A blog about keeping yourself and your expenses lean in Oakland County, Michigan.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Guest Post: Walgreens 101 Courtesy of Bargain Blessings

Walgreens 101! Now you will be ready to go get those Huggies!
Since some of you might be WAGing (shopping at Walgreens) for the first time ever today, due to the awesome Huggies Deal, I thought I'd give you a quick Walgreens 101 Class! If you have taken our Couponing 201 class you should be well prepared, so go ahead and jump on in to the WAGing business!!!

Register Rewards (RR)

Register Rewards are Catalina coupons that print out at the register when you purchase the specified products. So using the example of the Huggies, you will get a $3 Register Reward for purchasing one package. Here are a few things you need to understand about register rewards:

1. Register Rewards are manufacturer coupons that can then be used to purchase anything in any Walgreens store. So, if you are purchasing an item for $5 and you are using a $3 RR to pay for it, it will then only be $2 that you pay out of pocket. They expire in about two weeks after they are issued, so make sure to keep an eye on those expiration dates.

2. Your total has to be over the amount of the RR. So, you cannot use a $3 RR to buy three times that are .99 each, because your total would go negative. In this case, your RR would beep at the register and the cashier will not accept it. A good solution to this is to purchase a filler item. Filler items are very inexpensive items (.01-.25) that can be used to make sure your total doesn't go negative. Make sure to check out the clearance section for fillers and the seasonal section for things like pencils. So now, you could by your three .99 items, plus one .05 filler and pay for all these with a $3RR and your total will be .02 plus tax.

3. You can only earn one of the same RR in a transaction. So, you cannot purchase five packs of Huggies and expect to get five RRs back. You will only get one. To get around this, you can do five separate transactions. Make sure to be courteous and go to the end of the line for each transaction.

4. You cannot use a Register Reward earned from an item to purchase that same item and expect to get another RR. For example, if you had already done the Huggies transaction once, you cannot use the $3 RR you earned to pay for your next transaction. If you were to do that, your new $3 RR would not print. You can however, use a RR from another product to purchase a different product that will produce a RR. So, for example this week Dove Men's Body Wash is $5.99 with a $6 RR making it FREE after the RR. You could purchase the Huggies first, and then purchase the Dove and use the Huggies RR to pay for the dove, so your out of pocket cost for the Dove would only be $2.99 before any other coupons and tax, and you would earn a $6 RR back. This concept is called rolling Register Rewards.

5. You can use multiple RRs in one transaction. For example, if you are buying a $25 item, you could purchase that with five $5 RRs as long as you added four filler items to satisfy the coupon to item ratio which I discuss below.

Coupon to Item Ratio

At Walgreens you cannot have more manufacturer coupons than you have items. Keep in mind that RRs are manufacturer coupons so they count towards this ratio. Walgreens store coupons (IVCs) are not manufacturer coupons, so they do not count towards this ratio. *The 15% off today is an IVC, not a manufacturer coupon. Again use filler items to satisfy this coupon to item ratio. For the example that I used in #4 above, if you did the Huggies transaction first and then you wanted to use the Huggies RR to pay for the Dove (which you are also using a manufacturer coupon on), you would need to add a filler item, because right now you would have one product (the Dove) and two coupons (the $3RR and the $1 MQ). Add one small filler item, and you will be good to go!

There you go! Now you are all ready to go out and get that Walgreens deal. You can do it! Now is the perfect time to give Walgreens a try, and the only way you are ever going to learn is by getting out there and doing it. Check out all this week's Walgreen's deals HERE. And make sure to give yourself some grace for mistakes, trust me I've made my fair share of mistakes at Walgreens and it was never something that couldn't be fixed.

So, what are you waiting for? Go go go and get those Huggies before they are all gone! I would try to go early in the day today if possible. I have never seen a price as low as this on diapers, so they are likely to get snatched up quickly. Be sure to ask if they have more in the back if they do not have any on the shelf.

If you Walgreens vets have anything to add to this for first time WAGers, please leave a comment!

My thoughts: Walgreens to me is the most difficult of the pharmacies to master and it takes a lot of reading to get! So I'm glad to bring you this concise article on it! If you haven't read my article on it yet get more information here.  You will also find links to even more articles.  After reading all those you should be a Walgreens expert! Thanks Bargain Blessings!

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