If you are new to couponing or just new to Walgreens, here are a few tips to make your trip simple and easy! This includes LOTS of details which you won’t need every trip, but is intended to help you be an EXPERT at shopping Walgreens. You may want to read it both before and after your first few trips and hopefully it will answer all your questions. If you feel overwhelmed, just come back to it later. After a few trips you’ll read this and think “Ya, I knew that!”
Rewards Program – At Walgreens you can earn Register Rewards (RR) on items throughout the store. When you purchase a qualifying item a slip of paper will print with your receipt with a coupon printed on it good for $ off your next purchase. Often times your RR will be the ticket to a free or really great deal. For example: Stayfree pads are on sale for $2 with a $1 RR. You use your $1.00 off manufacture coupon from the newspaper and pay just $1, then get a $1 RR to use on your next trip – making your overall price “free”. Ideally you want to use a RR from a previous purchase to pay for your transaction and then earn another RR to use on the next, and “roll” your savings into the next deal.
A few things you will want to know about using your RR.
-If you earn a RR on Nivea chapstick and you use it to pay for a Nivea bodywash that is supposed to print a RR, your RR will not print on the bodywash. RR’s don’t “roll” on items within the same brand. This usually isn’t a problem, but you’ll want to keep an eye out that you don’t use your Proctor & Gamble RR (by the way, it will tell you on the RR what company you earned it from) to pay for another Proctor & Gamble item that is supposed to print another RR.
-RR’s count as a coupon. While Walgreens coupon policy states that it is just fine to use both a Walgreens coupon and a Manufactures coupon on one item, you may not use a RR and another coupon on one item. Example: You buy 1 gallon of milk and use a $.75/1 gallon coupon. You won’t be able to use your RR to pay for the rest of the milk unless you buy one other item that does not have a coupon associated with it. Often times you can grab a candy (many cashiers will keep a basket on their checkout that are $.25 candies) to be your “filler” item. Then you buy your Milk for $3.00 and a $.25 candy = $3.25. Use your $.75 milk coupon = $2.50. Now you can pay with a RR worth up to $2.50.
-RR amount must all be used on the pre-tax total. If your total is $2.99 before tax, you won’t be able to pay with a $3.00 RR. If your pre-tax total is $3.00, you can pay with a $3.00 RR.
No “Membership” cards – This is actually a really nice perk with Walgreens. You have no card that keeps track of how many times you’ve done a deal. If you have coupons for a product that prints you a RR, you can do that deal and earn as many RR’s as you want (within reason – please be nice to the shopper behind you and don’t clear the shelves!).
Walgreens Coupons – Walgreens always has lots of coupons in their weekly circular. Depending on your Walgreens, you often won’t even need to clip them (once you get to know yours you’ll find out if you need to or not). At my Walgreens the cashiers have all the weekly coupons clipped and will scan it for you even if you didn’t know it was available! This is a great way to get a freebie – use your manufacture coupon and stack it with your Walgreens coupon.
Coupon Booklets – On top of the weekly circular coupons, Walgreens has a coupon booklet you can pick up each month. This is usually at the front of the store right next to the ads and you can grab it on your way in. They contain more store coupons you can stack with your manufacture coupons. Besides the regular monthly coupon booklet, they put out additional ones throughout the year – generally they are available back at the pharmacy at my store. These tend to have a theme to them – like all baby products or cold and flu items. Again these are store coupons you can stack with a manufactures coupon.
Have Fun! – Remember you are couponing and even though YOU understand what you are doing, often times the 16 yr old cashier doesn’t and might get worried that you are getting things “too cheap” and somehow they will loose their job. Just be super nice to your cashiers and keep it light. If you feel like you have to push your cashier into taking your coupon it’s no fun. If a deal won’t work because of your cashier, don’t stress – you’ll be back again next week and you don’t want them to feel like they are on guard. Most store managers LIKE couponers (we tend to buy a lot of stuff and come in regularly – they get reimbursed for the coupons + a processing fee – so we are good business to them!) and if you need to get a store manager to okay something, your cashier will learn it’s not a big deal. It might take a few extra minutes but it usually works out and your cashiers begin to learn to trust YOU! I find that the clerks at the Beauty counter tend to be a bit more laid back – but of course that varies from store to store. If I get a bunch of freebies (or I have to use a candy as a filler) I’ll offer one to my cashier. They usually kind of laugh and refuse it, but they like me and don’t give me a hassle about my coupons. If you are nice to them, they’ll be nice to you!