Walgreens 101: General FAQs

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If you are new to shopping at Walgreens, the terms, scenarios and deals can seem overwhelming.  It really is pretty simple to shop at Walgreens, as long as you understand the lingo and way to work your deals.  The first thing to understand are the terms you”ll see me use in the posts.

Register Reward (RR):  These are the incentives that Walgreens offers to get you to shop.  They are in essence coupons that generate when you make your purchase as designated in the weekly ad.  The print from a machine called a Catalina.  They can not be used in the same transaction during with they are printed (meaning, you have to save them to use them on a future purchase).

Instant Value Coupon (IVC):  These are Walgreens store coupons that are found inside of the stores in booklets.  A new booklet is released around the first of every month.  What is great is that since these are store coupons, you can use them in conjunction with a manufacturer’s coupon and save more – what we call STACKING.

Bonus Points:  These are rewarded for making any purchase when using your rewards card.  You can also earn bonus points for making select purchases.

Filler.  Small very low priced item added to the cart to cover coupon overages and to help work Register Reward deals. (An overage is when the coupon value exceeds the item price — it helps to absorb that additional savings — or the value of the coupon or RR will be adjusted down).

Now that you know some of the terms we will use, it is time to learn more about how to actually SHOP at Walgreens.  It really isn’t too difficult to do – once you see how to work the magic.

REGISTER REWARDS

As mentioned above, Register Rewards are incentive coupons that generate when select items (including possibly quantities) are purchased.    Here are some general FAQs about Register Rewards:

  • Register Rewards will print following the completion of your transaction. They will be handed to you with your receipt and you can use them on your very next purchase.
  • Register Rewards can’t be used to generate another Register Reward (or what we call rolled).  So, that means, if you receive a Register Reward on an item, you can not turn around and purchase the exact same item, use the Register Reward and get another one generated.
  • Only on Register Reward generates per transaction.  Example:  If you were to get $7.99 back in Register Rewards on Blink Tears and purchase 2 of them within a single transaction, you will get back only $7.99 and not $15.98.  If you want multiple Register Rewards, you will need to complete multiple transactions.
  • Register Rewards are coupons. This means that the total number of manufacturer’s coupons + Register Rewards can not exceed the total number of items purchased.  Example: If you have 11 total coupons and Register Rewards, you must purchase 11 items to use all of them (this is when it is good to use a filler to help you reach 11 items).
  • Register Rewards expire.  They are only good for 2 weeks, so make sure to watch the dates and use them before you lose out on your savingss.

 

INSTANT VALUE & IN-AD COUPONS

Walgreens is one of those stores that offers store coupons, which can be stacked with your manufacturer’s coupons & Register Rewards for even greater savings.  It is important to understand how to use your coupons so that you get the most savings possible (and that your transactions work as you intend for them to).

  • Instant Value Coupons (IVC).  These coupons are your store coupon and should be handed over FIRST – before any other coupons.  You can use these in conjunction with manufacturer’s coupons for greater savings (note, that the coupon may read manufacturer coupon on it, but if the bar code does not start with “5″, then it is truly a store coupon).  These booklets can be found in the fronts of the store.
  • In-ad or Clipless coupons.  If you reside in a test market region, you do not need to clip these coupons – the discount will be automatic when you use your card (thus no need to worry about your coupon order).  If you do have to clip the coupon, it is important that you hand over your coupons in the right order:  IVC first, maufacturer’s 2nd, in-ad coupons and finally Register Rewards.

BONUS POINTS

Points are earned on all items purchased when using your rewards card.  There are bonus points awarded on some purchases, as noted in the ad.  Here are some general FAQs about the points system:

Points are earned on all items purchased.

Points are rewarded on total purchase after coupons.  This is how all rewards programs work.  If you purchase $20 in products and have $5 in coupons, you will get points only on $15.
  • Points are earned on all items purchased.
  • Points are rewarded on total purchase after store coupons.  This is how all rewards programs work.  If you purchase $20 in products and have $5 in Walgreen’s coupons, you will get points only on $15.
  • Points are rewarded on total purchase before manufacturer’s coupons.  If you purchase $20 in products and have $1 in manufacturer’s coupons, your total would be $19, but you will still earn points on your $20 purchase.
  • To earn points, the purchase must be made in a single transaction.  The totals do not tally between multiple receipts.
  • Points are rounded down.  If you spend $2.99, you will get only 20 points in your account.  So, if you are looking for points, you might find small filler items to take you over your next dollar threshold so that you get the points you are hoping for.
  • Some items offer bonus points.  When you make some purchases, you will earn bonus points.  If your item is $15 and you get 10x points, you will end up with 150 points in your account instead.   Adversely, if the item is $0.99 and you get 10x points, the total points will have credited to your account will be 9 (as your total is $9.99 and points round down).
  • Points are redeemed for discounts.  Points can be redeemed once you reach 5,000 points.  You will have the option to use them with your purchase are allow them to accrue for a bigger discount.

More details are here.

HOW TO SHOP AT WALGREENS

Now that you have the basics, you can put your knowledge to work and learn how to get items for free (or close to it) when you shop.  The best way to get the most bang for your buck is to run multiple transactions.  You can actually check out with several transactions.

When you get your Register Rewards from your first transaction, you can immediately turn around and redeem them on your next transaction.  So, no need to leave and use them the next time you shop.  Here’s an example:

Transaction #1:

$7.99 Blink Tears
- 2.00 $2/1 Coupon
$5.99 out of pocket + $7.99 in Register Rewards

Transaction #2:

$1.99 Colgate Toothpaste
1.99  Glide Dental Floss
4.99 Dove Body Wash
2.50 M&Ms
-1.00 $1/1 Toothpaste coupon
-0.75 $0.75/1 Glide Floss
-1.00 $1/1 Dove Body Wash
-7.99  Register Reward from Transaction #1
$0.73 out of pocket (Plus have $1 RR from Colgate & $4.99 RR on Dove Body Wash left to spend)

WALGREENS COUPON POLICY

I always recommend that you read, understand and even PRINT each store’s coupon policy.  You can access Walgreens’ coupon policy by heading over here