Effective Coupon Shopping at Walgreens

Friday, March 05, 2010 Hand-posted by Jennifer


Effective coupon shopping at Drug Stores (like CVS & Walgreens) takes on a much different shopping strategy than shopping at Grocery Stores. Each Drug Store has their own Customer Reward Program to help save you even more money in their stores.

Here is a list of several ways you will be able to save money at Walgreens:

  • Weekly Sales Ad: Walgreens publishes their ad every Sunday. You can normally find the ad in your Sunday newspaper, near the entrance of the store or online at Walgreens.com.
  • Walgreens Store Coupons: Walgreens issues their own store coupons to help you save money on certain items throughout the store. The added bonus to these coupons is that they can be combined with a manufacturer coupon for double the savings.
  • Manufacturer Coupons: Make sure to match up your manufacturer coupons to your purchases in addition to any Walgreens coupons that you might have to save extra money. You can always combine a Walgreens coupon with a manufacturer coupon for the SAME item. You can also use coupons toward the purchase of an item that is going to produce a Register Reward.
  • Register Rewards: Register Rewards (or RR’s for short) are coupons that are printed out from a Catalina machine next to the register when you buy specific items. Each week in the sales ad you will see various items advertised that, when you buy them, you will earn “Register Rewards” back for your purchase. Register Rewards are essentially like cash that you can use on a future purchase with a few exclusions.

Here are a few strategies to help you maximize your savings at Walgreens:

Find the Walgreens Store Coupons! Remember, these coupons can be used in addition to your manufacturer coupons on the same product. So, where can you find the store coupons?

  • Each week you will find a set of coupons inside the weekly sales ad that are good for 7 days.
  • They also publish a Monthly coupon booklet which can be found near the entrance of the store.
  • The pharmacy is another good place to look for store coupons either on the counter or in a rack near the pickup window.
  • There have even been coupons distributed inside a Walgreens Coloring Book.

Find the best deals to plan your trip! You can’t just walk into Walgreens and expect to save a lot of money; you need to have a plan. So, where can you find the best deals to plan your trip?

  • You can find them in the weekly store ads posted online at Walgreens.com.
  • You can find advance previews of the upcoming ads online (such as iheartwags.com).

Match coupons to the best deals to reduce your Out of Pocket (OOP) expense!

  • You can use manufacturer coupons AND store coupons to reduce your Out of Pocket expense.
  • To avoiding confusing the registers (and mostly the cashier) make sure to hand over your Manufacturer coupon first. The register is less likely to beep this way.
  • Then after you hand over your manufacturer coupons you would want to hand over any Walgreens Store Coupons and Register Rewards you might have.

Simply matching coupons to the sale prices is not the only way to save money at Walgreens, you will also want to take advantage of their Register Reward Program also.

Here are a few advanced strategies to help you maximize your Register Reward deals at Walgreens:

clip_image002Find the Register Reward deals! Where can you find the Register Reward deals?

  • You will find them listed each week in the sales ad and also on shelf hangtags in the store.
  • The easiest place to find them is when they are published online by the coupon bloggers each week (listed above).
  • The picture to the right is an example of how a Register Reward item is listed in the sales ad (for 1/31 -2/6). Blink Tears are advertised on sale for $7.99 or FREE after Register Rewards.

Use coupons to make the Register Reward deal better! Finding the RR deals might be pretty easy to do but don’t forget that you can use coupons to make the deal even better. Using the example above, here is how you might find it published on a coupon blog:

Blink Tears $7.99, Get $7.99 RR
- $1.50/1 Blink Tears printable
- $2/1 Blink Tears or Geltears Lubricating Eye Drops in 1/31 RedPlum insert
Pay $5.99 - $6.49 OOP |  Get back $7.99 RR | Final = FREE after coupons & RR

What is this telling us?

  • First, the item is on sale for $7.99 and when you pay $7.99 at checkout you will get back a Register Reward for $7.99 thus making your purchase FREE after RR.
  • Second, the item has a variety of coupons available to reduce your OOP expense. In the example above there were two coupons available for that particular product and by choosing one of the coupons you can pay as little as $5.99 to $6.49 out of pocket and still get back the $7.99 Register Reward. Awesome, right!

Watch out for the Register Reward Exclusions! Most importantly, Register Rewards have expiration dates; make sure you use them so that you don’t lose them. And, aside from the exclusions printed on the RR for certain items that you cannot use it to buy such as Postage, Alcohol, Tobacco, etc. there are also two very important rules about using coupons and Register Rewards.

  • You must have the same number of items as you do manufacturer coupons. So, for example, you have two items, two manufacturer coupons & one RR. This will cause the register to beep unless you purchase an additional item commonly referred to as a “filler” so I’d have three items. (I pick out cheap candies for my kids. This makes my kids happy and gives the register something extra to “count”) The register sees store coupons as a “discount” persay so it is excluded from this rule.
  • Register Reward deals DO NOT “roll” meaning you can’t use the same RR to buy the same item again and expect another RR. However, you can apply the RR you receive from one deal for another. For instance, you could use the Blink Tears RR and apply it to the Joint Juice RR deal. Just make sure to look at the RR to ensure the second RR deal is not just a different item by the same manufacturer as that would cause it not to print even though it is a different item. But, by applying your Register Rewards to different Register Reward deals you roll your investment & keep your Out of Pocket low.

Take it SLOW! My best advice would be to just choose ONE Register Reward deal for the week. Buy that one deal and that alone. By keeping your transactions small in the beginning you will gain experience to work up to multiple deals and transactions. You will become better at planning out your trips and saving money for your family.

Keep your COOL! Even well planned trips may not go as planned but try to stay calm. A good tip is to checkout in cosmetics or photo so that you and the cashier won’t be rushed by additional customers. Pay close attention at the register so that you can have a mistake fixed by a manager while you’re there instead of having to make a trip back later. And lastly, get to know your Walgreens employees on a first name basis; you’ll be shopping there a lot!


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