Rite Aid is my favorite. This is where I get the most for my money. And our local Rite Aid has the FRIENDLIEST cashiers. They are always so happy to see me and it makes me feel valued, instead of a burden.
I only thought it appropriate to put them first in my ‘lineup’!
There are a lot of things you can do with Rite Aid. First of all, get their store discount card. It’s free to sign up. Once you have that in hand, make sure to set up your online account.
On their website, in your “dashboard”, you can keep track of your +up rewards, load coupons to your card, manage prescriptions, and watch video values.
Let me break it down into sections, because until you get the hang of it, it’s a little tricky to completely maximize your savings.
Rite Aid +up Rewards are similar to CVS’s Extra Care Bucks. They will run an item on sale and you can get ‘coupons’ back for what you have purchased. These can be used on ANYTHING in the store. Your not going to see the savings right away, but it will be ‘money’ for your next trip. These rewards are automatically put on your card. I have found that it is just too hard to manage this at the register and you can ask a cashier to switch it to print outs for you instead. Believe me, after months of frustration with this, one of the managers mentioned to me that we could do that to make less of a headache on all of us.
Unlike CVS’s Extra Care Bucks which can be used immediately, Rite Aid +up Rewards cannot be used until 6am the following day.
The problem is this: say you have $25 rewards on your card. You buy $25 worth of products. You also have $15 worth of coupons. Realistically, your total should be $10, because with $25 worth of product, minus $15 worth of coupons would be $10. BUT the registers don’t recognize that. They see that there is $25 in rewards. So you will come up with a $0 balance. Which is GREAT! But, you’d be losing out on your additional coupons. Which means you would eat up $15 of your rewards that could have been used the next trip. This can be completely avoided by just having the rewards printed out that you can use as ‘cash’ at the end.
Something to note about rewards: they expire after 2 weeks, so use them up before that!
Load2Card is a program on the dashboard in which you can load coupons directly from the website onto your rewards card. So when you go to checkout, it automatically uses whatever coupons you have on your card. Now, for me, I don’t keep track of what is on the card. I check every week to see if there are new coupons and I add all of them onto my card. Make sure you check this weekly. A coupon could be on there that expires 3 months from now, but it might not be available for you to ‘clip’ next week. When you see them, ‘clip’ them.
I might be doing something a little illegal with these. BUT it has been working, so I figure it isn’t a problem at this point. If Rite Aid changes their rules, then obviously I’m not going to make out near as well.
Example: I purchase Pantene. I have a coupon for Pantene already on my card, but I also have a printed coupon for Pantene. So, it’s double savings. Like I said, it may be a little illegal…. But it’s worth a shot.
Video Values are great. But you have to prepare well ahead for these guys too. At the beginning of every month this section is updated. It is an area where there are short commercials to watch in order to get coupons of certain products. What’s neat about this is that these are STORE coupons. Rite Aid’s policy is that you can use one STORE coupon and one MANUFACTURER coupon per item. My normal routine goes something like this: go to this section and just watch all the videos to the end, until the coupon pops up. You will have an option to print, but just click onto the next video. They will be saved for you until they expire. These can be kind of tricky as well, because a lot of the coupons don’t expire until 2 months from the beginning of the month they were aired, BUT they will disappear at the first of the next month. It’s good to watch all the videos, that way you can fall back on these coupons later on. And Rite Aid can be pretty tricky, in airing a coupon/commercial for something one month and not putting it on sale until the following month. If you didn’t watch that video, then that coupon is no longer there.
Another thing about video values: when you go to print them, a box will pop up asking if it printed correctly. If you click ‘yes’ it will void it from further use. If you click ‘no’ it will save it. This is important to click ‘no’ in case you misplace the coupon. Then you can still go back and reprint it.
A word about the Pharmacy: Although I haven’t set up a pharmacy account online, it seems pretty user friendly. You can request refills via the online portal, which seems pretty handy to me!
DEALS at the pharmacy: about every 2 weeks, Rite Aid has a coupon in their sales circular for a $25 up reward with a new or transferred prescription. This is how I started my ‘stash’ of rewards dollars. They typically will advertise one or two. We LOVE our local pharmacy, but if Rite Aid is essentially going to pay me to get our prescriptions filled there? Then sign me up! These coupons will last 2 weeks and then new ones will come out in the next circular. I ALWAYS cut these out and keep them rotating on my bulletin board by the door. We’ve gone through all of our maintenance meds in our family now, but with a kid in the house, we are bound to have sickness here and there. And when we do, it’s good to grab one of those coupons before heading to the doctor. I am ALWAYS saving, sick or not.
Rite Aid also has store surveys on the bottom of every receipt, for pharmacy or the store. I complete them every week. They have a chance to win a store gift card if you complete the survey. And 4 tries a month is pretty good, I think? It takes 5 minutes tops and if it gives me a chance at saving even more, I’m all game.
You also earn points depending on your purchases, and although I am not 100% sure what the accrual is, there are some pretty nice rewards. I am already at the silver level for the year, which means I get 10% the ENTIRE store or the rest of the year. The gold level is next, and I think that is 20% off the entire store. When you reach 500 points you can pick a reward (I got a magazine subscription, but you could pick a few other things, such as a year long GNC membership). If I remember correctly, pharmacy points double, too. If you have prescriptions to transfer, it would be best to do it at the beginning of the year, as to get your points up there quicker.
Keep an eye on your deals of the weeks too, especially the ones that include getting a +up reward. There often are limits of 1 or 2 redemptions. Make sure not to make the mistake of buying 10 of something because you thought you’d get $20 back. Because you won’t. Read the fine print. ALWAYS.
That covers my Rite Aid tips and tricks. If there are any other ‘Rite-Aiders’ out there that have anything to add, comment below and I’ll get it up!
And my favorite blog hip2save has the weekly match ups at Rite Aid posted on Saturday afternoon/evening. She is my savior in terms of figuring out the best combos.