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How to Coupon at Kroger

How to Coupon at Kroger/Smith's/Fry's/Ralphs...

As an experienced couponer I usually prepare for about 30-60 minutes before going to the store. Yesterday I just couldn’t do that. We had just gotten back from a 4 day trip and we were out of milk, eggs, bread, veggies, fruit etc. So I went shopping with my coupon book and my smart phone to see how much I could save. I was surprised that I was still able to save $45.75 with coupons without even planning ahead. Yes, it did take longer in the store but to save over $45.00 was worth a little extra time for me.

Couponing at Smith’s, Kroger, etc. is very straight forward and the savings can range from a few dollars to even hundreds of dollars. I love shopping at Kroger!

Because this chain of grocery stores has so many names depending on which location you live in (the graphic shows all of the names), I’ll be referring to it by saying Kroger or Smith’s. Here are 9 ways to save big at Kroger.

#1-Use a sale-coupon matching website or app like Grocerysmarts.com or Thekrazycouponlady.com. You can select your state and then select the store and you can see all the sale items and coupon matchups. I’ve been using Grocerysmarts these for years and love them!

If you just want to see what coupons are available and not look at a sale matchup site you can go here to Coupons.com

#2- Get a Membership card. They have TONS of coupons online that you can simply add to your rewards card. When you check out the savings are immediately deducted off of the total. A lot of the coupons have high values and some of them can even be used up to 5 times. For example, yesterday there was a coupon of $3.00 off 3 boxes of cereal. Many of the cereals included in this coupon were also on sale for $2.49 each, resulting in $1.49 per box for brand name cereal. While stock up price for me is under $1.00 a box this was a good enough deal for me to buy the 3 boxes until I can get an even better deal. There was also a $3.00/2 packages of diapers that saved me another $3.00.

 Usually their system does get all of the coupons, but check to be sure. Yesterday I noticed that the $3.00 coupon on diapers didn’t come off so he fixed it for me and gave me $3.00 cash because I didn’t realize it until after I had paid.

#3- Use manufacturer coupons (see my couponing tutorial here). Take your coupon binder in with you and use the manufacturer coupons you can. They allow as many in a transaction as you have (check your store’s policy to confirm) and in a few rare places they do double coupons. In my area none of the stores double coupons but I could use 10 Kellogg’s coupons on 10 boxes of cereal if I chose. Most places have a restriction on the amount of the same coupon you can use. Kroger/Smith’s limit is 150 digital coupons at the same time and 5 manufacturer coupons (paper coupons unless the coupon specifies of a different limit). Further, they send you additional Kroger coupons in the mail each month. Yesterday  I used four coupons they had mailed me. YOU CAN USE ONE MANUFACTURER COUPON AND ONE STORE COUPON on the same item. It has to be a Kroger coupon, it cannot say manufacturer coupon on it in order for this to work.

#4- Make use of the clearance sections. It is amazing how many clearance items, last chance, and managers specials Kroger usually has. Yesterday they had clearance prices on bread, rolls, yogurt, meat, roses, toys, jewelry etc. A lot of times the manager specials are in one a designated area, but sometimes items are left in the fridges and freezers with the normal priced items to keep cold. Keep your eyes out for them. Sometimes you may even have a coupon for them and get them for really cheap, free, or even make money on them.

#5- Make use of Smith’s fuel rewards. You can save even more at Smith’s buy fueling up with the reward points you’ve accrued. Often Smith’s has 4x’s fuel points on certain foods which lowers the price of the item if you use the fuel rewards. They also do a 4x’s on gift cards promotion which saves a lot if you buy gift cards during that time. Last year we were going to buy a computer at Best Buy. So we went to Smith’s and bought a $300.00 Best Buy gift card and earned 4x’s the points on it.

My uncle flips homes. When Smith’s is doing the 4x’s fuel points he buys a bunch of Home Depot gift cards there and earns enough to get $1.00 off every gallon of gas he and his employees use—for months! It’s a great way to save. Even groceries add the points up quick. Just make sure to use them before they expire.

#6- Sales. Kroger often has huge sales that require you buy a specific number of specified items and you get $3.00-$5.00 off of those. For example they will have a sale that requires that you buy 10 different items out of 50 on their list. Once you hit the 10 item threshold you get .50 off of each item. You can buy 10 of the same item or mix and match. These are AWESOME times to shop there. You can usually get great stock up prices if you use a coupon in addition to the sale price and the $5.00 off bonus. Watch for these sales and plan to shop and stock up during them.

