Thursday, April 28, 2011

How To Do the Coupon Thing: Part 9-Walgreens

You thought we were done, didn't you? Nope! How To Do the Coupon Thing is back and this week we're talking about shopping at Walgreens.

Walgreens is the largest drugstore in the country. You probably have at least one nearby. Like CVS, most of the great deals you will find there will be health and beauty related.

So how does Walgreens work? Well, Their big draw is called Register Rewards. Register Rewards are little pieces of paper that print after your transaction for a dollar amount off your next transaction. Most are for any transaction, although some are on your next transaction of a certain item (ie, $3 off your next purchase vs. $4 off your next purchase of Huggies). Every week their ad will list items that will have Register Rewards and between Register Rewards and coupons, you can get many items for free or a moneymaker. The biggest drawback I've found to Register Rewards is that most only have 2 weeks until they expire, meaning I have to get in there more often if I don't want them to run out.

Walgreens also gives out a LOT of coupons. These are usually store coupons, so they can be combined with manufacturer coupons for better deals. Walgreens has coupons in their ad every week (so I suggest you hold onto the ad for the week) along with coupon booklets you can get in-store. While you can't combine in-ad coupons with coupons from the booklets, it's rarely a problem.

So you wanna know the weird catch to Walgreens? They have a funny coupon policy. You have to have the same number (or more) of items as you have coupons. So let's say you are buying 1 package of Huggies Diapers, 1 package Cottennelle Toilet Paper and 1 tube of Colgate Toothpaste. But you have 1 manufacturer coupon for Huggies plus 1 coupon from the Walgreens Infant Care Booklet for Huggies, 1 manufacturer's coupon for Cottennelle plus 1 from the May monthly Walgreens Coupon Booklet and 1 coupon for Colgate Toothpaste. You also have 2 Register Rewards you want to use from last week, for a total of 7 coupons (RRs are coupons too). You have to buy 7 separate items to use all the coupons, even though you only need the 3. To combat this, you have to buy "filler" items, which are items that are very cheap (like candy or something in clearance) to bring your total number of items to 7.

A few other things to know about Walgreens coupon policy:

*If an ad says Buy One, Get One (or similar verbiage) you can use a coupon for each item.

*If your coupon is worth more than the price of the item, it will be brought down to match the price of the item. For example, this week you can buy Splenda for $2.99 each and there is a $3 off coupon available. The coupon will go down to $2.99 at the register. This doesn't affect whether you can get the Register Rewards or not though, so if you get something for free at the register, it can become a moneymaker after RRs.

*You cannot "roll" Register Rewards. What this means is if you buy 3 Splenda and get $4 in RRs, if you use those same RRs to buy 3 more Splenda, you won't get any more RRs. But if you use the RRs you get from a different item, you will get more RRs. Yes, I agree, it's strange.

*If you use Register Rewards and your total is less than 0 (like negative $1) BEFORE TAX, then you lose that extra (so if you total before tax was negative $1, you lose that dollar, taking your total to $0). You will still have to pay taxes on your items, so watch for your Subtotal before tax!

That's the basics of Walgreens. It's not that difficult, overall. If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments below!

This is part of the the series How To Do the Coupon Thing. To see the rest of the Series, Click HERE


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