Sunday, January 30, 2011

Tips for shopping at Walgreens

Walgreens can be a very confusing and overwhelming store for a couponer to enter--especially if you're new to using coupons.  I haven't shopped at Walgreens much myself, but I am going to try and explain a few things about their store to make it easier on you when you're trying to figure out just how to get those good deals!  So here goes my attempt at making it at least a little less confusing....

1) Coupon “Stacking”

In Walgreens, the weekly store fliers often include a number of store coupons which are good all week.  They also normally have a pamplet of coupons good for the whole month located at the front of the store. Since these are store coupons, they can be “stacked” with manufacturer’s coupons, meaning you can use them in conjunction with a manufacturer’s coupon. So, in this case, you can use both a store coupon and a manufacturer’s coupon on one item. Often, you’ll be able to get a really great deal by stacking a store coupon, a manufacturer’s coupon, and a store sale.

For example, if their weekly ad contains a coupon for Cottonelle toilet tissue and you have a manufacturer coupon for the tissue you can use both of them to get an even sweeter deal on the tissue.

2) Register Rewards

The Register Rewards program rewards you for buying certain items each week. When you buy the item or items which are advertised as producing a Register Reward, you will get a printed coupon after you checkout called “Register Rewards” which you can use like cash on your next purchase.  These are considered manufacturer coupons! They usually have a few of these items per week–some which are completely free after Register Rewards. By using a store coupon and/or a manufacturer’s coupon when buying a Register Reward item, you are often able to get the item for more-than-free, free, or almost free after the Register Rewards.

The Register Rewards (RR) are not tied to a store card. They just print out for everyone who buys that particular item or items that week. Because of this, there is no limit on how many of one deal you can do. That said, they have recently tightened their system so that you usually cannot roll the same RR over and over again on the same deal. (Meaning you can't do one transaction and then buy the same items over again, pay with the previous received RR, and expect to receive RR again.) 
So, you can either just do the deals once, or you can do the deals multiple times and pay out of pocket and then save the RR’s you collect each time and use them on groceries or other items later. Or, your best option is to do :multiple transactions and alternate between two different RR deals offered that week.

For example, if Huggies Diapers on in the ad for a RR deal.  You can purchase them in one transaction, use your RR to pay for the next transaction of, let's say Almay make-up where you also receive RR.  Then you will be able to use the RR earned from the make-up transaction to pay for a third transaction where you buy the Huggies deal again.  The more you use RR to pay for items the less OOP money for you...   I know, I told you it was a little confusing, right? 

A few other helpful tips:

You must have as many items as you have coupons.  This is where the term "fillers" comes into play.  Most of the registers appear to be programmed not to accept any more coupons than you have items. So, make sure and tally up your items and coupons before you check out. The Register Rewards count as a coupon as do any of the store coupons, so count those, too.  If you have more items than coupons, add on a few cheap items--"fillers"--so that you have the same number of items as coupons. I like to use the 10 cent Laffy Taffy candies located at the checkout counter.  Not only is this a very cheap item that won't hurt your total money spent, but it's also a great treat to eat on the way home to reward yourself for a job well done saving money! This just guarantees the register doesn’t have issues.

Coupon order is very important.  This is will keep you from paying more money than you should and keep the register from beeping on you.  Here is the order you need to always give your coupons to the cashier:

Register Rewards
Manufacturer Coupons
Store Coupons

If your coupons won't go through, just have them void the item!  If you notice a coupon is not being applied and you don't want to pay that much for the item, then simply ask the cashier to void the item.  It's a lot easier for them and you then having to go back in for a return/refund.  You can always try the deal again after you figure out what was going wrong with your coupons!

Okay, so that's all I can think of right now as far as helpful tips for Walgreens.  If any of you think of any questions or know something I've missed please let me know and I will gladly update the post!


  1. So in order to use the RR will you have to make a prior purchase or do they apply to your current purchase? Sorry I'm a newbie:)

  2. @Amber, You will have to make a prior purchase to receive your RR, but from then on you can roll them from transaction to transaction. Your first week you will be out of pocket a little more money, but then the next week you can use the RR you earned the first week to help cut down on the out of pocket money, plus receive more RR for the next week, and so on... Hope that makes sense!

  3. This didnt work for me! I made a purchase week one got RR and went back week 2 used RR on that purchase and was told that since I used RR for the purchase I would not recieve any back!

    Also was told that if I use a Manufacturers coupon on and item marked for RR I would not get the RR...

    SOOO confusing!