How to Maximize Your Savings at Walgreens

Posted December 7, 2012 at 4:21 pm February 27, 2013 9:49 am


You should be able to save money every time you head to your local Walgreens store just by learning a few key tips and tricks. The first bit of information you need to arm yourself with is the Walgreens coupon policy. This can come in handy if any issues come up at the register. Let’s learn about all the ways you can save at Walgreens.

Walgreens Store Coupons

  • You can find Walgreens store coupons in several places:
  • Our Walgreens page
  • The weekly sales circular
  • On the Walgreens website
  • In the monthly savings booklets (found on a rack near the entrance of the store). You can also print out the monthly booklet coupons here.
  • In addition to monthly booklets, you can often find specialty coupon booklets, like beauty products on the counter in the beauty department. If you don’t see any, just ask!

Here are a few other important notes about using coupons at Walgreens.

  • When you see a coupon in the Walgreens ad for two products for $4.00, you must actually bring in the coupon from the ad to get the discount. Many people think that they will get the sale price just by purchasing those products, which is not the case!
  • In-ad coupons often have limits. For example, if the coupon is for a pack of gum for $0.69 and the stated limit is for 6 packs of gum, you do not need six separate coupons to get that price; that one coupon will apply to each pack.
  • Walgreens does not match prices or accept competitor’s coupons.
  • When you use an in-ad coupon on a sale, you don’t need to get all the items to get the sale price. For example, if there is a sale for three items for $5.00, you don’t need to buy all three items to get the sale price. Exceptions to this will always be listed on the coupon.
  • Many of these policies also hold true at Duane Reade; check your local store.

Register Rewards
Register Rewards are Catalina coupons put out by the manufacturer of a product in conjunction with advertised deals in the weekly store flyer. (Sometimes you’ll get a store Catalina but most of the time these are manufacturer coupons.)

Let’s use an example from a recent flyer: Purchase three bottles of shampoo or conditioner of a specific brand and receive a $5.00 Register Reward. The Register Rewards can only be used at a Walgreens store and they are equal to cash at Walgreens. You can never purchase tobacco, alcohol, money orders or gift cards with Register Rewards. Any other exclusion will be shown on your printed Register Reward.

The amount that you must spend to receive a Register Reward is the amount calculated prior to using any coupons. This makes Register Rewards an even nicer bonus!

Let’s use the same shampoo and conditioner example. If each bottle costs $4.00, your total for three would be $12.00. (You can absolutely use coupons with this transaction.) If you have three $1.00 coupons, you will now pay $9.00 for the three bottles and you will still get the $5.00 Register Reward in return. This is a great way to maximize your savings at Walgreens.

It’s important to note that the number of coupons you use cannot exceed the amount of products you are purchasing. Register Rewards are included in the total number of coupons. For example, let’s say you are purchasing 10 items and that you have one manufacturer coupon for each product and a $2.00 Register Reward. That counts as 11 coupons and the register won’t accept them since you are purchasing 10 products.

In this case, all you need to do is pick up one additional small item. My local store always has individually-wrapped caramels for about $0.50 right by the register. Add one (or any other item) and now the 11 coupons will be honored. The in-store coupons that you cut out of the weekly flyer or coupon book are not counted in this total. Only your manufacturer coupons and Register Rewards will be counted toward your total of coupons. Note: Register Rewards typically expire two weeks from the day they are printed.

Here are a few other important notes about Register Rewards.

  • Sometimes you can find Register Rewards deals in your store that are not listed in the weekly ads. Always keep your eyes open for unadvertised deals!
  • When you are using a Register Reward, you should never use it on the same offer because you won’t get additional Register Rewards. For example, in the sale flyer, there’s an offer for a $10.00 Register Reward when you purchase $25.00 worth of vitamins. If you try to purchase another $25.00 worth of vitamins with your $10.00 Register Reward that you just earned, you will not receive an additional $10.00 in Register Rewards. It’s always best to use Register Rewards on another great deal; this way, you never forfeit any additional Register Rewards that may print.
  • In the event that you return products that you paid for with Register Rewards, you will not get those Register Rewards returned to you.

