• How to Coupon at Walgreens


    Walgreens Storefront

    Couponing at Walgreens

    Walgreens (aka “Wags”) has a loyalty program known at myWalgreens. This program offers a personalized experience to customers that makes saving, shopping and well-being easier. Walgreens can be a little intimidating to a new couponer. It can be more complicated to coupon in than other stores because there are two different reward systems. At the same time, once you learn the rules, it can be a fun, challenging, and rewarding place to coupon.

    Now, I do have a soft spot for Walgreens, because it was the first store that I learned how to coupon in. I didn’t know it at the time, but it wasn’t the easiest way to learn couponing. However, once I learned and mastered the rules, all the other stores seemed very easy in comparison.

    My goal with this guide is to explain the different aspects of coupon rules at Walgreens.  Hopefully, after reading it, you’ll have a much better understanding of Walgreens. And with some practice, I promise, it’ll become easier.

    Let’s learn how to coupon at Walgreens:

    Lesson 1: myWalgreens and the Walgreens app:

    Before taking advantage of sales prices, coupons and reward systems, you’ll need to sign up for a myWalgreens account. It is free and easy to do. You can sign up online here, in stores, or through the Walgreens mobile app. Your myWalgreens account is attached to your phone number and you can access your account in stores by typing in your phone number at checkout.

    You can also download the myWalgreens app to access digital coupons and the Walgreens weekly sales ad. The ad will provide you with information on weekly sales and promotions. The ad is interactive and you can click on the pictures in the ad to find more details about a particular sale or promotion. Walgreens sales run from Sunday until the following Saturday. The weekly ad is made available on Wednesday evenings on the myWalgreens website or through their mobile app.

    Lesson 2: Reward Systems at Walgreens:

    There are two reward systems at Walgreens:

    • Register Rewards (aka “RR”)
    • Walgreens Cash 

    Let’s cover each one in detail:

    1. RR (Register Rewards)

    Register Rewards (RR) is the older of the two reward systems. You do not need a membership card to participate. They are dollar off coupons that print at the register in return for purchasing certain items. The items that RR will print for and values of the RR printing vary week to week, and you can find that information in the weekly Walgreens ad. The best part about these coupon is that they are not tied to a specific item. That means it’s a certain dollar amount off of your purchase. It’s not “$2 off Crest toothpaste” but rather “$2 off your purchase.” The coupon isn’t tied to a specific product so it can be used on any future transaction.

    (Example: This is how Register Rewards are advertised)

    It looks like a Catalina, which is a coupon that prints on receipt paper and given to you by the cashier with your receipt. In fact, it is a manufacturer’s coupon operated by the Catalina company rather than Walgreens. If an RR doesn’t print, you contact the Catalina company to get it reissued. You can do this by calling 1-888-8-COUPON (888-826-8766) or filing a claim here online.

    RRs, like a Catalina coupon, have an expiration date of 14 days from the day it was printed.

    2. Walgreens Cash

    Walgreens Cash, formally known as Balance Rewards Points, is associated with your account. You can earn Walgreens cash and redeem it to pay for future transactions. You will earn 1% Walgreens Cash rewards for every $1 that you spend and 5% Walgreens Cash rewards for every $1 that you spend on Walgreens branded products.

    There are two types of promotions available to help you earn even more Walgreens Cash: Quantity-Purchases and Threshold-Purchases. These promotions are listed in the weekly ad or on advertised products in the store.

    • Quantity-purchase promotions mean that you will earn a certain amount of Walgreens cash for purchasing a specific number of participating items. For example, in the ad you might see a “Buy 2, Get $4 Walgreens Cash” promotion. This means that you need to buy 2 of the participating items in order to earn the Walgreens Cash. On quantity-purchase promos, you can redeem and earn Walgreens Cash in the same transaction.
    • Threshold-purchase promotions mean that you have to spend a certain amount of money on participating items in order to receive the Walgreens Cash. You might see a “Spend $20, Get $5 Walgreens Cash” promotion. This means that you will need to spend $20 on participating items in order to earn the Walgreens cash. The threshold in these cases is figured before manufacturer coupons, but after Walgreens coupons. So you must meet the dollar amount after any Walgreens coupons have been applied. On threshold-purchase promotions, you CANNOT redeem and earn Walgreens cash in the same transaction.

    While RRs have a 14 day expiration, Walgreens Cash lasts much longer. Cash expires 1 year (12 months) after the day you earned it and you must shop at least once every 6 months to keep your account active. If your account goes inactive, your Cash will disappear!

    You can see how much Walgreens Cash you’ve earned on a transaction or your total Cash balance by looking at the bottom of your receipt. You can access your Cash balance and history by logging into your account on Walgreens.com or from the Walgreens mobile app.

    To redeem Walgreens Cash, simply tell your cashier at checkout that you would like to use your Cash on that purchase. You can redeem Walgreens Cash in increments of $1, $2, $3, $4, $5, $10, $20 or $50 and there is no limit to the amount of Walgreens Cash you can earn.

    If your rewards are not issued, you can contact Walgreens customer service here to get them credited to your account.

