact that Walgreens never has the products that produce RR’s, I also find their staff extremely unfriendly. Our Rite Aid has always been very small and dirty, so I rarely shop there. They just built a new, huge one very close, though, so after reading all these posts, I will have to try that again now that they have the UP program. Thanks all!

  • Dee Wolters in TN says:

    Only have CVS and Walgreens in my area. Used to like Wags when they had the RR loaded on the gift card. I heard that may be coming back. If it does I may shop there again. But for over a year it has been CVS. I have the usual issues with out of stock items, quite often actually, but still I like the deals I get. With 4 teenagers, we use a lot of tooth paste, deoderant, body wash, etc. so I like getting the deals.

  • Laura says:

    I wish we had a CVS! Rite Aid, here, is okay, but many of the rebate items are toiletries that I’ve already stocked up on. Walgreens can have some good deals but anything free is gone the by Sunday at noon (this happens at my Rite Aid too) and, yes, they’re “sticky” about coupons. I wish they’d be sticky with people who clear the shelves! I’m not fond of their RR because they are tricky to roll, and we also have to buy additional items for the coupon count. I guess, now that I have plenty of toothpaste, body wash, razors, etc, they’re not worth the frustration. But, if we only had a CVS . . .

  • Amanda says:

    I live near all three drugstores as well and have wondered which one has the best deals to take advantage of. I have shopped at both CVS and Walgreen’s and only went to Rite Aid on one occasion so far, so I would say I like CVS and Walgreens more, between the two of them I’m not sure, I still need a few more shopping trips to see where you can get more or better deals. From reading through the posts it seems like CVS has more fans than Walgreen’s though. I would like to point out that you can sometimes get $25 in free stuff from Walgreen’s when you transfer a prescription, which is a great deal.

  • Dina says:

    I have all thre equal distance. I use the deals set up by all the fantastic blogs and make out great at all three. I do only go if it is something we need &/use and generally if it is free or almost free. I’m not a huge fan of Walgreens they are new to the area and I think they moved the surly people in with the store. Seems to be a common complaint about walgreens. As far as using coupons Rite Aid staff cheers me on and gets so excited about how much I save. CVS staff could care less and sometimes is difficult & Walgreens (even though great deals) is always surly!

  • michelle says:

    i heart rite aid! i MADE over $70 there last month alone in the form of rebates! AND i got a bunch of stuff too! cvs is another favorite–their ECBS are easy to use and redeem. i’ve tried walgreens but i have never had a good experience couponing there! i only go for the irresistable deals and leave the coupony fun to rite aid and cvs!

  • Leah says:

    When I read the deal scenarios, it seems that Rite Aid has the best deals. I also like the fact that you get cash back instead of store “vouchers”.
    However, I do all my drugstore shopping at CVS. I always get fantastic customer service, they’re very coupon friendly, and I get awesome deals combining the $X/$X that I get in my emails with CVS Qs, MQs and ECBs. Occasionally, I’ll even buy something at (close to) full price just because I feel like the store has treated me so well.

  • Liz says:

    I’ve found CVS much friendlier when it comes to getting the deals. I rarely go to Walgreens anymore because their coupon policy frustrates me (you can’t have more coupons than items – which is hard to do when you are only purchasing the loss leaders). Also – I got started when they had their rebate system and I didn’t have the time to send in rebates. CVS was instant gratification in the form of extra care bucks. I haven’t tried the Walgreens register rewards yet…but I’m sure they have put so many restrictions on it that it is not as good as CVS. Just my opinion!

  • Patrice says:

    We don’t have a Rite Aid either, so I can’t speak from experience on that one, but between CVS and Walgreen’s it’s really no contest. Walgreen’s never has what I’m looking for, won’t write me a raincheck when they’re out, has a zillion different coupon “rules”, and the people are just not very friendly at all. I’m with Crystal in that I go there on very rare occasions when there’s an incredible week of deals, but for the most part it is no where near close to worth it. CVS, on the other hand, usually has what I need, will write me a rain check if they don’t (and…if you weren’t already aware…on rainchecks for ECBs, they round all the rewards up to the nearest dollar!), lets me use as many coupons as I want, will even let me use expired coupons as long as they are CVS store coupons, and are just very friendly in general. I don’t even have a CVS near me, but am willing to drive an extra 10 miles out of my way to shop there instead.

  • Faith says:

    I’ve always chosen CVS over the other two, both because of their better deals and because they give me no hassles over coupons. Rite Aid would be my follow-up, but their rebates are a bit more work. Walgreens I never shop at because I’ve consistently had problems using coupons there.

  • Megan says:

    I too am all about CVS! Walgreens used to be great when they had the monthly rebate program but now that they’ve moved to the quick-expiring Register Rewards, it’s not worth the hassle. Walgreens needs a serious overhaul.
    My CVS is wonderful and encouraging of people using coupons. I have never had a hard time there and they always have the items I want in stock or will give you a rain check for the item and Extra Care Bucks.

  • Joy says:

    I would say CVS. We don’t have a Rite-aid near us, so I can’t judge based on that. But, Walgreens has always given me hastles and even though I plan things out ahead of time and everything *should* work, I always seem to run into problems checking out (not taking my coupons, not getting the sale price, items not in stock). Walgreens is a little out of my way and it’s too much of a risk shopping there. I basically quit shopping there after they got rid of their rebate program. CVS has been great!

  • I love CVS as its easy to understand the ECB system. Lucky for me I have a CVS, Rite Aid and Duane Reade all within a few blocks. I find myself at CVS 90% of the time.
    Vinny

  • Jennifer says:

    I shop 98% of the time at CVS. I had a bad experience the first time I tried to shop Walgreens. I guess first impressions count! It is not worth the hassle at Walgreens. They seem to be very unfriendly about coupons, their RR system is more complicated, and they seemed annoyed when I asked about the sale items in the ad! I would say out of the 4 times I went in, 3 were bad experiences. I haven’t totally given up on them, but I love my CVS!

  • Nancy says:

    CVS!!! We don’t have Rite Aid here but between Wags and CVS, CVS wins every time. I only go to Wags for an amazing deal and even then I usually leave frustrated.Why?
    1. coupons always cause drama. Machine is always beeping regardless of order and even though I follow all the rules, there is always some problem and it takes forever to check out.
    2. RR expire too fast.
    3. Sales people are not friendly at Wags. They always act like I am trying to steal from them.
    4. Usually have deals in stock at CVS. Hardly ever at Wags unless you get there when they open on the first day.
    5. No rain checks.
    6. More money OOP at wags.
    7. Wags $off/$$ purchase coupons are only good on amt AFTER coupons.

    That’s about it. That’s more than enough though. We are moving close to Rite Aid and I can’t wait to try that one out.

    • Patrice says:

      @Nancy, I second all of that, esp. about the coupon drama. I have yet to check out at Walgreens without someone having to call the manager. It usually takes me an hour to get out of there when I only went in for a few things. By the time I’m done, the kids are screaming, the Wags employees are grouchy, and I’m vowing to never return. It’s been several months since my last visit to Walgreen’s and I really doubt I’ll be going back any time soon. I usually don’t even bother checking their sales flyer anymore.

    • Kim says:

      @Nancy,
      I believe you said it perfectly! Those are all of the reasons I would choose too! I almost wish that Walgreens would get a loyalty card so that it could limit the amount of things that people buy. I can honestly say that, 9 times out of 10, they are out of every single sale item whenever I go in for them. SO frustrating!

