Walgreens 101: how to be fabuLESS at Walgreens and get TONS of necessary items for FREE (or darn near close!)
Even though Walgreens might, at first glance, seem WAY expensive– like most other “expensive” stores, it can be WAY fabuLESS! Ready to learn how to play the “drugstore game” at Walgreens? Read on!
Membership Card Not Needed.
You do NOT need (nor is there any) card or membership to shop and be fabuLESS at Walgreens– they DO issue store coupons- but they can be found in their weekly sales flier (the one that you get in your Sunday newspaper) and their monthly coupon book (found in the front of your local Walgreens)– they do also occasionally issue coloring books (yes, coloring books!) that have coupons, too– and you can often find coupon books at the pharmacy counter, too.
There are some areas of the country where Walgreens is test marketing a new program that requires a membership card, if and when that’s rolled out nationally, I’ll be sure to update this post– but for now, NO membership card needed.
Coupons and Register Rewards.
Like many stores, Walgreens allows coupon “stacking”– you can use ONE manufacturers coupon *plus* ONE Walgreens (store) coupon together on ONE item– please note, you will NOT have to hunt around for the coupons, the coupon matchups on this site (found HERE) will indicate when a manufacturers and/or a store coupon is available for an item– this is NOT something that you’re going to be hunting for yourself, it’s ALL done for you!
(If you aren’t familiar with coupon matchups and the fabuLESS UNclipped method of couponing– Click HERE to learn how to get TOTALLY fabuLESS for ALL of your ‘couponable’ items– it’s the step-by-step instructions to my fabuLESS UNclipped method– this is NOT your mother’s couponing method– it’s modern, it’s efficient and it’s NOT time consuming, it’s fabuLESS!)
Occasionally, Walgreens also issues coupons for either a % off items or $s off your total (i.e. 15% off all items or $5 off $25), unlike many other stores, Walgreens generally requires that you spend $25 *after* all other coupons (manufacturer and store coupons) are redeemed, meaning that, at a minimum, you’ll HAVE to spend $20 out of pocket (since $25 minus $5 is $20.)
In addition to store coupons, Walgreens has a program called Register Rewards– certain items will “generate” these rewards which can be used like cash on your next transaction– you CAN use them immediately but you have up to 14 days (usually) to use them before they expire. There are some ‘rules’ with earning and redeeming RRs that you’ll need to be aware of, but as long as you follow the rules they’re quite fabuLESS!
You can use Register Rewards to pay for something else and earn MORE Register Rewards– with ONE caveat– the register rewards that you’re using to pay for the new item canNOT have been earned while buying that same item– meaning that you can use RRs earned from buying Huggies to purchase a Reach toothbrush (and earn RRs– or vice versa)– but you canNOT use Huggies RRs to buy Huggies and earn more Register Rewards. Also, you can only earn ONE Register Reward per type of item in a transaction, you cannot buy 2 packs of Huggies (assuming Huggies are generating RRs this week) and earn TWO Register Rewards for Huggies– but you can purchase multiple, different items (i.e. Huggies and Reach Toothbrushes) in the same transactions and earn two different register rewards in the SAME transaction.
You must have MORE items than coupons otherwise the register will ‘beep’ and you will not be able to checkout– both manufacturers coupons and Register Rewards count toward your coupon limit– (store coupons do NOT count towards this limit)– if this happens, you’ll have to add an inexpensive “filler” item such as a pencil, gum, or a clearance item in order to complete the transaction.
Also, the ORDER in which you use your coupons matters– ALWAYS hand over manufacturers coupons BEFORE the store coupons. Walgreens registers are moody and this seems to keep them happier and less likely to beep
Official Coupon Policy.
Find the link to the official Walgreens coupon policy HERE. If you shop there, it’s an excellent idea to save this link to your smartphone or even print the policy and keep a copy (just keep it in your glovebox, no need to weigh down your purse.)
How to rock Walgreens:
As with anything else, you want to buy necessary items when they’re at a fabuLESS price (especially when they’re FREE!) and stock up (just a little!) so you don’t run out of them– but since the sales cycle at Walgreens tends to repeat over and over again there’s no need to stock up to epic proportions!
The goal is, whenever possible, to ONLY purchase items that generate Register Rewards and to pay for those items WITH Register Rewards– in essence, you’ll only pay for your VERY first transaction and then you’ll continue to “roll” your Register Rewards into NEW Register Rewards– it’s like “recycling” money– and it’s WAY fabuLESS! Again, you do NOT need to go hunting for coupons or deals, just follow the coupon matchups that you find HERE– then go forth and be fabuLESS!