DO not buy a product just because you have a coupon

One of our readers asked a great question over the weekend that applied to a recent Walgreens deal I posted on:

Reader – I don’t understand the of buying Vaseline sheer lotion and spending $6.00 to use $1.00 off. You are still initially spending $5.00. Even though you are getting RR’s for $5.00, you wind up buying something or spending on something you don’t need. When you use the RR the next time and have a manufacturer coupon, they don’t let you use 2 coupons.

A Thrifty Mom -This is great question, and I hope I can try to answer it for you. First off Vaseline happens to be my favorite lotion, so I am excited every time there is a deal on it. That being said, the key to getting the best deals at Walgreens is to “roll your register rewards” from week to week. A Register Reward is just like cash in your pocket there are just rules to using it.

On the example you stated, The Vaseline was $5.99. and you get back a $5 RR after you pay. I was able to use a manufacturer coupon for $1.00 off making my total out of pocket only $4.99 plus tax. Now I could just pay cash, but instead I paid with a $5 John Frieda hair catalina I got last week… because I used 1 coupon and 1 RR it messed up my coupon item ration (ratio 2 coupons 1 item). So I bought a black halloween cup for a filler item that was only $.13 for it. I can now pay (because my coupon item ratio is now 2 coupons, 2 items) Which means I pay $.12 plus tax and get back another $5 register reward that I can “roll” towards my next set of deals at Walgreens. Walgreens can be a little tricky to get the hang of… but worth learning because every week you can find a thrifty deal!

Do I ever buy things I do not need? Yes some times I do, but just because I do not need them does not mean they are going to waste. There are needy families every where. It breaks my heart I can not do more. It feels great to be able to give someone a really nice bottle of lotion, shampoo, razor…. that I only had to pay pennies for.


  • To view Walgreens official coupon policy click here
  • I always check out at the cosmetics counter, and if anyone comes behind me I let them go first, so I do not hold up the line.
  • One thing to remember about Walgreens RR (register reward) is you can not use a “chap stick RR” to pay for another chap stick and have another RR print. BUT you can use a “toothpaste” RR to pay for chap stick and have another RR print.
  • Also remember that Walgreens has a coupon item ratio rule, you can only use as many coupons as you have items. They count RR as coupons. So if I was only buying 4 items ( all of which had manufacture coupons which meant my item coupon ratio was already 4 to 4) I wanted to pay with a RR I would need to ad a filler item something cheap like a pencil. This would then make my coupon ration 5 ( 4 manufacturer coupons and 1 register reward) and my item ratio 5. I then could pay with my coupons and RR with no problem. An instore coupon does NOT count as a coupon in this ratio….just as a sale price.
  • Also remember that only one RR per product will print per transaction. For example If wanted to buy 3 bottles of Aussie shampoo. In order to have 2 RR print for each one I had to buy them in 3 transactions. My store is happy to let me go thru the line more than once ……but some store will limit you.
  • You can not pay for sales tax with a RR

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