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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Walgreens 101

Now I am well aware that many people around the internet have already discussed this topic in great detail. However, I have to talked to five different people who read my blog that were totally unaware that you can get free (or at least very cheap) stuff from Walgreens. That seems like enough reason to cover the basics here.
  1. Every week Walgreen's offers several items that are free or under $1 with Register Rewards or in-ad coupons.
  2. You can combine manufacturer's coupons with Walgreen's coupons. (i.e. If you have a coupon for $3 off Huggies diapers, it can be stacked with a Walgreen's coupon for $2 Huggies diapers, making a sweet deal on diapers.)
  3. You must more manufacturer's coupons than you have items. (A Register Reward is considered a manufacturer's coupon. Let's say I have 1 packages of diapers and 1 coupons plus a $3 reward. To use my reward I must have some filler item like candy or a pencil. My favorite is the little boxes of apricots for $1. That's cheaper than other local stores for that item anyway.)
  4. If you coupon amount is greater than your total the value will be changed. (Once they had Reynold's Foil for 95¢ and I had a coupon for $1 off. I can either apply it to 2 foils or the coupon amount will be reduced to 95¢.)
  5. Unless your coupon is a Register Reward, in that case you must find more items to get up to the value of your reward.
  6. Register Rewards and coupons can not be used to pay for sales tax. (Even if the item is free, you may need to pay a few pennies to take it home.)
  7. If you have a coupon for a Register Reward eligible item and the reward is for the full value of the item, you can get overage. (Once I got Alive! vitamins for $7.50 after coupons and then received a $10 Register Reward.)
  8. Register Rewards can be rolled over to purchase other items that provide Register Rewards as long as it is not the same item. (I could not use my $10 reward to purchase more Alive! vitamins, but it can be used to buy Carmex lip gloss that provides a reward .)
  9. You should use the Walgreen's coupons before your manufacturer's coupon. It just makes the computer happier that way.
  10. Make sure you double check your ad. I've found that prices on many items vary from store to store, but the register rewards  and Walgreen's coupons are consistent.
  11. If you have any FSA elligible items, swipe your FSA card first, then use your regular payment method.
  12. If you order photo print online through, you get a small kick-back to your kids college fund.
  13. If you "like" Walgreen's on Facebook you can get the inside scoop on many Walgreen's deals including coupons and free photo prints.
  14. Register Rewards must be used within 2 weeks.
  15. Sometimes this can be kind of time consuming, but it is a great way to save on your grocery bill especially if you have more time to spend than money.
Here are some of the many things that I have gotten for free at Walgreen's: Dial NutriSkin Body wash, Gillette Men's Body wash, Reynold's Aluminum Foil, various Herbal Essences hair products, various feminine products, Carmex, bubbles, Air Wick air fresheners, school supplies, cold cereal, vitamins, hard cover children's books, Pepto Bismol, contact solution and snacks just to name a few. It took me a few times before I could do it smoothly, but it's worth the time to not have to spend money on items that you need. (There's a Walgreen's in the same parking lot as the closest grocery store, making it convenient to stop there when I get my groceries.)

Freebies2Deals and GrocerySmarts are both great resources to find what the current hot Walgreen's deals in Utah are. (Grocery Smarts covers several other states as well.)

For more details here is the Walgreen's Coupon Policy.

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