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 Quizzle.com. 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

  • Tami

    Kroger also has Community Rewards where a portion of your spending can go toward a school, church or other registered organization. Our high school band gets my proceeds.

    Finally, they sometimes double to quadruple the fuel points that you get if you buy gift cards there (not just Kroger gift cards but many stores and restaurants). You can get up to $1 per gallon off your gas if you shop regularly.

  • teri

    I think Kroger store policy may vary store to store. The Kroger I go to ended doubling and tripling coupons of any kind. They also will not pay you to take your items from the store if your coupons exceed purchase price. These changes happened sometime Spring 2011. I found my coupons were not getting me the discounts I had been getting previously, I asked the cashiers about it, and they said it was due to new policy. Again, their policies may vary store to store so make sure you ask.

  • Ashley

    Not all krogers double and triple coupons anymore. In Texas they are no longer doing so and have changed their gas policy in order to pacify couponers, but it is not as good of a bonus.

    • Quats

      Actually their gas change is worse for smaller shoppers — you *can* earn multiple ten-cents-a-gallon discounts for every $100 spent that month in store (up to $1 discount per gallon total) but it no longer rolls any credit over to the next month; it used to roll over some of the credit for one month.

  • Laura

    Kroger has a different sales cycle and different coupon policy depending on the region of the country where you live. I live in Cincinnati, which is headquarters for Kroger, and the sales cycle and coupon policy are different here. Sales run Mon-Sun, coupons are doubled only up to 1.00, and Kroger doesn’t offer triple coupons here. Also, Kroger won’t double a coupon beyond the price of product.

  • Jen

    In Arizona Kroger operates as “Frys”. They don’t do double or triple coupons, but they do run promotions where all coupon values are rounded up to the next dollar (25 cents off becomes a dollar off, 75 cents off becomes a dollar off etc.) My best deals at Frys are using coupons on “manager special” orange clearance stickers. Organic milk marked down to $2 a gallon, name brand beef hot dogs or deli meats are both frequently marked down and have readily available coupons.

    The gas points are a MUST HAVE. Frys also runs a special points system on cell phones, and the money you spend on groceries also gives you free minutes on a prepaid plan IN ADDITION to gas points.
    My teenage sister has a pretty nice qwerty texting phone on Sprint service that was $50, and she only has to buy a prepaid 10$ monthly card or a $25 3 month card to keep the phone active. She’s not a big talker so it works perfectly.

  • Alesha

    Every time my husband and I go out to dinner we get a gift card for that place at our Kroger store (Dillons in Kansas). Most stores give triple or quadruple points when you purchase a gift card, so a $25 gift card at quadruple points gives us $1 off at the pump for gas! If you’re smart you can bring 2 vehicles to the gas station and park them back to back and fill both up (I think it only allows up to 40 gallons though, could be less). So, in the end if you purchase over 25 gallons in gas that’s free money! Do the math! :) You can look at it as a free dinner every time you fill your tank. :)

    • Alesha

      Whoops sorry that did not post right-
      ** $25 in gift cards quadrupled gives you 10 CENTS off in gas, but if you spend on groceries what our family does, and/or have as many relatives as we do and need gift cards alot it adds up fast! Every few months or so we end up with a free dinner. :)

    • Liz

      Lining up cars like that to get gas is illegal. At least in Ohio it is, but I’m pretty sure it is most places. People have been arrested

      • Brad

        Oh, no way!

      • Janel123

        Why would it be illegal? I had a gas station owner, in Ohio, says that he does it all the time with his family’s vehicles.

      • markil

        Why is it illegal?? You’re still paying for all of the gas you pump.

    • John

      That is completely illegal!

  • Tina

    Things are different here in Knoxville Tn as well….here they only double up 50 cents, there is no tripling coupons and ours will not under any circumstances accept internet printed coupons, or mobile coupons. They will only accept manufacturers coupons or the coupons you can sometimes find in the store and they do have some great rewards coupons they send every so often thru the mail. They will also allow you to load coupons onto your rewards card. And here on Wednedays it is Senior day….20% off total purchase for Seniors

    • Michael

      You sure about the 20% senior discount? In Crossville which is out of the Atlanta market it’s a 5% discount on Wednesdays.

    • Kimberly

      Wow, 20%? Its only 5% in Georgia

    • Pam

      I live in Pigeon Forge, TN, and they do allow the internet printed coupons, although they have a book they look through to make sure they are legit!