Balance Rewards Program
To get the sale prices in the Walgreens flyer, you must be a member of the Balance Rewards Program. It is free to join for anyone aged 13 or older. You can join online, at your local store, on the Walgreens mobile app or by calling the store. If you join online, you will not receive a physical card in the mail. If you really prefer having a physical card for your keychain or wallet, just ask any salesperson at Walgreens to link a card to your membership. If you forget your card, the cashier can always look it up by the phone number you have associated with your account.

Each time you make a purchase at a Walgreens store or at, you will get bonus points on many products that are shown in the flyer. You can redeem your points at any Walgreens or Duane Reade store or at The minimum amount of points you can use is 5,000.

  • 5,000 = $5.00
  • 10,000 = $10.00
  • 18,000 = $20.00
  • 30,000 = $35.00
  • 40,000 = $50.00

The best part of the program is that you can use your earned points and store and manufacturer coupons on the same purchase. It’s important to know that when you redeem points on a purchase, you won’t be earning points on that purchase.

If you are purchasing a bunch of products and you want to redeem 5,000 (for $5.00 off), your best bet is to use the points on an item that costs close to $5.00 and buy everything else separately to earn points.

When you have earned the minimum of 5,000 points, each time you go to the register you will be asked if you’d like to redeem them on that purchase or keep them. You can use a portion of your points if you’d like. You will have the same options when placing an online order. The maximum points that can be utilized on one transaction is 40,000, which is equal to $50.00. Note: Balance Rewards points expire three years after they are earned or if your account has been inactive for a period of six months.

If you didn’t show your card during a transaction or have the cashier look up your card, you can still get the points. Just call the customer service department, log in to your online Balance Rewards account or use the Walgreens mobile app to request the points. Just make sure to have your receipt on hand.

Prescription Points

Every time you pick up a prescription in-store, you will earn get 500 points. You will also earn 500 points for any immunization that you receive at your Walgreens store. A few things to know about prescription points:

  • You can earn points on pet prescriptions, too.
  • Only the prescriptions that you physically pick up at the store pharmacy will earn points. If you get one in the mail, program points will not be earned.
  • Pharmacy items purchased in Arkansas, New Jersey or New York are not eligible to earn points. In these three states, Balance Rewards members can earn 10 points for each $1.00 spent on nonprescription cold, cough, pain or sleep medication and vitamins.
  • Prescriptions that are transferred to any Walgreens in Alabama, Oregon, Mississippi or Puerto Rico are also not eligible to earn points.
  • Points will not be rewarded on prescriptions that are filled to anyone who currently is or was at any time in the previous six months covered by Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare or any other government-funded healthcare program.

Excluded Products
Points will never be issued on purchases of alcohol, dairy, tobacco, stamps, prepaid phone cards, money orders, money transfers, transportation passes, lottery tickets, charitable donations, pseudoephedrine or Ephedrine products, health tests or contact lenses.

AARP Members
You can earn more Balance Rewards if you are an AARP member. Learn more about the benefits here.

Walk with Walgreens Program
You can sign up to be a part of this great program that rewards you just for walking. After you sign up, you can link your walking account to your Balance Rewards account. Note: You must sign up for the walking program separate from signing up for your original Balance Rewards card.

You will earn 10 points for each mile that you walk, up to 100 miles per month. Just log in to your account and input your steps and your points will be added to your card. Plus, you will also periodically receive select rewards when you log in. When I signed up for my account, I was received a reward of 10% off name brand sneakers.

Clearance Items
You can always use coupons on clearance items at Walgreens, which will result in an amazing deal. You should always know where the set clearance spots are in your local store. My store has two end caps dedicated to clearance merchandise. Other clearance items will be located on the shelves throughout the store so keep your eyes peeled for the amazing orange clearance tags.

Prescription Savings Club
Walgreens also offers a Prescription Savings Club. It only costs $20.00 for an individual membership or $35.00 for a family membership. Compare the costs of medication to what you’re currently paying. With the membership, you’ll also save an additional 10% on all Walgreens and Nice products.