    Lesson 3: Types of Coupons Walgreens Accepts

    In conjunction with their loyalty program, Walgreens also accepts the following types of coupons which can lead to HUGE savings for you!!

    Manufacturer Coupons:
    Walgreens accepts manufacturer coupons from the Sunday newspaper as well as from printable coupon databases and websites. They will accept one manufacturer coupon per item, up to four identical coupons per household, per day.

    Walgreens will also accept digital manufacturer coupons. You will need to load these coupons to your account before shopping either through the Walgreens website or the myWalgreens app. Digital manufacturer coupons from the ad or the app are labeled as manufacturer coupons (or MFR) and may only be redeemed once.

    Walgreens Paper Store Coupons:
    Walgreens paper store coupons can be found in the monthly Walgreens coupon book that is usually found at the entrance of your store or in other coupon booklets throughout the store. There is no limit on the redemption of these coupons and they can only be redeemed at Walgreens.

    Walgreens Digital Store Coupons:
    You can also find Walgreens digital coupons on their website or in the Walgreens app. These coupons must be loaded to your account before shopping. You will need to read the fine print on these coupons to see their limits. Some of them are one-time use while others have unlimited use.

    Catalina Coupons:
    Walgreens will also accept Catalina coupons which are coupons that print at the register when you make certain purchases. Many of these coupons are manufacturer coupons. The most common Catalina coupon at Walgreens is the Register Reward that we mentioned earlier.

    Lesson 4: Reward System Rules

    Now that you know how the rewards systems work, let’s get to the meat of couponing at Walgreens! This is the part that tends to confuse people, so go through it a few times if you need to. Once you become familiar with these rules, I promise you it will become easy, just like learning how to drive.

    Rule #1: Limit 1 RR Per Offer Per Transaction

    There is a limit of 1 RR printed per offer per transaction. For example, if toothpaste has a RR on it and you buy two toothpastes in a transaction, then it will only print one RR.

    The Solution: If you want to buy multiples, you would split the products into multiple transactions. For example, if you wanted two toothpastes, then you would purchase them in two transactions to receive two RRs.

    However, if you are buying other offers that are producing RRs, then you can purchase them in the same transaction. For example, if you want to purchase toothpaste and a can of soup that have separate RR offers, then you can buy one toothpaste and one soup in the same transaction and have two RRs printed, one for each.

    Rule #2: Do Not Use RR to Pay for the Same Item That Produced the RR

    If you use the RR to pay for the same item that produced that RR, no new RR will be printed. For example, if you buy a toothpaste that is producing a RR in the first transaction, then you can’t use it to pay for another identical toothpaste in the next transaction because the RR for the second transaction won’t print.

    The Solution: You spend the RR on other items besides the item that earned the RR on. You can use it on other RR promotions, on promotions producing Cash, and on clearances. For example, if a can of soup is $1.00 and is printing $1.00 RR and toothpaste is $1.00 and printing $1.00 RR, then you can buy the toothpaste in transaction one and earn a $1.00 RR. Once you receive the $1.00 RR from transaction one, then you can pay for soup in the next transaction and still get the $1 RR from the can of soup.

    The Exception: There is an exception to this rule. Every few months, some RR promotions will print RR even if you use RR from a previous transaction to buy the same item in a new transaction. This is what we refer to as “Rolling”. When you hear couponers say “this is rolling”, that’s what they mean. We can never predict when this happens or for how long it will happen. Usually people discover it by accident or by testing and often Walgreens puts a stop to it rather quickly. To be safe, stick to the rule.

    Rule #3: Do Not Use Cash When You Earn Cash (Sometimes)

    Walgreens does allow you to redeem Cash on unit offers (such as “Buy 2 Get $2 Walgreens Cash”) and still earn Cash on these offers. This is actually good, because most of the weekly Cash offers are unit offers like this.
    However, if you redeem Cash to pay for a threshold offer (such as “Spend $15 Get $3 Walgreens Cash”), you cannot also earn Cash in that transaction. This, also, applies to Cash boosters and special promotions to earn Walgreens Cash.

    The Solution: If you are doing a threshold offer in a transaction, do not pay for that transaction with Walgreens Cash.

    Rule #4: No Limit on Cash Earned

    While RR has a limit of one print per transaction, there are no explicit limits on how much Cash you can earn. For example, if shampoo is producing $1 Cash for every bottle I buy, I’m not limited to buying one bottle per transaction. You can buy two bottles in one transaction and earn $2 in Cash

    However, the coupon policy does state that managers reserve the right to limit transactions and earnings to “prohibit the purchase of excessive quantities,” noting that excessive quantities are “any quantity above and beyond normal household usage.”

    Rule #5: Number of Coupons Must Not Exceed the Total Number of Items

    The total number of manufacturer coupon cannot exceed the total number of items in a transaction. I call this the “Coupon to Item Ratio”. Walgreens coupons do not count towards this limit. Example, if you have two items in a transaction, then you cannot use more than two manufacturer coupons. You can, however, stack Walgreens coupons with the manufacturer coupon.