  • Elizabeth says:

    We have all 3 within a mile of my house. I like CVS (though I often have to go to 2 CVS if I don’t get there Sunday am because they are out of stock) because they have the most deals on things I need and Rite Aid because of the single check rebate that is CASH (rather than the Extra Care bucks good only at CVS. My Wallgreens is pretty user-unfriendly… if you want to roll deals you have to leave the store and come back, you can’t use more coupons/register rewards than number of items you are buying, etc. I only go to Wallgreens about 4 times a year.

  • Shannah says:

    I’ve been reading through people’s comments and from that and my own experience at Walgreens I must ask: “What is up with the training in customer service there?” Do they not receive any? Do they specifically tell cashiers to treat people like they are stealing if they use coupons? It almost seems like there are too many people with bad experiences for this to be a coincidence…

    • Maria Hill says:

      @Shannah,

      I believe it has a lot to do with no corporate coupon policy, only guidelines. The final decisions are up to management of each individual store. Although there are cashiers that will even buck the manager when he is not immediately in the vicinity.

    • Ericka Lewis says:

      @Shannah, I agree–there is one Walgreens that have a couple of cashiers who are always there on the days I shop and they always make me feel like I’m doing something wrong by trying to get a good deal. I’ve pretty much switched to a different Walgreens because it annoys me so much. I’ve not had the same attitude from them, but I wouldn’t say they are overly friendly like at CVS (who are so nice and always greet me and talk to my daughter and even inquire about her if she’s not there!)

      • Ellen says:

        Collin at http://www.hip2save.com did a fantastic video in which she phoned several Wags stores across the country and asked the store managers questions about the coupon policy. Then she called corporate and asked the same questions. She got TONS of different responses… pretty striking, I must say! I also get nervous about checking out at my local Wags, they act like I’m stealing as well! But I am very consistent in trying to follow the rules and still get the run-around nearly every time. Frustrating!

  • sj says:

    I only shop at CVS because it’s so close and never got into the other programs. I discovered by accident from checking out at the pharmacy register one time that their ECB’s don’t expire. I was told anything from CVS(coupons and ECB’s) does not expire so I just hold on to all my ECBs until there is a deal for free or almost free after ECB. Since I discovered websites like this one, I’ve managed to earn more ECBs by stacking coupons to freebie deals. I usually only pay sales tax there. You might want to inquire at your local CVS; ask the manager because some employees do not know. Luckily the cashier on Sunday is very friendly because the others during the week do not make me feel good shopping there.

  • Molly says:

    The big pull for me towards CVS is that their Extra Bucks do not expire for 1 month from the date of purchase, whereas Walgreens’ register rewards expire within a 10 days to 2 weeks. When I shop consistently at Walgreens, I find myself HAVING to return to shop there the following week, regardless of the sales, just so I can use my rewards before they expire. With CVS, I can watch up to 4 weeks pass by and truly choose the best deal and only use my Extra Bucks then.

  • Chris says:

    I have all three and several of them within driving distance (in some cases, they’re two miles apart from each other!).

    #1 CVS hands down. Who would think that anyone would be able to get 12 gallons of milk for $10 throughout this summer? I was able to. Their ECBs last long enough that I can usually roll them.
    #2 Rite Aid. I like their SCR occasionally. I don’t like UP Rewards. Too confusing and remind me of RR at WAGs and they keep changing the rules
    #3 WAGs only for smoking hot deals. Too many fillers. RRs don’t last long enough. Too much OOP

    • Anitra says:

      @Chris, I agree completely. We have all 3 within easy distance, but I mostly only go to CVS, occasionally Rite Aid if I’m in the neighborhood and/or they have a really good deal.

      I use CVS for my occasional prescriptions, too – in that case, because they’re the most convenient to my house.

      Walgreens is just not worth my time.

  • Donna says:

    CVS for me! I just started using CVS recently and I love it. Walgreens is actually more accesible where I am. There is one on every corner it seems. In any given week, I can drive by at least 6 different Walgreens locations. We have only 1 CVS in my immediate area and although it’s slightly off the beaten path, I’d rather go there than any of the other 6 Walgreens locations. Rite Aid is no where near me. Never been there.

  • Karen Rucker says:

    The closest CVS is in the next town and not in a good part of town. I’ve been there a few times and they’re nice, but once I add in the cost of gas I’m not saving money.

    Our Rite Aid and Walgreens are across the street from each other. Both have clean new buildings and a friendly staff. I find myself stopping at Walgreens 9 times out of 10. Rite Aid has the advantage of giving back cash that I can use at a different store, but it takes forever to get that cash back. During the time that my $20 or $50 is sitting in their bank, I could have scored a few dozen deals with it at Wags.

    I like that I get my RR immediately. I do wish the RR’s didn’t expire so quickly, but I don’t usually have trouble remembering to spend them. A lot of my transactions are slight money makers, and I use that overage to buy items that I usually can’t find coupons for.

  • Maria Hill says:

    I used to shop all three weekly with Wags being my favorite until they did away with the rebate program. While all three were coupon friendly I chose CVS only for awhile, but now it’s Rite Aid except for very few instances.

    I love their SCR program combined with $/$$ (before coupon total). I am able to pay a little tax only oop and then get a rebate check and/or giftcards. Last week alone I profited more than $50! I don’t think I’ve ever done that in one week with CVS and the only time I have with Walgreens is when the glucose meters produce a $10RR. That is wonderful, but RA’s is cash in the bank.

    I may change my mind back to CVS in the future if RA does away with the SCRs, totally replacing it with Ups and continues to limit 1 deal/card (starts Aug 1), but only time will tell.

  • Emily says:

    Rite Aid, baby! CVS is just fine, but my most incredible deals always come from Rite Aid. Their new UP rewards are just like ECBs, and their SCR system makes for even more money back. In my opinion, they key to getting stuff for free is using cash coupons ($5/$20 or $5/$25), and you can almost always get those kinds of coupons with Rite Aid’s Video Values website. Plus, their cash coupons don’t expire for up to 2 months! CVS almost never has those kinds of coupons available, and when they do, they expire within days of being released (which annoys me more than a little bit). As for Walgreens, I’d say skip it altogether; their coupon policy is downright obnoxious. Have fun drugstore-ing!

    • Maria Hill says:

      @Emily, I have not seen a $/$$ for I think almost a year or more. I know others have, but not me. I used to get those a few times a month every couple of months. The $10/$50 were often difficult to use though if one wanted no oop.

  • CJ says:

    Walgreens and CVS both have their good and bad points. I like that at Walgreens you can buy as many of each free after RR items as you want in a week as long as you buy each separately. At CVS you are usually limited to 1 or 2 a week or month. But I like that CVS’ ECBs have a month long expiration date and you arent limited to one coupon/ECB per item, like at Walgreens.

  • Ayanna says:

    Oh, how I love Rite Aid! Their SCR program is the best! I have all 3 together in a row in my town!

  • BJM0426 says:

    I like both CVS and Rite Aid. Their programs are easy to work with once you get the hang of it. As for Walgreens, it just is not worth my time. I also live in one of the Walgreen Rewards test areas. That program has only made shopping there worse. You get points for your purchases. But the points are based on your total oop. Since I am minimizing my out of pocket, I get no points. I will be sticking with CVS and Rite Aid!!

  • steph says:

    RITEAID is the BEST! I’ve been really turned off by the Walgreens closests to me, they are not coupon friendly, and they limit you to one coupon per item (so you can’t buy one thing of toothpaste and use one manufacter’s q and one wags q) SO annoying!!! Once they had to adjust my item down because the WAG’s Q wouldn’t work, and then I didn’t get the RR’s because of that…they annoy me!
    I love Riteaid, the store closest to me has wonderful staff and they are extremely coupon friendly, and if I ever have an issue with a +UP reward they fix it and mark my item down if the +UPs don’t print! I make so much money from them, between the +UPs $5/$25 Q’s, video values, and the Single Check Rebates. I like CVS too, I don’t go there as much as Riteaid, but I do love their EB’s program…never had a bad experience with CVS!

