Walgreens: Register Rewards Guide


(This is part seven of my couponing series. If you haven’t been following this series, you’ll probably want to start here to get caught up.)

Well, I thought I’d give you an extra day to wrap your head around the CVS ExtraCare program before delving into Walgreens’ Register Rewards program. It’s time to take a look at it though today.

Walgreens is similar in some ways to the CVS program, but there are some important differences to note. For this reason, I am going to just basically go through the Register Rewards (RR’s) tutorial the same way I did for CVS ExtraCare bucks.

How It Works

What are Register Rewards?

Register Rewards are coupons that print from a Catalina machine located at the register when you purchase specific products each week.

These RR’s can be used on almost anything in the store except for the purchase of the same item for which you received the RR. If you purchase the same item again and use that particular RR, a new RR will NOT print.

As with other coupons, RR’s do expire; however, the expiration dates tend to vary. From my experience, I’ve noticed a two or three week time frame most often.

How do you know which purchases earn Register Rewards?

If you look at the Walgreen’s weekly ad, you will see that there are certain products that show an amount of RR’s you will receive when you purchase those specific products or a specific dollar amount of those items.

For example, in a recent ad, Oscar Mayer Bacon was on sale for 2/$6 with a $1 RR. In other words, if you purchase 2 packs of Oscar Mayer Bacon, a $1 RR will print from the Catalina machine. You can then turn around and use that RR to purchase a different store item.

Are there limits placed on the number of RR’s you can receive for specific items?

Walgreen’s technically does not set limits for earning RR’s on certain products. It would be difficult for them to do this because, unlike CVS, you do not have a store card for them to now what you have purchased during the course of the week.

However, this is one reason why you can’t use the same RR you received for the purchase of a product to buy another of the same product. This is Walgreen’s attempt to limit the number of RR deals per person.

They also limit the number of RR deals per product in a single transaction. In other words, for the bacon deal, if you purchased 4 packs of bacon in a single transaction, still only one $1 RR would print. To get a second RR for the bacon deal, you would have to do a completely separate transaction.

What is the best way to spend you Register Rewards?

You can either use them to buy things you need right then or save them to purchase items another day that will earn RR’s also (called rolling your RR’s). Since RR’s typically have a short expiration period, I personally tend to do multiple transactions in one trip.

I do one or two transactions to buy items that earn me RR’s and then do a final transaction using those RR’s to purchase other on-sale items that I need. This way, I don’t have to worry about my RR’s expiring on me. I’m done when I leave the store.

Using Coupons at Walgreens

There are three types of coupons you will probably use while shopping at Walgreens.

  • Walgreens Store Coupons
  • Manufacturer Coupons
  • Register Rewards

Walgreens Store Coupons

Walgreens always has many store coupons available. They can be found in the weekly ads, and there is also a monthly coupon booklet that can be found usually near the store ads. In addition, occasionally there are other booklets and pamphlets throughout the store than contain store coupons.

Manufacturer Coupons

Now, you know what these are and where to find them.

Register Rewards

Yes, Register Rewards are a type of coupon, good only at Walgreens, that is provided by the manufacturer of the product you have purchased as a reward for purchasing their product. The difference between this RR coupon provided by the manufacturer and other manufacturer coupons is that it has to be used on the purchase of other products, as we discussed earlier.

How can you use all three of these coupons in a single transaction?

Okay, here’s the part that can get a little confusing.

When you’re using manufacturer coupons and Register Rewards in the same transaction, you must make sure the number of items you are purchasing  is equal to the total number of manufacturer coupons plus the total number of Register Rewards you are using in that transaction.

# of manufacturer coupons + # of RR coupons  = # of items

In order to make this equation work out correctly, you sometimes have to add what is called a “filler item” to your transaction. The filler item can cost as little as a few cents. This will make more sense in a minute when I get to the scenarios.

Note: Do not count Walgreens store coupons in the above equation. They do not affect this coupon to item ratio. You can combine, or stack, them with the manufacturer/RR coupons.

Putting this Information to Practical Use

For our scenarios, here are some items from a recent ad, as well as actual coupons I had at the time.

Colgate MaxFresh $2.99


  • RR = $2
  • Manufacturer Coupon = $1 off one

Oscar Mayer Bacon 2 for $6


  • RR = $1 (when you buy 2 pks)
  • Manufacturer Coupons = $1.50 off one pkg

Hunts Tomato Sauce .33 ea w/store coupon


  • Store coupon = Coupon in the weekly ad to get 3 for $1
  • Manufacturer Coupons = $1 off 3

Mars Candy .49 ea (this will be our filler item in Scenario #2)


Scenario #1

Transaction #1

  • Buy 1 Colgate Toothpaste $2.99
  • Buy 2 Oscar Mayer Bacon $6
  • Buy 3 Hunts Tomato Sauce $1 (will be FREE)
  • Use (1) Colgate Coupon ($1)
  • Use (2) Oscar Mayer Coupons ($3)
  • Use (1) Hunts Manufacturer Coupon ($1)
  • Use (1) Hunts in-ad store coupon

Amount Due = $4.99 + tax

Get Back = $3 Register Rewards ($2 for Toothpaste, $1 for Bacon)

Total Cash Paid Out = $4.99 + tax (for 1 Toothpaste, 2 Pks Bacon, 3 Tomato Sauce with $3 RR for later)

