A cornerstone among drugstore food chains, Walgreens has 8,175 locations across the country, with 76 percent of Americans living within 5 miles of one, according to the company. The store offers solid products at competitive prices, plus a robust loyalty rewards program, making it a go-to stop for prescription filling, beauty products and photo printing.
We asked experts to share their shopping tips for finding the best deals at Walgreens — and how to spot the worst deals so you can steer clear. Here’s what they had to say.
5 best Walgreens deals
Want to look your best but don’t want to pay top dollar for makeup? “Be on the lookout for designer makeup swaps at Walgreens,” said Kerry Sherin of Offers.com. The drugstore offers numerous makeup products comparable to items you might find at higher prices at Sephora and other stores.
Got a headache? Don’t make it worse with high-priced aspirin. Teri Gault, author of “Shop Smart, Save More,” said Walgreens is a great choice for over-the-counter medication savings. And the generic counterparts of the name brands are even better deals. “They often run buy-one-get-one-free sales on them,” she said.
Pantry items like cereal
You might not think of Walgreens as a great spot to pick up staples like cereal, peanut butter and other pantry items, but Gault said it’s surprising what you can do at the store with a few coupons. “I have been successful in asking if I can use two coupons and get the deal twice,” she said. “So, instead of a limit of three cans of salmon for $1.99, I got six.”
Saving money on paper towels, napkins, tissues and more can be really nice. Perhaps that’s why the Walgreens brand of these products is called Nice and is a great deal, said Gault. “Nice brand paper products are good quality and frequently go on sale for 99 cents,” she said. Examples include Nice storage, freezer or sandwich bags, paper plates and napkins.
If you want to print a few photos, create photo books and more, Gault recommended Walgreens as a way of getting top quality at a great price.
“Walgreens has my personal favorite photo services,” she said. “I’ve ordered prints online super cheap and picked them up within an hour. I also used their online tools to design books and photo albums at great savings, and I’m always happy with the result.”
For example, you can print normal, 4-by-6-inch photos at Walgreens for 19 cents each. And if you print over 100 photos, the price drops to just 15 cents each. Additionally, aspiring travelers can print passport shots for a mere $7.44.
5 worst Walgreens deals
Batteries are pricey, and Pavini said you won’t find many opportunities to save at Walgreens. “Though Walgreens had several battery deals (in their) ad, the price was still significantly more than when you bought batteries at a warehouse club,” she said. So, look for deals at Costco or Sam’s Club to stock up.
Spend the money on the gift, not the bag or wrapping paper that it comes in. To do that, you might want to avoid Walgreens, said Pavini. According to her, you will typically pay a premium for gift bags, bows and wrapping paper at Walgreens.
“You don’t want a $10 gift to turn into a $20 one simply because of wrapping supplies,” she said. “One of the best places to find a bargain on wrapping paper is at designer discount stores.”
Looking for some new stemware for that big holiday party? Or maybe some Tupperware for the leftovers? Don’t look to Walgreens, said Lindsay Sakraida, director of content marketing at DealNews. She said most housewares found at Walgreens will be much more expensive than at stores like Target or Walmart.
‘As Seen On TV’ Items
We’ve all heard the commercials: A cheesy voice says, “Wait, there’s more! Buy in the next 10 seconds, and you’ll get not one, but 52 hairdryers for the same price!” While these “As Seen on TV” items can save you money, don’t be tempted to purchase them at Walgreens without comparing prices at Amazon first. According to Sakraida, the online retailer is more likely to offer a discount on these types of items.
Just like those expensive batteries that power them, most electronics found at Walgreens are going to be pricey, said Sakraida. As an added insult, they’ll likely be low quality. So, unless you need one of these items right away, she suggests going online to find much better deals on tech.