Walgreens 101

Walgreens can be an overwhelming place to shop with coupons, but once you understand how to do so correctly, you’ll have a hard time staying away from this store!

Walgreens In-Ad Coupons

Walgreens store coupons are found in the weekly Walgreens sales circular released every Sunday.  You can find this circular in your Sunday paper or in the grab-a-free-copy near the entrance of your local Walgreens store.  Any coupon found in the Walgreens weekly ad may be used in addition to a manufacturer coupon on the purchase of one item.  This is called “stacking” and is specifically allowed by the Walgreens Coupon Policy, which reads:
When purchasing a single item, Walgreens accepts one manufacturer coupon and applicable Walgreens coupon(s) for the purchase of a single item. . .
Walgreens in-ad coupons nearly always state a limit on the number of products you may purchase using the coupon.  If a Walgreens in-ad coupon entitles you to purchase iced tea at the discounted price of 2/$1.00 and states “limit 4″, this means you may only purchase 4 iced teas at the price of $0.50 each.  If you purchase a 5th tea and use the coupon, you will pay $2.00 total (for the first four teas) plus the shelf price of $0.79 each for the 5th tea.  If you wish to purchase more than the limit the coupon stipulates, you must break your items into two separate transactions.  To do so, you’ll need to make sure you have two copies of the in-ad coupon: one for each shopping order.   Your store has the right to limit the number of items you purchase, so please remember to consult your local management and be courteous to other shoppers eager to get the same great deal!
When stacking a Walgreens coupon with a manufacturer coupon at Walgreens, it is important to remember to hand the cashier your manufacturer coupons first, followed by store coupons.  Truthfully, it really only matters when you’re shopping with Buy One, Get One coupons, but I like to stay in the habit of doing it this way so I never forget.

Halls Cough Drops $1.39, regular price
In-Ad coupon: Halls Cough Drops $0.99 each, limit 4
BOGO Free Halls Cough Drops manufacturer coupon
If you hand the in-ad coupon first, here’s how the transaction will go:
Buy 2 Halls Cough Drops $1.39
Use in-ad coupon makes them $0.99 each (savings $0.80)
Then use BOGO Free manufacturer coupon (savings $0.99)
Total: $0.49 each, wyb 2
If you use the manufacturer coupon first, it will go like this:
Buy 2 Halls Cough Drops $1.39
Use BOGO Free Manufacturer coupon (subtracts $1.39)
Then use in-ad coupon (savings $0.80)
Total: $0.29 each, wyb 2 
When you present the manufacturer coupon first, the full retail price of the “free” item will be subtracted from your total.  If you present the in-ad coupon first, the products will be discounted first and your BOGO coupon will deduct only the lesser price from your total.   So, it’s manufacturer coupons first, in-ad coupons second, and then finally Register Rewards last.

Register Rewards

Walgreens has a promotional checkout-coupon program much like the Catalina “Your Bucks” programs you may be familiar with from your local grocery store. Walgreens’ program is run by the same company, but their checkout-coupons go by another name: Register Rewards.  A Register Reward (sometimes abbreviated as RR) is a long, receipt-like coupon that prints after you make a qualifying purchase.  Flip through your Walgreens sales circular and look for products which state that you will “receive register reward” with purchase.   After you complete your purchase of the advertised item, you will receive a Register Reward to use on your next purchase.  It’s important to reiterate that the savings you receive will not be on the product you’re buying but on a future purchase, example below:
Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief 360 Toothpaste, 4 oz $4.99
Buy 1, Receive $3.00 Register Reward, Limit 1
Use $1.00/1 Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief Toothpaste (colgate.com)
Total: $3.99, Receive $3.00 Register Reward

Register Rewards are typically good for “$X off your next in store purchase”. They usually expire 2 weeks from the date they printed.

Rolling Register Rewards
  • Register Rewards nearly always have limits; most often the limit is one.  This means that if toothpaste is producing a $3.00 Register Reward, limit 1, and you want to buy two of them, you’ll want to separate your order into two transactions.  If you purchase both toothpastes in one shopping order, you will only receive one $3.00 Register Reward.  But if you purchase one toothpaste, receive a $3.00 Register Reward, then purchase your second toothpaste in a new transaction, you will receive another $3.00 Register Reward.  Please remember that stores have the right to limit the quantity of promotional items which you purchase.  Be respectful and abide by all policies.
  • Register Rewards will not “roll”.  This means that if you follow our instruction and separate your two toothpastes from the above example into two transactions, you should not use the $3.00 Register Reward produced from the purchase of toothpaste #1 to offset your payment of toothpaste #2.   If you do, you will not receive a new $3.00 Register Reward for the purchase of toothpaste #2.
  • To maximize Register Reward savings, you have two options.
Alternate between different products.  Continuing with the toothpaste example, if, in addition to purchasing toothpaste, you also want to purchase the body lotion, which is producing a $2.00 Register Reward, you could do the following:
Buy 1 Listerine $4.99
Use $1.00/1 manufacturer coupon
Total: $3.99, Receive $3.00 Register Reward 
Buy 1 Nivea Lotion $8.99
Use $3.00/1 manufacturer coupon
Use $3.00 Register Reward from Listerine
Total: $2.99, Receive $2.00 Register Reward 
Buy 1 Colgate Toothpaste $4.99
Use $1.00/1 manufacturer coupon
Use $2.00 Register Reward from Nivea
Total: 1.99, Receive $3.00 Register Reward
Get, Give, Receive, Repeat......
If you receive a Register Reward generated by the purchase of product X,  you cannot use it to buy a second product  X if you want another Register Reward to print.  The best way to get around this is to find 2 different products that trigger a similar value Register Reward and alternate buying those items in separate transactions.  Pay for product Y using the Register Reward from product X, then use the Register Reward from product Y to pay for your second product X and so on.   (Now go ahead, reread this paragraph a few times until it clicks!)  

