February 18, 2008

A Guide for Shopping at Walgreens

Besides just the normal store sales, Walgreens has different types of deals to take advantage of:

Using Multiple Coupons on One Item (Stacking)
Walgreens has 2 different kinds of sales and coupons.

Weekly: The weekly ad which has several coupons.

Monthly: The monthly coupon booklet (sometimes referred to as IVC or instant value coupons) which is usually located in the store by the weekly ad. Month long sales are called Megasaver sales.

The coupons in Walgreens ads and monthly booklets are store coupons. You can combine (also called "stacking") manufacturer coupons, store coupons, and store sales to get free or very cheap items.

Register Rewards
Register rewards are instant rebate coupons that print out when you buy certain items. The register rewards (RR) can be used like cash or a gift card on your next purchase. Register rewards expire 2 weeks from the day they are printed.

There are usually several items that are completely free or free when stacked with manufacturer coupons and RR in the weekly ad. Sometimes it is possible to combine the RR deals with a manufacturer coupon to get items for free (or cheap). Sometimes you can even "earn" or "make" money on RR deals.

Walgreen's RR program is similar to CVS's Extra Care Bucks program, however, an advantage to RR is that the deals are not tied to a card. That means that you can do the deals over and over again. This also means that you cannot do more than one of the same deal in one transaction. For instance, if Colgate toothpaste is $2.99 and producing a $2.99 register reward. You cannot buy 2 tubes and get 2 RR in the same transaction. You need to do this in two separate transactions. Some stores will limit you to one transaction of the same deal per day.

One thing you need to keep in mind, is that you cannot use the same RR to pay for the same RR deal. For instance, if there is a deal on Colgate Toothpaste, which is $2.99 on sale, and you get a $2.99 RR. You cannot use that same $2.99 RR to buy another Colgate toothpaste at $2.99 and receive another $2.99 RR.

When you check out at Walgreens you must have as many items as you have coupons. Register rewards, manufacturer coupons, and store coupons all count, so you need to be sure to have the same number (or more) of items as coupons. The cash register will beep and you will not be able to use all your coupons if you have more items than coupons. It isn't a bad idea to have at least one extra item in case there are any issues with the coupons. This would be especially true when using a coupon that may be for more than one item (ex. $1/2 items) as these sometimes (but not always) count as two coupons. Try to find cheap items to use as “filler” (ex: pencils, $.39 candy, etc).

Before you leave the store, make sure your register rewards printed (and get them from the cashier) and that everything rang up appropriately. If you find a register reward or someone gives you one, you may use it since it is not tied to any one person/card. If your register reward did not print you either 1) didn't buy the right product or 2) you tried to roll a RR deal. If you think you did not get an RR you should have ask to speak to a manager and they will give you a form to fill out and mail in to receive your RR.

Coupon Order
The order you give your coupons is important too. Here is the order you should give them:
  1. Manufacturer coupons
  2. Store coupons (weekly before monthly if they happen to overlap)
  3. Register rewards
Walgreens has finally posted their coupon policy online. I recommend you read it, print it out, and keep a copy in your coupon organizer.

Here's a quick summary of Walgreen's Coupon Policy:
  • Walgreens does not accept expired or competitors coupons.
  • If coupon value exceeds the price the cashier should round it down.
  • Walgreens DOES accept internet printed coupons (do not allow a misinformed cashier to tell you otherwise. Also do not believe them if they tell you they will not be accepting them any longer.)
  • You CAN use TWO coupons with a buy one get one free sale. You may also use a BOGO coupon with a BOGO sale. You will have to pay sales tax.

IF YOU HAVE A PROBLEM WHEN SHOPPING AT WALGREENS (And it's almost a guarantee you will at some point.) Do not be afraid to ask to speak with a manager. Ask them to clarify if there is a problem using a coupon. If it comes down to it inform the cashier/manager to void off the item and don't buy it. If you have any trouble or feel like the cashier or manager was rude PLEASE call the 800 number or email Walgreen's corporate office.


Example #1--FREE AFTER RRs:
Buy one razor for $8.99 get $8.99 RRs (aka FREE)

Vitamins are on sale for $2.99
Use a $1 off coupon and pay $1.99
Plus still get $2.99 RRs
=you "earned" a $1!
IMPORTANT -- Any item that is already free after RRs will be a money maker if you use a coupon.

Example #3--FREE with RRs and COUPON:
Colgate toothpaste is on sale for $2.99 and you get $2 RRs back making the final price $.99 but use $1 off coupon and you will get the item free.
IMPORTANT -- If RRs back plus coupon exceeds the price the item is free or a money maker.

Example #4--GOOD DEAL AFTER RRs:
Item is not free but very cheap after RRs or after RRs & coupons.

Example #5--BUY $20 get $10 RRs and SIMILAR BUY $X GET $X DEALS:
Buy $20 worth of Garnier Fructis products get $10 RRs back (products will be listed in the ad)
3 shampoos ($3 each)
3 conditioners ($3 each)
1 hairspray ($3)
Original Total=$21

NOW subtract coupons:
-$1 off shampoo/conditioner x 5 = $5 off
-$1 off styler
plus get $10 back in RRs
FINAL TOTAL= $4 for all (or $.57 each)

Example #6--FREE after stacking store coupon and manufacturer coupon
Tuna is on sale for $.89 with weekly in store coupon plus you have a $1/1 manufacturer coupon making the tuna free. (Coupon will be rounded down.)

Example #7--Combine a Buy One Get One Free (BOGO) sale with a Buy One Get One (BOGO) coupon:
Buy 2 Lifesavers candy in the bag on sale for buy one at $1.99 get one free
Use a BOGO coupon and get both free!

OR buy 4 bags, two will be free with the BOGO sale, one will be free with the BOGO coupon
And you get FOUR for the price of one.

No comments: