If you are looking to get many of your everyday toiletries for free, then Walgreens is a good place to do it! By following the weekly Walgreens Deals, you can pay nothing (or next to nothing) for most of your basic toiletries. Wouldn't it be great to never again pay for toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, stylers, razors, pain relievers and more?
:: The Basics of Walgreens
Register Rewards: these are the coupons that spit out of the coupon machine next to the cashier. They are triggered by purchasing specific items at Walgreens. Those items are listed in the ad as well as in my weekly Walgreens deals posts. Register Rewards can only be redeemed at Walgreens.
Register Rewards Limits: In most cases, Register Rewards are limited to 1 per like-product per transaction. What that means is that if, for example, Crest is producing a Register Reward this week and you want to buy 2 Crests, you will need to split your transaction in to 2 transactions. If you buy both in a single transaction, only 1 Register Reward will print.
Rolling Register Rewards: you can use a Register Reward to pay for an item that is also generating a Register Reward with 1 very big exception – you will not get a Register Reward when you have used a Register Reward from the same manufacturer to pay for it. Using the toothpaste example, if you were to buy the Crest in the first transaction and then use the Register Reward to pay for the Crest (or any other Proctor & Gamble product) in your next transaction, you will not receive another Register Reward. This does mean that you need to do a little more planning for your trip, but once you get the hang of it, it becomes less of an issue.
Monthly Coupon Book: Each month Walgreens puts out their Instant Value Coupon (IVC) book. These can usually be found in the front of the store in the same rack as where they keep extra copies of the ad for the week. These are store coupons that can be stacked with manufacturers coupons for even greater savings. IVC coupons usually have a limit to the number of items that you can purchase with them.
In-ad coupons: these are almost always store coupons that can be stacked with manufacturers coupons. In-ad coupons can NOT be stacked with coupons from the monthly coupon book.
Random Coupon Books: several times a year, Walgreens will release additional booklets/magazines focused around a specific topic (Diabetes, Heart Health, Baby Care, etc). These magazines typically have additional Walgreen coupons in them and occasionally some manufacturers coupons. The manufacturers coupons in the magazines can usually be used at any other store. The Walgreens coupons can only be redeemed at Walgreens.
Coupon to Product Ratio: When shopping at Walgreens, you can not have more coupons than items in your transaction. What that means is that if you are purchasing, for example, a bottle of shampoo and you have an IVC coupon as well as a manufacturers coupon and are paying with a Register Reward from a previous transaction, you will need to purchase 3 items. The reason for this is that each coupon barcode must be “attached” to a product barcode. There is no getting around this rule at Walgreens, so just remember “Number of ALL coupons (including Register Rewards) must be equal to or less than the number of products”. To solve this problem, you may often read me or hear people refer to “filler items”. This is anything in the store that you can grab to get your Coupon-to-Product ratio to the right amount…..a $0.25 eraser, a $0.50 candy bar, etc. “Filler items” can be anything in the store, so always be on the lookout for these cheap items for when you need them!
Coupon acceptance: you can check out the most recent Walgreens Coupon policy
:: Here is how to shop for free at Walgreens:
Each week, there are usually at least 1 or 2 items that are advertised as “FREE” after Register Reward. They are not free at the register, but because you are receiving a Register Reward for the equivalent of the sale price, it is considered “Free”.
The idea is to buy items one week that are considered “FREE after RR” and then use those RRs the following week to purchase more items that are Free after RR. By doing this, you “roll your +UPRs” and pull as little cash out of your pocket as possible.
Crest is priced at $2.99
Crest is generating $2.99 in RRs
Pay $2.99 at the register and walk out with your Crest and $2.99 in RRs
a certain brand of shampoo is priced at $2.99
that shampoo is generating $2.99 in RRs
Give your $2.99 +UPR to the cashier and pay any applicable sales tax
(note: make sure that you are not using a RR from the same manufacturer as the shampoo)
Walk out of the store with your shampoo, another $2.99 in RRs and pulling the sales tax out of your pocket
As you can see, if you plan your trips correctly, you can only make an initial outlay of money the first week, then continue to use the RR from one week to get more free stuff the following week.
:: But wait – you can actually make money shopping at Walgreens!
Let's use the examples above
Crest is priced at $2.99
Crest is generating $2.99 in RRs
Use a $1 coupon from the weekly coupon inserts
Pay $1.99 at the register and walk out with your Crest and $2.99 in +RRs
a certain brand of shampoo is priced at $2.99 and generating $2.99 in RRs
a certain brand of pain reliever is priced at $1.99 and generating $1.99 in RRs
use a $0.75 coupon for the shampoo from the weekly coupon inserts
Use a $1 coupon from the weekly coupon inserts for the pain reliever
throw in a $0.50 “filler item” (pencil, etc)
Give your $2.99 in RRs to the cashier and pay $0.74 + any applicable sales tax
Walk out of the store with your shampoos, pain reliever and filler item, as well as another $4.98 in RRs and pulling only $0.74 + tax out of your pocket!
The goal is to plan your scenarios so that you pull the absolute least amount of money out of your pocket each week, while generating the most amount of RRs.
Note: the value of the Register Reward being redeemed can not be more than your total….meaning that if you have a $3 Register Reward and your total after coupons is $2, the cashier will NOT give you money back. You need to either find another $1 item in the store or the cashier will adjust the value of your RR down and you will lose the remaining value.
:: Take your Walgreens Shopping To The Next Level – Stack Your Coupons!
By stacking Walgreens coupons with manufacturers coupons, you can really maximize your savings. Walgreens allows you to use 1 manufacturers coupon and 1 Walgreens IVC or in-ad coupon per item.
So in the examples above, if there was also a Walgreens IVC coupon in the ad or the monthly coupon book for Crest, you could have used that AND the manufacturers coupon too bring your cost down even more, yet still get the full value Register Reward back (but remember, since you are using 2 coupons on your Crest, you will need to purchase a 2nd item in that transaction so that you can use both coupons!)
This should give you plenty of info to get you started!