March 16, 2012

Deal Shopping for Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes: Walgreens

Shopping deals helps us to be able to pack more Operation Christmas Child shoebox gifts.  Jessica, at Clip With Purpose, has offered to share her Walgreens 101 post with us.  I do not shop at Walgreens regularly because ours is a little far away and very coupon "unfriendly."  But Jessica posts all the items from the Walgreens ad each week that are great deals for Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes and I just may be tempted to give it a try again one of these weeks.
"If you’re not familiar with all the ins and outs of coupon shopping at Walgreens, here’s a quick little tutorial on what you need to know.  If you’re like me, you’ll soon develop a love/hate relationship with “Wags.”  Love the great deals, hate those darn Register Rewards!


Weekly Deals: Walgreens sales change weekly, and they run from Sunday to Saturday.  Occasionally, they will also release a mid-week sales flyer
which usually runs Thursday through Saturday.
In-Ad Coupons: In the weekly sales flyer, there are usually store coupons that you can clip out.  These are called in-ad coupons and can only be used at Walgreens.  This is basically a coupon that you use to get the sale price for a certain item.  You can still use a manufacturer coupon on the same item you use an in-ad coupon on.
Register Rewards (RR): These are coupons that print out at the register after you check out.  They will be for a certain amount off your next purchase at Walgreens.  Typically, they have an expiration date for 2 weeks after they print.  These are considered manufacturer coupons, and not store coupons.  They can be used on any item in the store.
Filler: This is a cheap item, like a pencil or piece of candy that you add to your purchases in order to use a register reward along with manufacturer coupons.  See rule #1 for more info.

The Rules

Okay, so this is where Walgreens gets a little bit complicated.  All these rules can trip up new Walgreens shoppers, so you need to play close attention during your shopping trips.
  1. You must purchase at least the same number of items as you have manufacturer coupons.  Read that sentence again; it’s tricky.  So, for example, you purchase 4 packs of gum.  You can only use 4 manufacturer coupons.  Let’s look at a couple scenarios to make this more clear.
Scenario A:
Purchase: 4 Packs of Gum
Use: 4 coupons for $0.25 off one pack of gum
This is WILL WORK!
Scenario B:
Purchase 4 packs of gum
Use: 4 coupons for $0.25 off one pack of gum
PLUS use a register reward
This will NOT WORK.  You are using one more manufacturer coupon (Register Reward) than you have number of items
Scenario B Revisited:
Purchase 4 packs of gum PLUS a $0.10 pencil
Use: 4 coupons for $0.25 off one pack of gum
PLUS use register reward
This WILL WORK!  Now, since you added the pencil (a “filler”) to your purchase, you have the same number of items as manufacturer’s coupons
Scenario C:
Purchase: 4 packs of gum
Use: In-ad coupon for gum
PLUS use 4 coupons for $0.25 off of one pack of gum
This WILL WORK!  In-ad coupons do not count towards your coupon total!
Scenario D:
Purchase 4 packs of gum
Use 2 coupons for $0.50 off TWO packs of gum
Scenario E:
Purchase 4 packs of gum
Use: 2 coupons for $0.50 off  TWO packs of gum
PLUS use register reward
This will NOT WORK!  The coupons that applies to two packs of gum counts as two coupons, so you will need a “filler” in order to use a register reward
2.  Register Rewards very rarely will “roll.”  This means that if you earn a register reward for buying a pack of gum, and  then you go back and buy another pack of gum and pay with that register reward you just earned, you will not receive another register reward.  You could, however, buy another pack of gum and pay with cash and you would earn another register reward.
3.  Limit one register reward per item, per transaction.  Let’s say Walgreens is giving out register rewards for gum.  If you buy one pack of gum, you receive one register reward.  If you buy two pack of gum at the same time, you still receive only one register reward.  If you want to earn one register reward per pack of gum that you buy, then you have to buy each pack in a separate transaction (and not pay for the gum with the register reward that you earn from the gum!)
4.  Your Register Reward can’t be used to pay the tax on your purchase.  Also, Register Rewards cannot be used if their value is higher than your total (pre-tax).  So, if you have a $5 Register Rewards, you cannot use it on a $4.99 purchase.  Likewise, if your total is $5.04 after tax, but is $4.99 pre-tax, you won’t be able to use it either.
Whew!  Gets confusing, doesn’t it.  You’ll get the hang of it in no time.  But, like I said, it’s a love/hate relationship!"
Thanks, Jessica, for sharing this post you originally published at your blog Clip With Purpose (Saving Year Round for Operation Christmas Child).  UPDATE:  Clip With Purpose is no longer online.

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