I have been wanting to do a Basic Walgreens Couponing 101 post for a few weeks now because I have been getting a lot of questions about how to shop at Walgreens and how to use the different programs like Register Rewards, Balance Rewards and Store Coupons.
I know all of these programs can be really overwhelming when you are just starting out so this is the basics of how each post works. I plan to do an Advanced Couponing post for Walgreens to help those of you who already have a good grasp on these basics.
There are 3 basic ways to save at Walgreens:
1. Store Coupons – Each month Walgreens issues a new In Store Coupon Book. These books are located at the front of each store next to the weekly ad. They are free and should be available in each store. If you don’t see these booklets at the front of your store check by the Beauty Cash Registers or ask a Beauty Cashier to help you locate one.
The weekly ad at Walgreens will show these in store coupons, when you see a sale item listed with an in-store coupon those coupons are located in the Monthly Coupon Book, you will want to pick up a coupon book at the front of the store and make sure those coupons are scanned at checkout. If you forget to scan the coupon at checkout you will pay the higher price, not the final price listed.
Another type of store coupons are In Ad Coupons, these are located in the printed weekly ad. A lot of times in ad coupons look like sale prices, it is important to make sure you have the cashier scan the coupon at checkout in order to make sure that you get the lowest price.
TIPS FROM THE PROSWalgreens allows you to stack a Walgreens Store Coupon with 1 manufacturer coupon per item. This is one of the best ways to save with Walgreens coupons. For example: the Ocean Spray Deal shown above you could add in a Manufacturer Coupon to bring the price down lower than 2/$4! The cashier will scan the coupon from the coupon book first and then scan your manufacturer coupons.
2. Walgreens Balance Rewards Card – This is a relatively new aspect of shopping at Walgreens that is really important to making sure you are getting the lowest price possible.
Before you start shopping at Walgreens make sure you sign up for a Walgreens Balance Rewards Card. This is completely Free and you can sign up at your local Walgreens, just ask a cashier I am sure they would be happy to help you sign up. You can also sign up online, but I prefer to sign up in stores so that I can have a physical card right away, then you can register your account online and on the mobile app.
You will need the Walgreens Balance Rewards Card in order to get the sale prices in the ad. Almost all of Walgreens Advertised prices are “With Card” That means that if you don’t have your card scanned at the beginning of every transaction you won’t get the sale price. It is important to make sure you scan your card on each transaction to get the sale price that is advertised.
I realize this seems very basic, but it is so important I often have cashiers forget to scan my card even when I present it to them and when my total comes up on the screen I realize how expensive it is and always have them double check that my card was scanned correctly, normally that reduces the price significantly!
Walgreens Balance Rewards Members also earn points on their transactions, every 1,000 points is equivalent to $1 in rewards. When you reach 5,000 points you can redeem that for $5 off a future purchase!
TIPS FROM THE PROSYou can use Coupons on your purchase and you will still earn points. So in the example shown above, you could use a suave coupon on each item to reduce your cost and then you will still earn the 2,000 points for purchasing 2 items.
Walgreens Balance Rewards offers come in 2 forms. Spend $20 Amount and Earn 5,000 Points & Buy 2 Earn 2,000 points. If the deal is Buy 2 earn 2,000 points where only a specific number of items is required then you will earn 2,000 points for every 2 items you buy. Example: Buy 4 Suave Products and get 4,000 points.
If the offer is Spend $20 or more and earn 5,000 points then you can only earn this offer once per transaction. Example if you buy $40 worth before coupons you will still only earn 5,000 points because this offer says “OR MORE” anything above $20 is still considered the same offer.
You may do separate transactions with the same card to earn the 5,000 points for spending $20 on each transaction if you would like to duplicate the offer.
TIPS FROM THE PROSKeep in mind, you cannot earn points when you spend points. So any time you redeem balance rewards you will not earn points on that transaction. I only spend points on transactions that have Register Rewards, or items that do not earn balance rewards! This is just something you want to be very aware of so that you don’t miss out on points you should have earned, I always do a separate transaction just for spending my points to make sure I don’t get things confused at checkout.
3. Register Rewards – This is one of the most confusing aspects of shopping at Walgreens. Register Rewards are coupons that print after your transaction that are good on your next in store purchase. They are Manufacture Coupons that are good on any future purchase, they cannot be used on the same purchase where you are earning the coupon.
Register Rewards have a few rules which is what makes them confusing. Here are 3 quick tips for using Register Rewards:
:: You can use Coupons and still earn your register rewards. As shown in the image above you can use a $2 manufacturer coupon to pay only $4.99 then you will earn a $4 Register Rewards (This will print after you complete your transaction at checkout). The confusing part is they advertise this “Like Paying $0.99” Which is after you factor in the register reward, the real price paid is $4.99 and you save $4 on a future purchase.
:: You can spend Register Rewards on Any Other Deal and you will earn Register Rewards. The only exception is you cannot purchase the SAME DEAL again and spend a register reward from the same deal, the second reward won’t print. As long as they are DIFFERENT Amounts or DIFFERENT Manufacturers then you should be fine! A lot of cashiers don’t understand this concept so you often have cashiers saying that if you spend a register reward you won’t earn one, but that only applies to the same deal. As long as you rotate (or “Roll”) Between different deals you will be fine.
:: Register Rewards are Manufacturer Coupons, you can only use 1 coupon per item so you need to add small filler items like candy bars or chapstick to your transaction if you are already planning on using a coupon for every other item. The general rule is 1 coupon per item. So if every item you are buying has a coupon you won’t be able to spend any of your register rewards. Add a candy bar and you can use 1 register reward, if you want to spend 2 register rewards just add 2 candy bars. This is called coupon count, Make sure you count your items before you checkout and count your coupons including your register rewards. As long as your items are greater than or less than your coupons you’ll be fine!