Thank you to the amazing folks at Couponaholic for writing up this amazing guide to shopping at Walgreen. They are my go to for all things couponing! Check out their Walgreens matchups and weekly deals here.
Another awesome store for couponing is Walgreens. Often referred to as “Wags,” this store is home to many excellent extreme couponing deals each week.
Balance Rewards Program
Things changed at Walgreens the week of September 16th when Walgreens introduce their own loyalty card and program called Balance Rewards. Walgreens Balance Reward points are offered on featured products every week and collect into your card. The points are worth $1 per thousand points when redeemed for in 5000 and 10,000 increments, but you can get $50 for 40,000 points so saving up points is worth the effort. Note: these points expired 36 months after they are rewarded, so don’t wait forever.
Also one other note about Balance Rewards points: If you are redeeming your points, DO NOT buy items that are supposed to earn new points. You will not receive any new points in a transaction in which points are redeemed.
Although not as coupon-friendly as CVS, couponing at Walgreens can actually be more rewarding some weeks, as there are no limits to the number of times you can do a deal. Despite that, you need to be sharp with your math and practice a lot to master using coupons at Walgreens. Here are my top pointers for newbies to couponing at Wags:
1. Understand how Register Rewards work at Walgreens. Register Rewards are coupons that print out with your receipt when you purchase certain items, you may have also seen these referred to as “Catalina Coupons”. Most of the offers that generate Register Rewards are featured in the Walgreens Weekly Ad, although there are occasionally some unadvertised deals as well.
2. Learn the rules regarding Register Rewards. For example, it is not advised that you use a Register Reward to purchase the same product that generated the reward; if you do this, a new Register Reward will not print for your second purchase. Also, no transaction may include more manufacturer’s coupons than items, and Register Rewards count as manufacturer’s coupons at Walgreens. Some stores will limit customers to earning each Register Rewards offer no more than once on a shopping trip. Finally, be mindful of expiration dates on Register Rewards, as you only have two weeks to use them at most stores.
3. Learn to use filler items to make it easier to limit your out-of-pocket spending. Fillers are inexpensive items that can serve multiple purposes. You might want to buy an item for $4.99 with a $5 Register Reward. Unfortunately, you can’t do that because Walgreens does not allow the coupon value to exceed your pre-tax total. In such a case, you’ll want to buy a filler – a dirt cheap item that pushes you over the $5 mark so you can use your reward. Another time you might need to use a filler would be when you have more manufacturer coupons than items because the number of Register Rewards you are redeeming. In this case, you will want to buy one or more filler items to make it possible to use all of your coupons.
4. Here are some points you need to learn about the Walgreens Coupon Policy: You can use a Walgreens store coupon and manufacturer coupon on each item. On a BOGO sale, you can use a either manufacturers or walgreens coupons on both the item you are paying for and the free item, so long as the total value of the two coupons does not exceed the sales price of the item you are purchasing. Generally speaking, coupons can’t exceed the purchase price of an item, although there are some exceptions when this is allowable. When such a deal surfaces, we’ll explain how to do it on our site.
5. Order to hand your coupons to the cashier to optimize results: manufacturer coupons first, then store coupons, Register Rewards next, and finally cash.
6. Limit your out-of-pocket spending by “rolling” your Register Rewards and focusing on the Moneymaker and dirt cheap deals. There is more info about how to do this with CVS ExtraCareBucks on our Intro to CVS page.
7. Check Couponaholic.net frequently to learn of new deals that pop up that are not included in the weekly circular. We will publish the weekly deals at Walgreens from the ad, suggested scenarios for saving the most money at Walgreens, and new deals as they surface.
For further information on the official Walgreens coupon policy visit their site here.