Monday, August 23, 2010

Coupons Part II, Mastering Walgreens

Before I start on the Walgreens article, here's a good mailbox freebie: Get a free deluxe sample of StriVectin-SD ($20 value) Intensive Concentrate for Wrinkles & Stretch Marks when you sign-up for emails from Strivectin. The sample is 0.75 oz (a 3-week supply). This sampling offer ends August 25 or while supplies last.

(If you are new to the site and don't know all the abbreviations, be sure to look at the link on the top of my blog "learn the terminology.")

Wags has become my favorite drugstore, although I do like CVS and Rite-Aid also. One of the only negatives about Wags is that they don't have a nation-wide coupon policy; they allow individual managers to make the rules for their own store. Consequently, rules can vary within the same city...or even the same store, depending on who you have for a cashier. I say this to let you know that YMMV, and you shouldn't let one bad expereince discourage you. Case in point: my local Wags will not let me roll RR. By that I mean, if I buy a product and a RR (coupon that prints with your receipt) pops out to use "on your next purchase," I cannot use that coupon to immediately buy another product. This store makes me come back later the same day or the next day. When I was in the Bangor, ME Walgreens this summer, I was buying two items. Before she even scanned the items, the cashier asked, "Do you want me to do this is 2 transactions so that you can use your RR on the second item?" Wow. That's what I like! When I told her I couldn't do that in NC, she looked appalled and said, "Why? It says right on the coupon that it's good for your next purchase. Why would they make you come back?" I should have offered to let her come live with me and work at my Walgreens, which just happens to employ the cashier from coupon hades!!! Oh well, you have to work with what you have!!

So here are some pointers for you: (some of these are merged from other sites...)

1. Begin by stopping by your local Walgreens and grabbing The Walgreens EasySaver catalog. This is the Walgreen's savings booklet and can be found right adjacent to the door. While there, also grab the weekly store flier. If you would prefer you can look at both of these online so that you have a plan when you get the store.

2. Now you are going to need a little time to look through these. What you are looking for is the free after rebate items and any sale items that beat the lowest price on products you normally buy. Walgreens recently changed their rebate program. You no longer have to send in for your rebate, it automatically prints at the register in the form of a RR coupon! The advantages are obvious...the disadvantage is that the RR generally has to be used within 1-3 weeks, so make sure to look at the expiration closely.
3. Now find any coupons you have for the items you are going to purchase. Coupons are available in the store fliers, in your weekend paper and online. The best place to check for coupons is Jenny not only lists all sale and rebate items, but also masterfully links you to any online coupons that you can print. In addition to an already "free price," you may be able to use your coupons to make one of the items cost less than the rebate amount (they pay you!).

4. Now the really fun part. Did you know that you can "stack" a store coupon with a manufacturer coupon?  You can also "stack" this with a rebate. For example, Aussie shampoo is free with a RR. Let's say there is a store coupon in the easy saver catalog for 50 cents off any Aussie product and you have a B1G1 free manufacturers coupon from the local Sunday paper. Most WG will let you use both. So, if the shampoo is regularly $4.59, on sale for $2.99, you would take the 50 cents off, plus get one free, plus get the full price back on one with the RR.

5. Please keep in mind that if the store is having a B1G1 sale, you cannot use a manufacturer B1G1 coupon...or two like coupons, at least down here in High Point. Again, in Maine, I have used them together. WG is fairly unique on this as most other drugstores let you use both. The store is reimbursed the price of the coupon, so it's really not to their advantage to refuse it.

6. After everything is scanned, hand the coupons in this order:

1)Register rewards
2)Manufacturers coupons
3)Store coupons

Some cashiers will then change the order, but not usually. I know some people get fiesty with the management if things don't work out their way. I rarely argue. If anything, I'll just tell them I don't want the item.

7. Almost all Walgreens have clearance racks in the back. You can combine coupons with these items also, getting some unbelievable deals. Always look for orange hangtags that denote sale and clearance items throughout the store.

8. Please note that RR are limited to one per transaction. However, if Crest toothpaste, Listerine and Glade candles are all on sale with RR, you can buy them all in one shot and you will get all 3 RR. You CANNOT buy 2 of each at one time. Only one RR will print. However, you can go back the next day and do it again. Also of note, you cannot roll a RR for the same item. If you get $2.50 back for the Crest, you can use that RR to buy Crest the next day, but it will not generate another RR. (I know, rather''ll get it:)

9.Occasionally, WG offers $5 off $20 purchase (or similar) coupons available via email on their website. The required total is AFTER WG store coupons. They count against your threshold. However, manufacturer and/or RR (which are man. coupons), do not count against your total.

10. You must have at least one product for every coupon you use. If you are buying 4 items and you have a man. coupon for each and you have 2 RR to use, you will need to buy 2 "filler items." Doesn't this defeat the purpose, you ask? Usually, no. Try to get super cheap items, like pencils that are 8 for $1, or Royal gelatin 5 for $1. These items will have a store coupon...but that doesn't count against you! Also, you don't generally need to buy, say, all 8 pencils (read the coupon). Just buy 2 (in this example) and the coupon will give you the same price for the two.

OK, that's probably enough info to overwhelm most of you. I'm sure some of this is unclear, but I hope it helps you start thinking about ways to save yourself some cash...because, really, who doesn't need that?!?!!

Happy Walgreens shopping!

1 comment:

  1. Wow! Amazing... I have to say that I'm impressed. I occasionally remember to hit HT triple coupon day, but I usually shoot myself in the foot with that by forgetting the $0.99 rule. Hopefully some of this will sink in.

    - Bill