  • Lisa

    I’ve worked at Kroger in Indianapolis for 6 years and our sales week runs Thursday through Wednesday. I have a prepaid cell phone from Kroger and just from doing my regular shopping there I’ve never had to buy minutes for my phone. Every other month I buy a $10 phone card to keep my account active and to keep my unused minutes. I don’t use my phone a lot, but how many people can say that they only spend $5/month for a cell phone?

  • Beverly

    Ashley I do not know what part of Texas you live in but they were doubling mine.
    I shop at Kroger and live in north central Texas and on my recepit for July 18, they double my coupons, as I only had 50 cents ones and others were over 50 cents so just the value on those.
    Next time I go, I will asked them if it has been discontinued or not.

    • Kathy

      Beverly, I live on the Gulf Coast in Texas and sometime in April the Kroger’s in this region quit doubling and tripling coupons.

  • Jenny

    In Kentucky, the weekly sales run from Sunday to Saturday. The article didn’t mention Senior Day, which is a 10% discount on everything on the first Wednesday of the month for those 60 and over. Many people use this to do their major shopping for the month and save a considerable amount. You have to register as a Senior prior to Senior Day or you have to wait until the next month.

  • Meagan

    I always buy my groceries at Kroger’s. They mail me coupons based on what I buy, so I actually use them. And I always make my grocery list from the sales flyer. Except for a few staples, I always buy what’s on sale. It’s even better when I have a coupon for it!

  • http://yahoo Dani Franklin

    I live in West Memphis, Ar & the Kroger in our area will not give you any points for a prescription. They say it is not allowed in Arkansas. Also, they will not accept coupons from the internet if they are more than $1.00. The sales run from Wednesday thru Tuesday.

  • Karen Burson

    I live in the Dallas-Fort Worth area of Texas and shop Kroger all of the time. The particular store where I shop always doubles and triples coupons. I am a senior and my ard gives me an additional 10% off on Kroger/Private Selection/Store brand EVERYDAY, not just one day of the week.

    I have noticed that my fuel points are not rolling over anymore, and I am not happy with that, I shop enough that I was getting at leadt 2 full tanks of gas a month with the 10 cent a gallon discount.

    • Kimberly

      Only employees get 10% off of Kroger brand products you must of gotten linked as an employee somehow.

    • http://www.quizzle.com Lynn

      I made a large purchase the end of last month and the reciept indicated that I could use the points accumulated by the end of this month. When I looked at the receipt of my purchase today it doesn’t show the points from last month at all. I haven’t filled up my van yet because I wait till running on empty but I’m hoping that the info from last months reciept is correct and I plan on bringing it with me when I do fill up to make sure that they give me the credit that is due. I wonder if the old reciept system was changed to only show this months points and not give you the idea that you still have last months so that some people would miss out on their accumulated points and save the company more money.

  • Kimberly

    This article is not very good because Kroger is in so many states and even Kroger’s in the same states have different rules on coupons and fuel points and so on. Because of that extreme couponing show Kroger has had to really cut down on what they allow. They are having to really watch the overage on coupons and only allow the amount of the product and adjust the coupon if the price goes over. A lot of the free coupons online are fraud so they can’t even allow any free online coupons. And if you think you are being clever by using expired coupons are trying to get overage from a coupon then don’t complain when the price of groceries goes up. I love coupons but I don’t agree with coupon fraud.

    • http://www.quizzle.com Lynn

      I agree coupon fraud is like stealing. I don’t understand why some here say that their store will not take internet coupons when even the Kroger website has internet coupons to print. I do use coupons in abundance and get them mostly from the paper as well as Kroger web and Schnucks web. It pains me though when checker look at me crosseyed just because I’m using a legit way to save money. People should be proud of upstanding citizens who work hard to save money. If there is a way to save and make the burden on society easier instead of putting a burden on the rest of society then everyone who is able should do it. If coupons aren’t your thing find another way to make less burden someway somehow. I don’t want my comunity to have to pay my bills.

  • Jan

    In Oregon, we have Fred Meyer whose parent company is Kroger. Double and triple coupons not offered here. Single people get ripped off becuase they don’t buy a lot so neverend up with good deals. It seems Fred Meyer’s is getting worse, not better. Groceries are too high to afford and sales are meager. When I was I was in California, Ralph’s treated single folks well by offering double coupons and such. If Fred Meyer would improve service to single folks, I will go back. Otherwise, hello Winco and Walmart.