Scenario #2

Transaction #1

  • Buy 1 Colgate Toothpaste $2.99
  • Buy 3 Hunts Tomato Sauce $1 (will be FREE)
  • Use (1) Colgate Coupon ($1)
  • Use (1) Hunts Manufacturer Coupon ($1)
  • Use (1) Hunts in-ad store coupon

Amount Due = $1.99 + tax

Get Back = $2 Register Rewards

Transaction #2

  • Buy 2 Oscar Mayer Bacon $6
  • Buy 1 Mars Candy .49 (filler item)
  • Use (2) Oscar Mayer Coupons ($3)
  • Use (1) RR from Transaction #1 ($2)

Amount Due = $1.49 + tax

Get Back = $1 Register Reward

Total Cash Paid Out = $3.48 + tax (for 1 Toothpaste, 3 Tomato Sauce, 2 Pks Bacon, 1 Candy, plus you have $1 RR for later)

Okay, let’s look at that filler item. If you notice, in that second transaction, we were planning to use 2 manufacturer coupons and 1 RR coupon, so we had to buy at least 3 items.

In Walgreens’ system, the 2 Oscar Mayer manufacturer coupons attach themselves to the 2 packs of bacon, and the RR coupon has to have some item to attach itself to. In this case, it’s the candy.

Other Information and Tips

  • Always hand the cashier the manufacturer and RR coupons first followed by the Walgreens store coupons.
  • Be sure to get a raincheck if an item is out of stock. It is usually good for 30 days.

I think that about wraps it up for Walgreens. Please tell me I have not thoroughly confused you. Like I said in my CVS guide, start out with simple transactions and you’ll get the hang of it in no time.

Well, guess what! You’ll be glad to know that in comparison to CVS and Walgreens, Rite Aid is a piece of cake, or at least in my opinion. We’ll be taking at look at Rite Aid’s Single Check Rebate program in a couple of days so don’t miss it.

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Posted on April 2nd, 2010 in Money Matters | 15 Comments


  • Maribel says:

    Fantastic article Amanda!

    I just gave your blog a shout out here:

    Kind Regards,
    Maribel Ibrahim
    The Frugal Writer
    @thefrugalwriter on Twitter
    .-= Maribel ´s last blog ..Four Awesome Family Deals This Week!!! =-.

  • emj says:

    Thanks for the explanation!

    I have one question: If you have a $5 RR and buy something that costs $4, will you lose the remaining dollar?

    • Amanda says:

      Yes. That is if the cashier will even take it being it is for less than the purchase price. The best thing to do is to grab something else (candy, can of soup, etc) that you can get for about a dollar. Then you don’t have to worry about it.

  • emj says:

    Ok, gotcha. Thanks!

  • Aimee says:

    Can you use more than one RR for a transaction? EX: Buy 2 items, use 2 manufacturer’s coupons and 2 RRs?

  • Kindyle says:

    I was actually told that it’s in their policy to either reduce the price of the coupon to match the item’s price or to increase the price of the item to match the coupon’s price as far as concerning a coupon that exceeds the value. I printed their policy earlier today and it does indeed say that.

  • annie says:

    What is the policy when earning a rr when it is on a $ amount?
    Revlon 40% off with a 3rr wyb $10. i have both wag coupons and man coupons?

    How do I work this deal?

    • Amanda says:

      Sorry it took me so long to get back to you on this question. I just had Lasik eye surgery on Thursday, so I haven’t been on the computer a lot in the last couple of days.

      My initial thought was that your register total, after the 40% discount, would need to be at least $10 of participating products, before all coupons and tax, for your register reward to print.

      However, I have never personally done a transaction with this particular scenario, and after doing some research, it appears that others are not sure exactly how this will work out either. It all depends on how their system is set up to calculate the discounts.

      I’m sorry I could not be more help.

  • Hannah says:

    How can you use two of the same Manufacture Coupons at once? You did that for the Oscar Meyer items, but manufacture coupons say that you cant use more than 1 of the same coupon at once in small writing…?

    • Amanda says:

      Most manufacturer coupons say, “limit one coupon per item purchased” or “limit one coupon per purchase.” In these cases, each pack of Oscar Mayer is considered a separate purchase of that product. Therefore you use one coupon per pack, or per purchase.

      Occasionally, however, you will run across a coupon that will say, “limit one coupon per transaction” or “limit one coupon per customer.” In these cases, you would only be able to use one coupon for that particular item even if you purchased more than one.

      The difference lies in the specific wording on the coupon, which will vary from time to time.

  • Beth says:

    Thank you for this informational post! I am getting back into couponing, but never tried Walgreens. It always seemed overly complicated. I gave it a try today and walked away with some STEALS after RRs. Thank you!

  • Teresa M says:

    Thank You, Thank You. That just cleared up my coupon confused head:)

  • Sheri says:

    Great explanation of using coupons/RR at Walgreens! Thank you. Today I did several transactions and saved 50%. Fortunately I had a very nice cashier who corrected me on a few so it would turn out better. I think there are ways to save more – but I’m just starting out and saving 50% is still better than nothing!
    .-= Sheri´s last blog ..An Injection of Joy =-.

  • Amber says:

    Hello, I had a question…can I stack my register rewards? And if so, upto how much per transaction?

  • Amanda K says:

    Did you have to install a coupon printer to print out online coupons. If so, which one and is it safe?

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