Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Couponing at Walgreens 101

Walgreen's is tricky, I'm not going to lie. I've had my share of irritation with how they work and the cashiers are less than helpful many times in explaining. Live and learn. I've found it is best to educate yourself completely. At first I was intimidated by the word 'coupon policy' thinking it was this  lengthy legal document but it really isn't that bad and can be very useful to you.

Here are a few things to know that will be sure to help you survive shopping and couponing at Walgreens.

1. Register Rewards - While you sort of get items for free or close to it because you get register rewards you have to be careful. Register rewards print from a catalina system as a manufacturers coupon. This means that if you purchase an item and use a manufacturers coupon that you clipped from the paper or printed from online you WILL NOT be able to use a register reward for that item.

The general rule of thumb is that the computer needs to see that you have more upc's than coupons. From my understanding it doesn't matter what the price is of the additional items, it could be as low as 5¢. So, add a small item or something you'd use/need like milk or bread so you can use your register rewards. 

You buy cereal with the Walgreen's circular coupon 2/$4
You then use a manufacturer's coupon for $1 off/2 boxes
You have a $3 Register Reward but you can not use it because it acts like a manufacturer's coupon.
So, add a pack of gum for 50¢
Now you can use your $3 Register Reward
And you will end up paying 50¢ for your purchase

2. Register Reward Limits - Register rewards have a limit of one per transaction. So, if you are purchasing two bottles of lotion and there is a $4 register reward for the lotion you will only receive one $4 register reward. In order to get both of your register rewards you will have to split your order into two transactions.

3. Stacking Coupons - You can use a Walgreens coupon from the circular and/or monthly coupon book and a manufacturer's coupon together.

4. Order Your Coupons - Manufacturer's coupon first and Walgreens coupon second
Example from Krazy Coupon Lady:

Buy 2 Dentyne Gum, Regular Price $1 Each
Use a manufacturer's coupon for Buy 1, Get 1 Free {or -$1}
Use the Walgreen's circular coupon 2/$1 {or -$1}
Final Price = FREE

Now if you did it the opposite way you'll be paying money.
Buy 2 Dentyne Gum, Regular Price $1 Each
Use the Walgreen's circular coupon 2/$1 {or -$1}
Use the manufacturer's coupon for Buy 1, Get 1 Free {or - 50¢}
Final Price = 50¢

5. Print the Walgreen's Coupon Policy and Carry it With You - This way you can reference it when a cashier tells you that you can't do something and you know you can.

A common issue couponers run into is they are purchasing an item for 99¢ and they have a $1 coupon. The cashier may tell them they cannot use the coupon but according to the store policy they can just adjust the coupon and give you 99¢ off.

If you are like me you are more of a visual learner. I suggest watching the video on Krazy Coupon Lady. It will be VERY helpful for your next shopping trip.

I hope this makes your next shopping experience better at Walgreens. Good luck!

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