Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Walgreens - Tips, hints, and general information..

First of all I mentioned in an earlier post how on an episode of Oprah the lady from http://www.couponmom.com/ recommended doing your shopping based on sale papers. This information didn't reach me just because of this Oprah episode, it also came from one of my friends and my coupon buddy, Kim W. When it comes to coupon shopping she is awesome! She can remember every coupon she has EVER clipped. She is able to immediately notice what coupons will work and where to get the most benefit. She can spot a clearance item from half an aisle away and like I said she immediately knows if she has a coupon available for this product. She is the best I have ever seen, that is why she is my shopping buddy, and you can't have her! :) Now that I have given credit where credit is due, lets get down to business with Walgreens.

Walgreens has several terms that we need to discuss:

1. IVC or Instant Value Coupon
These are coupons that are to be used at Walgreens store. These coupons are located in the monthly Easysaver catalog that is produced for Walgreens. (It is rumored that some Kroger stores will take these coupons as well.)

2. Easysaver Catalog or Easysaver Booklet
This is a monthly booklet that you pick up at Walgreens stores. It contains IVCs for items in the Walgreens store. It also has information on how to apply for the Walgreens rebates.

3. Rebates
We all know what a rebate is. You purchase a product and then you have to fill out some kind of form and mail it in with an "original cash register receipt". Well this is the same thing. Throughout the month Walgreens will offer rebates on items that you might purchase. You will take the Easysaver booklet fill out the form and send in the receipt (following the directions from the booklet). Every month there are different items on this list. Every month they have some items that are completely free after the rebate.

4. RR or Register Rewards
This is like a coupon that prints out at the register after a purchase is made for certain items. Each weekly sale paper tells the information on RR. Since there is no card system at Walgreens there will be no limit on how many times you can take advantage of the RR deal.
Example: Buy 2 Nestle products receive $1 RR
You would purchase 2 nestle products on their list (can use IVC, and/or manufacturers coupons if at your disposal) and after your transaction is complete you will receive a $1 coupon/RR good on your next purchase of ANYTHING.

5. Walgreens.com
Sometimes you will find printable coupons on their website for $5 off of $20 only good for Friday and Saturday. Make sure to check there under their promotions so that you don't miss out on this.
Hidden Freebie: http://www.thepeople-vs-stride.com/ Make sure to check that you would like to settle your case. This is really cute and you will get a free pack of Stride gum!

6. Double Dipping
Every month the Easysaver catalogs overlaps by about 2 days. During those two days you can increase your savings. Here is what you do. First look at the items in each catalog and find the coupons that are available for the same items (there will only be a few) in both catalogs. Then find manufacturers coupons that work on these items as well. So you buy the said items using 2 IVC coupons as well as a manufacturer's coupon and get the products for a fraction of the cost!

In order to save more combine coupons from their sales paper, IVCs, manufacture coupons, and RR. You can also do multiple transactions. Here is an example from MikeJones http://forumst.slickdeals.net/showthread.php?sduid=0&t=939484 (on a slickdeals forum), this is for the week of Oct. 19th: (oop = out of pocket)
Transaction 1:AlkaSeltzer 4.99- (no q's)= 4.99 oop, get $4.99 RR

Transaction 2: Fusion Razor 8.99- $4 MFQ- $4.99 RR= 0.00 oop, get $4 RR

Transaction 3: AlkaSeltzer 4.99- $4 RR= 0.99 oop, get $4.99 RR

Transaction 4: Fusion Razor 8.99- $4 MFQ- $4.99 RR= 0.00 oop, get $4 RR

Lather, rinse, repeat, stock up.
Total out of pocket (oop) : $4.99 + .99 = 5.98 for 2 packs of alkaseltzer and 2 razors

This example is just to show you how this can work. Again the key is planning. Find out what you want to purchase and work out your scenario before you ever enter the store.