Rain Checks
If you find an awesome deal in the flyer and the store doesn’t have the item in stock, you can show the cashier the ad and ask for a rain check. When the item is back in stock, the sale price will be honored. In some cases, the store may offer a substitute product.

The crucial thing to know about Walgreens’ rain check policy is how it pertains to Register Rewards offered with the sale. If the item you were planning on getting is on sale for two for $10.00 with a $3.00 Register Reward, you will miss out on that $3.00 Register Reward if that product doesn’t come back into stock during that specific sale. The best way to handle this is to find out when your store gets stock delivered and if more of your product is expected with the next order. Another option is to ask the manager to get it from another store that may have more stock. I have asked them to do this many times and they’ve never had any issue with getting it from another store. Note: Rain checks do not have to be used at the store they were issued. You can use them at any Walgreens you’d like.

Rebate Program
Walgreens has a handy Rebates Program section online to help you keep track of your rebates. Otherwise, the rebate information is always available on the back of the monthly coupon booklet. You can receive your rebate via check, PayPal, Visa Prepaid Card or Walgreens rebate card. If you choose the Walgreens rebate card, you will get an additional 10% of your total rebate added to your card. This is an awesome incentive!

Other Ways to Save at Walgreens

  • Sometimes the cosmetics counter has free samples or coupons. It never hurts to ask!
  • Sign up here to receive weekly emails with coupons and information about current and upcoming sales. You can also sign up get ongoing promotional information about the photo center or you can request to receive the diabetic newsletter.
  • Sign up here to get text messages sent to your cell phone or to download the Walgreens mobile app. The app allows you to order prescription refills, order photos for pickup, check your Balance Rewards points, access coupons and view the store map of your local Walgreens. Note: Walgreens often runs promotions via the mobile app that reward you with a $25.00 Walgreens store gift card for transferring your prescription from another pharmacy to Walgreens.
  • Check the Walgreens sign in the parking lot for sales that aren’t listed in the weekly flyer.
  • Walgreens offers this voucher to anyone over 18 years old that is valid for one blood glucose test, one body composition test and one blood pressure test. This voucher can be redeemed at select pharmacies so call ahead to make sure your local Walgreens accepts them.
  • You can get free shipping on all online orders of $25 or more. Note: Orders that weigh 10 pounds or more may incur an additional shipping fee.
  • Check out the Walgreens photo department page for ongoing promotions – I can usually find great deals.
  • Each week, you’ll see a section on the website that lists all the products that you can purchase online and earn Bonus Rewards points on.
  • You can find clearance items online but since you can’t use manufacturer coupons online, I prefer to shop for clearance in the store.
  • Walgreens also offers web pickup as an option when you order online. Just select the store closest to you and you can pick up your order within an hour! Plus, you won’t be charged for your order until you actually pick it up. The best part about web pickup is that Walgreens frequently runs specials that are only valid through this program. Some stores even have curbside pickup!
  • Walgreens wants you to be 100% satisfied with all of your purchases. If you aren’t satisfied, you can return the unused portion of the product to the store for a full refund.

Now that you know all the ways you can save at Walgreens, it’s time to redeem your coupons at the register. When you have a bunch of different coupons, it’s important to give them to the cashier in a specific order for maximum savings.

For example, when you are purchasing any product at Walgreens with a Buy One, Get One Free (BOGO) coupon, it’s very important to hand the cashier your manufacturer coupon before the store coupons. Let’s say a pack of gum is regularly priced at $1.25 and is on sale this week in the ad for $0.80 ($0.45 savings). Plus, you have a BOGO manufacturer coupon. Your total before coupons is $2.50.

If you give the cashier the in-ad store coupon first, you will get the sale price of $0.80 per pack ($1.60 total). Then, use the BOGO manufacturer coupon for a total price of $0.80.

If you give the cashier the BOGO manufacturer coupon first, the cost is $1.25 for both packs. Then use the in-ad store coupon and take an extra $0.90 off. Your final price will be $0.35, which is $0.45 less!

I always hand the cashier my manufacturer coupons first, followed by the in-ad coupons and then finally any Register Rewards to achieve the highest savings.

Congratulations, you are now a Walgreens expert shopper and saver!