Saving at Walgreens: How to Use Coupons, Register Rewards and Instant Savings
Learn how to maximize your savings when shopping at Walgreens.
There are many ways to save money and earn free products at Walgreens by combining rewards with coupons. By understanding Walgreens' coupon policies and how the rewards program works, you can easily maximize your savings.
Walgreens Balance Rewards Program
The first step to qualifying for the sales and extra savings at Walgreens is by signing up for Walgreens' Balance Rewards program. You can do this at the register at Walgreens or by going to Walgreens.com. It is simple, fast and free.
Coupons Accepted at Walgreens
Walgreens accepts manufacturer coupons both in paper form, like those found in the Sunday newspaper, and printable coupons found on the internet from legitimate sources like coupons.com, SmartSource, and manufacturers' websites.
Walgreens will accept one manufacturer coupon (paper or printable) per item. For example, if you have two manufacturer's coupons for $1.00 off Tide detergent, you cannot use both coupons on one box of Tide detergent.
Walgreens' Weekly In-Ad Coupons
Walgreens has a weekly ad that runs Sunday through Saturday and it is available in print form or online at Walgreens.com. The weekly ad lists most of the sales and in-ad coupons available for the week. In-ad Walgreens coupons (store coupons) can be used with a manufacturer coupon on a single item unless either coupon prohibits it.
The in-ad Walgreens store coupons often show a limit of how many items can be purchased with the coupon. For example, the in-ad store coupon might say, "Hefty Trash Bags, 14 gal. 49 pack - $7.99. Limit 4."
For this type of promotion, you can use the one in-ad coupon on four boxes of the Hefty Trash Bags. You do not need four separate in-ad coupons. However, if you want to include manufacturer coupons, you will need one manufacturer coupon for each box of trash bags that you will be purchasing.
Walgreens' Monthly Savings Book
Walgreens' Monthly Savings Book has a large selection of store coupons. The booklets can generally be found at the front of the store next to the weekly ads. The Monthly Savings Book is also available through the Walgreens app. These coupons can be matched with manufacturers' coupons and sale items for maximum savings. They cannot be combined with Walgreens' in-ad coupons, which are store coupons.
When shopping at Walgreens, items that include coupons in the Monthly Savings Books are displayed with a yellow tag as a reminder to shoppers.
Additional Walgreens' Booklets
There are additional Walgreens' Saving Booklets with coupons that can be found throughout the store. Most of the time, the booklets are located at the pharmacy checkout area or near health-related products. The booklets are smaller than the Monthly Savings Books and contain around 10 to 20 theme-type coupons. For example, during hay fever season, a booklet with coupons for hay fever relief products might be found on the aisle near the products.
Two Rewards Programs
There are two rewards programs available at Walgreens. There is the Register Rewards program commonly referred to as the RR program and the Balance Rewards program, often referred to as Points. Both programs have different policies that can affect how much shoppers save.
Walgreens Register Rewards are like Catalina coupons and in fact, the program is managed by the Catalina company. The coupons are triggered during checkout when shoppers buy qualifying items. Just like Catalina coupons at the grocery store, the Register Rewards will print up separately from the shopper's register receipt. The Register Rewards can be used like cash on future purchases.
The machines are programmed to print one Register Reward coupon for a qualifying item, per transaction. While more than one Register Reward coupon may print in the same transaction, it will be for different items. In order to get more than one Register Reward coupon when purchasing more than one of the same qualifying items, the items must be rung up in separate transactions. In some areas of the country, the request for separate transactions may be denied.
For example, in Walgreens' weekly ad, there is an offer for a Register Reward for $1.00 when you purchase Windex for $3.79. You want to double the offer so that you can get $2.00 in Register Rewards. To do that, you may need to have to have each bottle of Windex rung up in a separate transaction.
In the same ad, there is an offer for a Register Reward for $3.00 when you buy two Colgate 360 Toothbrushes or Total Toothpaste, for $3.19 each. That means that you can buy one toothbrush and one toothpaste or buy two toothbrushes or two toothpastes. If you want more than one Register Reward, you will have to have the additional qualifiers rung up in separate transactions.
