Monday, June 6, 2011

Perplexing Walgreens Trip 6/6/ solve the puzzle!

I took a trip to Walgreens today & was delighted to find that all of the items I was after were quite well stocked!  Maybe a first since I started couponing! 

There was another first for me today, however, which I wasn't quite so delighted about.  It related to the number of items I was purchasing in one of my transactions (pictured above) as compared to the number of manufacturer's coupons I was using.  I had calculated it out as an exact match of 16 items and 16 manufacturer coupons (seven of which were register rewards from my prior transactions).  The register would not allow the last 3 of my register reward coupons ($5 total) to go through, despite the fact that I still had a subtotal of $7.72 (+ tax).  I've never had this problem before (or if I had, maybe the stores had just pushed it through?...there are problems with register reward beeps frequently, it seems)Have you ever had a similar issue?  Maybe you can help me figure out this puzzle?

The cashier called the store manager over to take a look & the manager said she thought they weren't working because three of my coupons had applied to two items each (the three Blue Diamond $0.60/2 coupons).  She said because they did this, I'd need to add three additional items to my order if I wanted to use my last three register rewards (this would make 19 items & 16 manufacturer's coupons).  I'm still a little confused by this, actually.  I don't recall ever having an issue with a coupon that applied to two items & my # of items count before.  I've usually been glad to have a coupon apply to two items in order to help meet or exceed the Walgreens # of items vs. # of manufacturer coupons ratio rule.

Looking at the receipt, I see the Blue Diamond Almonds buy one (at $3.59), get one free offer looked like this (I had purchased six total so the receipt repeated this three times):
+ $0.60/2 coupon:  MFG Coupon .60-MFGC  

I wonder whether the register wasn't accepting the three free (.00) almonds as "items" for my # of items total???

I had another buy one get one free item in the same transaction.  It was two Got2B styling products.  This B1G1FREE offer appeared differently on the receipt, however:
GOT2B IRON 6.8OZ 5.99
+ two $2/1 coupons.  Both showed as: MFG Coupon 2.00-MFGC

It seemed that when the register listed the buy one get one free sale as in the second example (free item being subtracted in full), there wasn't a problem.  However, when it listed the buy one get one free sale as in the first example (free item being .00), there was.  If the issue was the register not counting the .00 items in the total # of items, I don't know how to predict which way the B1G1FREE sale will show on the register in order to prevent this.  It might be best to just be sure to add an additional item in place of each "free" item (from B1G1FREE offer) to prevent possible beeps?

The cashier and manager were both very pleasant to deal with and the cashier even offered me additional coupons she had at the desk, etc.  We ended up having an interesting conversation about couponing, in general.  Even with this puzzle, it was an enjoyable trip, overall. 

Here's my full transaction:
4-Soda 12 packs (one 7-up & three Dr. Peppers), $2.50 each
+ used in ad store coupon to get sale price
= $2.50 each

2-Got2B Styling products, $5.99 each, B1G1FREE = $3.00 each
+ used two $2/1 coupons
= $1.00 each

4-Tampax tampons, 20 ct., three were $3.99 each, one was $5.79 (these were a buy one, get one 50% off), so $5.79 + $3.99 + $1.99 + $2.00 = $13.77 (or $3.44 each)
+ used four $1/1 coupons
= $2.44 each

6-Blue Diamond Almonds, 6 oz., $3.59 each, B1G1FREE = $1.80 each
+ used three $0.60/2 coupons
= $1.50 each

~Planned to use 7 RRs (from prior transactions), which totaled $28.  Only four of the RRs were accepted ~I'd love to more fully understand why. (the four totaled $23) 

Total Spent: $7.72 + tax ($9.72 total)
Total Saved: $63.52 (89% OFF)
~still have three RRs left for future use which total $5.00

To learn more about shopping & saving at Walgreens, see Store Tips & Policies: Drugstores.


  1. Usually they have a $.05 -$.10 candy jar at the main register, on the counter. I will add three $.05 Hershey Kisses to pop up the item count when it is a situation like this

  2. I've done that, too, when I truly don't have enough items. What do you think caused it in this case, though? I had 16 items and 16 manufacturer coupons.

  3. I wonder if one of your manufacturer coupons (if they were Register Rewards) were for the same company that provided them? Then they won't work. Like if Kimberly Clark gave you a $2 rr, you can't use that in the same shopping trip as another kimberly clark item. Maybe an idea.

  4. Actually Darcy, you CAN use them that way

    The problem with doing that is, if you are trying to get a different KC RR deal, it won't print the RR because you are trying to "roll" the deal.

    The store manager was right, you had a Manu coupon for every item in the transaction: some covered 2 you couldn't simply go off the numbers of items vs Qs.

    Wags is working on changing their policies -- and actually has a test market going on with their reward's card. This will limit the megga shoppers from clearing shelves, etc.

  5. Thanks for everyone's feedback!

    Definitely a first for me (in terms of running into item # issues with a coupon that covers two items). I also e-mailed Walgreen's corporate earlier this morning to inquire about this. There's nothing in the policy that differentiates the item count for coupons that cover two items (such as my $0.60/2 coupons). I want to be sure I'm interpreting the stated policy correctly. I'll be sure to update once I hear back. Might just be that it's a new twist I need to take into account.

  6. I always have this problem at Walgreens in Madison. If I have a off 2 type coupon it's counted as if I have two coupons so I have to add more filler. It's extremely frustrating. Also, at the Walgreens in the Madison area I have recently had cashiers tell me that they have to take the Walgreens coupons first, thereby pretty much negating my manufacturer coupons. Is there something in Walgreen's coupon policy that says they have to take store coupons first? or is there something I could show them that says that is not the case?

  7. The policy states: "The number of manufacturer coupons, including Register RewardsTM manufacturer coupons, may not exceed the number of items in the transaction. The total value of the coupons may not exceed the value of the transaction. Sales tax must be paid, if required by state law."

    Given the above statement, I don't think it's right when they count a $ off 2 coupon as two coupons. The policy statement is misleading as worded, in my opinion.

    Also, I don't see anything in the Walgreens coupon policy that specifically addresses the order in which coupons should be scanned. However, I have had some cashiers request this, too.

    The policy does state:
    "Any coupon offer not covered in these guidelines will be accepted at the discretion of Walgreens management."

    So, in either case, it seems, it's up to the individual store manager.


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