What Is A Filler Item?

by Alli on October 27, 2015

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What Is A Filler Item One of the questions that I’m asked often is “What is a filler item?” I mention fillers in matchups and deal scenarios, so let me expand a little bit further. A filler item is an item that is typically low in cost that enables you to use a reward.

The most common scenario that would include a filler item is a shop at Walgreens. Walgreens offers many deals that produce Register Rewards. Because they are manufacturer’s coupons and you are limited to one manufacturer’s coupon per item during any purchase (at any store), filler items help a couponer out a great deal! (You can read more about Register Rewards here.)

For example, you are doing a deal where Ice Breakers Mints are on sale for $1.99 with $1.99 Register Rewards back. Sharpies are on sale for $.33 each (this is your filler item) and Colgate is on sale for $2.99 with $2.50 Register Rewards back. You have a coupon for the Colgate, so here’s what you could do:

Transaction #1
Buy Ice Breakers Mints $1.99
Pay $1.99 plus tax, Get $1.99 Register Rewards
Final Price: Free

Transaction #2
Buy 1 Colgate Toothpaste $2.99
Buy 1 Sharpie $.33 (this is your filler item)
Use $1 Colgate Toothpaste from 1/31 SS
Also use $1.99 Register Rewards from your previous transaction
Pay $.33 plus tax, Get $2.50 RR from Colgate
Final Price: $.18 Moneymaker

You’ll notice that you have two items in the second transaction and you have two manufacturer’s coupons (one being the Register Reward). Perfect! That is the only thing that the registers notice when it comes to manufacturer’s coupons and that is where your filler comes in.

You’ll typically want filler items to be low in cost so that you can get the benefit of the Register Reward towards the rest of your order. Good filler items include things like pencils (often on sale 6/$1 or so during back-to-school season), Sharpies, clearance candy, caramels at the register (typically $.34) or anything that you may see in the ad for $.50 or less.

Ready for more? Check out a list of other Couponing Tips here!

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