UPDATE: This post was written in the winter of 2009. The coupons and specific deals are no longer available, but the strategy behind rolling your prescriptions remains.
If you are in the market for free gift cards (and honestly, who isn’t?) now is a great time to jump in the prescription transfer game. This is a great way to free up some money to start stockpiling at Safeway or to play Walgreens and Rite Aid without breaking your grocery & household budget.
The game is fairly simple. Most stores offer a gift card incentive when you transfer your prescription to their pharmacy. Playing the game involves planning your transfers to can get the incentive at as many stores and for as many family members as possible.
Here’s my current plan of attack:
Safeway recently released a coupon that gives a $30 gift card for any new or transferred prescription. Most promotions only give you the gift card for transferred, not new prescriptions. I have been holding my daughter’s fluoride prescription for a couple of weeks in anticipation of one of these more rare opportunities.
Last week, I filled the prescription at Safeway. I paid $3.34 after my insurance contribution and received the $30 gift card. That’s the key. I used a prescription that was relatively inexpensive. I made $26.66 on this transaction.
Next, I will use the Walgreen’s coupon released in the Portland metro area last week to fill next month’s fluoride prescription. Another key: roll prescriptions that need to be regularly refilled. Again, the cost should be around $3. I will make about $22.
I plan to repeat the rolling at Rite Aid & Target. Coupons from these two stores are more frequent, so I am saving them for March & April. After a few months, I can start playing the game again.
Here’s the great part: I have another new fluoride prescription for my son. I will start the whole process over again at Safeway for his prescription tomorrow. I also plan to call my doctor to get my allergy medicine filled early. I will probably be able to roll this one to two stores to stock up for what I need for my allergy season (May-July).
There are restrictions common to these promotions: only one gift card per person for a certain time period (usually 6-12 months) and you can’t transfer a prescription already filled at that pharmacy, including other store locations.
This is not a deal if you are paying more than you would under the $4 generic programs at various stores. But it definitely works for cheap prescriptions and those you would be paying for anyway.
Here are the coupons & links for the various stores:
- The Safeway coupon is in their weekly ad available right now. The coupon expires the beginning of March. I plan to pick up a few copies the next time I hit Safeway.
- Walgreens just released one that expires April 26. Print this off now in case Walgreens pulls it early. You can also get a paper coupon from this week’s ad if you’re in the Portland area.
- Rite Aid is offering $25 . Expires February 28. Rite Aid releases these coupons fairly often.
- Target often has a coupon in their weekly ad. Keep your eyes peeled. It’s usually only $10.
- I have read that Albertsons and perhaps Walgreens will accept competitor’s coupons. Check with your local pharmacy. You could start a prescription at Albertsons then roll to Safeway, Walgreens, Rite Aid & Target, making up to $130 before the cost of the prescription.
Have any rolling tips? What works for you? Leave a comment!
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