Walgreens Shopping Myth: You Can’t Use An Instant Value Coupon + A Manufacturer’s Coupon Together

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So, you are shopping at Walgreens and you lay down your Instant Value Coupon (printed or from the booklet in the store) and the clerk says to you “You can’t use both of those as they are two manufacturer’s coupons.”  Are they right?  Is an IVC a manufacturer’s coupon?  The answer is clearly written in the Walgreens on-line coupon policy:

Multiple Coupons 

  • When purchasing a single item, Walgreens accepts one manufacturer coupon and applicable Walgreens coupon(s) for the purchase of a single item, unless prohibited by either coupon offer.

A Walgreens Instant Value Coupon as you find to print on-line or in the in-store booklets (which include the same coupons), is a Walgreens store coupon.  The ways to tell are as follow:

  • The coupon has zeros in the barcode (as the image shows above).  The first number is a “0” which advises both you and the cashier that it is a store coupon.
  • There is not a scannable bar code (as on the image above). 
  • The coupon does not state “manufacturer’s coupon” on it.  If you review the coupon above, you will see that it does not include this wording.
  • The coupon does not include the clearing house address in the verbiage, which is where all manufacturer’s coupons must go in order for the store to be reimbursed.

What do you do if you are told that you can’t stack them.  First of all, pull out your Walgreens coupon policy.  Then, you can show them on the coupon that it does not state “Manufacturer’s coupon redeemable only at Walgreens.”  If you still can’t get them to accept the coupon, your next option is to not use the coupon or turn and leave your items at the store and shop elsewhere – or ask them if you can call Customer Service together when standing in line to have them explain the policy to the cashier or the manager.

There are stores, however, that will never abide by their policy, no matter what.  They’ll refuse the coupons over and over again.  I just recommend that you avoid these stores and find another place to shop instead.  It isn’t worth your frustration nor aggravation — because you will probably never win.


  1. Jessica says

    Thanks for this article. This actually happened to me last week. I was told by a cashier and the manager on duty that I could only use one coupon per item, no matter if it was a manufacturer coupon or a Walgreens coupon. So since I had three more coupons than items, I added three pieces of laffy taffy to my transaction. Made me SO mad! I’ve noticed that a few different cashiers in the Walgreens that I frequent get so overly frustrated if a coupon doesn’t scan correctly, like I’M putting them out. It has made me not want to shop there anymore.

  2. janette says

    good to know! Thanks! I’ve run into this problem once, and now i know how to deal with it.

  3. Amy says

    I have a question:
    Can you use the Walgreen’s bucks or whatever with a manufacturer’s coupon- a very rude employee told me I could not- but it seems to be the same as this?

    • Tracie says

      Register Rewards are coupons, so you can’t use it plus another manufacturer’s coupon on only one item. However, if you purchase 2 items, you could use one coupon plus the Regsiter Reward on both items. Just make sure that the value of both items is exactly the same as, or exceeds, the total value of the RR and coupon.

      For intance, if you have a $2 RR and a $1 coupon, that is $3 in savings on 2 items. If your items were only $2.50 when totalled, your coupon would be adjusted down $0.50 and you’d lose out. However, if the value of the two items was $3 or more, then you’d get the full $3 discount.

  4. Amy says

    I have another question related to this- if I use a coupon @ cvs on a single item can I still use my special care bucks to pay for the item- I was told the bucks work like cash- ( I am new to this)

    • Tracie says

      Yes, ECB can be used in conjunction with any combination of coupons as they are like cash.

  5. Gary M says

    Jessica, I had basically the same problem, posted it eariler here but was removed for whatever reason.

  6. Julie says

    Hi, Amy! Yes, you can use your Walgreen’s Register Rewards with coupons. But, at Walgreen’s, you can’t have more coupons or Register Rewards than you do items to purchase. So, that’s why you need to have “filler” items. It can be a piece of candy or a cheap item that you might need or can donate. I used the .39 Paper Mate 5 pack highlighters for most of my fillers this week. Hope this helps!

  7. Julie says

    Sorry – could’ve added this to my last reply. You can use your CVS Extra Care Bucks with coupons. It’s not like Walgreen’s where you have to have as many items as you do coupons & RR. But, have them ring up your purchases first. Then, give them your coupons and then your Extra Care Bucks. I’m not certain if this is true everywhere, but I know at my CVS, you still have to pay tax out of pocket. I’m new to this, too, and it all can be confusing. I’ve found that it’s really good to make friends with the cashiers who are coupon friendly. The cashiers I had at CVS & Walgreen’s this weekend were wonderful! At both places, I missed some coupons, in-ad coupons, and coupons from the Walgreen’s book. They both gave me my credit for my coupons AFTER my transactions were already done…just gave me cash back for the amount of my coupons! Have fun!! 🙂