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See I told you, this would help!

Coupon Abbreviations
  • SC = Store Coupon
  • MC = Manufacturer Coupon
  • SS = Smart Source
  • RP = Red Plum
  • PG = Proctor and Gamble
Coupon Terms
  • WYB = When You Buy
  • B1G1 = Buy One Get One Free
  • .75/1 = 75 cents off one item
  • .75/3 = 75 cents off three items
  • EXP = Expiration Date

Going Nuts? I can help you understand coupon terms and abbreviations

Walgreens Tips & Tricks

on 3.24.2009 at 7:53am

This post may contain affiliate links. Read our disclosure here.

Lately there have been lots of issues for folks shopping at Walgreens. Let me try to give some tips to make it easier for you.  Hopefully this will also clear up some errors I have seen in your tips for others in comments.

If you are new to Walgreens shopping go here first and read the basics.

1. Walgreens limits your purchases by not allowing you to use a Register Reward from a deal to pay for the same deal again. You will NOT get the second Register Reward (RR).  They do this because not having a loyalty card this is the only way they can limit you.

Example: You buy toothpaste and get $2 RR, you can’t buy another toothpaste and use that RR to get another RR.

2. You CAN pay with Register Reward and get another Register Reward, as long as they are separate deals.
Example: You buy toothpaste and get $2 RR, use that RR to buy a Shampoo that gets $3 RR, you will get $3 RR for the shampoo.

3. If you want more of a Register Reward deal then alternate you purchase with another purchase.

Example: Buy Toothpaste, get $2 RR. Then buy Shampoo, use the $2 RR, get $3 RR. Buy another toothpaste use the $3 RR and you will get another $2 RR.

4. Some Walgreens stores have reprogrammed their Catalina machine (the machine that prints out Register Rewards). If you buy an item and are told that using a coupon made your RR not print, you are probably in one of those stores. There is nothing in Walgreens advertisements that state you can’t use coupons. If your RR does not print, don’t bother with the store management (they can fix it but don’t like to), just leave and call 1-888-8COUPON and talk to the Catalina company and they will mail you the RR that she have received.

5. Walgreens computers are programmed to not accept coupons for an item if the coupon is over the price the of item. To help reduce problems use coupons in this order when checking out.

• Any $/$$ (like $5 off $20 purchase)
• Register Rewards
• B1G1 manufacturer coupons
• Other Manufacturer coupons
• Then Store coupons

I know this is backwards to use your register rewards first, but they seem to work better if used first. Because they are a manufacturer coupon the system will kick them out if you have already used a coupon from that manufacturer. If it is going to kick out a coupon you would rather it not let you use a .50¢ coupon than a $5 RR.

Because most Walgreens coupons are really price changing codes rather than money off coupons, you want to use these last. You want the computer to think the item is full price when you use your manufacturer coupon. Then use the store coupon to reduce the price to .59¢ or whatever the coupon is for. If your store is quick to use store coupons first then keep your store coupons out of site until after manufacturer coupons have been used. Put manufacturer coupons on top of the products to help them get scanned first.

6. If you get a Register Reward try to have another transaction planned to use it right then or take it to Publix and use it there. Most RR expire at random times in 1 week, 2 weeks , 10 days… it is just too hard to remember those dates and use them before the expire. If you do leave the store with it, plan to use it somewhere else. Publix and other stores can accept register rewards because they are really manufacturer coupons.

7. Walgreens corporate policy is to accept printable coupons. If they tell you that they will not take the coupons then call corporate and they will correct the management of that store.

    • Julie

      In anyone’s experience, will the Publix in Ballentine take Walgreens RRs? Also, is the Walgreens in Ballentine one of the ones who has reprogrammed their catalina machine?

      • Jenny

        I know the new Walgreens on Lake Murray is very difficult with RR, I always go to the one on Kennerly if there is a good deal to be had.

    • Sarah

      I disagree with your #4 statement. I tried to call Catalina for my $2 RR on the Dry Idea and was told by Catalina that I didn’t get my $2 RR because I used a RR for that deal. I didn’t use that RR, I used $2 coupons that I had. So Catalina still wouldn’t send me my RR.

    • Jenn

      I know it says “manufacturer’s Q” on the RR, but my Publix insists on ringing them up as a competitors store coupon. For some reason this bothered me enough to ask managers at a couple of Publixes in my NCF area, they all said they have to ring it as a competitor’s Q. Is this just a regional quirk?

