Tip of the Day Tuesday: Walgreens 101

If you’re new to shopping at Walgreens, here’s the scoop to get you started!

Register Rewards

Walgreens does not currently have a customer loyalty card. When you buy qualifying items (noted in the weekly ad), you can earn a Register Reward.  A Register Reward is basically a manufacturer’s coupon that prints off at the register and can be used on your next purchase in the store.  Register Rewards typically have an expiration date that is two weeks from the date of qualifying purchase and Walgreens does not accept expired coupons, so you need to keep track of expiration dates!

Things to know about Register Rewards

*You can earn ONE Register Reward per qualifying item per transaction.  For example, if Colgate toothpaste is on sale for $2.99 and you earn a $3 Register Reward for purchasing it, if you buy two Colgate toothpastes in the same transaction, you will only earn one Register Reward.

*You cannot use the Register Reward you earned from a promotion on the same promotion and another Register Reward.  So, if you buy the Colgate toothpaste mentioned above, earn a $3 Register Reward, and then try to buy another Colgate toothpaste and “pay” using the $3 Register Reward, a new Register Reward will not print.

*You cannot use a Register Reward from the same manufacturer to buy another product from the same manufacturer if the Register Reward that would be earned is of the same value.

I know this sounds confusing, so I’m going to break it down!

Crest toothpaste is manufactured by Procter & Gamble.  So, let’s say you buy Crest toothpaste and earn a $2 Register Reward.  Then, there is also a sale on Herbal Essence shampoo, where you also earn a $2 Register Reward.  If you use your Register Reward from the Crest to purchase the shampoo, your Register Reward will not print.

Let’s say that Gillette razors, which are also manufactured by Procter & Gamble are also on sale, but you earn a $5 Register Reward for purchasing them.  You should be able to use your $2 Crest Register Reward and your $5 Register Reward should print.

*Register Rewards are considered to be “manufacturer’s coupons” and you can only use one manufacturer’s coupon per item. You will have to add “filler” items if you are using a manufacturer’s coupon and a RR. The in ad coupons often have good, inexpensive filler items. (check out the weekly match-ups for ideas)

So, let’s take the scenario with the Gillette razor above.  You have a $2 Register Reward you want to use, but you also have a Gillette coupon.  You can’t use two coupons on one item, so you would need to add a “filler.”

*If your Register Reward doesn’t print for some reason and you have fulfilled all of the obligations for the “deal” (including not using RR from the same parent company to pay) DO NOT let them tell you it is because you used coupons! Chances are they didn’t print because the catalina machine is not working. You have two choices: you can return your items and try again or you can contact the catalina company by doing the following:
*The store will give you a form to fill out and mail in to catalina
*Call 1-877-210-1917, option 1

Other information about shopping at Walgreens:

*At Walgreens, you can use ONE manufacturer’s coupon and ONE store coupon per item (always give the store coupon last to avoid problems)

*If you are buying items that would result in a “free” item or “overage” when combining a store coupon and a manufacturer’s coupon, give the manufacturer’s coupon FIRST, and the store coupons LAST to avoid beeping/issues at the register! (Yes, you can really get items for free or even make money purchasing them)  Make sure that you are purchasing enough items in your total transaction to “cover” the overage. You will not get cash back and you will have to add items to cover the overage or they will not take the coupon.

What is Walgreens policy on using BOGO free coupons with a BOGO free offer, adjusting down coupons, etc.? 
The new coupon policy says that you can use up to two coupons on a BOGO free promotion as long as the total doesn’t go below zero, so you should be able to use two coupons on a BOGO free sale.  It doesn’t really address using a BOGO free coupon with a BOGO free store promotion, so your ability to do this may vary based on your store policy.

What if I have a $1 off manufacturer’s coupon and the item is on sale for $.99?  Can I still use my coupon?
Yes!  Walgreens new coupon policy is to adjust the value of your coupon down to the price of the item!

Do you do multiple transactions at one store on one visit?
It just depends. Several stores in my area have gone to a “one RR per item per day” rule, which means I can’t do more than one transaction where I’m earning RR for the same product at the same store. Some of the stores in my area also will not let you use the RR you earn from one transaction on another transaction in that same visit.  I’m fortunate to have several stores within a few minutes of my house, so I usually try to break up transactions at different stores and on different days to stay in the good graces of my stores.

**Don’t forget to ask for a rain check if an item that you are looking for is out of stock!

Check out Walgreens official store policy here.

**I know this might all sound tricky or overwhelming, but once you get the hang of it, it really is worth it!

*This post may contain affiliate links. Please refer to my disclosure policy for more information.


  1. Georgina says:

    Where do u get the Walgreens coupons book @? R they in the store?

  2. So, you basically have to buy the register rewards items twice, right? Once at regular price and then you get a RR coupon to buy the same thing again within 2 weeks?

    • Jamie – there are lots of different RR items every week. If it’s from the same manufacturer, you typically can’t use the RR to buy the same item (even in another week) because another RR won’t print. In my weekly scenarios, I give you ideas about how you can “roll” your RRs into different items.