Kroger Central ending Double Coupon program 7/31/13 {plus tips for coping with the change}

by on July 9, 2013 in Coupon Education,Store Deals & News

It’s a sad day for Kroger shoppers in the Central Kroger region. I’m one of those affected by the latest move in Kroger’s on-going process to revamp their product prices and coupon policies. Multiple Kroger regions have already dealt with this over the past year, and now it’s Kroger Central’s turn…

As of July 31, 2013 the Central Kroger region will no longer double coupons.

Kroger

The Central region includes stores located in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Missouri and Michigan. Need to find out your Kroger region and stores?

The Indy Star ran an article this morning detailing the double coupon change, and Kroger shared the info publicly on their Facebook page:

In an effort to provide all of our customers with the most value for their dollar, we’re implementing a New Lower Prices program. Effective July 11, we’re reducing prices on thousands of everyday items that you and your family rely on. To make this possible, on July 31 we’re discontinuing our practice of doubling (up to 50 cents) manufacturer coupons in the Central region. We will continue to accept manufacturer coupons and other coupons at face value, including digital coupons, e-coupons, Catalina coupons and printable coupons.

We truly believe these changes reflect our efforts in providing the best shopping experience to all of our customers. We hope that you’ll come in and see our new low prices as well as the many other ways to save.

• Downloadable, clip-free coupons daily on www.kroger.com/digitalcoupons
• Weekly sales and special sales events, such as Mega Event and Cart Busters
• Fuel savings program that offers up to $1 off per gallon when you redeem up to 1,000 fuel points at Kroger Fuel Centers
• 10 cents off per gallon at participating Shell stations
• Loyal customer mailings containing customized coupons
• $4/$10 generic drug pricing (see pharmacy for details)
• Faster checkouts

Kroger reps have been really good about responding to comments on their announcement post, so consider asking questions there if you have them!

I haven’t been to Kroger since the announcement, but I’ve heard some stores are already putting up signs to help spread the word.

For the longest time I did not shop at Kroger, because I felt they were overpriced, but once I learned to match my coupons to their sale ads and found out about the double coupons – they became my favorite and preferred store! This change has me pretty bummed out.

Important things to remember about the Kroger Central double coupon change:

  • You can still use double coupons until July 31, 2013,  so get shopping!
  • You can still use manufacturer coupons after July 31, 2013, they just won’t be doubled.
  • Kroger will still be offering their digital coupons.
  • Kroger will still be accepting printable coupons and participating in electronic coupon programs like SavingStar and mobile coupon programs like ibotta.
  • Kroger will still be sending best-customer exclusive coupons by mail (and their new best customer emails).
  • Kroger claims they are lowering prices to make doubling coupons unnecessary, so watch for that.

All of those things might not make up for the sadness/anger/frustration that you feel about the double coupons disappearing, but at least they still accept coupons!  Personally, I’m glad they are giving us time to get ready for this change. Be sure to check your local Kroger store’s coupon policy, just in case it differs from the national Kroger store coupon policy.

I have some suggestions for how you can cope with this change, in case you’re upset about it or you fear it will really impact your shopping strategy…

What you can do about the Kroger Central double coupon change:

  • Don’t Panic. Remember that Kroger still takes coupons. They will just be accepted at face value after July 31, 2013. This change will affect my monthly budget some, but it won’t derail it altogether. Some of the suggestions below are what I plan to do to help make up for the loss of the double coupons, which is probably less than $20 a month for my family.
  • Provide Feedback to Kroger about how this change impacts you. A word of caution though – BE NICE. Nothing will come of you shooting off mean emails to Kroger corporate or calling their customer service reps and chewing them out. Click here for some Kroger contact options, and like I said above – the Kroger reps are being pretty responsive on their Facebook announcement post.
  • Check out another store. Kroger is my number one grocery store, and they will probably stay that way despite ending the double coupon program. I do plan to check out some other stores in town that I rarely frequent to check their coupon policies and see how their prices compare on the items I buy most often. ALDI is a great store to fill in the gaps for me, because they have super low prices even though they don’t accept coupons.
  • Check out other coupon options. Kroger might be ending their Double Coupon program, but like I mentioned – they will still accept paper coupons, electronic coupons and mobile coupons. I’ve discussed in my Triple Threat Couponing articles that I like to use paper coupons first, then electronic coupons and then add in mobile coupons (specifically SavingStar and ibotta), but this change might encourage me to turn to Kroger digital coupons more often than I did previously. I often skip their digital coupons now, because my paper coupons are sometimes higher in value and the doubling only occurs on the paper ones. Now though…I might have to load the digital ones more often!
  • Be diligent about shopping only during big sales. This is a big one for me. Coupons, especially ones that doubled, would allow me to grab things for a decent price, even if they weren’t on sale. Without the extra cents off, I might need to be more focused on shopping and using coupons only during their savings event sales.

In case you missed it up there in my bullet points, the real savings effect of Kroger’s double coupons on my monthly grocery budget is less than $20 a month – sometimes maybe only $5-$10 a month. I mostly use coupons that double during great sales. Sure, I’ll miss that, but this change won’t totally kill my plan for saving when I shop.

Has your Kroger ended double coupons already? How have you coped?

Are you in the Central region? How will this affect you?

I’d love to hear!

Charity


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