#7- Freebie Friday! Every Friday Kroger has a free item day. If you subscribe to their emails they will email you about it. The only thing I have noticed is a lot of times these emails go to spam or trash. So I just try to remember to go to the official website and download the coupon for the free item. You usually have to redeem it within 1-2 weeks. I have gotten a lot of free stuff from Smith’s this way.

#8-Ibotta app. (This is not a Kroger specific app). If you buy an item that Ibotta and Kroger are sponsoring, you can receive a refund/payment from Ibotta. The app is user friendly; just download it and select Grocery and then the Kroger that is near you . You will see what food and items you can get cash back for purchasing. Pairing these with a sale, or another coupon usually makes a great deal.

Right now Ibotta has a $2.00 bonus if you download it and use it in the first 10 days. They often add other bonuses to their bonus section as well once you have become a member.

Click here to sign up for Ibotta

#9- Checkout51– This is another ap (AND website!) like Ibotta. The best thing is that it is not store specific. And usually has a higher cash back rate. You can use them both together. This is how I saved $4.50 of my 44.75. I used Ibotta and got $1.00 back and I used checkout 51 and got $3.75 in cash back. You buy things and scan the receipt and are given cash back. It’s smart to use both of these together.

Checkout51 is ALSO offering a $2.00 bonus when you redeem your first offer.

Click here to sign up for Checkout51

On days that I prepare before going to the Kroger, I save even more! This was just a test to see if I could still save big without prepping. Really, it was just a crazy day in which I had to get groceries and didn’t have time to prepare.

New at Couponing? Check out this post: Couponing for Beginners: 11 Tips That Will Save You Thousands.

Are you a couponing Pro? Check out this post: 17 Mistakes Couponers Make and How to Avoid them.

Get my course: How to save $45.00 on each shopping trip in 45 minutes of preparation or less.

 

Here is a link to how to coupon at Target.
How to coupon at Kroger aka Smith’s, Ralph’s, Fry’s etc,
How to coupon at Walmart,
How to coupon at Walgreens,
How to coupon at CVS.
How to use the Favadao App

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39 Responses to How to Coupon at Kroger

  1. judith c says:

    I LOVE Kroger! All this couponing stuff is good, but what I like most is what I call their ‘drastic markdown areas’. In the bakery, buns, rolls, breads even pies and cakes marked down sometimes 75% because it’s ‘day old’. In the meat department, same thing. But then there’s general merchandise where you can find anything from wine to canned goods to home goods to toiletries. I will find Larabars there for 49 cents (reg. $1.50). Seventh Generation 4X laundry detergent $6 (reg. $15.99!), Seventh Gen fabric softner $2 (reg $5.99), parchment paper 25 cents a roll! I stock up!!! And COFFEE, Starbucks coffee, marked down by 75%. My friends can’t believe it when they see the savings. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Kroger!

    • Anita Fowler says:

      Judith- Thanks for the comment! Yes their clearance is amazing! I have found it really really helps to look for the manager specials and lower prices and buy up those items. I freeze a lot of their discount items and put the bread and other perishables in the fridge. This also saves me a lot of money. Thanks again for your great comment. All of the tips are great!

  2. Camille says:

    You can also use Saving Star and Jingit to save even more. Saving Star loads to your card and gives you a rebate. Jingitbis similar to Checkout 51.

  3. Melanie says:

    I am a pretty loyal Kroger (Smith’s) shopper for most of the reasons that you mention above. But I have never even heard of Checkout51 or Favado! I have them now! Thank you!

  4. Yari says:

    Hi!
    I don’t get the “doubling up” concept? I’m trying to learn all this before I put to practice when I move to Texas next month.

    • Anita Fowler says:

      Yari- Most likely your store will not double coupons, if they do then you can have a coupon (usually under $1.00) count twice. For example a .75 cent coupon would take $1.50 off the item you use it on (counting twice or in otherwords, doubling). Most stores have done away with this policy. I’d recommend to check yours to confirm. Thanks,
      Anita

  5. Cassie says:

    Miss Anita, I love your site and am a total beginner… actually I haven’t even tried yet because like Yari I would like to know what I’m doing first. So this might be a totally ignorant question and the answer may be simple but what does it mean when you can use a coupon up to 5 times? You use/scan the same single coupon on 5 items, you can use multiple coupons of the same 5 times or you use the coupon 5 times on 1 item? Am I confusing you yet? Thanks for your help.