  • Christina says:

    I by far love CVS. I tried Walgreens several time but really hate to OOP expense and fillers. To much aggrevation. Rite Aid is ok however my heart is with CVS. The stores are much cleaner and the staff alot happier. I shop at CVS so much I feel like I’m part of the family.

  • Courtney says:

    CVS!!! Especially when they keep giving the $5/25 coupons!! Walgreens is such a pain. I find that I end up buying small things that I don’t need just so that I have enough items for the coupons I have…really annoying policy!

  • Ann B says:

    I like CVS. I tried Walgreens, but I always had a hard time finding the items in their flyer. I often times messed up the deals I was trying to get there and thus ended up with no deal. It just confused me too much to keep trying. I get plenty of deals at CVS- (primarily hair products and toothpaste), to keep me happy.
    I also have the need to keep it simple. Playing the drugstore game at more than one store was just too much for me.

  • Erin says:

    Last week, I would have said Rite Aid, hands down (if your Rite Aid understands coupon policy and accepts IPs, that is!). This week, not so sure. Rite Aid is rolling out all sorts of new programs now and the $5/20 for watching VVs is no longer available (for some reason, it is so much harder to get to $25 for me). Plus, there have been some glitches with their Up rewards program, so I’m on the fence. I think I’m going to take the new Rite Aid programs slowly to see how it works out–I almost think they are overextending themselves and will eliminate the SCR program, like Walgreens did with their Easysaver rebates. At that point, I might stop shopping there. I love the cash back! In any case, I do think Rite Aid is worth trying because their prices tend to be lower than CVS, they offer a wider variety of freebies and cheapies, and they allow overage. (At my stores, anyway!) I would watch the VVs to get stocked up on Qs and wait til there’s a really good week with lots of things you need. Then you’ll have some Up rewards to play with.

    I wouldn’t even categorize Wags with CVS or Rite Aid. To me, it’s almost a grocery store. I don’t bother with the RRs–they’re so random about printing–and they aren’t terribly coupon friendly and they are often wiped out of every good deal. I hit them once in a great while if there’s a moneymaker that I can use toward things I need, such as broth. Even if I can’t put a moneymaker together, I often stock up on broth when it is $.50 per can.

  • Carol Maple says:

    CVS is my favorite. I love the Extra Bucks! I get something for FREE or very little money all the time.

    I only go to the other stores if they have a really great deal in the paper and I have a coupon. Otherwise, it can be a bit tedious to keep up with all three.

  • Andrea says:

    I have tried CVS and Rite Aid and I personnel love CVS so much more. Rite Aid was always sold out of stuff, I do not get a sales flyer so I have to look online and I do not like the submitting rebates and then having to wait for the check. CVS will give me a rain check if they are sold out. The clerks are so much friendly and will look in the back at my CVS. Plus, I love that the extra reward bucks are printed out when you make your purchase. I have just found CVS to be more customer friendly.

  • Bethany says:

    Rite Aid is what works best for me! I really like the fact that I get cash back with their SCR program. If decide to skip drugstore shopping for a week or two or three, I don’t have to worry about rewards expiring.

    I’ve only been couponing for 6 months and when I started shopping at Rite Aid, I did pay a little out of pocket. Now that I’ve learned more of the ropes, (SCR, Video Values, Up Rewards, $5/$25, ect…) I’ve been able to get everything there for free or — even better — make money shopping! Gotta’ love getting paid to bring home items my family needs. 🙂

    My Rite Aid is a smaller one and the only disadvantage I’ve found is that they don’t always advertise the weekly price and SCR deals IN the store. So I make sure to write down what SCR deals I’m going to take advantage of and bring a sale ad in with me. It has always worked well and I’ve never had any trouble using coupons. Yay for nice cashiers! 🙂

  • Celena says:

    I pretty much always shop Walgreens. I’ve been in to CVS twice here, and thought the cashiers were very rude. They never asked me to sign up for the Extra Care Card, never said hello, basically ignored me. Whereas my Walgreens knows me by sight (not quite name, lol). They all think my daughter is beautiful (who am I to argue!) and talk to her while I’m there. They always remember us, and they always talk about how they can’t believe how big she’s getting, etc. When I have a difficult transaction or multiple transactions and someone else comes up behind me in line, they’ll call someone over to open the other register so I don’t feel so rushed. I appreciate that SO much! Last week they even voided an entire completed transaction and gave back my coupons so we could run it again since I had accidentally purchased the wrong razor (wasn’t marked properly in the aisle… a downside to Wags) and didn’t get the RR. I was very thankful, I have no use for a $5 razor! lol.
    About the RR expiring quickly, I’ve only ever had one expire on me once… and that was because I completely forgot about it. Even if there are no HOT deals, there’s always milk there. Their milk is a good dollar (at least) below WalMart… cheapest milk around. So we ALWAYS go there for milk, especially since it’s on the way home for us.

  • Stacey Carter says:

    CVS. The selection in my town at CVS is much better. Many times the Walgreens around me do not even have items advertised. What makes CVS the best though is their rain checks. They don’t expire. So hold onto them and wait until you have a great coupon so you can earn Xtra reward bucks too. (And I don’t have to count how many items and how many coupons, I can just shop there!!!)

  • manju says:

    totally CVS…i used to love walgreens when they had the mail in rebate program couple of years ago..but the RR’s are a rip off…first of all it expires after 14 days and if you pay close attention one week they will have huge deals with RRs and the next two weeks NOTHING…so most of the time i have to buy something from walgreens just to use the RRs and wont be able to use MC coupons since only one coupon per item. other wise i have to walk around the aisles a hundred times looking for fillers..making the amount higher…after all this wok when I approach the register my heartbeat goes sooooo fast i can hear it.. i do look at the cashier to see how his/her face is since i have heard all the excuses on earth from walgreens cashiers over years some of which I couldnt stop laughing when i was driving back home… so no more walgreens evenif they offer anything free or even moneymaker…its not worth the frustration…CVS ROCKS!!!!their policies are clear and their cashiers are peoplefriendly… so my favourite…you should know it by now….:):):)

  • Ericka Lewis says:

    We don’t have a Rite Aid near us, but I shop at both CVS and Walgreens because they are both convenient for me. In general I prefer CVS because they seem to have much better deals usually, although they limit them. I also find the staff are much more helpful and coupon friendly. I have 3 Walgreens near me depending on where I am on the day (there is one close to my gym where I am many days of the week–my daughter has preschool there as well so it’s convenient on those days). One of them has a couple of very unfriendly cashiers who always seem to be there on the days I am there and another seems to be the place all the couponers go and is often out of stock of the best deal items.

    I asked a Walgreens manager about their system and they said that they think customers would prefer not to have a card like in CVS, but I disagree. It makes things much more confusing and annoying process when things are not in stock because you don’t have a limit on how many times you do the deals and carrying another card is not that inconvenient. CVS repeats the deals often enough that the limit never seems to be an issue for me (except I wish they would do the night time pull-ups more often because unfortunately my 8 year old still wears them and I don’t often find that great deals on them–the store brand ones seem to leak so it’s not worth the cheaper price for me with the extra laundry to do).

  • Carrie says:

    i prefer cvs because it’s closest to me, is the cleanest and most organized, and the ecb don’t expire for a month vs 2 weeks like walgreens.

    basically i like it’s deals best because i’d do the bulk of my none deal drugstore shopping there anyway so it’s easy for me to use up my ecb

  • blakely says:

    I live close to all of three, but CVS is my first choice even though the parking lot is hard to get in and out of.

