Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Learn to Shop Walgreens - Step 2

Register Reward example
On your next trip to Walgreens, you're going to earn some money back from your purchase(s).  Walgreens usually has a few of these types of deals each week, they are called "Register Rewards."

A Register Reward is given on certain items and you don't need to be a store member to get them.  However, sometimes you need your Balance Reward card to get the special discounted price to make things even cheaper.  But first, a word about Catalinas.

If you're like me, you always thought a "Catalina" was an island somewhere warm and sunny or the brand of swimsuit used in pageants.  In the coupon world, a Catalina is a coupon machine.  You've probably received a coupon from one of these machines already.  They are usually next to the register at check-out and spit out coupons while your receipt is printing.  These coupons are called "Catalinas" or "Cats" for short.

A Register Reward is really a Catalina.  So in order to get one, you need to first buy the product, then get your Register Reward (RR)/Cat to use on your next transaction.

Register Rewards
Look through a current Walgreens ad and look for a Register Reward deal that you'd like to get.  Currently, there's a nice one with Crest Pro-Health toothpaste, I'll use that one as an example.

Buy 2 Crest Pro-Health toothpastes for $7.00
Use 2 - $1.00 coupons from P&G 4/28/13
= $5.00
Not a great deal, but a good deal.  But wait, there's more!

At check-out, receive a $5.00 RR/Cat on your next Walgreens transaction which means you break even on this deal.

Now if you're thinking that 1 deal is good, but 2 is better, you're right.  But there are some restriction on these deals:

  1. Only 1 like RR per transaction.  Which means you can only do 1 toothpaste deal per transaction, but if there is another RR deal that you want to do, you can do them both in the same one.  If you want to do 2 toothpaste deals, you'll need to do a separate transaction for each one.
  2. Also, if you had the bright idea like I did, that in the next transaction - use the $5.00 RR and get the next for free, well, there's a rule on that one, too.  If you redeem a RR deal in a transaction, you won't receive that RR.  This makes sense because otherwise Walgreens will go out of business.
  3. Read the coupon fine print.  Most will say that you can't use the RR on tobacco, alcohol, lottery tickets, dairy, prescriptions, etc.  
Seem complicated?  Just try one this time and when you feel ready, try 2 separate transactions.  Here's some tips:

  • Print a copy of Walgreens coupon policy and bring it with you just in case you need to refer to it, or if the cashier doesn't know all the rules.  Read it over before you go.
  • Just get the item that gives you the RR and be done for now if you're not sure
  • Ask the cashier at check-out if the items are the right ones for the RR
  • If you are doing 2 transactions, tell the cashier up front what you are doing and why.  Most will be helpful and happy to know that beforehand.  Those that are grumpy, try to avoid next time when you checkout
  • Make sure to grab your RR before you leave the store and tuck it safely away.  I have a spot in my wallet just for these.  Others may put them in their coupon organizers.  
  • If a RR doesn't print, ask the cashier about it.  If you still have trouble, go home and call Walgreens customer service: 1-800-925-4733
To Recap the steps:
  • Find a current Register Reward deal
  • Go to the store, get that item, get your RR
  • Go home with your coupon for the next transaction 
Next week: Earn Balance Rewards and use your Register Reward coupon.

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