One of the secrets to saving money is knowing where to shop. And, believe it or not, Walgreen’s sometimes has some of the BEST deals!
But, if you are new to shopping there, the terminology, scenarios and just how to work a deal can be a tad 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 is the terms you’ll find online.
COMMON WALGREENS SHOPPING TERMS
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).
Walgreens 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.
Walgreens Rewards Bonus Points
These are rewarded for making any purchase when using your rewards card. You can also earn bonus points for making select purchases.
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.
HOW REGISTER REWARDS WORK AT WALGREENS
As mentioned above, Register Rewards are incentive coupons that generate when select items (including possible 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. Make sure you do not throw them out as you can’t get them back if you lose them.
Register Rewards can’t be used to generate another Register Reward (also called rolling rewards)
If you earn a Register Reward on an item, you can not turn around and purchase the exact same item, use the Register Reward and receive another one.
You can receive only one Register Reward per transaction
When a product will generate register rewards, you will only receive one per transaction. For example, if you would receive $7.99 in Register Rewards on Eye Drops and purchase 2 at one time, you will receive only $7.99, not $15.98.
Register Rewards are coupons
It is important to understand this as it means the total number of manufacturer’s coupons you use + Register Rewards cannot exceed the number of items purchased. For 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 do expire
They are only good for 2 weeks, so make sure to watch the dates and use them before you lose out on your savings. So don’t forget to use yours!
WALGREENS IVC & IN-AD COUPONS
Walgreens is one of those stores that offer 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.
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 store or online.
Adding IVC Coupons to your Balance Rewards card
While you can find the coupon booklets in the store, you may wish to use the paperless version instead. That way, you don’t have to remember to take the coupon with you when you shop. The discount will be applied when your card is scanned.
To add the current IVC coupons to your card, head to Walgreens.com. You will see the coupons listed and will also be able to sign into your account so you can load coupons. Once you sign in, find the coupons you want and click on those you want to use and they’ll be instantly added for you! Take your card to the store when you shop and when they swipe it – you save!
WALGREENS BALANCE 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
Yep! You earn points with every purchase you make! For every $1 you spend, you earn 10 points. When you accumulate enough points, they can be cashed in and used as instant savings on just about anything in the store.
To see how points are rewarded on specific products or departments, check out the Walgreens Balance Rewards FAQs page.
Points are rewarded on the balance after coupons
You can use coupons on your purchases, but you only earn points on the net balance due. For example, if you purchase $20 in products and have $5 in coupons, your net balance is $15. You will earn points only on $15.
Points are earned on each transaction
If you spend $11.40 in one transaction and $12.60 in another, you can’t combine the two in order to reach the next dollar value for an additional 10 points. So, you can’t combine receipts to earn more points.
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.
Each week, 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 can be redeemed for discounts
Once you reach 1,000 points, you earn $1 savings on your card. You can continue accruing your points to increase your overall savings discount.
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:
$7.99 Blink Tears
– 2.00 $2/1 Coupon
$5.99 out of pocket + $7.99 in Register Rewards and earn 50 Bonus Points ($5 * 10 points)
$1.99 Colgate Toothpaste
$1.99 Glide Dental Floss
$4.99 Dove Body Wash
-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)
In this last transaction, you will earn no points as your total was less than $1.
WALGREENS COUPON POLICY
I always recommend that you read, understand and even PRINT each store’s coupon policy. When you shop, having the policy can clear up any misunderstandings for either you or the cashier and avoid much undo stress.
Review and read the Walgreens Coupon Policy before you shop.