However, you can have the Windex and the Colgate toothbrush and/or toothpaste rung up in the same transaction and receive both of the Register Rewards -- the $2.00 for the Windex and the $3.00 for the toothbrush and toothpaste.
Redeeming Register Rewards
Register Rewards can be used to purchase a wide variety of items sold at Walgreens; however, you cannot redeem a register reward for the same item that earned the Register Reward and receive an additional Register Reward.
For example, if a shopper earned a $3.00 Register Reward for the Colgate toothbrush and toothpaste in the above example, then purchased the toothbrush and toothpaste in a second transaction and used the $3.00 Register Reward they just earned to pay for it, they will not get another Register Reward.
What they can do is use the $3.00 Register Reward toward the purchase of another separate promotion offering a different Register Reward. Using the example above, they could buy the toothbrush and toothpaste and earn the $3.00 Register Reward and then buy the Windex and use the $3.00 Register Reward to pay for it and still receive a $2.00 Register Reward for buying the Windex.
Finding What Items Offer Register Rewards
The products on which you can earn Register Rewards are displayed within the Walgreens Weekly Ad and displayed in-store on the shelf with the product, price, amount you need to purchase and the Register Rewards you will receive. This information is displayed often in a "box" outlined in red.
You can shorten the hunt for products earning Register Rewards coupons by turning to the internet for help. For example, the Walgreens Coupon Matchups page lists the weekly sales and Register Rewards, along with coupon information you can apply when shopping.
Within the store, you may find unadvertised items which offer Register Rewards. Reading the signage accompanying the items on the store shelves will help you find unadvertised Register Rewards.
- Register Rewards will only print for in-stock merchandise during the promotional period.
- Register Rewards can only be earned for eligible items. There are no substitutions.
- Customers redeeming Register Rewards against the same offer may not receive another Register Reward.
- Register Rewards cannot be redeemed after the expiration date, which is usually 14 days from the date issued.
- The Register Rewards value cannot exceed the total purchase amount. There is no cash back and no cash value for Register Rewards.
- The number of manufacturer coupons, including Register Rewards manufacturer coupons, must not exceed the number of items in the transaction.
- Register Rewards coupons will be forfeited if the qualifying merchandise is returned.
- Register Rewards can be redeemed for eligible items only. Ineligible items include prescriptions, tobacco products, alcoholic beverages, dairy products, lottery tickets, postage stamps, gift cards, phone cards, and health care services including immunizations. To see the complete list, visit Walgreens.com.
When Register Points Fail to Print
If, for some reason, the Register Rewards coupon fails to print, you will want to check to see if the Catalina machine is on. Look for a green blinking light. Next, verify that you purchased the exact eligible items. If that checks out, you next best step is to contact Catalina at 1-888-8coupon. Be prepared by having the receipt close at hand and provide them with the item that you purchased that failed to trigger a Register Reward. If it all checks out, Catalina will mail you a Register Reward in around three weeks.
Balance Rewards Points
Balance Rewards Points are similar in some ways to the Register Rewards, but there are significant differences. Balance Rewards Points are earned when purchasing select items and can be used to pay for future purchases, just like Register Rewards. The more points that you earn, the more the points are worth. Unlike Register Rewards, there are no purchasing limits on the items earning Balance Rewards. Shoppers can buy as many as they want, which is one way to quickly increase Points.
To earn Points online, shoppers need to sign in to their Walgreens.com account. To earn Points in store, shoppers just need to provide their phone number or Balance Rewards card.
Here is the breakdown of how much the points are worth and how they can be redeemed:
1,000 Points = $1.00
2,000 Points = $2.00
3,000 Points = $3.00
5,000 Points = $5.00
10,000 Points = $10.00
18,000 Points = $20.00
30,000 Points = $35.00
40,000 Points = $50.00
Shoppers can only redeem the points within the increments listed above. That means that if they have a purchase for $23.87 and they want to apply their points toward the payment, they can only redeem 18,000 points which is equivalent to $20.00.