Roll week-to-week.   I tend to roll them week to week OR I will find a few deals where I can roll them and get some in return so I can pay as little as possible.  

Monthly Savings Book

Another great way to save at Walgreens is with their monthly coupon booklet found near the entrances by the weekly ads.  You will not need to clip these. If you are buying 2 of the same item and there is a coupon for it, simply show it to the cashier and she will scan it once. If you bought 2 items, it will apply the coupon 2 times. These are store coupons and can be used in conjunction with manufacturer coupons to maximize savings.

Coupon Booklets

These free magazines are usually found near the pharmacy or beauty counter. They have articles as well as a mix of both Walgreen store coupons and manufacturer coupons.  The store coupons, obviously, must be redeemed at Walgreens.  The manufacturer coupons may be redeemed at any store.

Coupon-to-Product Ratio

The cash register at Walgreens will not allow the cashier to accept more manufacturer coupons than total products purchased.  If you are purchasing five items, using five manufacturer coupons and a Register Reward, the cash register will make an angry beep and reject the sixth coupon. The cashier will not be able to override this action, so you, as the consumer need to know how to troubleshoot the problem!  A Register Reward is recognized by the computer system as a manufacturer coupon.  Each manufacturer coupon contains a barcode, and the register matches each manufacturer coupon with one of the products in the shopping order.  When the cashier attempts to scan the sixth coupon in the above example, the register cannot find a correlating product and rejects the coupon.

To solve this issue, you may purchase what we call a “filler” item.  This refers to any inexpensive product in the store that you add to your purchase so the register will accept that extra sixth coupon.  This might be a small candy caramel ($0.39) or pencil ($0.05) near the register. It doesn't matter what the product is or even what it costs.  You just need to ensure that you have at least as many items as manufacturer coupons. Here’s the equation: total number of Register Rewards+ total number of manufacturer coupons cannot exceed total number of products purchased.  Got it?

Balance Rewards Program

How to sign up

You can sign up for the Walgreens Balance Rewards program at the pharmacy, checkout counter, online or photo kiosk of your local Walgreens store. You don’t even need a physical card to earn or redeem your points. You can download the app on your phone and give the cashier your phone so they can scan it or just give the cashier your phone number that is associated with the account. If you are shopping online then all you do is sign into your account and it's already connected!

How to earn rewards
You can use your card to score sales prices and discounts on items both in-store and online. Just scan your card at the checkout (or log in to your Walgreens account if you’re shopping online) and you’ll get the discounted price. You can also earn Balance Rewards on qualifying items, which can be cashed out as in-store credit. If you fill a prescription at Walgreens you’ll earn 500 points (per prescription). You do have to pick up your prescription at the actual counter in order to receive your points. Here’s the best part of all: you can link your family’s Balance Rewards by calling (855) 225-0400! You can also earn rewards for logging in workouts in the  Steps with Balance Rewards in the Walgreens App! Which is a program that rewards you for staying healthy and active. Whether you’re running, cycling, walking, or managing your blood glucose or blood pressure levels. I earned 60 points for logging in a 2 mile run. If you’re an AARP member you can link your Balance Rewards account to your AARP membership online or in the store. Once linked, you’ll get five bonus points and 5,000 points whenever you spend at least $25 in-store or online each month.

How to keep track of your rewards
Your point balance will print out on the bottom of your receipt every time you make a purchase at Walgreens. But if you tend to lose receipts or throw them away, you can check your balance online at Walgreens.com/balance or just check it on your Walgreens App. Your points will expire after three years or if your account is inactive (you haven’t used it to shop online or in store) for six months.

Using your rewards

Redeeming your points is super easy. Once you've earned at least 5,000 points you qualify for a $5 reward. The more points you get, the bigger your reward will be. For example, 18,000 points equals a $20 reward. The maximum that can be redeemed in one order is 40,000 points, which is $50. When you’re ready to cash out your points, just tell the associate at checkout or follow the prompts on the pin pad at the checkout counter. The best part is you control how many points you use. Whether you want to use none or all of them at once! You can also redeem your points online once you have at least 5,000 points. You’ll see a prompt on the Payment Options screen to use your reward points during the checkout process.