  • Michelle M says:

    I only have a Walgreens near me (rural area) so it’s that or nothing. They aren’t overly coupon friendly, or friendly in general. I know from talking to the asst. manager that they got burned by someone buying and returning RR items and keeping the RR’s so I guess they could use that as their reason for being uncoupon friendly. They still take IP coupons which is a step above several places in town (one of the grocery stores really got burned bad by some fake “free item” coupons a few months ago, like $1000 worth in one weekend by 2-3 people).
    I don’t like the short expiration period on the RR’s. There isn’t always something I want in the time period that I have to use them (I like to roll my RR’s into purchasing new items that produce RR’s). Right now I’m about ready to just spend my few RR’s in my purse and be done with them for a while. But every time I say that they have an awesome ad come out the next week 🙂

  • Anita says:

    I feel like I am being forced to choose between my children here. I actually love both CVS and Wags. They are across the street from each other and a mere 1/2 mile away. I go to both and pick which deals I want to do. Both of my stores are super coupon friendly ( it might help that I take them cookies every now and then) I cannot pick a favorite here. I have never been to a Rite-Aid though, wish I had that option as well.

  • Jeanette says:

    CVS is my favorite by far. I like Rite Aid too, they have great deals with their SCR system. I have only gone into Walgreens a handful of times since they stopped their rebate program. It’s SO not worth it anymore. Their dumb rules for RRs and coupon ratios. It’s ridiculous.

    A manager at Walgreens told me I couldn’t use my RR from a prior week to get a different item the following week and still receive the new RR because it was “racketeering”. I hate going in there, I get treated like a criminal for using their own coupons! Geez.

  • brookeb says:

    My preference is for CVS, then Walgreens, then Rite Aid. Both the CVS and Walgreens are within a few miles from my house, and on my way home from work; both also have excellent customer service. Rite Aid is near my work, but is often understocked and understaffed. I like how the ECBs are easier to use than RR, and they stay good for longer. However, if you find a couple of good deals it’s possible to stock up with WAGs, whereas you generally have a limit with CVS. WAGs also has random clearance sections and markdowns that my CVS doesn’t often do.

  • Sandi Ragusa says:

    I absolutely love Rite Aid. Especially with the new +Up reward and the SCR’s, the deals are endless. I make one trip first thing every Sunday morning, before all the good stuff is gone, and I do two transactions. I usually make it out of the store paying less than a $1.oo total for all my purchases. Then of course I’ve got extra +Up rewards for next time and my SCR’s. I love Rite Aid.

  • Heather P says:

    I have nothing but problems with Wags. I always either get something that has been mismarked, they’ve run out of what I’m there for, or the fillers end up costing me for things I don’t need. I go there sometimes, but every time I run into an issue I vow not to go back… then there’s a great sale… sigh.

    CVS is wonderful. I have 2 open 24/7 here and I usually have a great experience. The MAGIC COUPON MACHINE is my best friend and ECB are so easy to figure out. I just wish that there wasn’t the whole tax thing… It would be so much easier if they could pay for the tax and then I could pay nothing. 🙂

  • VirgiLia says:

    Rite Aid by a landslide. I will take money over points that expire any day. I have never had a coupon turned down and they offer so many store coupons that can be paired with manufacturers coupons.

  • Angela says:

    I used to try to go to CVS, Rite Aid, AND Walgreens when I first started couponing. I found out quickly that I couldn’t do all three on a regular basis! I have gotten a few good deals at Rite Aid and Walgreens, but I have come to believe that they are more trouble than they are worth. In my mind, CVS is the best hands down. I try to go every single week, and it is so very worth it! I love CVS!

  • Cara says:

    CVS Rocks!! And Walgreens sucks! I don’t care for RRs at Walgreens. They expire way too fast. I also hate how coupons (which includes RRs) cannot exceed the number of items that you buy. I always end up buying stuff that I don’t need just so I can use all my coupons and RRs. That ends up being more of a waste than a save. At CVS I can buy 1 item and use 3 ECBs. That is how it should be. The RRs should not be considered as regular coupons. It defeats the whole purpose!

  • Whitney says:

    That’s it. You’ve all convinced me. Despite the fact that all 3 stores are conveniently located near me, I’ve hung on to shopping at Wags simply because I know the system and the store. When I first started at Wags it was during the online rebate system – and it was wonderful. I used coupons on participating items, got the full amount rebated online PLUS got 10% extra if they loaded it onto a Wags card. I could shop there just once a month and cover all my tax plus make money for other things. I never paid OOP except for my first visit.

    Now I go in and the majority of the RR items are not marked as such (not even the sale price is marked) so I have to take detailed notes with me just to ensure I’m purchasing the right products. Then the next week there are no good deals, or the next week either. So I’m stuck rushing in on the last day my RR are good and buying infant vitamins to use them up. Then the next set of hot deals starts and I’m stuck with paying $20 OOP again in hopes that this time I’ll be able to roll them over. No thank you. I’m done.

    Now my predicament: Rite-Aid or CVS? Either one is going to require quite a learning curve. I just wish I’d buckled down and switched a year ago!

    • Erin says:

      @Whitney, If you can successfully navigate Wags, you’ll be able to work CVS in your sleep. Rite Aid’s a bit trickier now that they’ve added Up rewards to the Video Values/SCR mix but offers a better array of free/cheap merchandise in my opinion. Good luck!

    • Rae says:

      @Whitney, lol I agree with Erin, if you know how to do Wags, CVS (or even RiteAid) will be a breeze. You won’t have to do special coupon counting.

  • Allison says:

    I also only have Walgreen’s, but they have the friendliest cashiers, and they always are so nice to put up with my multiple transactions! I only go there when the deals are “smoking hot” as well, but it’s always been a good experience. I even got free Huggies one time, when they had a bunch of jumbo packs clearanced to $2 each, and I had a bunch of $2 coupons! Can’t beat that!

  • stephanie says:

    def CVS, I have had terrible experiences at walgreens, not just with their deals, but also with my son’s prescriptions, so I chose to have all our prescriptions filled at CVS and can’t even remember that last time I was in a Walgreens.

  • Jenna says:

    It seems that the new answer for all of the stores is that the end result at the cash register. The end answer lies with the manager of the store and many managers do not understand the company coupon policy how to reedem Register Rewards, ECB’s and or coupons. I have lived in many different states and I can tell you often it is not the store or a new policy but simply the head manager that makes the result at the register a good one or a bad one for a couponer.

  • ShorterMama says:

    CVS without a doubt!! Everyone talks about these great money making opps at Walgreens, but for whatever reason they don’t work at mine. They just say – they can’t accept the coupon because it’s greater than the amount of the item. Frustrating! I don’t really even go there anymore unless there’s a real steal, which there hasn’t been in a while given their weird coupon rules. If they had a corporate coupon policy somewhere online I could show it to them, but I haven’t been able to find one. They don’t have a written store policy and the cashiers there can’t even make sense of it for me. Disappointing overall. I always have great success at CVS and it’s straight forward. I don’t need to send anything anywhere (for rebates or whatever) I just buy it and the rewards print out. I like that.

