July 7, 2010

Walgreens 101

I find Walgreens much more complicated than CVS.  I always get nervous every time I go in there because more deals have messed up than worked out at Walgreens for me.  But give it a try... we can learn together. Walgreens has Register Rewards (RR) and is very similar to CVS Extra Care Bucks program in that when you purchase certain items or a certain amount, a coupon (catalina) will print out for you to use on your next purchase at Walgreens.

In-Ad Coupons are store coupons found in the weekly circular. They are good for the week and typically set the price of the item. They sometimes limit the number you can purchase and you only need one in-ad coupon and it will apply to all your items. Since this is a store coupon, you can combine it with a manufacturer coupon for the same item.

Register Rewards (RR) - and treated as such by the registers. What does this mean?? You are only allowed to use 1 manufacturer coupon per item. The number of mfg coupons/RR cannot exceed the number of items. If you are purchasing items that you also have manufacturer coupons for, you will need "filler" items in order to be able to use your RR to pay. A "filler" item is the cheapest thing you can find in the store - I have been using $0.08 seed packets on clearance - check out clearnace for anything around $0.25. This is necessary to make sure your number of mfg coupons (which included your RR, BUT NOT store coupons) does not exceed the number of items. 
  • Register Rewards cannot "ROLL" like ExtraBucks. This means you cannot use the RR earned from buying X to buy another X. Sometimes the RR notes on it what company it is from, but sometimes it does not. In order to avoid confusion, I always take a second to jot down on the RR what it came from.
  • Register rewards are like CASH, but are manufacturer coupons. There is no record of you receiving them, so if you lose them, they cannot be replaced! They also EXPIRE 2 weeks from when you get them and Walgreens DOES NOT accept expired RR.
Mail/Email coupons - On occasion, Walgreens will email or snail mail $/$$ ($3 off $15, ect) coupons. Different from other stores, these are only valid if your total, after all coupons and RR's  is $25.

Other Store Coupons
 -Walgreens has monthly flyers at the entrances. They also have monthly coupons books at the entrance as well. Walgreen's occasionally has other great store coupons available as well.  Here are a few:
Healthy Savings Booklet (found in pharmacy)
Children's Activity Book is a coloring books.

MegaSavers - Another sale promotion that Walgreens does. Look for the special tags throughout the shelves in the store. This will let you know which items have a "hidden sale" that usually lasts a month long.



Best Order To Give Coupons
1. Manufacturer Coupons
2. In-Ad Coupons
3. Register Rewards
** Write this down and keep this with you!** 

Optimizing Savings/Earnings:
The key is to try to pair up a Register Reward earning item with mfg coupons and in-ad coupons. Try hard to get your OOP close to zero while getting back RR's.  Then do it all again.  

Coupon Policy
Walgreens has refused many inquiries about an official coupon policy. This is the info I could find across the web.
  • They accept one mfg coupon and one store coupon per item unless either coupon prohibits it.
  • They DO NOT give cash back if the coupon value exceeds the item price. It is easiest if you make sure that there are other items to suck up the overage and use the coupon order above.
  • They DO NOT accept competitor coupons and they DO NOT price match.
  • They do accept internet coupons.
  • If using a BOGO coupon on a BOGO sale, you will pay for one item, get one FREE per store promotion and get another FREE per coupon. So you would get 3 items, paying for one. (some will accept a BOGO in order to get both items FREE) Also, it stated you can only use (1) $1 off mfg coupon for a BOGO promotion since you are only purchasing one of the items.