Saturday, October 17, 2009

Shopping at Walgreen's

Shopping at Walgreen's can be very rewarding, if you know the tricks to maximize your savings!

Currently Walgreens has a program in place that prints CAT coupons when you buy certain items. These CATs are called Register Rewards (RR), and they can be used on your next purchase. You are able to use manufacturer coupons on your purchases at Walgreens. Be aware that some stores have different policies about PRINTABLE COUPONS, so some of those stores won't accept high value coupons, or free item coupons. Walgreens also offers Walgreens coupons. They can be found in the monthly savings booklet available at the front of the store, in the circular in the Sunday paper, and in other promotional coupon books found throughout the store (check by the monthly booklets and by the pharmacy!) When you use a Walgreen's store coupon, it takes the dollar amount off for every product that you are purchasing (up to the limit listed on the coupon). So, if you have a Wags store coupon for $2/1 Thera-Flu and you buy 3 bottles, the computer registers the coupon for $6.00!

Generally the RR deals are valid for a week (Sunday-Saturday), but at the beginning of the month they advertise a bunch of monthly RR deals that are good for the entire month (or close to it. Generally the monthly deals are good for4 weeks total, so pay attention to the end date of the sale! If the monthly RR deal is for a free item (free after RR) it will generally sell out on the first or second day of the offering, but if you sit tight and check back in a week or two the item is generally back in stock!

OK, that was a lot of information. Is everybody still with me?

On to the tricky stuff. RR are a lot more finicky than the CATs at Jewel or the ECB at CVS.

Here are some of the things you need to know about redeeming Register Rewards:
1) RR do not cover tax.
You can only use RR to cover your pretax total. You will have to cover the tax out of pocket. This can be irritating (especially when your tax rate is 10.25%!), but just remember how much money you are saving! This also means that if you purchase only one product for $1.99 you WOULD NOT be able to use a $2.00 RR.

2) RR do not "roll".
(If a deal rolls, it means that you can use the CAT that you received after purchasing an item/items to purchase more of the same item(s))

So basically, if you buy an item and get a RR for purchasing it, you should not use that RR to purchase the same product because it won't produce another RR. The computer registers the fact that you've already received that particular RR, so you'll forfeit the right to receive another

3) How to get around the non-rolling of RR
My best suggestion is that you keep your WAG coupons in an envelope. That way you can easily see all of your RR and read what they are for before you set foot in the store (or at least before you pay). As you can see from the image on the right, the RR clearly states how much the RR was for. Underneath that the amount it lists the company that sponsored the RR (basically what brand you bought to get this RR). The company listing on the RR helps me from accidentally using the wrong RR!

4) They expire in about 2 weeks and Walgreen's does not accept expired RR.
I try to make a mental note of the expiration dates of my RR and then use this week's RR to purchase next week's deals/steals, but sometimes this isn't possible (Walgreen's ad tends to go in spurts, one good week followed by a bad week). You could always purchase more of the monthly RR deal to spend your expiring RR. Generally I will purchase Milk, eggs, soda, and other things off of my grocery store shopping list. When I can't think of anything I'll buy a juice, Sobe lifewater, red bull, candy, or gum.

This is where it starts to get really confusing.
5) In order for the RR to scan and apply to your purchase , it needs to be able to attach itself to an item.

For example, if you are buying 1 item and trying to use 2 RR it won't work. your best bet is to add a "filler" item. This is an item for the RR to attach itself to. My go-to filler is the caramels by the cash register. They're $.35 or 3/$1 (not to mention, they are delicious).

6) If you are purchasing items with coupons AND RR, you need to be cautious.

Like I stated in #5, the RR has to be able to attach itself to an item. Well, manufacturer's coupons work the same way. When you're using a manufacturer's coupon to purchase an item you cannot use a RR in addition because the manufacturer's coupon has already attached to the product. You would have to purchase an item without coupons on the same transaction. You could use a filler product (like the caramels), or you could purchase one of the "free after RR" items that Walgreens frequently has, or you could buy something else that you need!

7) Make sure you hand the coupons over in this order:
manufacturer's coupons
store coupons
Manufacturer's coupons have a tendency to beep when they are for more than you are paying for a product. So if you're buying an item which cost's $3.00 and you have a $2/1 manufacturer's coupon and a $2/1 Walgreen's coupon, make sure to hand over the manufacturer's coupon first and then the Walgreen's coupon. That way, you'll end up getting $4.00 off of your $3.00 purchase! This gets you an OVERAGE of $1.00. It's like they're PAYING YOU to buy the product!

That being said...

8) Your total can never be negative.
This goes for every store. Your total cannot be negative, so make sure you add a filler item to cover the overage.

I know that it was a lot to digest. Walgreen's may be complicated, but they have fantastic deals. If you take it slow, eventually you will catch on and be able to shop Wags like a pro!


  1. I wish all the customers at my store could read this because people just don't understand how the coupons work and it gets very frustrating.

  2. The best way to save money is to be an INFORMED consumer! :)

  3. I love saving money, thanks for the tips on how to do this at walgreens. :)


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