  • Rae says:

    I don’t have a Rite Aid here but I will choose CVS over Walgreens ANY day! Walgreens is too much of a headache and here is why:

    –RR expire in 2 weeks (ecbs 1 month)
    –You can have one store and one manufacturer coupon per item but in the end your items have to be greater than or equal to your number of coupons… um Walgreens do you know how to do math? (cvs lets you use one of each without any additional limits)
    –RR count towards that limit which is ridiculous!
    –Because of the limit, you end up having to buy fillers which 9 out of 10 times is stuff that either a) is something you don’t need or b) might be something you needed but wasn’t a good enough price that you were going to buy it if you didn’t need a filler.
    –You have to be careful when rolling RR that you not only don’t buy the same product but also not the same company a lot of times because you won’t get your RR.
    –This one is just the stores in my area but Walgreens employees here are rude, anti coupon, and unhelpful if you need help finding something.
    –If you do have a problem with a store and contact customer service, CVS will take care of it really well. I have yet to even receive any sort of response at all from complaints to Walgreens
    –CVS has a corporate coupon policy so if your store tries to tell you that you can’t use a certain coupon (for example a bogo coupon with a bogo sale), you just contact customer service and they will make sure your store knows the policy and will take care of you. Walgreens lets its store managers make decisions. For example my Walgreens will not take a $1 coupon for a $.99 item at all… not with overage, not adjusting it down, etc.

    There is probably more but you get my point. I only go to Walgreens if absolutely necessary or if they have really good non RR deals on things I need.

  • Gosia says:

    I live really close to Rite Aid and CVS, Walgreens is a lil bit out of the way but they have a few 24 hour ones which is nice, I’m partial to CVS just because we have SO many here so I can always get to it, and I like the ecb’s and how coupon friendly they are, esp the one by me, the manager will take ANY coupon. I do like the free pics/collages at Walgreens so I use that, and I haven’t really tried RA yet but I want to.
    The ecb’s came in handy this week because I got all the Kotex and Bio True for free with ecbs and coups, and when I needed to buy bandaids and some other stuff it turned out free.. So I guess they all have their benefits, RA looks good because you get back cash and not just store bucks.

  • Ana says:

    What Rae said above are all the reasons I absolutely HATE shopping at Walgreens. On occassion I will stop in if a deal is too good to pass up, but usually it has to be a good deal without RRs, because I hate having to go back in there in 2 weeks to use them on something that I didn’t really want to buy in the first place. They’re usually out of stock, too.

    We don’t have a CVS anywhere nearby (which makes me sad, because I see the weekly deals posted and they look good!), so Rite Aid is definitely my favorite. We just moved and I have mixed feelings about the new store. We’re in a neighborhood now that doesn’t coupon, so they always have plenty of stock on the deals, but the cashiers/managers are very rude/uneducated about coupons. I now have an arsenal of printed replies from corporate that I have to pull out almost every time I buy something with coupons. So annoying, but I make a good bit of money there, so it’s worth it.

  • Number one reason I like CVS above Walgreen’s or Rite Aid: You can use your ECB’s plus a manufacturer’s coupon for one item. At Walgreen’s, you have to have the number of items for the number of coupons(including Register Rewards). That was more of a hassle than what it was worth!

  • Tara says:

    I don’t live near a Rite Aid, but within 5 miles of my house, I have 4 CVS stores and 3 Walgreens. I prefer CVS by far. Customer service is so much better at CVS.

    Here are my top 4 grievances with my local Walgreens:
    1) Most employees do not understand the Register Rewards system and I have had cashiers refuse to take my RRs on transactions where I know they will work (because they worked at another store.)
    2) I have been accused of trying to use fraudulent coupons, which was absolutely not true, and called the manager over who ultimately accepted them. (Maybe because I have a b&w printer?)
    3) When Register Rewards do not print out because of a glitch in their system, I am treated as a problem customer for asking to make it right.
    4) The Wags closest to my house will not take more than 1 coupon on a BOGO because the manager does not seem to understand that the manufacturer will pay the store for the coupon. The most common response I get is “how can I take a coupon on an item that is already free?”

  • Michelle says:

    I LOVE my CVS and Rite Aid stores!! I can get pretty much anything that CVS sells for free because I’ve built up my ECBs so much. I’ve made lots of money (not to mention all of the free products) at Rite Aid, too. I’m trying to figure out Rite Aid’s new UP reward program and whether that is going to be a good thing.

    Walgreens is way too much trouble. I have shopped there a little in the past when there were big money maker weeks (i.e., glucose meters), but other than that, I avoid them.

  • Devin says:

    I prefer CVS b/c they are much more coupon friendly and I hardly pay out ot pocket b/c of the ECBs. I’ve tried doing deals at Walgreens a few times but they hardly have anything that’s on sale left and I always seem to pay more out of pocket than it seems I should. I’ve done a lot of Rite Aid deals but lately I feel like they haven’t been as coupon friendly and having a hard time using coupons and Up rewards that I should be able to use. I decided for now on I’ll only go to Rite Aid for the rebate deals.

  • Carol S says:

    CVS gets my vote as well. I find it maddening that Walgreens counts a Register Reward as a coupon, thereby making it impossible to stack an RR with a manufacturer’s coupon for one item. I skip most Walgreen’s deals just because of that. It’s too much hassle to figure out what little doo-dad I can buy as a filler just so I can use the RR and manQ together. I always end up thinking “Dang, I didn’t WANT to buy that extra thing, I just wanted the (whatever product).”

  • Shannon says:

    I’m new to the couponing world. What is meant by walgreens not being ‘coupon friendly?’

    • Tara says:

      @Shannon, Shannon, they have policies that make it more difficult to use multiple coupons in a transaction. At Walgreens, the # of coupons has to be less than or equal to the # of items, so if you have a store coupon and a manucaturer coupon for the same item, you have to buy an add’l item (without a coupon) to make the deal work. If you tried to pay for the same transaction with a register reward, you would have to add yet another filler item.

      • Maria Hill says:

        @Tara, You can use both a store coupon and manufacturer coupon on one item so that doesn’t need a filler, but you’re correct in that you need a filler if you use a RR too.

        Store coupons are not to count towards the total of coupons just Manufacturer coupons beginning with a 9 or 5 and RRs.

    • Crystal says:

      Basically, that they aren’t really excited about coupons and will give you a hard time for using them. Or worse. 🙂

      • Shannon says:

        Good to know. Thanks for the info ladies!

      • Lu says:

        @Crystal,
        A few weeks ago I went to CVS with a BOGO coupon and the Stay Free PAds were already BOGO. I walked out with 2 free, just tax was due and they did not blink and eye.
        I would now dare to try that at Wags! Unless of course I was really brave or wanting to pick a fight with someone LOL!

  • Alissabeth says:

    CVS is my top drug store. I rarely ever have issues. Rite Aid would be next on my list, especially now that they have the +Up rewards!

    I cannot stand Walgreens, because I always pay way too much out of pocket, and the managers always gave me a hard time about the order I used for my coupons, etc. I have thankfully had a few nice cashiers that would do it my way, but that was a rare occasion!

  • Amy says:

    Walgreens is walking distance from my house, but I find their system too complicated to be worth it sometimes. You have to have as many total items as you have total coupons. So, if you want to purchase one item using RR’s, a manufacturer’s coupon, and a store coupon, you have to add two other random items (and no more coupons!) to your purchase. It is sometimes fun to shop there, but often it is just TOO MUCH WORK!

  • Lela says:

    I live in a town with all 3 stores and several branches of each, my fave is a CVS and I only go on Sunday afternoon when a certain manager is on because she knows the coupon policey well and doesn’t care if I do a bunch of transactions.

  • My favorite is CVS! I still shop at WAGS but since a CVS opened about a year ago much closer to me, it’s my store of choice. Having to count my coupons vs items and finding fillers is the worst part about WAGS for me.

    I don’t shop at Rite Aid. It’s just 1 too many stores for me!

