Thursday, April 22, 2010

Walgreens pays me....NOT to shop?

I had an interesting experience at Walgreens yesterday. In which I walked out of the store with $16 more cash than I came in with. Not Register Rewards (RR). Cash.


I went to Walgreens to buy the Nature's bounty Vitamin D, which is on sale for $5 with a $5 RR in return. And, happy day, I had some $2/off and $5/off coupons! So I was looking forward to some nice overage in RR (if you have no idea what I'm talking about, learn about the Walgreens system here).

Note: I am relatively new to the Walgreens system. I've figured out the CVS extra care bucks deal, but Walgreens seems slightly more complicated. But I thought I had gotten it. You know, the whole don't buy more items than you have coupons, etc. Until yesterday.

So, I went to check out with 5 bottles of vitamins, 3 $2/off coupons, and 2 $5/off coupons. She rang me up, I paid $9, but only one $5 RR printed out. So I asked why and she called the manager to help out.

To which the manager responded that the system will not print out more $ in RR than I pay out of pocket. Since I used coupons, I only actually paid for one bottle of vitamins, therefore the one $5 RR.

"So, for an item that is going to print out RR, I can't use coupons?" I asked.

"Not if it makes the item cheaper than the RR that is supposed to print." She replied.

Huh. Ok. So I politely asked to return the 5 bottles of vitamins.

So she did the refund transaction and gave me $25 instead of the $9 that I paid out of pocket.

When I asked her why, she said that since they will get reimbursed for the coupons I used in the transaction, they are compensating me for those coupons.

So they basically just paid me for my coupons, and that was all.


I left happy, but confused. There's obviously something that I am missing about this Walgreens system. Would it have printed all of the RR if I had bought other items that brought my total up to $25 (the original price of the 5 bottles of vitamins)?

All of you Walgreens savvy people, help me out here!




  1. She should have given you the coupons back. You got lucky! You have to buy one bottle at a time, use one coupon and then you'll get a $5 RR. Then you do the same thing again and product, one coupon and get one $5 RR. Only one RR will print per transaction.

  2. And....this is exactly why I'm too dense to do this stuff! :) Honestly, those who can figure out the CVS/Walgreens system have my admiration! :)

  3. Yeah...I don't really shop at Walgreens since their system is more complicated than CVS. I have left that store so frustrated so many times! 'Anonymous' is have to do all separate transactions to get your RRs. YAY for getting all that money though! :)

  4. I was going to mention the one at a time thing too, but I just thought of another tip: You can't reuse the RR to purchase the next item. For instance, on any purchase, even if it's a different one that you've used before, if you use a $2 RR, you will not receive another $2 RR. They only let you get one, so if you use one, the computer thinks you've already done the deal. Make sense? SOOOOO confusing! There have been so many times that I have miscounted and had too many coupons (which RR's COUNT as coupons there!!!) or bought multiples accidentally or something. Crazy.

  5. I used to be so into the RR/CVS bucks things, but even when I came out ahead (not as ahead as you did though, sheesh!) I was confused. I think it's fantastic when people can 'work' the system - it's just so inconsistent with different managers and different areas it is too much for my brain to handle :)

  6. THanks for all the help, everyone!
    Lately my gameplan at CVS has been to KEEP IT SIMPLE. I only buy 1-2 items that are free after ECBs, coupons...or very cheap. And I try to roll my ECBs. I don't do 50 million transactions.
    It's made it more manageable.
    Now Walgreens...I'm not sure if I'll be able to keep up with them! Another problem I have with them is that they are CONSTANTLY out of sale items. At least in my area.

  7. I did Walgreens a little bit back last fall when they had diapers on sale a lot, but I quit b/c they are too complicated for me. I haven't gotten back to doing CVS yet, but I need to so I can stay on top of the diaper stockpile!

  8. Miriam, I am so with you on the diapers thing.

    Walgreens has finally posted their on there website, so that is very helpful!

  9. oops, that is, they have finally posted their coupon policy. Find it here:

  10. I love shopping at Walgreens. If you want to buy multiples that have RR with them, ring them up separately. Only one will print PER TRANSACTION, but if you do them separately, you can get one each time. I've done that many many times, and will be doing it again this week with Tom's of Maine products on sale for only .99 after the $3 RR. Happy shopping!

    P.S. Stop by and feel free to follow my new blog. I will be having some giveaways soon--the first ones will go only my followers.


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