The drugstore game: Save BIG on sundries

By shopping smart, you can score big discounts—and even free stuff—from drugstores like CVS, Rite Aid, and Walgreens.

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Does it seem like you’’re at the drugstore two or three times a week? Rewards programs can make those trips a lot more affordable. Walgreens, CVS and Rite Aid offer store credit and discounts for everything from toothpaste to toilet-bowl cleaners.

Depending on the merchant, certain weekly specials will generate either instant store credit or points that can be traded in for credit or discounts of up to 20% on the rest of the year’’s purchases. All three stores offer additional ways to earn points, from filling prescriptions to watching videos.

Each program is slightly different, but the bottom line is the same: Play your loyalty cards right and get huge discounts—and maybe even free products—by combining rewards with coupons and sale prices.