Walgreens is quickly becoming my favorite store to get deals. I find it more complicated than CVS, but well worth the hassle. Here is a brief Walgreens 101 for those of you just getting started:
Walgreens prints a circular each week that lists all its sales for the week. It is in the Sunday paper, on-line at http://www.walgreens.com/ and you can find it at Walgreens right when you walk in the store. Walgreens has also released a printable coupon policy.
There are two ways to save at Walgreens. The first way is through their store sales and coupons. Each week Walgreens puts items on sale and they have certain items on sale with their store coupons. You can use manufacturer coupons with these sales and store coupons. For example, Walgreens has a coupon for Skintimate shave gel for $1.99. If I had a $1 off coupon on Skintimate, I could use both coupons together and purchase the gel for $.99. This is called coupon stacking.
The second way to save money at Walgreens is through their Register Rewards program, referred to as RR. In the Walgreens flyer each week, there will be a list of items that you can earn RR on you purchase. The RR is a coupon that prints out from the manufacturer at the end of your purchase. It can be used like cash on your next purchase. Each RR has an expiration date of two weeks. For example, Gillette Fusion razors have been on special this month. The razors cost $8.99 and you will earn $6 in RR when you buy one. You can often get RR items for free or better than free as is the case with these razors when you combine them with coupons. I purchased this razor with a $4.00 off coupon for $4.99 and got a $6 RR, that’s a $1.01 profit.
Those are the basics of Walgreens, but here are the tips for having successful transactions, so that you don’t have registers beeping at you and you always get your RR:
1. You can not purchase two of the same RR deals in the same purchase. If you have two of those $4.00 razor coupons you need to purchase each razor in a separate transaction or only one RR will print. This is also true for RR deals offered by the same manufacturer. If Gillette had two RR deals going at the same time, purchase them in separate transactions.
2. You must have more items than you have coupons. This includes store coupons, manufacturer coupons and RR. This is where filler items come into play. I always select some very low priced items to add to my deals to act as fillers. If you are buying an item with a manufacturer coupon and a RR, it is a good idea to add two small fillers. The store always has a great deal on something like hydrogen peroxide for $.29 or candy bars for $.39. I also like to look in their clearance section for fillers. I have often found clearance items for less than $.20.
3. You can not use a RR that you received for an item to buy the same deal. For example, if you buy Robitussin DM and get a $2.50 RR, you can not then use that same RR to buy another Robitussin DM. If you do, the RR will not print on the second item. There are exceptions to this rule, but they are rare.
4. Your total coupons and RR can not be more than your subtotal. CVS will adjust your ECB if you are under a few cents, but Walgreens will not. To be on the safe side, make sure your items add up to at least $.01 before tax and after coupons and RR.
5. There are exclusions on what you can purchase with a RR. They are printed right on the reward. The only one that is notable to me is unlike at CVS you can not use it to buy dairy.
There might be variations from store to store, but these are the basics of Walgreens.
All store guides are based on my personal shopping experience and my knowledge of store policy. Stores may change their policies at anytime and it is always best to check with your local store regarding their policies.