    • Scarlett

      Thanks for clearing things up for me. When I was recently doing the sense and spray deal, the computer did not want to allow me to use my RR. A patient manager was able to explain to me that I needed to add an item to the order since I had too many manu. coupons for the amount of items purchased. According to my count I did not, but since the RR is actually a manu. coupon (news to me) I had to add a pack of gum for it to work, which it did.

    • Stephanie

      Concerning the Dry Idea coupon. I too called Catalina over that, as I wanted to know where my RR was! It was explained that the coupon had the same barcode as a RR, so the register considered it a RR and did not print another. So it is not that a coupon was used (or an actual RR), it was that they coded that coupon to avoid printing a RR. HTH!

    • cassie

      I went to walgreens monday. My third visit. I had $2.00 in RR from the dryel deal. I wanted to spend them before I left the store. So I picked up a pack of charmin for $4.00. I had my $2.00 in RR and a $1.00 off ANY charmin coupon from the P&G booklet. I gave them my RR first and that went through fine. Then my charmin coupon. It would not go through. She then took off the RR and tried the charmin coupon it went through then the RR it would not work. She then told me I could use one or the other but not both. Has anyone ever had this problem before.

      • Jenny


        Your problem was that you had one item and two manufacturer coupons. The computer can only take one coupon per item so had you thrown in a 5 cent candy it would have taken both. Sorry.

    • Crystal

      After reading this, I laughed. I had that happen to me too (about the deo plus the fact that I talked to a store manager and he blew me off!) I bought diapers when the huggies were on sale, had those awesome 5 dollar off coupons, the manager told me that if you use man. coups, you can’t get the rr’s. I told him that my other wags across town does and he said that is was a physical impossibility and pretty much told me that I was a liar, until I whipped out my receipt from the other wags and then he said, it must have been a fluke. I don’t go to that wags anymore, I go to my fave one and have become friends with one of the cashiers, she lets me know some inside things and even tells me when she is working so that I get all my coupons worked correctly (like when a coup isn’t working and they have to enter it in manually, a lot of cashiers tell me, oh you can’t use this it won’t scan) So be good to your cashiers some will look out for you!

    • MelRae

      Thank you, Jenny for writing this. It makes me not want to give up on Walgreens. But the fact that you even felt like you needed to write this is a testament to how unfriendly Wags is to couponers. It would seem that they purposefully make it hard on folks to use coupons and get RRs. I think they count on most folks going in there and paying full price and never trying to work any deals.

      I was in CVS yesterday, talking with my fave cashier. I guess she has never been to Wags, as she was surprised that Wags does not have a loyalty card!

    • I was a little frustrated today when I went in to Walgreens. Cereal is currently one of their specials and items marked on the shelf. I got to the register and the Special K cereal (marked on shelf with ad price) rang up as regular price. The manager was nice and said it was the Special K bars. I ended up buying the Special K bars, but it was frustrating that it was advertised on the shelf! I did get the Listerine special at a different Walgreens.

    • leigh

      does anyone know if the huggies $10 register reward should still be printing? i was just wondering if it is supposed to last all month or was just for the one week. i bought three packs yesterday, used coupons and no RR printed out. the cashier told me it was because i used coupons, which we know is not correct. thanks!

    • Julieann

      Thanks Jenny for your help. Unfortunately each store seems to have its own set of rules and they don’t really care what corporate says because it’s not like you have them on the phone while you’re in the store.

      I agree with everyone above! Wags is becoming unfriendly to couponersm but so are some other stores. I can’t stand RR’s. They do expire so quickly and you end up having to purchase items that you have no coupon for in order to use the RR. At least at CVS, ECB’s are universal…..I have never had a problem using them or getting one to print out.

      Wags has been having a lot of good deals lately which is why I keep going back, but if it’s a RR deal, I won’t do it unless I can get it close to a deal price even before the RR. They’re also out of stock on sale items so quickly.

      You work very hard for us all Jenny….we certainly appreciate it.

    • Julieann

      This was a one week deal and it was over on Saturday I believe. I used coupons with my Huggies deal and the RR did print out. But, like Jenny said in this post, your store may be one of those “reprogrammed” stores.

    • I have three Wags in my area. one I will NOT shop at, one I LOVE to shop at, and one that is hit or miss. One told me it is their policy to always do esq’s first. So if your cashier knows there is an esq on your items, they may insist on doing them first (this prevented me from getting overage with the Glade s&s deal a while back). Just fyi.

