Walgreens 101

Walgreens has a reward system called Register Rewards. It’s like getting cash back after you make a specific purchase and it prints out after you buy particular items being promoted to give back Register Rewards (or RR’s).

Register Rewards
These are coupons that are printed after making a purchase using the Catalina machines that many grocery stores use. They are coupons that you can only redeem at Walgreens.  Lets say you buy a Gillette Fusion ProGlide Razor and a $4 Register Reward prints. This register reward is provided by Gillette. When you use your RR, Walgreens sends that coupon to Gillette and Gillette reimburses Walgreens. Companies offer these as an incentive to get us to buy/try their products.

This is a Walgreens sale ad.  It shows what’s on sale that week, has store coupons and Register Rewards deals. This is what you want to be on the lookout for if you want to score some good deals.

You can always find these near the entrance of the store.

Lets talk about Store Coupons
Store coupons can be found in the Walgreens ads and are only good for one week and can be used with a manufacturer coupon on the same item.  This is what is called stacking.

Using the above ad, let’s say you buy:
One box of Kraft Velveeta Shells & Cheese
Cut the store coupon to get it for $1.50 each
Use a  coupon you printed online or cut out of the paper for $.50 off of one
After both coupons, your total for one box will be $1
(even though the coupon says 2 for $3 you can buy one, you don’t NEED to buy two)

Let’s talk about Register Rewards
Walgreens has quite a few RR’s  in their weekly ad. In the above ad, Complete Multi-Purpose Solution is priced at $7.99.  After you pay for this item, a $7.99 RR will print out. You can then use the $7.99 RR on your next purchase. However…what if you happened to have a $1 coupons for this item? When you go to pay, use your coupon first. You’ll pay $6.99 OOP (out of pocket) and you’ll still get your $7.99 RR. So not only did you get this item for free, you also made $1 on the deal!

RR’s can be use just like cash. You can use them to buy anything except things like tobacco, stamps and alcohol. If you’re not sure, ask a Walgreens employee.

You can “roll” your RR buy using them on a different RR deal. As long as you are not using them on the same products . To get the biggest bang for your buck alternate your RR’s.
Here’s an example how:

I buy one Colgate Toothbrush and get back $2 RR’s. I can’t turn around and use that RR on another Colgate Toothbrush. I can however use it towards a purchase of a pack of Schick Disposable Razors that will get me another $2 RR that I can turn around and use towards another Colgate Toothbrush. Alternate your transactions and by all means, let your cashier know you want to have separate transactions. See how that works?

When you have RRs you want to use, remember that they will only apply to your purchase BEFORE tax.  If you have  a $3 RR and your purchase comes to $2.99 before tax, it won’t work. The best thing to do is to purchase a $0.20 pencil, a pack of gum or some other inexpensive item. (Those are called “fillers”).  You’ll need to get your total BEFORE tax to come to more that $3.

For every coupon or RR used, they all can only be applied to one item each. Let’s say you have 2RR’s and 1 coupon you cut from the paper ( these would be considered 3 total coupons) but you’re only purchasing 2 bottles of shampoo, it wont work. You HAVE to have the same amount of items for the same number of coupons/RR’s your purchasing.

Coupon Overage
When using all of the fantastic RR’s you received, coupons you cut and printed, there are instances when they should actually OWE you money. But in Walgreens world it doesn’t work like that. Let’s say you buy a toothbrush for $2 and you have a $2.99 RR you want to apply towards your toothbrush. You think Walgreens should owe you $.99 but they don’t allow what is called an “Overage”. What you need to do is purchase another item for more than $.99 to take full advantage of your $2.99 RR.

Get in and out faster
I’m not fascinated with going to the registers at the front of the store, especially if I have several coupons and I want to make a few individual transactions. Having a line of people behind me waiting makes me nervous. I like to go to the register at the Beauty Counter. They’re usually less busy and can wring up your  individual transactions without making other customers wait.

Walgreens Corporate Coupon Policy
Click HERE and print a copy to keep with you when you shop at Walgreens. In my experience, it’s a good thing to have with you if there is ever a situation when you happen to know the store’s policy better than the cashier does.

Expiring Register Rewards
Most expire in about three weeks. It’s important to put these where you won’t loose them….and where you can keep track of them. Another option: if you have more than $10 in RR’s is to load them on a Walgreens Gift Card. (You can’t load a Walgreens Gift card with less than $10 in RR’s) That way they won’t expire! Just be sure to always write on the back of your card what the amount on it is so you can keep track. If you’re unsure you can always call the number on the back to check the amount you have available.

Thanks to momsbyheart for the great explaination!