Thursday, March 10, 2011

Learning to Shop Walgreen's

If you make good use of your resources, you can really save a great deal of hard-earned money by shopping at Walgreen’s.  Walgreen’s has a Register Rewards program where Register Rewards (like coupons) print out when you make a purchase that you can use like cash (with some restrictions).  If you use them right and with coupons, you can really add up the savings fast.  There are a few rules though.

1)      Number of Coupons = Number of Items.  The number of coupons and RR’s (Register Rewards) in a single transaction must be equal to the number of items purchased.  For example, say you are buying one toothpaste, 2 deodorants and have a coupon for each of them or three coupons total.  Since you are buying three items, if you want to use a Register Reward to bring your total OOP (out of pocket) cost down, you would need what is called a “filler” item.  This item will allow you to have the same number of coupons as items.  Generally, I will post prospective filler items in the deals for the current week since there are usually a number of items under a $1 that you can use as fillers.  Ideally, you want to have as little cost as possible, so the cheaper the filler item, the better!  A word to the wise, however.  I don’t recommend buying fillers you aren’t going to use.  I like to use the Royal Gelatin a lot because the kids love it or the seasonal stickers, coloring books, candy, etc. that Walgreen’s stocks.

2)      Use filler items.  Your total coupons must equal less than the cost of all of your items BEFORE tax.  This means if you have a $5 RR and $5 in coupons and your total before tax is $9:99 or under, you won’t be able to use the $5 RR in that transaction.  My advice?  Try adding something cheap like a possible “filler” item to your transaction to bring the cost up if it’s close.  If not, save the RR for another time! J

3)      Do multiple transactions.  This is a YMMV (Your Mileage May Vary) situation.  Recently, I was told at one of the Jackson, MI Walgreen’s that I was limited to two RR items (which I usually only buy one or two anyway), but when I called them, they said it depends on what the manager says.  If they want to limit they can, however, this is the only time in over a year of shopping at Walgreen’s I’ve been told that there is a limit (and FYI it’s only the male cashier there that gives me a difficult time).

4)      Keep a copy of Walgreen’s Coupon Policy on you while shopping.  You can find it here.  Although I’ve never had to use it, there will be a time when you just might have to.  You never know.

5)      Ask for a manager.  If you think that you are right about a coupon being for a certain item, you’re being treated rudely, your RR doesn’t print, or you think anything is incorrect while checking out, don’t be afraid to ask for a manager.  They are there for this reason!  Most are friendly and want to help you as much as you want to be helped.

6)      Stay positive!  My best piece of advice for shopping in general is that you STAY POSITIVE!  Getting defensive and arguing about something most likely will not only make the cashier/manager question you and bring unwanted attention to the deals you are getting (it’s best to fly under the radar most of the time), but it will make you upset and feel cheated or angry as well.  Just remember, the nicer you are, the more likely you are to get a positive result when dealing with managers and cashiers.

7)      When all else fails, call Corporate.  Although I don’t recommend only calling corporate (1-800-WALGREENS in this case) for negative experiences, definitely utilize the customer service line when you need to.  If a store isn’t following corporate policy, someone was rude to you, etc., call and report it!  I try to again use this as a last resort because I like to stay unnoticed, but if the situation warrants, I will call to make things right.

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