    • This was an awesome post! Thank you soooo much!

    • Kathy

      I have to say that I have not had these types of problems with Walgreens. I used a RR from the coke deal a couple of weeks ago to purchase cokes and the RR did not print. I was not aware of the policy you mentioned, so I asked the cashier. She called the manager, and he gladly worked it out so that a RR would print.

      I did the same thing at another Walgreens (yes we like our Cokes!), and the RR did not print. That manager gave me a form that I could fill out and send it to get my RR.

      I am still waiting for them to arrive in the mail, but I had a wonderful experience at both stores just by talking to the manager in a polite and respectful manner.

    • I wish calling corp did something about our local store but it’s useless. They do everything they can to avoid coupons. It’s very frustrating.

    • do you really mean that RR can be used at any store just like an manufacturer coupon?

    • Laura

      I’m also curious about using the RRs as manufacturer’s coupons–I’ve been doing Wags for awhile and have never heard that before. Is it only Publix that accepts them, or will any store take them? Thanks for all your hard work!!

      • Jenny

        I have heard of lots of Publix stores taking them and many other stores, even a K mart. There is mailing information on the RR so many stores if they submit it will get reimbursed even.

    • Great post! This is why I DON’T shop at Walgreens much – such a hassle, but this post was a great breakdown if you really want to shop there! :)

    • Krista

      Just watch out — I went to publix & they stopped taking the RR’s. They said they aren’t able to get reimbursed for them & won’t accept them or even food lion coupons now….they had been up until Sunday. I think a lot of stores are changing their policies—so it is good to check each visit what competitors they take. I got stuck at the register paying a whole lot more than I had planned because of this new change. Just because they have been…doesn’t mean they still do, so be careful!

    • Julie

      I have stopped shopping @ Walgreens altogether. The employees are rude and not helpful @ all & it has just become too much of a hassle.

    • Sharon

      Jenny your post are always so great, thanks in Advance for all your hard work…You have saved me thousands and I would be safe saying MILLIONS for all who follow your post.
      FYI to ones who still want to shop Walgreens: I went to Walgreens yesterday and decided to do a test. I had a 10 RR from the diaper deal, I rolled that last week with the listerine 6 rr, 1rr on the dry idea, and 2rr on the 4 soda’s, this week I rolled those, I got 6 pledge items that give $1 rebate for each item max6, used the 2.00 off pledge items from the right@home site, will make each item 50 cent, got the tums for 7.99-3.00 coupon -3.00 RR paid 1.99, and the cereal for 4/10.00 – 3.00 in coupons and rolled 2 more RR’s and got back 2.00rr. Got 2 of the razors (on separte trans) rolling 4 RR and getting back 4 and with the 4.00 coupon made it 99 Cents. I had been up to 47.00 in RR and have bought alot of clearance items this week, I have 13 left in RR’s to roll next week.
      THE SECRETE:::: RR’s are manufactures coupon’s, If you purchase a item with RR’s and you have a coupon for that item you MUST have a item that doesn’t have a coupon with it or they won’t take the RR or wont take the manufactures coupon. You will lose out on one or the other. RR’s are company coupons NOT item coupons, so if you buy a item (Fusion Razor = P & G is the company) You can NOT use that RR to pay for another P & G item and get RR’s back. Same thing goes for the Tums = GlaxosmithKline I cant use that RR to pay for any Glaxo item that I would be gettin RR’s back on. I tested this over and over again on Monday, the Manager of the store said that will help from makin customers angry when they have to refuse a coupon, it’s not them it’s the computer. LONG part now the SHORT, count your items as you shop, you have to count each RR as a coupon, you must have the same number of items as you do coupons/RR’s, I bought 3 packs of Tic Tac’s that were 25 cent a pack to fill my order. That 75 cent allowed me to use a 6, 6 and 4 RR with NO problems. Hope this helps everyone understand this more. I’m lovin my Walgreens, and lovin Southern Savers. I visit Lexington and Lake Murray Blvd, SC.

    • Wendy

      Jenny, I also had the very same experience Sarah did above.
      “I also tried to call the Catalina company for my $2 RR on the Dry Idea Deal and was told by them that I didn’t get my $2 RR because I used a $2 coupon for the deal. The Catalina company would not send me my RR. I told them I thought it was false advertisement (very nicely) and that it does not say anything about if you use coupons you will not recieve the rr. He said I needed to call Walgreens corporate about the issue.
      He said he could not send me an rr because of the way Walgreens has some store registers set up. What is corporates #? Do you know? Thanks!

