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Walgreens 101

Posted by on Feb. 23, 2009 at 10:37 AM
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Besides just the normal store sale, Walgreens has three different types of deals to take advantage of:

1) Rebate Booklet - This is most commonly known to most deal shoppers: The Walgreens EasySaver catalog. These are usually located next to the weekly store flier displays at your local store. You'll want to make sure and grab one on your next shopping trip. Actually, grab three or four while you're at it (I'll tell you why in a minute).

The monthly EasySaver catalog usually includes a few free after rebate items for the month and also a number of other rebates they are offering for the month. Some of the items listed in the booklet which are not free after rebate at their normal price will usually go on sale one week during the month and will then be free after rebate at the sale price.

In order to take advantage of the rebate deals, you'll need to go to the store and buy the items listed, paying out of pocket. Then, you'll fill out the simple rebate form and send it in along with your receipt with the price you paid circled.

You can choose to have the rebate sent back to you in the form of a check or a gift card. Unless you are not planning on shopping at Walgreens more than one time, you should always choose to have your rebate put on a gift card. Why? Well, for one, you get 10% extra for choosing a gift card so this will usually cover the cost of the stamp to send in the rebate, plus any tax you paid on the items.

Best of all, once you've sent in your first rebate request and gotten your gift card with the rebate plus 10% on it back, you will never need to spend a penny more out of pocket at the store! You can just use your gift card to buy the rebate items, send in your rebate form and they'll recharge your gift card with the rebate amount plus 10% and you can roll it over and over month after month.

It usually takes around 4-6 weeks for your first rebate to be processed and for you to receive your gift card. Once you have the gift card and just need them to recharge it, it normally takes 2-3 weeks. They'll send you a postcard saying your rebate $$ have been added to your gift card. You can also always log in to their website at any time to check on the status of your rebate.

In order to take advantage of the other great deals at Walgreens, you want to try - as much as possible - to "grow" your dollar amount on your gift card. How do you do that? The best way is to use a manufacturer's coupon on the free after rebate items. Using coupons, plus the 10% you get back each month, you'll slowly be able to grow your gift card to where you can do the rebates every month, plus take advantage of some of the other Walgreens deals, and never pay a penny out of pocket except for the initial money you paid the first time you bought the rebate items.

The EasySaver catalog also includes a number of store coupons which are good all month (see next point). You can see the October Easy Saver catalog here.

2) Coupon Stacking - The EasySaver catalog and the weekly store fliers always include a number of store coupons which are good all month or all week, depending upon which flier they came from.

Since these are store coupons, they can be stacked with manufacturer's coupons. Often, you'll be able to get a really great deal by stacking a store coupon, a manufacturer's coupon, and a store sale.

This is the reason I told you to grab more than one of the EasySaver booklets. You'll want to have extras of these when you plan your shopping trips. That way, you can plan out your transactions and put all of the coupons you'll need for each in an envelope along with your shopping list.

3) Register Rewards - The Register Rewards program is a brand-new program that Walgreens has recently started. Similar to the CVS Extra Care Bucks Program, when you buy a certain item, you will get a printed coupon after you checkout called "Register Rewards" which you can use like cash on your next purchase. They usually only have a few of these items per week, and many times it is not completely free. However, by adding on a store coupon and/or a manufacturer's coupon, you are often able to get the item for 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, a few weeks back, 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 (and paying with the out-of-pocket from my gift card, of course!). 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 (well, out of your gift card!).

Very Important:

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.

Please note: Read the comments for some varying experiences. It might depend upon your particular region or store as to their coupon policies. These are just from my experience and if you are having trouble getting the system to work, these tips might help you.

1) You must have as many items as you have coupons. The computer is 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.

I got this straight from MoneySavingMom, her 101s are the most complete & easy to understand, Thanks MoneySavingMom!


Love to get a great deal ideas?! Check out this great new Group for CVS, Wags, & More Shoppers!

by on Feb. 23, 2009 at 10:37 AM
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by New Member on Jun. 19, 2009 at 8:30 PM

I do like walgreens but they told me in upstate NY that they won't take computor coupons because of fraud. That stinks and that they maynot have the rebate books, hopefully I can still go on line and recharge my Walgreen card. And I was doing so well there

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