  • wendy says:

    We have several of each of the 3 stores in our town. Actually at one intersection there is a Rite Aid on one corner, a CVS on one corner and a Walgreens on another!! Walgreens is extremely coupon UNfriendly in our town. If you use a coupon to pay for anything that should earn you a RR, you will not get the RR. It’s almost a toss up for me between the other 2 as far as which one I prefer. I love the fact that I can just keep rolling ecb’s without spending much money oop, but with Rite Aid’s new up rewards you can do the same thing, but with the added benefit of the single check rebate program. It’s always great to get cash back too. I consider myself fortunate to be able to shop at all 3, but I guess in the end I would choose Rite Aid as my favorite (with CVS in an extremely close second!)

  • Kristy says:

    I really like shopping at Rite Aid and often get paid to shop there with their new wellness program. Between their up+ rewards, single rebate checks (which are SO SIMPLE!), stacking riteaid and manufacturers coupons and often finding $5/$25 purchase coupons I can get most, if not all of my toiletries and cosmetics for free (or make $ off of them). I only have a small Rite Aid in my town, so yes, I try to shop early so the shelves are not bare.

    Our CVS is OK. Sometimes I make out really well there, and usually can get good deals on vitamins and some toiletries and snacks. Their clearance section holds some treasures from time to time too. I like their extra care bucks, but don’t make out quite as well there because there are less ways to save.

    Walgreens is 30 miles from me, so I haven’t shopped there to be able to comment.

    My tip is, look through the cirrculars and check out the blogs each week and then hit the deals that work for you and your budget. Some weeks I don’t go to either. Some weeks I find it pays to go to both!

  • Brooke says:

    Pretty much I boycotted Walgreens awhile ago. And I love both Rite Aid and CVS equally. The deals at both stores seem to be on different things i need, and they are both very coupon friendly. Walgreens is NOT coupon friendly for me, and there is almost ALWAYS a problem when I try to go.

  • Becky says:

    All I can contribute is that when I go to Walgreens, I’m almost always disappointed in the total out of pocket cost & feel like I’ve been taken. When I shop at CVS, I come home elated & can’t wait to show my husband all that I purchased for next to nothing. Walgreens also has the new R.R. cards here in Overland Park, KS, & so that does away with any limits advantages they once had.

  • Barb says:

    Hard to choose. I LOVE that I have no limit on the deal at Walgreens because there is no customer card tracking how many times I do the deal. In our big city, there are often many Walgreens or CVS stores along my routes, and I have been known — much to hubby’s amusement and the kids’ exhaustion — to stop at each one along the way and alternate my Walgreens deals until I run out of coupons!

  • Rachael P. says:

    CVS!!! They’re so coupon friendly.

  • Ashley Hensley says:

    Hands down Rite Aid is the best drugstore. Well in my opinion anyway. I have a son that is in diapers and I have searched high and low for the best price on diapers. If you know how to work the system with coupons, UP Rewards, Rebates, $5 off $25 coupons, and Value Video coupons then you can get diapers for very cheap and sometimes free. I have been teaching my sister the system due to her having a baby soon. She was so excited last week when she got 6 packs of Huggies diapers for free. This also works the same with all items in the store not just diapers but that is my main focus.

    I also like CVS. You can get great deals their also.

    I personally do not like Walgreens. I agree that they are not coupon friendly. When the deals for Walgreens come across the blog I just skip right over them.

  • Shelley says:

    Definetely CVS! The staff there is very acceptive of coupon use and does not give you cold look at all. Often times, at walgreens they don’t produce the extra bucks as promised. I had to wait very long for the manager in the meantime suffering cold look of the cashier. I had been very careful to shop at a quieter time without bringing hassels to the other customers and the cashier. But it simply does not work. I guess they just simply don’t like customers who play the deal they advertised.

  • Carmen says:

    Whew! I’m glad to read I’m not the only one that hates shopping at Walgreens. I haven’t done much with the RR, but I would get SO frustrated everything I tried shopping there on how unorganized their aisle were and since I couldn’t get there in the first couple days of their sales, 9 times out of 10 they would be out of stock on their sale items!
    The worst was last fall when I was trying to pick up some school supplies for my Operation Christmas Child packages. Some school supplies were in the office supply section and some were in a completely different section half-way across the store. I went back and forth trying to determine whether or not they were out of stock or if I was looking in the wrong place.
    I went one more time last fall, started putting a handful of items in a basket, but when I discovered my 3rd or 4th sale item out of stock, I set the basket down right where I was and walked out. Haven’t been back since.
    I really wish we had a CVS around here…

  • Trisha says:

    It seems I am with the consensus… I love CVS!! I used to go to Walgreens and CVS every week, but I found myself scrambling some weeks to find a purchase to use up RRs that were about to expire, but no good deals that week. I finally decided that Walgreen’s is too inconsistent with deals and their RRs expire too quickly. Now I go exclusively to CVS and it has made life much easier!

  • Joy says:

    Am I the only one who doesn’t shop at the drugstores? I usually get my coupon deals at Target, Walmart or grocery store (Wegman’s, Price Chopper or P &C). We have a Rite Aid right around the corner (actually just about one on every corner) but it doesn’t appeal to me. Walgreen’s is 15 min away on the other side of town. And CVS is 30 minutes away. We also have a local drugstore chain called Kinney’s that’s about 10 minutes away. But honestly it seems like a lot of work to get the drugstore deals.

    • Crystal says:

      It’s actually not much work at all — and lots of fun! — once you’ve learned how it works. But it’s not for everyone. However, if you are looking for a way to save a lot of money and get a lot of household products for almost free, playing The Drugstore Game is definitely something to highly consider!

  • Holly says:

    I love CVS their coupons rollover the easiest and they will most of time even take them after they are expired. Not true with Walgreens!

  • jan says:

    Very interesting to read the responses- I also find CVS much easier to shop- but sometimes Walgreens has excellent clearance items. There are also 3 CVS stores near me and only 1 Walgreens and no Rite Aid. Also- I like Walgreens for online photo but I like CVS for instore photo.

  • kimme says:

    The good thing about Walgreens (at least for now, until they start up a program that will require you to use a card) is that there aren’t limits when you want to stock up during great deals. Also, Walgreens has their own coupon book that you can stack with Man. Q’s which I love and then they always have coupons in their weekly store ads. CVS doesn’t seem to have many of their own store Q’s. But yes, I’ll have to agree with some of the posts on here that Walgreens doesn’t seem to be as coupon-friendly as CVS.

  • Rachel says:

    I chose CVS because I heard about it on a news story first and then decided to stick with it for simplicity. Our CVS stores are almost always entirely out of the weekly deals which is frustrating. Because of that I probably only check out CVS every 4-6 weeks. I also try to go on Sunday afternoons before the shelves are cleared.

    I read recently that of the three big pharmacy chains that CVS consistently has the highest prices so you have to be careful with how you play the game.

    • Rae says:

      @Rachel, CVS will give you rainchecks when they are out as long as it’s not one of the 3 day deals. And they never expire 🙂 It actually works out better for me when they don’t have the item in stock because then I check for it again whenever I have a $/$$ coupon that I need help reaching the limit. You just give them the raincheck and they will fix the price if the item was on sale and if it was something that generated an ECB, they do it just like they do if something you bought didn’t create one that was supposed to

  • Jaclyn says:

    I have to say that before I knew about couponing I thought Walgreens prices were a slightly lower but since couponing I LOVE CVS. Walgreens is not coupon friendly at all. Plus, the store by me is messy and they never label anything on sale so it’s a guessing game to try to get the right item. They also seem to have at least one misprint in their weekly ad – incorect size or price on some item. I even tried tallking to a Walgreens district manager just to let him know how I wanted to shop there but found it so frustrating week after week with nothing labeled and all the mistakes and he told me it was my fault for making things so “complicated” (by trying to use a manufacture and store coupon). Nice Attitude. I take my money and coupons to CVS across the street where they are very kind. I even transfered all of our prescriptions over (using coupons where I got gift cards since they honor other stores) and have been glad I did.