    • Sarah

      2 things – the clerk today told me that if I used 2 RR’s in one transaction, one might not work. Is that correct?

      And, would someone let me know – still new to the “new” couponing game -what the symbol $/$$ means in the above explanation of how to use coupons to maximize savings?

    • Heather

      Has anyone seen the signs hanging on the diaper aisle that says “buy 2 get $2 off” ? I planned on getting some Huggies diapers which were on sale this week for 9.99 plus I planned on using my $3 off Huggies Q. Since I saw the sign for $2 off 2 I decided to buy 2. When I checked out I did not get any benefit from buying 2. The cashier said since they were on sale I was really already getting the discount which makes no sense to me because the sale had nothing to do with buying 2. I think this is false advertisng. Anyone else experience this or can explain it to me?

    • Heather – The “buy two get $2” off is their normal “deal”. A regular pack of Huggies costs $12.99. However, you buy two, you pay $23.98, instead of the cost of two, which is $25.98. That’s how you “save” two dollars. Buying more gets you discounted diapers.

      Sarah – No, that’s not true. I used 3 RRs in my transaction this morning, and all three of them worked fine. Just as long as your total before tax is over the amount of the RR, it should go through just fine.

      And Walgreens occasionally puts out “$5 off $20” {or similar} coupons. The idea behind that is to buy $20 dollars of merchandise, use that coupon first, and then use your other coupons.
      An example:

      Huggies Gentle Care Diapers x2 – $10 each
      Total: $20
      -$5/$20 = $15
      -$5 Huggies IP (x2) = $5.

      In the end, you pay $5+tax for two packages of Huggies. If you gave your manufacturer’s coupons first, you’d have to to get at least four packs of diapers to get a total of $20 after MCs, and then use the $5/$20 coupon. That would make the total $15+tax for four packs of diapers.

      I’ve never noticed #6; all my RRs have always expired exactly two weeks from the day I bought the items. How weird…

    • Teri

      Is there still a current coupon/deal to where you get Glade products free or very cheap?

    • Lib

      Used to coupon years ago. I’m out of practice, but I’m picking up the new rules fast on this site. Really like this site.

    • Odie

      I was wondering if someone may have encountered this. I went to Walgreens the other day to get my Garnier shampoo at a deep discount by using the Easy Saver coupon as well as my newspaper coupon. I was told by the cashier that they do not do that anymore as of March 1st as the Easy Saver booklet coupon is viewed as a manufacturers coupon, just like the newspaper coupons and you can only use one of those per item. Just wondering if anyone else had this happen. I’m a newbie, so I’m still trying to get the system down. Thanks.

    • Carolyn

      Yeah, I’ve found Walgreens changes the ways they treat coupons depending on the cashier. I tried to purchase dove deod the other day for 1 off .99 – the asst mgr wouldn’t let me do it. So, the next time I went, I got a different cahier – she gave it to me free – it’s frustrating to say the least!!! But – I’ll keep going back as long as I get some savings. If I don’t get what I want, I just tell them to remove it from my bill –

    • I am a Walgreen’s cashier and I wanted to let you know I’m on Southern Savers site trying to figure out our “system”! When I check someone out that is working the system I ask a LOT of questions on how they get RR AND manufacturer coupons to work together. If I have happened to check someone out and didn’t accept all of your coupons that I should have it’s because I didn’t know there are “rules” of how to scan one first and not the other. Be patient with your cashiers – they might be like me and honestly not know what they are doing wrong. Thanks for all your posts and hopefully you won’t be in line behind ME when I start trying to use MY coupons!!! lol

    • I just ran into my first issue with WGs tonight and I’m so glad you had posted this! I should have gotten back two RRs and neither of them printed. I will call the number tomorrow and see if I can get them. Ugh. I hate when things don’t work right!

    • Lesa

      My Walgreens today told me I could only use one RR per transaction. Is this right? I’ve never heard this before.

    • Sindy

      It seems as though each store is a law unto itself, I today was successfully able to use 2 different sets of RR’s ($4.99 nivea & $2 ecotrin) to purchase Pepsi and received $3RR in return, it is true that you cannot use more coupons than items purchased, this was at the Reidville Rd store opp Bilo….
      Thanks for all the hard work Jenny!