Walgreens Wednesday: How to Shop Walgreens Part 1 of 4

Walgreens is by far the trickiest drugstore to shop at. There are so many rules to shopping there that sometimes your head can spin! Especially if you aren’t familiar or comfortable with the in’s and outs of shopping that store. Because of this, I think many people avoid shopping Walgreens because they just don’t get it. That’s such a shame, because there are some great deal to be had at Walgreens and it can be super easy to shop there if you know how to play by their rules.

I have decided to do a 4 part series on “How to shop Walgreens” and teach you the in’s and outs of this store! Hopefully after this series, you will feel a lot more comfortable running into Walgreens to score a deal, or two, or three :-)! The series will start out real basic, and build on itself and get more in depth as it continues!


“How to Shop Walgreens Part I ~ All About Register Rewards”

1. What is a Register Reward (RR)?

  • They are similar to catalina coupons and print out after you purchase a qualifying item(s).
  • They are like “cash” that can be spent on your next purchase.

2. How do I know what items are producing RR’s?

  • I’ll tell you right here on SCS, or look in the ad for items that are marked with “Receive $x.xx Register Reward”.
  • You’ll also see items tagged in the store that will tell you and verify what items are included in the RR.

3. How long are RR’s valid?

  • They are usually only good 1-2 weeks from the date they are issued. So make sure you pay close attention so that you use it before it expires.
4. If I purchase (2) of the same item in a transaction that are producing RR’S, will I get (2) RR’s?
  • If you are purchasing the same item, no, you will not get both RR’s, you will only receive one. If you want to purchase more than 1 of an item that is producing a RR, you will want to purchase them in separate transactions.

5. Can I use a RR I received from one item to buy another of the same item?

  • You can, but another RR will not print.
  • If you want to purchase another of the same item (let’s say item A), you will want to purchase a different item (let’s say item B) that produces a different RR and use that one to purchase another of item A. Essentially you can flip back and forth between item A and B and continue getting RR’s for each purchase.

6. What does rolling a RR mean?

  • This term means that you are using a RR you receive from purchasing one item (or multiple items) to purchase other items that produce a RR. You will want to learn to “roll” your RR’s from week to week so that you can pay the least amount as possible Out of Pocket.

7. What does it mean when a RR or an item is “rolling” on itself?

  • This means you can take a RR from one item, purchase another of the same item, and it will produce another RR.
  • This is unusual and does not happen very often. I usually let you know when this happens and since it isn’t technically supposed to work this way, it can change or stop at any time.
8. Can I use a RR from one company, to buy an item from the same company, that produces the same value RR?
  • Now, this can get a little tricky and will sometimes mean you have to know what items are from the same manufacturer.
  • Let’s say for example that you are purchasing Pantene (a P&G product), which is producing a $2 RR wyb2. Then let’s say you use that RR to purchase Secret deodorant, that is also producing a $2 RR wyb2. Even though these are different items, and technically you should be able to roll between them, since they are both P&G items, with the same RR value, it sometimes causes a problem and your RR will not print.

9. How may RR’s can I use in one transaction?

  • You can use as many RR as you want in a transaction, however, you can’t have more coupons than you have items in your cart.
  • RR’s are considered Manufacturer coupons. So if you are purchasing 6 items, you can only use 6 coupons or RR combined.
  • Manufacturer coupons count towards your coupon /item ratio, but Walgreens coupons (found in the ad or monthly booklet) do not!

10. Is there an order in which I should hand over my RR’s?

  • Always hand over your Manufacturer coupons first, then your RR, then the Walgreens coupons. Never give your Wags coupons or RR’s first (I’ll explain why later).
  • To easily remember this, think of the alphabet. M comes before R, which comes before W. Manufacturer>>Register Reward>>Walgreens

11. What if I want to use more RR’s/coupons than I have items on my cart?

  • This is where you throw in an item(s) called a “filler”. Fillers are are inexpensive items (or items that you need) that you thrown into your transaction so that you can use more RR’s to pay down your total.
  • If you are purchasing (6) items and have (6) coupons you are using, but you also want to pay with (3) RR’s, you will have to purchase a total of 3 filler items.
  • For fillers, I usually look for something super cheap on clearance, grab a $0.25 pencil, a $0.33 carmel at the register, or something else that maybe my family needs that week like OJ, bread, etc….something that I typically don’t have coupons for and would have to purchase anyways.

10. Can I use a RR and a Walgreens coupon on one item?

  • Yes, remember, the Walgreens coupons don’t count towards your items/coupon ratio, so in this case you have (1) item and (1) coupons. You are good to go!

11. What can I use my RR on?

  • You can use your RR on typically any item in the store that is not excluded by law; items like tobacco, alcohol, lottery tickets, money orders, stamps, dairy, any gift card or pre-paid cards, etc

Stay tuned for next week’s “Walgreens Wednesday” where I will talk about the Balance Reward Points and how to use the two reward programs together.


  • cathy says:

    Thanks Kara for this wonderful information, it really helps because I always have a hard time at walgreens, I never knew there was an order to hand out the coupons. I will start shopping there more often. Thanks a lot Kara. Josie thank you for this wonderful blog.

  • Missy says:

    Great info Kara & Josie – thank you so much!
    Can’t wait for next week, have no info on these balance reward points.

  • Amy says:

    I love this blog! I am looking forward to more info next week. I live right down the street from a Walgreens, but am very intimidated by it as I have been burned a few times since I am not familiar with the rules.

  • Sara says:

    Thank you! I stopped going to walgreens a couple months back and now everything seems to have changed. Im looking forward to more info about the card/points.

  • Terri says:

    I was going to use some expiring R.R. last week to buy stamps and it specifically says on it that it can’t be used to do so. Did I read your post wrong?

    • Kara says:

      Terri, stamps are one of the items excluded by law…along with milk, gift cards, tobacco, etc. They are listed under question 11 for your convenience. Hope that helps!

  • Barbara says:

    Love your blog. It really helps me save. Would it be possible to include a print link on your How to Shop Walgreens lessons?

  • […] ways to reward customers who buy participating items. If you missed part 1, be sure to check it out here. This week I am going to go over the other reward system that Walgreens just rolled out last month […]

  • […] ago I started a 4 part series on how to shop Walgreens. If you missed them, be sure to check out Part 1 of 4 and Part 2 of 4 before moving […]

  • Jan says:

    When I shopped at wags today, it printed a $5/20 store coupon. My question is, this is before or after any mq I have? Thanks.

    • Jan says:

      From your example above, should I use this AFTER the mq or scan this first? Am confused. Thanks. It is valid only for one day

    • Kara says:

      Hey Jan, you will want to hand this over first, then hand over the rest of your coupons to pay down the balance. What did you purchase to get the $5/$20, if you don’t mind me asking?

      • Jan says:

        Unfortunately, we didn’t get a chance to go to the store that day. I wanted to do the buy (3) sudafed or listerine or reach and get 5000 points deal plus deodorant bogo deal with $1 off coupon. Would have been a good one 🙂

  • cyndi says:

    So I just read part 4 for the walgreens coupon use, and I get that u should use the manufactured coupons prior to the walgreens coupons and input ur card at the end but what do we do when they keep telling you to input your card first? I have had this happen a few times not only at walgreens but other stores as well.

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