  • RachelB says:

    I didn’t take the time to read through every single comment so I don’t know if this was mentioned. I read through several dozen comments at the beginning and read over and over that people don’t like Wags because of how their RR program works. I was that way too, but I just found out the other day that my local grocery store (which I LOVE for good deals and double coupon days) will take Wags RR. The store is Rainbow Foods, in case there are any other Minnesotans reading. So earlier in the week I went in and did the Gillette razor deal a bunch of times and had 6 $5 RRs. I went in for Double Coupon Daze this morning and paid $30 less than I would have otherwise, and my hubby has a bunch of expensive razors that I got for $1 each. I now love Wags since I can use the RRs at Rainbow!

    I shop CVS too, but now I think I’ll do both a little more equally.

  • Jerilyn says:

    I do CVS the most. I like the ecb’s and how they work and I do pay the least out of pocket.

    I haven’t tried the new up deals at rite-aid but I like doing the scr’s. I cash those and put into our extra savings. I just spent some on food and extra’s for me and the hubby’s 5th anniversary trip. Now we’re saving for a weekend trip with the family. 🙂

    I only do walgreens when the deal is fantastic and I use the RR immediately on something we need like toilet paper.

  • Kristina says:

    I LOVE CVS!! – we don’t have a Rite Aid store near us and Walgreen’s is to much of a hassle – never have sale items in stock and couponing seems to be difficult for sales staff.

  • Lu says:

    I don’t have a Rite-Aid in Florida, but I when I went to Georgia the last 2 years in October, I hit them and got some great deals and the best part is their sigle check rebate program which is so easy to enter the receipts, and the check comes super fast and you get all your money back! You don’t have to keep ROLLING it on things you really don’t need or be forced to spend it on OVERPRICED items. That money goes right back into your budget.
    But considering I don’t have a Rite Aid to regularly shop at I choose CVS. They are very nice to me and don’t blink an eye when you hand them a stack of coupons. If they run out on Monday, they actually get it back in by Thursday, and if they don’t you get a rain check and they don’t make a big deal about giving you one. CVS also has an official Corporate coupon policy for all their store, which if you have a problem, you can cal0 corporate and they will notify the store. CVS also takes coupons for 1.00 on .99 cents items at all their stores. They give it to you free instead of fussing about the 1 cent overage! If their is a glitch in the system and the ECB does not print, they scan your receipt and print it for you manually.
    Also the ECB last 30 days, which gives me plenty of time to use them.

    Now Walgreens, I avoid like the plague unless they have a deal so good I can’t resist, and even if they do , if its for a NEW product, I wait for it go FREE after ECB at CVS. First they fuss over 1 cents overage and tell you that you can’t use the coupon because it “beeps”
    They look like you are crazy and don’t know what to do when the RR does not print. Most of the managers are rude and know if you call and complain, nothing will happen. They do not have an official coupon policy for all their stores and it varies grately amongst cashiers.
    I hate going there because if my “favore” cashier is not there, then most of the time I am wasting my time. Its just not consistent, good customer in service. I don’t know how they are still in business!!

  • Carol says:

    My main store is still Walgreens, mainly because it’s literally a 2 minute walk from my apartment. My particular store is very coupon-friendly, and I’ve had no problems stacking with the coupons in the coupon book and weekly ad, AND a RR. I like the RRs because I know I’ll be able to use them, as I’m in the store almost daily for one thing or another.

    Our Rite Aid is also coupon-friendly, and there’s one cashier in particular who totally “gets” the whole couponing thing. The only reason I don’t shop there more is because SCRs are kind of a pain in terms of keeping track, etc. I do, however, totally LOVE the new Wellness card, UP Rewards, and I’ve saved LOADS with Video Values coupons!

    The only “downside” for CVS is that it’s further away, and by the time I get around to using my ECBs, half the time they’ve expired. It’s a logistical thing with *getting* to CVS for me, as I don’t drive and walk pretty much everywhere or take the bus. (I live in NYC.) It is NOT a reflection on our local CVS. Whenever I’ve shopped there, I have always had a good experience.

  • Carol says:

    Finding that CVS is better than Walgreen’s and the clerks are very helpful in helping you do things the best way to get ECB;s and any other questions I might have.

  • Laura Jane says:

    Rite Aid is the best way to go!!!! You get REAL ACTUAL MONEY back with their SCRs! I get tons of stuff I actually need (and some that I’m less in need of) and literally make a profit of actual money every month! Yes, they are starting some new programs which can be confusing until you get the hang of it (but then it’s like second nature). But those are just MORE ways to save money. If they seem complicated, you don’t even have to use them – you can always just stick with the old SCRs. I have access to 5 Rite Aids. One of them is super coupon friendly. One of them (the one that’s literally half a mile from my house, unfortunately) is super coupon unfriendly. The other three are in the middle.

  • Brenda says:

    I LOVE CVS!!! Sale items are marked, and the usually have the sale items in stock. They’re great about coupons and rainchecks. They even seem excited when you use the EB reward system, and get a great deal. And my personal favorite….their EB’s don’t expire!!!
    I tried RiteAid years ago, and won’t go in again. Sale items weren’t marked…IF they had them, and they had no clue about rainchecks. And if, for some reason the SCR’s didn’t work….hard to argue with a website…very frustrating. Did I mention… I love CVS!

  • Megan says:

    CVS ALL THE WAY! I almost always get ECB’s for next to nothing after coupons. Yesterday I was able to use all of my ECB’s for a free case of Pampers – which turned me 10 more ECB’s! (not to mention a ton of Pampers GTG points!) LOVE CVS!

    • Megan says:

      @Megan,
      oh by the way we don’t have Rite Aid’s here where I live so I have no clue about them. I get my sister’s discount at Wags but I still don’t think their values are that great.

  • Anne says:

    Interesting to read all the comments. We have all 3 stores in our town, two are within walking distance of my home. I have had the best luck with Walgreens, no problem stacking manufacturer and in-ad coupons and paying with my RR. Regularly get free items and the staff is super friendly. Plus I can generally even wait until middle of the sale and the shelves are still nicely stocked.

    Rite-Aid would be second choice, because they have given me a hard time with using a BOGO coupon with and in-store BOGO sale item. Otherwise they allow stacking store coupons and manufacturer coupons, no problem.

    CVS is my last resort! The manager treats a coupon toting mom like a thief of some sort. I try to stay out of CVS at all cost, I am sure the manager is responsible for all of the the poor attitudes and service. My mom won’t step foot in the store again because they were so rude to her, and she is a polite tiny little gray haired lady in her sixties!!!

    I think management and staff attitude truly affect the outcome of the customer experience much more than written coupon policy.

    • Maria Hill says:

      @Anne, It is corporate policy and they have a copy; I’ve seen it at mine. I carry my own copy too just in case. If you ever have that problem with BOGOs then show them the policy and if that doesn’t work call corporate. Managers are required to follow it unlike Wags with only guidelines.

  • I don’t have a Rite Aid within at least 100 miles, but I do have Walgreens and CVS in the city I shop in. I get a “higher class” vibe from the CVS, the employees are friendly, put up with my complicated check-outs, and are happy to issue rain checks. Even though the store is smaller and they have purchase limits I much prefer to shop there. At Walgreens I get a sort of messy feel even though it isn’t really, they’re more prone to being sold out, and 90% of the employees are not too happy to be there. Add to that the irritating and restrictive coupon policies, and I only go there when there’s a seriously good deal. Even then I sometimes have to go to 2 or 3 stores, either because I get the stink-eye when I try to do multiple transactions to get a deal more than once, or just to find the item in the first place – and if it’s a really good deal it will be gone by 10am Sunday at all 3 stores. I’ve gotten some great things from them, but I’m down to maybe once a month at Walgreens and nearly every week at CVS.

