This month’s Thrifty Christy article on Blount Moms Today: Couponing at Walgreens

November 25, 2011

Here’s my article on the Blount Moms Today website this month. This guide to couponing at Walgreens is the second in a two-part series on shopping at drugstores. The first in the series was about shopping at CVS and can be read here.

Couponing at Walgreens

Last month in this column I detailed all the ways to save money by shopping for items (not just medicine!) at one of our two local drugstore chains, CVS Pharmacy. This month I’m going to explain the various money-saving programs available at the second drugstore chain we have in Blount County, Walgreens.

There are two basic ways to categorize Walgreens deals: those that involve Register Rewards (RRs) and those that don’t. Register Rewards are Walgreen’s version of store credit, much like the Extra Care Buck program available at CVS.

When you walk into a Walgreens store, look immediately for the store coupon book available near the front. This is a book Walgreens publishes monthly, and it’s about the size of a thick brochure. All of the coupons inside this coupon book are store coupons that can be stacked with manufacturer’s coupons for additional savings. Sometimes you can combine manufacturer coupons and store coupons to get items for free! One rule to note is that Walgreens only allows you to use the same number of coupons as items purchased, so if you’re getting three items, and you have four coupons, you’ll need to pick up a small item (called a “filler” item in couponing jargon) such as a pack of gum. I’ve found that Walgreens store coupons do not seem to count toward your number of coupons used, but that could change at any time.

Register Rewards are coupons that serve as store credit, and they print out after you purchase qualifying items, often listed in the weekly circular. RRs can then be used to purchase other items in the store in a separate transaction. Walgreens does not have a frequent shopper card that tracks your spending, so theoretically you could do a RR deal more than once, but only in separate transactions. A rule to note here is that if you receive a RR for purchasing an item, and then turn around and use it as store credit to purchase an additional one of those items, you will not receive another RR. Here’s what I mean: let’s say toothpaste is $2, and you receive $2 in RRs for having purchased one tube. If you purchase two tubes in one transaction you’ll only receive one $2 RR. If you broke it into two transactions you’d receive two $2 RRs. You can use the $2 RR from the first transaction to purchase the second tube of toothpaste, but now the computer knows you’ve bought that item before and it won’t print you another $2 RRs. Make sense?

Using the Walgreens’ store savings programs can sometimes feel like cramming for a Calculus exam. However, there are times when it works like magic, and you’re able to combine manufacturer’s coupons and store coupons, pay very little or nothing (plus tax), and receive store credit to spend on other items. Just remember:

  •  You need the same number of manufacturer’s coupons as items purchased (RRs count as manufacturer’s coupons) so you may need a few filler items.
  • When you use a RR from one deal to purchase another of that same item you won’t get another RR.
  • The RRs expire very quickly. Don’t let them expire! If you feel like there’s nothing you need, then use them to buy milk or bread.

Don’t forget, you don’t have to match up the coupons and RR deals yourself! Let someone else do the work for you. Blogs that I recommend that do this include Southern Savers and Hip2Save.

Entry filed under: Coupons and Deals. Tags: .

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