Tell Me How Tuesday – Walgreens 101

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We continue the Tell Me How Tuesday series of Coupons 101. Check out previous posts:

This weeks topic: Drugstores – Walgreens (WAGS) 101

Walgreens used to have an Easy Rebate program that was discontinued and rumored to be coming back, but nothing yet, so we will skip that. Their “new” program is Register Rewards (RR) and is very similar to CVS Extra Care Bucks program in that when you purchase certain items/$$ amounts, a coupon (catalina) will print out for you to use on your next purchase at Walgreens.

HOWEVER there are also some BIG differences, which frankly make using the Register Rewards a BIG PAIN IN THE BUTT!! There are still some GREAT deals to be had if you understand how to do it. I hope this will help.

Online Weekly Circular

Find a store near you.

In-Ad Coupons (IVC – instant value coupons)

These are STORE coupons found in the weekly circular you receive in the sunday paper OR can be found in the front of the store. They are good for the week and typically set the price (vs. save $1, etc). 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. It is best to give the mfg coupon first, then the store coupon.

(photo courtesy of KrazyCouponLady)

Register Rewards (RR)

  • Different from CVS, there is no store loyalty card needed to earn Register Rewards. That means that RR are not tied to a specific person. Anyone can use anyone elses RR.
  • You can only earn Register Rewards ONCE per deal per transaction. For example, the recent buy Chapstick for $2.99 and receive a $2.99 RR. If you buy 3 Chapsticks in the same transaction, only ONE Register Reward will print. If you want more Chapstick, do separate transactions.
  • You CAN earn more than ONE Register Reward per transaction on DIFFERENT products. If you buy Chapstick and Purell in the same transaction, both of which have RR deals this week, both RR will print.
  • Register Rewards (RR) are manufacturer coupons 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. EXAMPLE: When I bought the Bengay today 2/$10, I had 2 $2 Bengay coupons I was using. In order to use RR to pay (since I had 2 items and already had 2 coupons) , I had to add in candy bars. I had small value RR that were expiring, that is why I added 3 candy bars to use 3 RR. If I had one larger value RR I would have only added 1 candy bar.
  • 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. In the earlier example with Chapsticks, you cannot buy 1 chapstick, get the $3 RR and then use that to buy another Chapstick. Well you can do that, BUT you will not get another RR. The BEST way to minimize your out-of-pocket expense is to find 2 items that are offering register rewards of similar value and use them to alternate back and forth buying each other. So say that Colgate is also triggering a $3 RR, you would buy Chapstick, get $3RR and use that to buy Colgate and so on…
  • 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.
  • Register rewards cannot beused to purchase cigarettes, prescriptions or gift cards (bummer) – still working onother exclusion… I will be back.
Mail/Email coupons:
On occasion, Walgreens will email or snail mail $/$$ coupons. Most frequently there are 2 day use only coupons for $5/$25. DIFFERENT from other stores, these are only valid if your total, AFTER ALL COUPONS AND RR is $25. So basically, unless you have high dollar MUST buy and have no coupons purchases, these are hard to use.

Walgreens typically has other monthly flyers at the entrances – currently there is the October Savings flyer filled with STORE coupons which can be used for the entire month.
There are also seasonal booklets – ABC’s book given out that contain other mfg coupons valid thru 6/1/10.
Healthy Savings Booklet has STORE coupons valid until 12/31/09.
Children’s Activity Book is a coloring book with coupons valid thru 3/10/10.

Best Order to give Coupons for possible overage
1. Manufacturer Coupons
2. In-Ad Coupons
3. Register Rewards

Optimizing Savings/Earnings:
The key is to try to pair up a Register Reward earning item with mfg coupons and in-ad coupons. You may remember the Theraflu deal that was buy 3 get $8 RR.
Buy 3 Theraflu for $12
– $6 using $2/1 Theraflu Walgreens Store coupon (only need one and counts for all)
– $6 using 3 $2/1 Theraflu mfg. coupons
Pay – ZERO and get $8 Register Reward
That is an $8 moneymaker. That is an ideal EXTREMELY awesome deal, but they are easier to come by than you think.

Another sale promotion that Walgreens does is called MegaSavers. 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.

MONTH LONG Register Rewards:
Some of the Register Reward deals last all month. Sometimes with the same sale price, sometimes the price is back to regular, but will still trigger the register reward. I will try to point out the month long deals when I know about them. Be on the LOOK OUT for the Red Register Reward tags on the shelves. They will list the dates of the deals.

Coupon Policy
UPDATE – Walgreens has finally published a Walgreens Coupon Policy.

As always, if you have issue contact Consumer Relations: Contact InformationPhone: toll-free (800) 925-47337:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Central Time, Monday thru Friday

Any other questions, please ask so I can make sure this post is as accurate as possible.

Have you found any great deals?? I would love to hear from you!! Post a comment & share your thoughts!! If you like this post, share with a friend or Subscribe to Maven of Savin’ by Email or feed!! THANKS!




  1. Kristy Brown says:

    I get the part that RRs are MQ’s but dont they usually say save so much on your next purchase?? I got one the other day but it said save $3 on your next Herseys purchase?? I thought I could use them on almost anything.

    • Kristy – typically they are off ANY purchase – though lately there have been a few that are more like “coupons” for a specific purchase. Was this an advertised RR or one you just got?

      • Kristy Brown says:

        Lynn- Yes this was on the front page of wags ad 4/10-4/16. Get $5 in RR when you buy $10 in Herseys or Cadbury. Thank you for getting back to me. Kristy

  2. I went to Walgreens today to purchase many of the freebies or other items with register rewards – but not one printed. After waiting for the manager for a while – I was owed about $30 – I was told that they can no longer issue gift cards but rather we need to submit a form to corporate. This is not detailed on their coupon policy at all – in fact it doesn’t say a thing about what happens if they have a system issue so it doesn’t print. I returned my entire purchase and left the store – a complete waste of about an hour of time! I have logged a complaint online so we’ll see what happens.

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