Walgreens – Take the Confusion Out of Coupon Shopping

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Walgreens TripI went to Walgreens yesterday for the 3rd time this week, to stock up on pain meds, toothpaste and hubby’s breakfast bars, but mainly I went on all these different trips because I needed my Register Reward (RR) fix! It’s not a huge shop, and the sale ended today, but I got $39 in RRs to roll for next week (when you multiply this trip by 3). I’ve been pretty slack in my drugstore shopping as of late and thought it was about time to get back in the game!

If you didn’t read the first post, Publix – Small Trip, Big Savings, I suggest you do that first so you will understand how to use the different columns that I won’t be explaining in this post. In that article, I explained how to use the grocery store tabs, but Walgreens does have a couple variances. So without further adieu, my trip and the explanation for how to use the Walgreens Shopping Spreadsheet tab:

Walgreens Trip Screenshot (You may have to click on it to get it big enough to see)

Walgreens RR Used Column

The Walgreens tab is a bit different because of the RRs. It’s used the same as the other tabs, which I explained in my previous post mentioned above, but with a couple additions. As far as doing my Walgreens trips, if you’ll notice, on this tab the first column unique to this sheet is the RR Used (Register Reward Used) column after the coupon (Q1, Q2, etc.) columns. In case you’re a newbie to Walgreens and don’t know what they are, RRs are manufacturer coupons you receive at Walgreens when you buy certain products each week. Every week Walgreens has different deals that earn you RRs and you can use these RRs on your next purchase, like cash, to bring your total down. For example in this shop, I used a $5 RR that I earned last week to bring my total down from $17.95 to $12.95, pre-tax. Because RRs are manufacturer coupons, when I use one, I enter it in the RR Used column so it is added to my total coupon count, which is explained in the next section.

# Qs Used Column

The Number of Coupons used (# Qs Used) is the next column unique to the Walgreens tab of the spreadsheet. This is important because as you may or may not know, at Walgreens you can’t have more manufacturer coupons than products. If you do, you need what we call “fillers;” something cheap to be added to the item count so that the coupons you use do not outnumber the products you buy. So in my spreadsheet, after I entered the coupons for each product in Q1 & Q2, I then typed in the total number of those coupons on the # Qs Used line. For example, with the toothpaste I used 2 $1 off coupons so I typed 2 in # Qs Used column. The Aleve also had 2, the South Beach Diet Bars had 1, and the Peeps had none. Also, I had one RR so that totaled 1 coupon for that line as well. So how do you tell if you need fillers? Once you’re done entering everything you are going to buy, compare the # of Items total to the # Qs Used total. On this trip, I had 13 Items and 5 Qs Used so I did not need fillers. If, for example, the total # of items were 5 and the Qs used were 6, I would have added a .10 piece of candy or something, to bring the item count to 6, matching the coupon count of 6. When would this happen? Usually with RRs. The more RRs you use at checkout, the more you run the risk of not having enough items because RRs are manufacturer coupons and are counted as such in the item to coupon ration. Even though RRs are coupons, in reality, they’re more like cash tokens or something because you don’t have to buy a product to use them, like a regular coupon. They’re more like a “gift” because you bought a particular product in the past; thus, the reason you won’t have a product to go with it on this trip for your coupon to item ratio. It can be confusing, which is why we recommend mastering other stores first before taking on Walgreens, but if you use this spreadsheet, it will take a lot of the guesswork out for you. As a side note, when taking into account the number of coupons, the only ones you don’t have to consider are the Walgreens coupons and Instant Value Coupons (IVCs). These store coupons do not count toward your coupon count. A bit of good news in all the confusion.

Walgreens RR Earned Column

The final column you won’t see on the other tabs is the RR Earned column. This is where you record what RRs you will receive on this trip. It’s more just a place for you to keep track of your RRs than anything else because this column won’t change any of your totals on this trip, it just gives you a total of what you’re going to receive, to use on your next trip. In this shop of mine, I earned RRs for the toothpaste, the Aleve and the SBD bars, which totaled $13.00. Truth be told, I did this exact same transaction 3 different times this week so I now have $39 in RRs to use next week and do it all over again. Not to mention my chocolate fix being taken care of! Yeah me! Some people like to use these RRs to buy things that don’t usually have coupons, or to use them on items that are on the expensive side, to help cut the cost, but I’m in the habit of “Rolling” my RRs. I will more than likely use these RRs I earned this week to buy more products next week that earn RRs, thereby “rolling” my rewards rather than “spending” them. It’s a personal choice, and everyone uses them differently, but it’s sort of a game to me to see how long I can keep them rolling along. To each his or her own I always say!

That’s it for the explanation of the Walgreens tab. They all pretty much work the same save for a couple differences with Walgreens and CVS, which I will do next. I haven’t had a CVS shop in awhile so this should be fun! Until then, Shop Happy! ~ Michele

By the way, if you’d like to try out my Shopping Spreadsheet for one of your trips, just click on the link, save it to a different name on your computer, and it’s all yours 🙂


  1. will try the shopping spreedsheet

  2. I love your spreadsheet, will have to put that on my work computer when I go back to work.

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