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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Walgreens 101- tips for beginners


Shopping at Walgreens can be complicated in the beginning! It took me awhile to catch on! If you work Walgreens correctly though, you can get a lot of stuff for very little money OOP (Out of Pocket).

Some Basic tips to know, before you start shopping at Walgreen's:

*Walgreen's is very similar to CVS, but it is also very different! Walgreen's does not require a "shopper's card" like CVS does. Therefore, you can do most good deals as many times as you want, no limit on deals, if you work it correctly!

*You can go to Walgreens.com to view their current ad, and find a location closest to you.

Commonly used lingo & what it means:

*Register Rewards- These are very similar to CVS's "ECB's." Basically, a register reward is a special coupon that prints out from a separate machine, (like a catalina) when you buy -X- amount of products. For example, say if you buy a bottle of Advil, then you'll get a $1 register reward. Register rewards can be used just like a manufacturer coupon, or like paying cash. When I post Walgreen's deals, I refer to Register Rewards as RR's.

Some helpful tips to know to get you started:

*The best way to shop Walgreens is to only buy the things that are on sale. Only purchase the deals that I post weekly, or that you read on other websites, or blogs. You will still need to shop at other stores to get your other needs. You also might find yourself purchasing things that you don't need right away, or that you won't need at all ever. The goal is to buy items that produce RR's so that you can purchase the things that you do need. The items that you get that you don't need can be donated to friends, family members, a good cause, schools, church's, or you can sell the items at a yard sale, or give as gifts. Gift Baskets are a great idea for any occasion!

*Rolling Register Rewards is the correct way to lower your out of pocket amount. Your goal is to always buy products that produce RRs, and to spend as little money out of pocket as possible. I usually limit myself to only spend about $5 OOP weekly, to get RR's for the next week, and to leave with lots of products in my bag!

*Rolling over Register rewards is a little more complicated at Walgreens.
So, if you do a deal & receive a register reward, you CAN'T DO THE DEAL AGAIN & USE THE REGISTER REWARD THAT YOU JUST RECEIVED AGAIN. This prompts the register & then it won't print another one. You could do the deal several times, and pay cash. Then use the register rewards to purchase sale priced items that you need, or if you break up your transactions and rotate RR's then it will work. For example :

Transaction #1
Buy Product X, Get back $5 RR's
Transaction #2
Buy Product XX (different sale & product) and a filler item (see the next tip) Pay with the RR's that you received from Transaction #1 to lower your OOP (out of pocket) and receive $5 RR's for buying product XX.
Transaction #3
Buy product X again (same as transaction #1) Filler item & now you can pay with RRs from Transaction 2, and then you'll receive the $5 RR again!

*You must have as many products as you have coupons for. So, if you buy 3 products & have 3 coupons, one for each product & plan on using a register reward, you'll need to add an inexpensive filler item. I usually look for something very cheap to add on, like a pack of gum, candy bar, ect. a clearance item, or the cheapest thing in the store that I can find! The register will not Accept the RR if you have too many coupons! This is important or your OOP will be too high!

*It's best to give your register rewards first, then manufacturer coupons, then Walgreen's store coupons, if applicable.

*Always figure out your shopping trip transactions before you go to store! Having a plan will help to save you money.

First, try to figure out your possible transactions. Then gather your coupons & paper clip them to the list, or you can use an envelope system. Keep in mind that Transaction's don't always go as planned, if a product is sold out. Getting a rain check for a RR deal is useless at Walgreen's. The register won't print the RR's after the sale week! You can get Rain checks for other sale items still though. Sometimes you still might have to rework deals in store, but it's still always Best to be prepared & only buy what is on sale!

Coupon tips for Walgreens:

*You can stack a Walgreens coupon with a manufacturer coupon to get more savings! You can get Walgreens coupons from their weekly ad, Walgreens coupon booklet if applicable, coupons that are printed out from a separate machine (catalina) and from printing from their website, if available! When I post Walgreens deals, I associate Walgreens coupons located in the ad, as- w/in ad coupon.

Here is what a sample shopping trip might look like:
Transaction #1*Buy product A, Use $1 MQ, and pay $3 Out of pocket, Get back a $2 RR

Transaction #2*Buy product B, Use a $1 MQ, also buy product C on sale w/in ad coupon, and use a $1 MQ, also buy a piece of candy as a filler item that cost 25 cents.
Pay with the RR that you earned from transaction #1, then hand over MQ's, then the Walgreen's in ad coupon, then pay $2 OOP. Get back a $3 RR.So for $5, you have bought 3 items, and a piece of candy. And you still have $3 that you can use to buy something that you need, or save it for a deal the following week.

This is just a sample, easy transaction. Remember to start with small transactions as a Beginner. Once you get the hang of it, you'll be able to do bigger transactions.

If I've missed anything, or didn't explain something clear enough, please feel free to send me an email & I will try my best to answer your questions! Also, if you are an experienced Walgreens shopper, please leave a comment & share any advice, or tips that you'd like to share!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for taking the time out to post this! I love your blog so much!

    ReplyDelete

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