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Couponing 101: Kroger
Sadly, since my move to the Northeast I don't get to shop at Kroger anymore, but it's still a hometown favorite and a great place to save. Yes, the prices are a lot higher than Walmart, but there's a reason people shop at this chain instead of the grocery giant.
1. Kroger Plus Card
Like most stores, Kroger offers a membership card that provides incentives for its regular customers. Unlike most stores, these incentives translate to huge discounts on almost every item in the store. While the regular price of an item at Kroger is almost always the most expensive compared to other stores, I've found that with my Kroger Plus Card discount the prices were actually much, much less.
2. Coupon Policy
There is no one policy on doubling coupons at Kroger stores, unfortunately. Some stores won't double at all, others allow doubling up to 50 cents and still others let you double up to 99 cents. I've never come across a Kroger that doubled coupons for over $1, though that's not to say it doesn't happen. You just have to find out what your local store allows. Since there are usually multiple stores in a town, call around before you go shopping to find out whether each store allows doubling and when. An extra ten minute drive might be worth it if you get double the savings!
Kroger does allow printable Manufacturer's coupons to be used and doubled (if allowed) like regular coupons. What makes Kroger unique coupon-wise is that the store not only features a large selection of digital coupons through your individual Kroger Plus account, but allows you to load those coupons onto your Plus card to activate at checkout. This means you don't have to lug around a bunch of paper coupons, which is by far my least favorite part of couponing!
3. Weekly Circular
Kroger also puts out a weekly ad listing of savings to be found at your local store. These can usually be found in your local newspaper, but are always available near the entrance of a Kroger store.
Kroger is another grocery store that offers discounted gas in exchange for points earned while shopping. Each point you earn on your Kroger Plus account translates to $1 spent in the store. 100 points = 10 cents off per gallon at participating Shell and Kroger gas stations. Not bad! The only caveat is that, unlike with other rewards programs, Shell doesn't let you redeem, say, 200 Kroger Plus Points for 30 cents off per gallon. You're limit is 10 cents off per transaction, up to 35 gallons, regardless of your points balance.
Fortunately, no such limit applies at Kroger gas stations! While you're still limited to 35 gallons per fill up at a Kroger gas station, you can still save up to $2 per gallon on gas, which translates into 2,000 fuel points. Additionally, if you buy a friend or family member a Kroger gift card for the holidays, you get double the fuel points. We'll talk more about this later. 1 prescription filled at Kroger will also earn you 50 fuel points automatically!
Fuel points are redeemable for a period of two months. This means that all points earned in January will be redeemable until the end of February.
5. Gift Cards
I mentioned before that if you buy a Kroger gift card, you'll receive fuel points for double the purchase amounts. A $50 gift card gets you 100 fuel points and 10 cents off gas automatically! This isn't limited to Kroger gift cards, either. Any gift card you purchase in a Kroger store, for a variety of brands and restaurants from Amazon to Applebee's, earns you double fuel points. This is a great way to be strategic with your holiday gift giving! And, if you know you'll spend a certain amount at Kroger in a given period of time, why not just buy a gift card and use it for your groceries while earning double?
Promotionals: Kroger offers a variety of promotionals that can be found on their website Promotions page. The current promition rewards you for downloading 4 coupons for participating P&G products off their website. If you buy 4 participating products, you save $4! If you tell 4 friends about this promition, you'll receive an additional $2 credit! This is just one example, so check the store's website regularly to learn about new promotions and ways you can cut your grocery (and gas!) bill significantly.