    • Anita Fowler says:

      No worries, not a dumb question. You can use one coupon once. But if you bring in 5 of the same coupon you can use each once. Take me for example. I order 4 newspapers. Say there is a coupon on cereal that I want to use and it’s such a good deal I want to use as many coupons as possible. I will use the four I have from my papers (if I had another one is use 5). I hope that makes sense.

  6. Tammy says:

    Thank you so much for this post! I currently don’t have a smart phone but I do plan on using the other websites. I used to be big into couponing before my youngest child was born then it just got to hard for me. Looking forward to doing it again!!

    • Anita Fowler says:

      Tammy- That’s great. It is harder when you have kids. I always go late at night after my son is in bed. I find that I save a lot more when I’m not focused on rushing because he doesn’t want to be there. Good luck!

  7. Tristan R says:

    Hello, I am a new couponer and your articles help a bunch. I normally shop at Fry’s and I am wondering if the policies are exactly the same as Kroger. When it says I can only have 5 manufacturers coupons can I still use other paper coupons?
    Thanks

    • Anita Fowler says:

      Tristan- You will have to talk to your local stores. On the official Kroger website it says 5 manufacturer coupons that are the exact same as each other. Store policies can differ though. Sorry I’m not more help but the best way to find out is talk to the store directly.

  8. I so need help I’m out if work waiting on disability heating and I’m only 43. I kinda understand how to do couponing but I need help getting started . Please tell me the very first thing I need to do cause I need to save every penny I can to feed my family. Right now I have 189$ a month to feed 6 people and it’s not working . I’m so stressed and I can’t feed them healthy on that lil bit paying full price . Please please help. I no longer have a smart phone , I’m using my husbands work phone. I can’t download anything on his. I have safe link phone. Cause with me being disable we had to cut a lot of luxurieris . This would help me so much and I could help my husband soooo much. It would be wonderful and take a load off of my mind. I’m not talking stock pile I’m just talking saving money each month to help my husband!!! Ty for any advice to get me started

  9. I am more of a read and learn person . , if anyone could start me off with some help with saving tips I will give u my address or email address and I can get hubby to print it off for me . I would so appreciate any one that would kindly help me it would make me so proud to be able to do this for my family and my husband especially . Till I can get my disability started . I’m so excited and hopeful that sum kind soul will help. I see those extreme coupon ears on TV and it’s amazing . I don’t wanna be that crazy I just wanna get by month by month without stressing. Then maybe one day it can become an extreme couponer and stockpile and help those in need as God has commanded us to do ! That would be awesome !

    • Anita Fowler says:

      Rhonda the best place to learn to get started is this post: Couponing for Beginners: 11 Tips that will save you thousands Good luck, with diligence you can save a lot money with coupons!

    • Norma walker says:

      If you will sign up at Kroges.com you can load coupons to your Kroger’s card instead of printing them.

  10. Kim says:

    Here is a tip for you. If you shop at Kroger often, you probably know some of the people that work in meat/deli/bakery. In some stores those people are authorized to do a further markdown on some thing if you ask.. sometimes that fresh ground beef in the fresh non packaged case can be marked 1/2 off about an hour before the meat case closes (7 or 8 pm usually). Ask the person behind the counter if they ever mark down stuff from the meat case, they can tell you if it can be done. You can score 3 or 4 lbs of ground beef for cheap this way (it usually has to be used within a day or frozen. Same in deli, hot food like rotisserie chickens can be marked down near closing, and sometimes other items as well. If you pick up a packaged item and the date is very close, same deal. Produce as well. Employees are authorized to mark down items on mgr’s special instead of throwing it away. It helps if you shop at the same store often, and become friendly with the staff. If something is on sale in deli or meat dept and its out ask if there is a substitute, if not always ask for rain checks

  11. anon says:

    I can’t download any coupons at Kroger. Their main page has me logged in but when I go to download a coupon THAT page says I’m not logged in. When I go to log in it just takes me back to the “log in ” page without – logging me in. When I wrote customer service to complain they said it was because they’d “updated their system” and that I had an “old browser” on a computer I bought six months ago. But their customer service on their website is indifferent, to say the least. Not the store – our story is pretty nice. But I can’t get any coupons on their site loaded to my card. Does anyone else have this issue with the Kroger chain? I miss the days where not every store was owned by this brand.