  • Jenni

    Kroger will also NOT pay you for taking an item out of the store. If your coupons end up Kroger oweing you money you must buy something else . Evan if its just a penny

  • Adama

    Here in Colorado, my Kroger runs as King Soopers. Our stores take manu, printed, catalina, e-coupons, etc. They only double up to $.50. The most I can ever save is $1.00 unless my coupon has a higher face value than that. They no longer give $.05 back on reuseable bags. King Soopers is my number one grocery store to shop at. I’ve saved 81% there. The most I’ve saved anywhere.

    • Adama

      Oh my King Soopers has almost limited the amount of “like” coupons you can use. Only 3 “like” coupons per order.

  • RRR

    Actually a month ago I had two coupons that i used for a bag of chips. One was a $1 coupon for the chips, the other was a save $2 coupon on my next purchase at krogers. Well the bag of chips was $2.75 and they gave me a quarter when i left. So they do give money if your coupons are more than the purchase.

  • Sara

    I live in eastern Michigan and at the Kroger here, they double coupons up to a dollar. If I have coupons, I shop there. Otherwise I go to Meijer. Kroger is an all-around rip-off if you don’t have coupons.

  • PB

    Kroger will not accept a manufacturers coupon on top of a Kroger coupon at my store. But expired coupons often work up to a week or two after the expiration date. At Kroger like at any store….watch the register while items are ringing up if possible and check the receipt before you leave. Between Kroger and Albertsons it’s a close race as to which stores registers ring up more errors. If you don’t catch you are getting ripped off.

    • http://www.quizzle.com Lynn

      Yes, and check to see if your Kroger will give you a total refund on one product up to $5. Ours will in W TN. If you load your coupons from the website they will not double the loaded coupons only the printed coupons.

  • Allen

    All the gas stations around here where you can use your Kkroger discount points are usually .10 more to begin with if not more.

  • Tameka

    In metro Atlanta, the sales cycle runs from Sunday to Saturday. They will double a manufacturer’s coupon up to $.50 BUT you must scan your Kroger Plus card first in order for this to happen.

  • Dusty

    This is wrong on many levels. I work at Kroger in Louisville Kentucky and I can tell you that some of your facts are not correct.

    1. Our sales cycle runs Sunday through Saturday, not what was mentioned above.

    2. Kroger does NOT triple coupons, at least in Kentucky.

    3. You CANNOT use a paper coupon along with an ecoupon, doing what you stated above about scanning paper coupons then doing your plus card would be considered coupon FRAUD and could get you in trouble with Kroger. YES, we do pay attention to those things and have a whole department in our company dedicated to eradicating such practices.

    4. We DO NOT give you money back if you have so many coupons that you go into the negatives. We will not let you use a 2.00$ coupon on a 1.00$ product. We will give you the product for free, but not give you money back. If for whatever reason the Kroger store you are shopping at does give you money back, they have to give it to you on a gift card, not cash.

    5. You may not use two coupons on a BOGO deal. You must pay full price for the first item and you get the other free, you cannot use another coupon to discount the first item.

    Also, managers have the right to accept or reject any coupons, no matter what.

    • Rachel

      I work at a Kroger in Illinois and everything above is the same except for when our sales end. Points for gas do carryover as long as they are 100 or more. They are good for 30 days after the month you earn them.

  • Anne

    I’m in Houston, TX. They used to triple and double, as well as “pay” you to get things when the coupon is more than the price of the item. Then no longer do any of that. It stopped sometime this spring. Since taking that away, there is not much reason for us to shop there. Only two of us, no kids, so we don’t get a lot of points towards gas. The double and triple coupons were the only reason we went there. They don’t ever mail me any coupons, and I haven’t been getting any at the register lately either; I just get little ads

  • http://www.quizzle.com Lynn

    A little correction, at least in west TN, on the coupons. Kroger will double coupons upto .60 but according to the attendent hasn’t tripled coupons in years. I checked to make sure that the attendent was correct and my .30 coupon only doubled not tripled. Also keep in mind to watch as your products are rung up. If a product rings up wrong in the favor of the store they should give you one of that product for free up to $5. Some of the checkers will argue and say no to this but make them check with the service desk. One last thing. The coupons that are being printed out sometimes give you money off on your next purchase. Don’t for get to use them, it’s free money in your pocket. Oh yeah, one more one last thing. When you have points toward your gas rewards it’s based on the original price you would have paid before your coupons are taken off. Ok enjoy your savings.