Today I’m rounding out my series on the big 5 couponing stores with a post on Walgreens. (Click on the links for previous posts on Target, CVS, Walmart, and Rite Aid.) Now, I admit, I don’t coupon here much at all. This is really just a personal preference though. Many people have found great success in couponing and finding deals at their local Walgreens. And it may be that it’s just convenient for you. Overall, I’d say couponing at Walgreens is similar to couponing at CVS, but there are a few more rules to follow. Without further ado, here’s how to coupon at Walgreens.
Balance Rewards Card
First things first, you will need a Balance Rewards Card. You can sign up for this online or in store. Being enrolled in this program is the only way to get sale prices and earn rewards. Customers can earn rewards on items they buy including prescriptions and photos. Here’s a breakdown of how to earn points:
- Earn 10 everyday points per every $1 spent on most items. You must add this perk to your Walgreens balance rewards summary online (or in the app). Once added you do not have to add it again.
- Earn 100 points per 30 day supply prescription picked up in store (or 300 points per 90 day prescription).
- Earn 100 points per immunization received at the store.
- Earn extra bonus points on select in ad promotions each week. An example might be 8000 points on the purchase of two shampoos.
- Add additional members only perks in your account summary. An example might include 5x points on $10 spent. These perks differ weekly and must be individually activated each week.
- Redeem points booster coupons from the weekly ad. These coupons are similar to the members only perks online.
- Sign up for free to become a Beauty Enthusiast and earn 5000 points per $50 spent on beauty products. Plus receive a digital coupon for 20x everyday points when you sign up.
- Earn points by working out! Sign up for the free Balance Rewards for Healthy Choices and earn 20 points for every mile you walk, run, or cycle with your activity tracker. Read my post about this program here.
When you have earned 5000 points, you can then redeem them for a $5 reward at the register. But you can save them up for better redemptions if you choose. Points can be redeemed for rewards as below:
- 5000 points = $5
- 10000 points = $10
- 18000 points = $20
- 30000 points = $25
- 40000 points = $50
As long as you use your balance rewards card at least once every 6 months, your Balance Rewards points will not expire for 3 years! Points also post to your account instantly. This means that you can potentially roll points from transaction to transaction. Most of the time you can use points and earn points in the same transaction. For instance, if the promotion includes purchases a specific number of products, like Buy 2 Get 1000 points, you should have no problem. However, it gets tricky when the promotion involves a dollar threshold, like Spend $12 Get 5000 points. In this case you have to spend more than the threshold amount in order to use points on that transaction.
Plus, there is no limit to the amount of points that you earn, so you can stock up on items and receive points for every item. As a quick tip, everyday points will be earned on the total amount before manufacturer coupons, but after Walgreens store coupons are applied.
Walgreens will accept both online and circular manufacturer coupons. 1 manufacturer coupon may be used per item. They do not state a limit of the amount of identical coupons that can be used in the same transaction (though be aware your coupon might). It is also important to know that Walgreens will only accept 1 manufacturer coupon on Buy 1 Get 1 Free promotions. This means you cannot use a coupon on the free item in the promotion, but you can on the purchased item. Also, Walgreens will not accept manufacturer coupons that exceed the price of the item. For example you cannot use a $3 off coupon on an item that costs $2.99. They won’t even adjust the coupon down to prevent overage, so don’t even bother.
Walgreens offers a variety of different types of store coupons. Per their coupon policy 1 store coupon may be used per item (in addition to a manufacturer coupon) unless it’s a Buy 1 Get 1 Free promotion like above. Store coupons you might find include:
- Coupons printed in the weekly ad – these coupons carry a limit of usually 2-4 items, meaning you can use the same coupon on up to the stated limit.
- Monthy Savings Book Coupons – each month Walgreens will put out a savings booklet available at the front of the store. These coupons do not have a threshold, so you can use the same coupon on unlimited amount of items – it only needs to be scanned once. Plus, you do not have to meeting a item threshold, meaning if you have a coupon for $1 off 4, you can still use the coupon on 1 item and get $.25 off.
- Health Booklet Coupons – these are typically found near the health and pharmacy sections and coupons are usually good for up to 1 year.
- Load-to-Card Coupons – the Walgreens app includes many of the weekly ad and monthly savings book coupons as well as some manufacturer coupons. These can be loaded to your balance rewards card and automatically deducted at the register. You can load up to 100 coupons at a time.
- Catalina Coupons – these vary by day and person, but typically can be used on your next transaction.
Finally, there are Register Rewards. These are store credit like coupons that are printed on your receipt and can be used on your next transaction. Promotions for Register Rewards are typically advertised in ad and store. An example might include receive $1 Register Reward with the purchase of 1 body wash. Register Rewards will typically expire in 2 weeks from the printed date.
Only 1 Register Reward can be earned per promotion per transaction. Meaning you can earn the same reward on a 2nd transaction, but not earn 2 within the same transaction. Do be aware though that the rewards will not roll from transaction to transaction. This means you cannot earn a Register Reward on a promotion in the 1st transaction, use it on a 2nd transaction for the same promotion and expect to get the Register Reward again. In most cases it is better to save your Register Rewards and roll them from trip to trip.
Register Rewards can be used in combination with manufacturer coupons, store coupons, and Balance Rewards Points. Be aware though that the register will identify a Register Reward as a manufacturer coupon. And according to Walgreens policy you must have a matching item for each coupon. This means you cannot purchase 4 items and use 4 manufacturer coupons plus a Register Reward – the register will beep and not accept all of them. Luckily you can combat this by buy a filler item. A filler item is basically any cheap item, ideally $1 or less that the register can tie with your Register Reward.
Walgreens Stacking Example
In the above example, purchasing 2 Children’s Zyrtec will yield 5000 Balance Rewards Points. Combine that with 2 x $4/1 Zyrtec coupons from coupons.com. Rolling 5000 Balance Rewards Points from previous trips will make this $4.49 each. And if you have a Register Reward, you can purchase a filler item and get even more savings.
Walgreens Coupon Policy and Other Information
It is important to know a store’s coupon policy. You can view Walgreens’ policy here. I highly recommend that you visit the Walgreens page at KCL to get an even more in-depth view about couponing at Walgreens. They even have a comprehensive list of current Monthly Savings book coupons here and Filler Items here.