Unlike Register Rewards, which expire in 14 days, Balance Rewards Points are good for three years as long as there is activity on the Balance Rewards account once every six months. For complete details about Balance Rewards Points, visit the Terms and Conditions page at Walgreens.com.
Everyday Points are in addition to the Balance Rewards Points. To qualify, shoppers must sign up for the Everyday Points program. Once they are signed up, shoppers can earn 10 points for every one dollar spent at Walgreens.
Everyday Booster coupons are periodically promoted in the Walgreens Weekly Ad. The coupons will boost the Everyday Points that shoppers will earn. For example, a coupon for 3X Everyday Points will earn shoppers 30 points for every one dollar spent.
Putting It All Together to Maximize Savings
There are many different shopping scenarios that will save shoppers a lot of money at Walgreens. In fact, there are so many different possibilities that sometimes even seasoned couponers get overwhelmed.To help to simplify things, here are common examples of ways to use coupons, BOGO coupons, and rewards programs. Under most circumstances, the following will apply unless prohibited by the coupon offer.
- Using Coupons on Sale Merchandise: Shoppers can use a store coupon or a manufacturer coupon, or both a store coupon and manufacturer coupon together towards the purchase of sale and non-sale merchandise, as long as the total value of the coupons does not exceed the value of the transaction.
For example, Walgreens had Pantene Shampoo or Conditioner on sale for three for $12.00. The shopper had two store coupons for $2.00 off Pantene Shampoo and a manufacturer coupon for $5.00 off the purchase of three Pantene products. The shopper used the store and manufacturer coupon on two Pantene Shampoos and one Conditioner and paid $3.00 total ($1.00 each).
- Using Coupons With Register Rewards: A Register Reward will be issued when the eligible item is purchased, even when a store coupon is used towards the item. For example, Tide detergent was on sale for $8.99 and the shopper had a store coupon for $3.00 off. They paid $5.99 plus received a Register Reward for $2.00.
- Using Coupons With Balance Rewards, Part 1: Colgate Total Mouthwash was on sale for $5.99 and when shoppers purchased two they received 5,000 (equal to $5.00) in Balance Reward Points. The shopper had a manufacturer coupon for $5.00 off two and a store coupon from the Monthly Savings Book for $1.00 off. She bought two, applied both coupons and paid $5.98 ($2.99 each) and received the 5,000 Balance Rewards.
- Using Coupons With Balance Rewards, Part 2: A promotion like "Buy $20.00 in P&G products and get 5,000 points" would allow for shoppers to use coupons and Balance Reward Points, but the amounts could be deducted and lower the amount spent which could cost the shopper the 5,000 points.
- Using Coupons With BOGO Sales: According to Walgreens' coupon policy, when items are featured in a Buy one Get one Free promotion, at least one product needs to be purchased. A maximum of one BOGO coupon is permitted per two qualifying items in a BOGO offer.
Shoppers cannot use two coupons when one of the items is free. If the coupon requires that multiple items are purchased, for example, $2.00 off two, the shopper must buy four to use the coupon. If the BOGO is "Buy One Get One 50 Percent Off," then the shopper can use two coupons as long as each coupon does not exceed the price of each item.
Counting Coupons, Items and Using Fillers
Walgreens' coupon policy states that the number of manufacturer coupons, including Register Rewards, (Note: All Register Rewards are considered to be manufacturer coupons), shall not exceed the number of items in the transaction.
For example, a shopper buying four packages of Bic pens has four manufacturer coupons, plus they want to use a Register Reward for $3.00; however, with only four items, they can only use four manufacturer coupons. They really want to use all of their coupons so they include a "filler" item in their purchase. A filler item is an inexpensive item that is added to a shopper's purchase in order for the register to accept an additional coupon.
The Walgreens App
Serious Walgreen shoppers benefit from using the free Walgreens app, which allows shoppers to view their Balance Rewards account, clip digital coupons to their card and take advantage of exclusive app-only coupons.
Save Even More With Cash Back and Rebate Apps
To save more on the items you buy at Walgreens, add some of the popular cash back and rebate apps to the scenario. Sites like Ibotta, Checkout 51 and Mobisave will put some of the money spent at Walgreens back into your pocket.