Walgreens 101

Are you new to the Walgreens Game? You might not think of Walgreens as a place to save money in your shopping venture. However, there is a system to shopping strategically at stores such as Walgreens. Let me help you get started by sharing how I've learned to pay little to nothing for items such as toothpaste, shampoo, razors, toothbrushes, bathroom tissue, paper towels, facial cleanser, deodorant, and so much more! I've even been known to make money on these purchases!!

Be sure to read Walgreen's Coupon Policy.

I've set this post up in a Q&A format, so I hope it answers most if not all of your questions on how Walgreens coupon system works.

Q: What types of coupons can I use at Walgreens?
A: Walgreens accepts manufacturer coupons as well as store coupons. You may use 1 of each per item that you purchase. However, you must purchase the same number or more items as the number of coupons you are using. Keep in mind that a Register Reward (listed below) is also considered a coupon. For example, say you have 5 items, you cannot use 6 coupons on that transaction. You'll need to find a filler item (something in the clearance section or a pack of gum) under $1.00.

Q: Where can I find the store coupons?
A: Walgreens store coupons are found in several places:
  • Weekly Ad: Found in-store usually at the front as you walk in.
  • Monthly Coupon Booklet: Found near the weekly ads in-store. This contains coupons that are good throughout the month. Each month a new booklet is released.
  • Email: Sign up at www.walgreens.com/ to receive coupons straight to your inbox.
  • Diabetes & You Magazine: This is a FREE magazine distributed by Walgreens and you can usually find it near the pharmacy. It contains health-related coupons as well as diabetes-related articles and coupons. Not all coupons are store coupons. You will find manufacturer coupons as well inside.
*You only need to use 1 Walgreens store coupon even if you're purchasing several of that item. The register will automatically ring it up for the amount of items that apply to it.

Q: Does Walgreens offer a reward program?
A: Yes, and you don't even have to have a special card to swipe! Walgreens' reward system works as a money-back system called Register Rewards. Each week, they offer items throughout their weekly ad that will generate these Register Rewards.

Q: What are Register Rewards?
A: Register Rewards (otherwise known as RR's) are Walgreens money. They will print out of a separate "Catalina" machine near the cash register. RR's are a way of Walgreens giving you money back for certain items that you purchase and are then usable on your NEXT purchase. This is like cash, so you don't want to lose it! When matched up with coupons, you will often find that you're getting the items for FREE (after RR) or even making money in conjunction with coupons!

More on Register Rewards:
Only one RR will printer per item per transaction. That RR may then be used in your NEXT transaction on the purchase of a different item. If that RR is used to purchase the same item, another RR will not be issued. They may not be used to purchase the same item in which you received the Register Reward from. The best way to use your RR's is to purchase another Register Reward generating item with it. You can continue to "roll" these RR's and you may never pay a penny out of pocket at Walgreens again!

Q: Wait! I didn't get my Register Reward... What went wrong?
A: If you followed all of the rules above and still feel that you should have received a Register Reward, you can call Walgreens Customer Service at
1-800-925-4733 to request it by mail.

Q: I've heard there is an order in which I should give my coupons to the cashier. Is this true?
A: Yes. To avoid beeping registers, you'll want to give your coupons to your cashier in the following order:
Register Rewards ~ Walgreens Store Coupons ~ Manufacturer Coupons

Q: Does Walgreens issue Rainchecks if they are out of an item?
A: Yes. Simply ask your cashier or store manager for a raincheck on the item. Register Reward items, however will only produce RR's the week of the sale.

Be sure to check out my weekly post every Saturday for the
"Best Of" Walgreens Deals
for the upcoming week. This is a must before you head out to shop!


Jeff and Stacey said...

I don't know if this is true for every walgreens, but my walgreens will not print out RRs if you use an RR to pay for it, even if it is a totally different item than you got the RR's for, so in other words, they don't let you "roll over the RRs" anymore, at least at mine, and I have heard it is the same everywhere. Do you know anything about this?

Cathy in IA said...

I'm new to the Walgreens system and am still confused on the RRs. My cashier last evening told me that if I get an RR from Procter & Gamble (for example), that I can NOT use it to purchase other P&G items. I thought that I understood it to be that you can't use an RR to purchase another of the same product. For instance, the current Vaseline special of buy at $6.99 and get a $6.99 RR. According to what I read on the blog, I can't use that $6.99 RR to buy more Vaseline. But according to this cashier, I can't use the $6.99 RR to buy ANY P&G products. HELP!!! Thanks and I love your blog.

Stephanie said...

Cathy ~
I've heard the same thing from my cashier, but have never experienced a problem when buying another RR product (same brand or not). It should work on other P&G products. If you discover different, please let me know as this would be a change in their policy. Walgreens has the quirkiest reward program that I've come across, and sometimes even the store managers don't know how it works. If you're ever in question, you can call Walgreen's corporate help # at 1-800-925-4733. I hope this helps!

Laura said...

Thank you so much for this information and for your website. I appreciate the time and effort you have put into it - it really helps me save money!!!

Mona Leon said...

I live in Florida and have been to 5 different Walgreens and they do not give the RR coupons. What you get is a manufacturer's coupon redeemable ONLY at Walgreens and it is for the same type of item but more expensive. ie: buy lorel basic hair coloring & get a coupon for $4 off your next purchase lorel highlighting kit. Buy 2 boxes of general mills ceral and get a coupon for $2 off your next purchase of 3 boxes of general mills cereals. It is making the walgreens sales not really worth it.

Anonymous said...

I have a question. Had a situation that came up. If something at the store is a buy 1 get 1 and I happen to have a buy 1 get 1 coupon ... Walgreens says they cant take the coupon since I'm getting 1 free already and in order to use the coupon I have to buy 1 . What do you think ? I recently had a manager write me back and I'm still confused yet at all the other stores like publix, cvs etc... they accept a buy 1 get 1 free coupon on a buy 1 get free sale. Your thoughts?

Steph said...

Anonymous ~ According to Walgreen's website (search for coupon policy), BOGO coupons are allowed as long as the amount due does not go below zero. You must pay tax on the BOGO items.

If you have issue with your store, I would suggest printing out the coupon policy and taking it with you to show them.

I hope this helps!

Anonymous said...

Well it goes to totally free since the store has a bogo and my coupon is a bogo that means $0 which means i would get two free items? Is that how you read there policy ? I am in touch with the manager of that store and she states Im already get 1 free so I cant use a buy 1 get 1 free coupon since I wouldn't be paying for one. Very confusing to me. Lt
By the way I love your site !!!!!!

Steph said...

Anonymous ~ The store is being reimbursed for the "Get 1 Free" from the coupon and usually also from the BOGO sale, so they're not losing out on anything.

Anonymous said...

Are register rewards considered a manufacturer coupon? can I use a manufacturer coupon along with a RR if i purchase a filler item in the same transaction. ( 2 coupons -- 2 items)

Anonymous said...

I called the 800# listed for walgreens and I was informed that I didn't get RR because I used a coupon for that item. The rep even said I won't be able to get a RR when I use a coupon or an RR to pay for an item. I just wanted to update everyone! I don't think I will be shopping at Walgreens for any RR items. CVS always gives you back their extra bucks with coupons or extra bucks.

Very disapointed!


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