    RRs are considered manufacturer coupons. If you are buying two items and you have two manufacturer coupons on those item and one RR, that counts as three coupons. You will need to add one more item to meet the Coupon-to-Item Ratio, if you want to use the RR.

    The item or items that you add on to your transaction, in order to meet your Coupon-to-Item Ratio, are called “Fillers.

    Fillers are cheap items that you do not have manufacturer coupons for. Good filler items are:

    • Cheap items you find in stores; Example: Candy by cashier, pencils, etc.
    • Clearance items; Example:  Post holiday clearance
    • Inexpensive sale items you don’t have coupons for from weekly ad; Example: Tomato sauce for $0.50, milk, or cheap eggs (they have them on sale for around $1 periodically), etc.

    Remember that filler items should be less than the value of the RR you want to redeem, ideally as cheap as possible. So, if you have a $0.50 filler item to redeem a $2 Register Reward, you’re only getting $1.50 net deducted.

    Rule #6: Coupon Value Cannot Exceed the Cost of Item

    Walgreens is no longer accepting coupons that’s value exceeds the price of an item. For example, you can’t use a $1 coupon on an item that is $0.99. 

    Rule #7: No Coupon on Free Item

    In Buy 1 Get 1 Free sales, you can no longer use a coupon on the free item. So in a Buy 1 Get 1 Free situation, you can only use one coupon.

    Similarly, you cannot use a bogo coupon on a bogo sale. They want you to pay for at least one item. If you want to use a bogo coupon during a bogo sale, you could buy 4 items and use one bogo coupon during the sale.

    Rule #8: All In One Transaction to Earn Reward

    There are things called umbrella promotions, such as P&G promotions, that require you to spend a certain amount of money to earn a reward. It may be something like “Spend $20 on P&G products, get $5 Walgreens Cash.” To get the reward, you must purchase everything in one transaction because your purchases aren’t tracked (like at CVS and Rite Aid).

    Also, you must buy over the minimum at Walgreens. If the minimum purchase is $20, you have to spend $20 or more (pre-tax) on the products that are a part of the promotion. This is contradictory to the 98% rule at CVS.

    Rule #9: Only Need One Walgreens Coupon

    Walgreens coupons are special coupons because you only need one, even if you are buying multiple items that the coupon applies to. Walgreens coupons are also known as IVCs – Instant Value Coupon or Instant Value Code – because the cashier can enter the code instead of scanning the barcode.

    With IVC coupons, you only need one and it will automatically apply to all the applicable items in your transaction. For example, if you have a $1.00 off Walgreens coupon on one box of Kleenex and you buy 3 boxes, then only one Walgreens coupon need to be scanned.

    Often, I don’t even clip the coupons. I just hand it over to the cashier to be scanned.

    Here are some places to find Walgreens Coupons:

    • Inside Weekly Ad
    • Monthly Coupon Booklet – found at the front of the store. You can also access the monthly booklet from the mobile app. Under Weekly Ads > This Month’s Savings Book
    • In-Store Category Coupon booklets – Walgreens Diabetes or Vitamins. Note: Sometimes the coupons within these booklets are manufacturers coupons and sometime they are Walgreens coupons

    Additionally, you can stack multiple Walgreens coupons on the same applicable item. For example, if there’s a coupon in the weekly ad and another in the monthly coupon booklet, you are allowed to stack them.

    Rule #10: Walgreens Pickup and Coupons

    Person Holding Walgreens Pickup Paper Bag at Walgreens

    Another exciting benefit for MyWalgreens members is the ability to conveniently order from Walgreens.com and collect their purchases at the store within just 30 minutes. By placing an online order, members gain access to all the familiar digital coupons they would normally use in-store. As long as they don’t require computer-printed or insert coupons, they can enjoy equivalent online discounts to those available in person.

    Just a heads up, you’ll need to have a minimum of $10 in your cart before applying any coupons for pickup orders. So make sure you’ve got enough goodies in there to snag those sweet deals!

    Just so you know, you can’t earn Register Rewards online, but hey, you can totally earn that Walgreens Cash! So keep that in mind while you’re shopping online.

    General Rules of Thumb:

    • Use Walgreens Cash to pay for rewards that generate RR
    • Use RR on deals that generate Walgreens Cash

    Tips & Notes:

    • If you don’t go to Walgreens every week, it’s a good idea to spend the RR before you leave the store, just in case you forget to spend it.
    • If you plan to do multiple transactions that may hold up the line, ask to be checked out in the cosmetics department.
    • Walgreens does offer rain checks! If sales items are out of stock, you can request a rain check. These are valid for 60 days after being issued. Sometimes, managers may choose to substitute a similar item at the same price rather than issue a rain check; it is up to your store.

    Additional Helpful Information:

    If you have a problem with a cashier, it’s best to try to resolve it in-store with the manager on duty. If that is not possible, you can also try to contact Walgreens customer service. There are a few direct numbers you can call to get assistance depending upon the issue you’re having.

    • Call 1-877-250-5823 for Walgreens.com inquiries
    • Call 1-800-925-4733 for Walgreens in-store inquries
    • Call 1-800-925-4733, option 4, for customer relations

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