Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Walgreens FAQ: Register Rewards

I post the Walgreens deals every week, but I have never taken the time to explain how it all works. I know many of you are old pros at working the Walgreens deals, but many of you have never given Walgreens a try due to a lack of information on how the system works.

I'll do my best to answer any questions you may have and hopefully help you work up enough courage to go work yourself a deal!

There are actually several different avenues to finding great deals at Walgreens. These can all be used singly, but many times you can mix and match these techniques to make an even better deal! I will explain these techniques over a series of several posts.

In this first post I will deal with Walgreens Register Rewards.

If you only need answers to specific questions, you can click a question, and you will automatically be shown the answer. Otherwise, you can read the entire FAQ.

What are Register Rewards?
Register Rewards are coupons worth a certain dollar amount that you can use to help pay for another purchase. They print at the register when you buy certain items.

How do I know what items to buy to get Register Rewards back?
Every week the ad will feature the items that produce Register Rewards. Many times these items are a good deal in and of themselves, but if you have coupons for the items, you can often get products for free or even make money!

What do you mean when you say something is a moneymaker?
Here is an example of how I post any deals involving Register Rewards:

Reach Toothbrushes
Buy 2 for $6, get $6 RR (Register Rewards)
Use B1G1 (buy one get one) coupon from 10/12 RP (the Redplum coupon insert from the 10/12 Sunday paper)
Final price = $3 moneymaker after coupon and RR

So here's what happens. You buy the two toothbrushes for $6 ($3 each). But you will get $3 taken off for the B1G1 coupon. Your total will be $3, but $6 in Register Rewards will print. So you have made a profit of $3.

Can I use Register Rewards to pay for more items that give back Register Rewards?
If you have Register Rewards from previous transactions you have done, you can use those to pay for your purchase, thus reducing the amount of actual cash you have to spend. However, Register Rewards can not always be "rolled" (using Register Rewards to pay for something else that gives back Register Rewards.) You cannot use a Register Reward from one product to pay for another of the same product. The new Register Rewards will not print. Also, you generally cannot roll Register Rewards between two products that are the same brand. For example, if you had Register Rewards that printed from buying Pampers, you could not use them to buy Crest toothpaste and have new Register Rewards print (these are both Proctor & Gamble products.)

If I buy all the qualifying products, will more than one Register Reward print per transaction?

More than one will print if they are different advertised deals. For example, if Crest toothpaste is advertised as giving back $2 in Register Rewards, and Huggies diapers are advertised as giving back $3 in Register Rewards, you can buy both products and get back a $2 and a $3 Register Reward. But you cannot buy 2 Crest toothpastes and get back 2 $2 Register Rewards. If you wanted to buy another toothpaste and get back more Register Rewards, you would need to buy it on a separate transaction.

The Register Rewards say "Manufacturer Coupon" on them. What does that mean?

The register actually treats Register Rewards like any other manufacturer coupon. Since you can only use one manufacturer coupon per item purchased, you need to make sure that the number of items you are purchasing is equal to or greater than the number of coupons you have, including any Register Rewards you may have. If you are planning on using a coupon on everything you are buying, you need to add a small filler to your transaction in order to be able to use the Register Reward. (Note: Instant Value Coupons and 7-day coupons, which I will discuss in another post, are not considered manufacturer coupons, so you do not need to have extra items for those.)

If a Register Reward deal is advertised as "Buy $x of item x, get $x Register Rewards" is the value computed before or after coupons?

The value of what you are buying is computed before coupons. An example of this type of deal would be this: "Buy $20 of Huggies products, get $5 Register Rewards." If the diapers are $10 a pack, you could buy 2 packs for $20, use 2 $1 coupons, and pay a total of $18. You would still get the $5 Register Rewards.

Do I have to have a store card to get Register Rewards?
No. If you buy the qualifying items in the ad, the Register Rewards will automatically print.

Why didn't my Register Rewards print?
There are a couple possible reasons why they didn't print. 1. You didn't buy the correct items. Double check the ad and make sure that you bought the right item including the correct size, variety, etc. If you had to buy a certain dollar amount of something, make sure the items rang up correctly. Sometimes things ring up cheaper than you expected them to, making the total value lower than necessary to get the Register Rewards. 2. The macine is not working or is not on. I have learned to look at the machine before I check out. If there is a green light, my Register Rewards generally print without a problem. If there is a red light or no light at all, I go to a different register because the machine is most likely not working.


  1. Thanks so much for posting this. I find the Register Rewards to be SO confusing!!! Even the employees don't know all the answers. One other item you might want to mention is the number of coupons and RR per products--you cannot have more coupons and RR then the number of products--so you cannot use a coupon and RR to purchase the one item.

  2. Do you have any recommendations for the lowest price filler items? I was scrambling at the checkout last week when the register wouldn't accept my $3 RR for a purchase totaling $3.07. All the candy bars in reach were $.80, which I did not want to pay!

  3. Frances,
    Sometimes there are items that they have coupons for in their weekly ad that you can get for cheap- like 6 pencils for $1 or 4 tealight candles for $1 and you don't have to buy all 4 or 6 of the item. You do have to let them scan the coupon in the ad to get that price but it will automatically adjust the price to .20 for the pencils or .25 for the candles. I have used those as fillers. The thing with RR is that they cannot be used to pay any tax. They will not scan if your "before tax total" is not the amount of the RR. At CVS the cashier can always tell me my "before tax total" but at my Walgreens they can never tell me and I have had to add quite a few small items before the RR would scan. Try to make sure your total before tax covers the RR or have a few things in your cart you can use as fillers or put back if you don't need them. Hope that helps!

  4. I just tried this with the Gillette Fusion razor listed in this weeks ad (Feb 8 - 14) and was told that coupons now cancel out Register Rewards. Is this true?

  5. As far as I know, there has been no change in the use of coupons affecting Register Rewards. I don't know if that is just your particular store or what. I would try purchasing the item with the coupon, and if the Register Reward doesn't print, return the item right away. If it does print, then it was intended for you to have it, and they should give it to you.


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