How to Save Money at Kroger

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IMG_7388 by Downtown Short Pump on Flickr

IMG_7388 by Downtown Short Pump on Flickr

Last week, we talked about how to save money at CVS, one of the nation’s largest retail pharmacy chains. This week, in part two of our five-part series about saving money at the country’s biggest retailers, it’s all about grocery shopping with coupons at the largest grocery store chain in the United States: Kroger. Here’s what you need to know about Kroger before shopping:

Sales Cycle: Kroger sales cycles run Wednesday through Tuesday, meaning that the advertised sales prices change on Wednesday.

Related: Top 5 Places to Find Coupons 

Rewards Program: By filling out a short form at Kroger’s customer service desk, you can get a Kroger Plus Card. Use this card every time you shop in order to get advertised sale prices on hundreds of products in the store. If you register your card on the Kroger website, you will frequently receive coupons in the mail, including periodic coupon booklets and personalized coupons based on your shopping habits.

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What’s more? For every $100.00 you spend using your Plus Card, you will save $0.10 per gallon on any grade fuel on your next fill-up at participating Kroger and Shell gas stations.

Related: The Coupon Dictionary: Your Guide to Coupon Lingo

Coupon Policy: Kroger is known for having one of the best coupon policies, primarily because they allow you to double and even triple coupons! Let’s take a look:

  • Kroger accepts the following types of coupons: Kroger store coupons, manufacturer coupons, Internet printable coupons, Catalina coupons and eCoupons. Kroger does not accept competitor coupons and will not match competitor prices. Kroger does not accept expired coupons.
  • To load eCoupons to your Plus Card, visit websites like KrogerCellfireShortCuts and P&G.
  • Kroger allows you to stack one manufacturer coupon and one store coupon per item. Kroger does not allow you to stack eCoupons with other coupons. So use your paper coupons first, then scan your Plus Card.
  • For promotional “Buy One, Get One Free” (BOGO) sales (where the sale is at Kroger, not a coupon), you may use two manufacturer’s coupons toward the purchase or another manufacturer’s BOGO coupon, resulting in two free items.
  • If a manufacturer’s coupon exceeds the price of the item, the excess will be applied to the basket purchase. If excess is greater than amount due on the total order after all coupons are redeemed, the excess will be given in cash. So, essentially, Kroger could pay you to take merchandise out of the store.
  • Kroger will double coupons up to $0.50 and triple coupons up to $0.39. So if you have a $0.50/1 coupon, that coupon becomes a $1/1 coupon at Kroger. And a $0.30/1 coupon becomes a $0.90/1 coupon. But a $0.51 coupon will be redeemed at face value. The doubling will happen automatically at the register, ringing up as a “Bonus Coupon” underneath your original coupon. Kroger will not double or triple eCoupons.

Extras: Kroger frequently has 10 for $10 sales. Most shoppers think this means you have to buy 10 items. You don’t! The sale simply means that those items are $1 a piece, no matter how many you buy. The same principle applies to other sales, like two for $4. You don’t have to buy two items to get them for the $2 sale price.

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However, Kroger also regularly has “Mega Sale” events, which do require the purchase of a certain number of items. The sale is usually something like, “Buy 10 participating items and save $5 instantly.” The good news is that you can mix and match different products participating in the sale. But, the not-so-great news is that you must buy 10 participating items to get the $5 credit. Even if you buy more than 10 items, you’ll have to do it in groups of 10 in order to get the credit.

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Related: 4 Books that Will Help You Save Money

Final Tip: A great way to save even more money at Kroger is to fill prescriptions at their pharmacy. Why? In the weekly ad, Kroger commonly provides a coupon for $25 worth of merchandise when you transfer or buy a new prescription. So next time you need a refill, present this coupon when you check out at the pharmacy and get $25 in free groceries on your next shopping trip. The credit will be automatically applied to your Plus Card.

Whether you’re an extreme couponer or a recent couponing convert, you can save money easily at Learn how to get out of debt faster, improve your credit and make better choices for a more secure financial future. And check out these other, helpful money-saving articles:

Photo credit: IMG_7388 by Downtown Short Pump on Flickr