Photos, and refills, and rewards cards! Oh, my!

I take a lot of photos of my daughter... and I mean a LOT. We took her to the Minnesota Zoo for the first time over the weekend, and I took over 200 photos between by phone and digital camera. We were at the zoo for about four hours. 

When photographing my daughter, I usually take about 10 photos at a time in hopes that I'll end up with one good one that isn't blurry — toddlers move so fast! So, although I came home with over 200 photos, I'll probably end up with about half that many worth saving (and even fewer worth printing).

I usually shop at CVS pharmacy a few times per week. There's a location across the street from my office (and I really mean across the street — I can see the awnings if I turn around in my desk chair and look out the window), so it's very convenient if I forget to bring lunch or just need a snack. 

I downloaded the CVS app a while back because, let's face it, I'm really into apps. I also downloaded the Walgreens app because I've shopped and had prescriptions filled there many times throughout my life. Growing up in Mankato, I always went to Walgreens when I needed a prescription filled or film developed.

I'm amazed by some of the things I've found at the Walgreens store near my house. They carry my favorite taco seasoning (Target was out that day and I was determined to make taco salad) and they sold hot plates when I needed a makeshift kitchen. One year when I was Christmas shopping, I found a toy that was sold out everywhere else — who thinks to buy Christmas gifts from Walgreens? Exactly.

Anyway, I'm really happy I downloaded both pharmacy apps because I can order photo prints and refill prescriptions quickly and easily whenever I want.

Digital Photo Prints

Although it seems like most people share photos via Facebook, text message or DropBox, sometimes it's still nice to have actual photo prints made. You can put a favorite photo in a frame on your desk, print holiday cards to mail to friends and family, or print out some recent photos of your little ones to send to your grandparents.

I've had really great experiences using my CVS app to print photos on a variety of occasions. I printed about 60 photos when I was getting ready to return to work after maternity leave. I put the photos into a little album to bring with me to the office. It was very helpful when I was missing my 6-week-old baby girl and needed to pump throughout the workday. 

Another occasion where I printed photos using my CVS app was when my mom brought my grandpa up from Owatonna to meet my daughter for the first time. During the visit, I took a few photos of my grandpa holding her. Then I submitted an order for digital photo prints including the new photos as well as some of my other favorites.

Photos can be printed the same day they're submitted through the app. You have the option to note if someone other than you will be picking up the photos from the store. So, my mom was able to swing through my neighborhood CVS Pharmacy and pick up the photos for my grandpa on her way home. He was so excited! My grandpa is not at all tech savvy, so emailing or texting wasn't an option for sharing photos with him.

When you submit your photo order through the app, you're able to select which store you want to pick them up from — this is convenient because sometimes it's easier for me to pick up photos from the CVS store by my work instead of the one that's down the street from my house. 

It's been more convenient for me to order photos using my CVS app since the store locations are closer to my home and work, but the Walgreens app is very similar and the photo prices are pretty comparable (for links to pricing information, please see the resources bar on the right side of the page).

Prescription Refills

Once you have kids, you end up filling prescriptions more often. It could be vitamins for your newborn, amoxicillin for (yet another) ear infection or possibly something like cefdinir if your little one gets a case of pink eye (conjunctivitis).

If you have recurring prescriptions, like infant vitamin drops or a supplement for iron deficiency, it can cause a little panic when you realize you need a refill for the following day. This has happened to me more than a couple times. 

We were already running late in the morning, and as I was giving my daughter her medication, I realized we wouldn't have enough to get through the next day's doses. I quickly opened my CVS app, scanned the barcode to order a refill, and was able to pick up the prescription from the drive-thru on our way home from daycare that evening. Whew! Crisis averted!


It's also worthwhile to sign up for the free pharmacy rewards programs. I have an ExtraCare card from CVS Pharmacy, as well as a Balance Rewards card from Walgreens. If you're at all like me, you probably have your phone with you at all times. You can link your rewards card into the pharmacy app so you don't have to worry about keeping track of the actual card. 

Another great benefit of the ExtraCare card is the pharmacy rewards program. You can link all eligible family members' prescriptions to your card. For every 10 prescriptions you have filled, you'll receive five dollars in ExtraBucks rewards. 

Looking at the Balance Rewards program information online, it appears you earn five dollars in rewards after filling 10 prescriptions at Walgreens as well. So, both pharmacy apps offer rewards for purchases as well as prescriptions filled.

If you link your rewards card to your pharmacy app, you can get customized deals and digital coupons you can then send directly to your card. I've gotten in the habit of checking my personalized deals before each trip to CVS.

I'm grateful to have my CVS app because of how easy it is to use. I think it's definitely beneficial to have a pharmacy app for printing photos, refilling prescriptions and earning rewards on purchases. Whichever pharmacy makes the most sense for you, I recommend downloading the app so you can start making your life a little easier.

For more information about the CVS and Walgreens apps, as well as pricing information for printing digital photos, please see the resources bar on the right side of the page.

This blog is truthful and based on personal experience with the products or items mentioned. It doesn't have sponsors, and no one paid to receive positive reviews of their products. All of the links provided are for your convenience and are not "affiliate links" — Valerie doesn't receive payment or kickbacks if people purchase products based on her recommendations.

Valerie Moe is the Senior Graphic Designer for Minnesota Parent magazine. She lives in Bloomington with her husband and their 21-month-old daughter. You can comment below or contact her directly here.