    • Anita Fowler says:

      Anon- I have great success logging on via my phone and downloading them to my card through my phone. If you have a phone, ipod, tablet, etc. you could try that. I’ve never experienced anything like this and I’m really sorry you are having trouble… that is so frustrating! Another thing you can do I believe is go to their customer service counter at your local kroger and they have a computer connected to the internet and show the manager what is going on. I once had trouble with a high value coupon and I was able to use their computer to load it to my card. Good luck!

  12. How To Get A Job At Kroger | New Job Today says:

    […] How to Coupon at Kroger | Live Like You Are Rich – Couponing at Smith’s, Kroger, etc. is very straight forward and the savings can range from a few dollars to even hundreds. how to coupon at Kroger? First, you… […]

  13. Josie says:

    Hello, my question is “are the digital coupons on the Kroger website manufacturer or Kroger coupon?” And can I combine a digital coupon from there website with a manufacturer paper coupon?

  14. Kim says:

    I do pricing at Kroger. Every week we have several “resets” done- out with the old products that aren’t selling and in with updated products. A month before the reset is done, we receive clearance tags on the items we won’t be carrying anymore. We don’t have time to put these products in the “Clearance” area, so keep a lookout for markdowns on the shelves, too. Check the entire section- if you see a clearance tag on TIDE, you’ll probably find them on other brands, too.

  15. ABQshopper says:

    Quick question. Have you ever heard of this? I shop at Smiths in Albuquerque, NM. In all my years of shopping at several of their stores I have always been told that a manufacturer that offers a discount coupon on their product cannot obligate you to purchase anything else to receive that discount. For example, Miller beer offers $2 off a 12-pack of beer if you buy barbecue sauce. For 10 years now I could get that $2 off with said coupon and not buy the sauce. Same with any other such items. Well today I went to my normal Smiths, had a similar coupon and was told by a new cashier that no such discounting exists or has ever existed. Was what I have been told for the past 10 years false? I did a web search on this topic and found nothing that mentions any of this. Your site was the only thing I found that even comes close. I will take this up with the store manager next time and will report back.

    • Anita Fowler says:

      In order for the store to get reimbursed for the coupon you use, they have to follow the fine print exactly. That is why they come down on the clerks so often because coupon fraud or mistakes costs them a lot. Then the clerks often hassle us for any discrepancy they can find. I have used countless coupons that say buy X and Y item together and get get $3.00 of Y. I’ve used and seen them recently—I have only used them together though. I’ve never not bought the all of the items required. Sometimes I’ll use another coupon on X, so that X and Y are discounted but I’ve never just bought Y with an X + Y=$3.00 discount coupon. My only thoughts are, they may have done a system update and the grocery scanners won’t accept the coupon unless both items have been scanned beforehand. Did I answer your question?

  16. ABQshopper says:

    Thank you for your reply. I spoke with the manager at my Smiths store yesterday. He informed me that my original understanding is true. In New Mexico, for certain items, such as my Miller beer example above, you are NOT obligated to purchase any additional items in order to receive the discount. He apologized to me for the cashier that made the mistake and told me he would make sure that his staff knew what to do in the future. I am glad that I got that straightened-out.

  17. Visa711 says:

    Do you know if you can get the free Friday items at an affiliate like Ralph’s? I am traveling and not near a Kroger.

    • Anita Fowler says:

      You should be able to as Ralph’s is Kroger. They use the same website. Download them to your card and give it a try. Talk to a manager if it doesn’t work, they may let you have it that once. I am almost positive the free downloads do work for Ralph’s though.

  18. Rob says:

    Hi, my Kroger store marks items down sometimes. Can the items that are marked down be used with ecoupons? Example: Bread normaly $2.50 marked
    down to $.99 and ecoupon is $.50 = Total cost $.49

  19. […] Make and How to Avoid Them or Couponing for Beginners: 11 Tips that will save you Thousands How to coupon at Kroger aka Smith’s, Ralph’s, Fry’s etc, How to coupon at Walmart, How to coupon at Walgreens, How to coupon at CVS. How to use the Favadao […]

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