Walgreens 101

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Walgreens 101

The key to saving money on your groceries is to know how each store’s sales and savings programs work. This post will give you the basics for shopping at Walgreens so you can have a successful shopping trip!  Be sure to check out the Full Walgreens Matchups as well.

First of all check out the Walgreens Coupon Policy. I recommend that you even print a copy of this policy and bring it with you while you shop (Mobile user?  Check out the free app “Coupon Policy”, and skip the printing!). That way if any discrepancies arise you have the answer it in back and white.

Walgreen’s primary savings tool is called Register Rewards- RR (a.k.a. Catalina coupons). These are manufacturer coupons that print out from a Catalina machine at the register after you have completed your transaction. The Register Rewards print out after you buy a participating product, which may (or may not)
be advertised in Walgreens weekly ad.

Because RR are considered manufacturer coupons, you must have a 1:1 coupon-to-product ratio. For example: If you are purchasing three items, you can use up to a combination of three manufacturer coupons and/or RRs. If you attempt to use more than three, the register will “beep”. If you have a manufacturer coupon for each of your items and you want to use a RR as well, you will need to look for a “filler” item. “Fillers”are inexpensive items that will allow you to have the right coupon-to-product ratio (look for “penny” candy, pencils or clearance items) Note: Walgreens store coupons do NOT count towards your
coupon-to-product ratio. See Walgreens Coupons section below.

If there is a RR deal that you would like to buy more than one of, you will have to do it in separate transactions. You will only get one RR to print per item, per transaction. However, you can purchase different RR qualifying items in the same transaction, and you will receive one RR for each different qualifying Register Reward item purchased.

Also note: RR coupons do NOT “roll”! This means that if your receive a $2 RR for purchasing diapers; you cannot use the RR coupon from the first diaper transaction to purchase another package of diapers in a second transaction and expect another $2 RR to be generated.

 However, you can use RR from a different deal to pay for another RR deal–which means you can roll Register Rewards from different deals to help lower your out-of-pocket expense.

If a RR does not print, be sure that you bought the exact product, size and/or quantity to generate the RR. If you still feel that you should have received a RR, show the cashier your products and ad. They will either cancel the order and try the transaction again or they will manually generate the RR for you. If you have already left the store, you can call the Catalina company directly. Customer service number for Catalina is 1-888-8coupon. Be sure to have your receipt in hand and explain which deal should have triggered a RR. Catalina will review your transaction and will mail you a RR, within a few
weeks, if you should have received one.

Learning how to use Walgreens store coupons is also important to a great Walgreens shopping experience. Coupons are posted in the Walgreens weekly ad and in Walgreens coupon booklets called Instant Value Coupons (IVC) located at the front of the store, in the pharmacy area, and/or online. New booklets typically become available each month!

Remember, Walgreens coupons do NOT count towards your coupon-to item-ratio. And Walgreens coupons can stack with manufactures coupons. Let’s say you have a manufactures coupon for Puffs tissues and there is a Walgreens coupon in the IVC booklet. You can use both these coupon on one item to lower the cost!

When you are using a combination of Walgreens coupons and manufacturer coupons, always hand over the manufacturer coupons first and then the Walgreens store coupons. The manufactures coupon will come off at the bottom, of the receipt as $ off of your total. A Walgreens coupon subtracts the discount from the actual price. If you use the manufacturer coupon after the Walgreens store coupon, the register will beep to indicate that the value of the coupon is greater than the value of the item… BUT, if you give the cashier the manufacturer coupon first, the register won’t react. Both coupons will go through without any beeps, and you’ll get the coupon overage!

Here is an example: There is an in-ad Walgreens coupon to get Dial soap for $0.50. You also have a $1 Dial soap manufacturer coupon. The soap’s retail price is $1.29. When it scans at the register it will scan for $1.29. You then hand over your manufactures $1 coupon, the scanner sees that the $1 coupon does not exceed the $1.29 purchase price and accepts your coupon and takes it off the total of your transaction. Then you hand over the Walgreens coupon which will adjust the price down by $0.79 to make it $0.50. As long as you have other items to “cover the overage” you will end up making $0.50 on this tape.


In September of 2012, Walgreen introduced the Balance Rewards program for in store and online purchases. You MUST have a Balance Rewards card to receive the ad prices.

  • Save on sale items each week
  • Earn points on thousands of items, including every prescription and immunization
  • Get points when you Walk with Walgreens
  • Redeem points for items you love

Earned Points are converted into Redemption Dollars in five (5) tiers:

(1) 5,000 points = $5
(2) 10,000 points =$10
(3) 18,000 points =$20
(4) 30,000 points =$35
(5) 40,000 points =$50

You can choose to either redeem your Walgreens Balance Rewards Points or continue saving Points to use on a future purchase. When you decide to redeem your Walgreens Balance Rewards Points, the Points will be converted into Redemption Dollars and the value of the Redemption Dollars will be deducted from the total price of your purchase. You can even download an app to help you keep track on the go!

Buy One, Get One Free Items: 
If there is a Buy One, Get One free or a Buy Get One 50% Off promotion, you can use two coupons for the items. You can also use a Buy One, Get One free coupon for items that are currently part of a Buy One, Get One free promotion–this essentially makes both items FREE! If you have any issues using two coupons on a Buy One Get, One free sale, refer to Walgreens coupon policy which specifically states: When items are featured in a Buy One, Get One Free promotion, up to two coupons can be used against the items being purchased, as long as the net price does not go below zero for the items being purchased.

If you have an issue with a cashier, ask to speak with the store manager. If you are unable to resolve the issue with the manager, note the manager’s name and the time the incident occurred and then call Customer Service. The phone number is 1-800-WALGREENS or 1-800-925-4733.

To be victorious in “the drugstore game”, be sure to check out my most recent Weekly Walgreens Matchup Deals. I highlight the winning Wags deals!

walgreens matchups

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