I’ve been shopping at Walgreens for a number of years and have found some really great deals there. It is not as complex as CVS, and, sad to say, the deals are not usually as good. However, sometimes they have some excellent bargains and the more I’ve shopped there, the better I’ve gotten at getting lots of groceries for a few dollars or less.
Besides just the normal store sale, Walgreens has two different types of deals to take advantage of:
1) Coupon “Stacking”
The weekly store fliers often include a number of store coupons which are good all week. Since these are store coupons, they can be “stacked” with manufacturer’s coupons, meaning you can use them in conjunction with a manufacturer’s coupon. So, in this case, you can use both a store coupon and a manufacturer’s coupon on one item. Often, you’ll be able to get a really great deal by stacking a store coupon, a manufacturer’s coupon, and a store sale.
2) Register Rewards
Similar to the CVS Extra Care Bucks Program, the Register Rewards program rewards you for buying certain items each week. When you buy the item or items which are advertised as producing a Register Reward, you will get a printed coupon after you checkout called “Register Rewards” which you can use like cash on your next purchase.
They usually have a few of these items per week–some which are completely free after Register Rewards. By using a store coupon and/or a manufacturer’s coupon when buying a Register Reward item, you are often able to get the item for more-than-free, free, or almost free after the Register Rewards.
Unlike CVS, the Register Rewards (RR) are not tied to a store card. Instead, they just print out for everyone who buys that particular item or items that week. Because of this, there is no limit on how many of one deal you can do. That said, they have recently tightened their system so that you usually cannot roll the same RR over and over again on the same deal.
For instance, not too long ago, they were running a Proctor and Gamble Buy $25, Get $10 in RR promotion and they were also running a Unilever Buy $20, Get $10. With store coupons, manufacturer’s coupons, and the Register Rewards, I was getting most of these items for almost free. However, I couldn’t do the P&G deal over and over using the $10 RR to pay for my transaction after coupons, since the computer is programmed to not print out another $10 RR on P&G products if I paid for with the $10 RR I got from purchasing them last time. Make sense?
So, you can either just do the deals once, or you can do the deals multiple times and pay out of pocket and then save the RR’s you collect each time and use them on groceries or other items later. Or, your best option is to do what I did: Do multiple transactions and alternate between the P&G deal and the Unilever deal. This way, you can keep rolling the RR’s over and over and paying very little out of pocket.
From what I’ve found, the Walgreen’s cash register system is set up a lot differently than CVS. So for those who are used to shopping at CVS and always paying less than a $1 for a few bags of groceries, you might find yourself frustrated at first. I’ve spent some time figuring out what works best and here are my tips:
1) You must have as many items as you have coupons.
Most of the registers appear to be programmed not to accept any more coupons than you have items. So, make sure and tally up your items and coupons before you check out. The Register Rewards count as a coupon as do any of the store coupons, so count those, too.
If you have more items than coupons, add on a few cheap items so that you have the same number of items as coupons. I always play it safe and try to have at least one more item than coupons. This just guarantees the register doesn’t have issues.
2) In order to get your total down to the lowest amount possible and for the register to accept all of your coupons, the order you give your coupons in is very important.
So far, I’ve never met a Walgreen’s cashier who knew how to manually push a coupon through. So if you’re coupon won’t go through, it won’t go through. That’s why it’s important that you have as many items as coupons and that you hand your coupons over in the correct order.
After lots of trial and error, here’s the best coupon order I’ve come up with:
-Register Rewards first
-Then manufacturer’s coupons
-Then store coupons
Doing it in any other order than this seems to cost me at least a few dollars more or it causes the system to jam and not allow my coupons through and means I either have to add on some extra items or it means that I pay extra money out of pocket.
I give my coupons to the cashier in batches split up in the groups mentioned above. This keeps things simple and ever since I started doing it this way, I’ve never had a problem with the register jamming or a coupon not going through.
3) If for some reason they cannot get a coupon to go through, request that they void the item right then off of your order.
It’s much easier to just void it off right then and not pay for it, then to try and mess with it later. And voiding it off is a very simple process.
There you have it! I’m sure I missed something and didn’t explain everything very clearly so please feel free to ask concerning any questions you have. Also, for those who are a pro at shopping at Walgreens, please feel free to add in your tips and advice. Fill in the holes that I missed!