  • Susie says:

    I prefer CVS first, seems they have the most for the money, I would put Walgreens second and Rite Aid last. CVS and Walgreens are up and down, but usually CVS wins out. Now that Rite Aid has the Up reward card I may can use them more. I prefer my discount and EB, RR up front, don’t have time or patience to pay and then get back, do not like the SCR or whatever it is. I need savings now.

  • K B says:

    I have given up on CVS. I live in Kansas City North. I have scoured their ads, identified their specials I was interested in and, 9 times out of 10, walked into their stores and they are out of it. But the last straw – not two long ago they had a special running – 10 for $10 on various items. One of these was a favorite toothpaste. I was able to stock up on this toothpaste. I was thrilled. Next week CVS had this toothpaste was on sale for 89 cents. I’m sticking with Wal-Mart.

  • Mimi says:

    We’re 1/2 n hour from any of these Drug Stores so I only go to Wal Mart because it’s in the town I work in. I just never go up to the other city any more because of the gas!

  • Donna says:

    Walgreens is by far my favorite in Florida, (where we don’t have a Rite Aid.) However, I do have about 6 CVS’s and more Wags in a small area of my immediate neighborhood. I like that Wags has no limits, although it is confusing to make the transactions work while spending little out of pocket. CVS is easier to get deal with no OOP, but the limits are frustrating. Rain checks are always offered when the item runs out at CVS, not WAGS. One major problem with WAGS is that there is so much discrepancy and confusion between stores and employees are not trained, nor do they understand their own RR policy. It is frustrating!

  • Lydia M. says:

    I would have to say CVS for me. The staff and Asst. Manager are very coupon friendly. With regards to the shelves being empty of product, the Manager at my store told me that the registers are set up on Saturday night for the next week’s sale prices, so he told me to shop on Saturday night. He also told me that their ECB’s never expire even though they have a date on them. The clerks at my store (Nor. Cal) almost fight to ring me up so they can see how much I save. They shake their heads and smile and ask “How do you do that?”

    With regards to Walgreens, I do shop there, but I have to agree their system is very annoying. The Manager is now friendly as a couple of weeks ago I spent about half an hour explaining couponing to her, including how to spot fraudulent internet coupons. Just today I had another conversation with her because I was purchasing a gallon of milk and 4 of the 3M hooks on sale for $1.50 each and had 4/$2 coupons. The clerk didn’t want to take them because of the $.50 overage on each coupon. I asked the Manager how it was not ok for me, but ok for the store to profit the $.50 overage on each item, plus get paid $.08 to get each coupon, whereas if I was given the overage I would be purchasing other product in the store to cover this. She agreed with me, and said to just ask for her if I ever had a problem again.

    I don’t shop at RiteAid because I don’t want to have to wait for a “rebate” check. With all that said, I would have to say I prefer to shop at CVS.

  • kelly says:

    CVS, CVS!!! I live near all 3, but for me, I don’t feel it’s the best of use of my time to take all the time to work out the deals for all 3 stores. so I have chosen to just go with cvs, and if I miss out on some great deals at the other stores, well, that’s ok. I did do all 3 at first, and cvs came way out on top. I think we all know how hard walgreens is to work with and at the time, RA only did the rebates which was a hassle. I am interested in trying their new Up program as it sounds much better, but for now, I am a loyal cvs’er. 🙂

  • john says:

    I hope someone in upper mgmt at wags has someone working for them who reads blogs. Post after post can’t be wrong. The theme here is what I also experienced at wags stores: always poor stock on sale items , bad rainchecks (no rr on rainchecks), unfriendly employees who also hate coupons, ridiculous coupon rules and lack of a corp coupon policy, etc.
    CVS is better stocked, has friendly cashiers who don’t mind couponers, etc.
    And rad looks like they got their corporate head screwed on straight now.
    Maybe increased real competition will help wags to improve.

  • Allison says:

    CVS! I live in NJ and have easy access to CVS, Walgreens and Rite Aid. My sentiments echo all of the ones above — Walgreens is anti-coupon, has poor customer service and typically have little to no stock of hot sale items. I will only go there if the deal is to good to resist (usually once every few months at most). I recently had the opportunity to test out the UP program from Rite Aid, and found that even though I scored some great deals, when I went to redeem the UP Rewards, the manager would only let me use 1 UP reward per transaction (unlike CVS where you use your ECBs like cash tender) and I had over $20 in UP rewards that expired the next day! Needless to say it was a HUGE hassle and encouraged me to stick to CVS. Their program is much more user friendly and I have found no inconsistencies from store to store. Plus, the CVS employees all seem to be well educated on the coupon policy and are always friendly. I am curious if anyone else has had the some problem with the Rite Aid UP rewards?

    • Melissa McTiernan says:

      @Allison,
      I just tried the UPREWARDS stuff this week and it went swell. I actually made 2 different transactions for the diapers to ensure I got the rewards and the cashier asked me if I wanted to use my other rewards that I just earned on my new order. 🙂

  • Heather D. says:

    All 3 are local but I prefer CVS, mainly because it’s parked next to major grocery store and the cashier are friendly.

  • Stacy says:

    I must agree with many of the others, if I had to rank them it would be CVS, Rite-Aid and then a very distant third, Walgreens. CVS always has a ton of the sale items and does issue rain checks with ECB’s that never expire. They have friendly cashiers and don’t get annoyed.
    Rite Aid is closest to my home and I do shop there often. There are great deals to be had there especially with the unlimited Up Rewards. I have had issues with their manager not allowing coupons but called corp and resolved it quickly.
    If I had to chose one, CVS all the way!

  • Amanda says:

    CVS and Rite Aid are definitely the best. I’ve been shopping at CVS for a while and I love the new machine to scan your EC card and get coupons. Now with the Rite Aid Up rewards, I have been saving a lot! I’m not a huge fan of the rebate system, but I’m learning the ropes. I really like that I can get multiples of an item and get an UP reward as long as I buy them on separate transactions.

  • Cari Payne says:

    I’ve been disappointed and frustrated at Walgreens more than once. I thought my particular location was just difficult, but it looks like it’s common everywhere. I don’t have a Rite Aid near me so I don’t know how they are, but I love CVS! I go almost every week & when I come home and show my husband what I got & tell him how much I spent he is always impressed 🙂

  • Tara says:

    Never attempted Walgreens or Rite Aid deals yet, even though we have both, but I regularly shop CVS. I’m just used to them. Plus, we have the best local CVS store ever! They take expired ECBs and CVS coupons (unless they are over a year old), which is so helpful for me because I have a 4-month-old and we live a good 20 minutes from CVS. That way I don’t feel like I need to shop just to roll my ECBs or use a CVS coupon before they expire, even if there are no deals I’m interested in that week. I also love them because they let me use a Huggies Swimmers coupon on a regular pack of Huggies! They are VERY deal friendly (my favorite cashier does the deals herself!) so now I never sweat like a pig when I shop there like I used to at other CVS stores – ha!

  • Amy says:

    Rite Aid by a mile! CVS is pretty good, too, but Rite Aid has such great deals, especially now that I get 20% off all the time with my Wellness Plus card AND UP rewards AND SCRs! My store is pretty coupon friendly, too. Occasionally I’ll get a less experienced cashier, but the manager definitely knows me by now and always makes things so easy for me. 🙂 (Between my double stroller with my twin toddlers and my many coupons, I am apparently hard to forget. ;))

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