Walgreens & CVS 101



Learning how to shop at these stores and understanding the rules and lingo.

First we’ll start with Walgreens.

Walgreens is one of my favorite stores to at because of their Register Rewards program. So I am going to try to answer any questions you may have about how their program works.

What are Register Rewards?

Register Rewards; also known as RRs, are coupons that print at the cash register when you buy particular items that will trigger them to print. These items change weekly and monthly.  Once you get them, they work like cash on your next shopping order at Walgreens.

*An example in this next week’s ad would be Dentek Floss. This week, Dentek Floss is on sale for $2. Well right now, you also get a $2 RR when you buy 1 package of Dentek Floss. The Register Reward will print out after you pay for your floss. You will actually have to pay $2 plus tax for your floss, but it will be like getting it free because you will have another $2 to spend. To make the deal even sweeter, you can use the $1/1 coupon from 1/17 SS. This means that you will only pay $1 plus tax out of pocket and get $2 back in rewards.

What products give Register Rewards?

Each week’s ad will have various RR deals listed for the week.  Each month there are also deals that last the whole month, called monthly RR deals.  You can also look around the store for Red tags hanging below an item. These tags state what you must purchase and how much in Register Rewards you will get back.

What can I buy with Register Rewards?

Almost anything at Walgreens. You cannot use them to buy prescriptions, tobacco, alcohol, sales tax (you will have to pay for that), lottery tickets, money order/transfers, transportation passes, postage stamps, dairy, prescription savings club membership, health care services, and gift/phone/prepaid cards.

What is the best way to use Register Rewards?

The ideal thing to use Register Rewards on, is another sale item that triggers another Register Reward. We call this, “rolling over” your Register Rewards into different transactions. This way, you always have Register Rewards to buy something the next week at Walgreens. I also like to have some on hand in case I need to buy some over the counter medication one week.

What are the rules to using a Register Reward and how do I prevent having the Cash Register Beeping at Checkout?

The downside of the Register Rewards is all the rules. Once you have the hang of it, it’s not really a big deal. This is where you need to pay attention.

Rule #1: You cannot have more coupons than you have items at checkout. This includes MFR (manufacturer coupons), in-ad coupons, Register Rewards, and any other type of coupon you may have. The Register Rewards act like coupons.

For Example: Let’s say you are buying the Dentek Floss this week and using the $1/1 coupon and a $1 RR from another transaction. This means you have 2 coupons and only 1 item. What you do in this case, is find a filler item (an inexpensive item such as a holiday pencil) to count as your second item.

Rule #2: When using a Register Reward, your transaction must equal or exceed the value of the RR. This means that if you are buying an item that is $1.99, but you have a RR that is for $2; you need a filler item (an inexpensive item like the holiday pencil) to reach $2. Otherwise, you can’t use the Register Reward and the cash register will beep.

Rule #3: Don’t forget to look at the expiration date on your Register Rewards. They typically expire about 2 weeks after receiving them. It is always sad and such a shame when you let a Register Reward expire. It’s like throwing money away!!

I think that about covers shopping at Walgreens. I cannot begin to tell you how many items I have gotten for free at Walgreens using their Register Rewards Program. It’s been fun and very rewarding. Please let me know if you have any other questions.


CVS and their ECBs

CVS runs their coupon and rewards system very similar to Walgreens, but they’re even easier to use. Instead of Register Rewards, they have ECBs: Extra Care Bucks. These print out at the bottom of your receipt, so be sure not to throw your receipts away.

1. The first thing you’ll want to do, is to sign up for an Extra Care Card. It’s completely free! You will get a card in the mail that you should take with you every time you shop at CVS.

2. When entering CVS, look for their little red machines. You scan your card and several coupons will print out right then and there. You can usually scan it 2-3 times before it will stop giving you coupons. These will be store coupons that you can stack with manufacturer coupons. There will often be free items after coupon this way.

3. You can often get coupons like $5 off $30 purchase or $5/$25 purchase from the CVS red machines. These coupons are great because you can use them on top of store and manufacturer coupons. Hand this kind of coupon over first because you just need to reach the total of $25 or $30 BEFORE coupons!! Then hand over the rest of your coupons to get away spending very little!

4. The nice thing about CVS that’s different than Walgreens, is that they don’t care how many coupons you use; you can have more coupons than you have items. Even better, you also get 2% back on every in-store or online purchase. Just make sure you scan your card every time you shop. Every 3 months, the 2% back will print out at the end of your receipt! Free money, just for shopping!!

*Please ask if you have any questions, and I will try my best to help!

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