Kroger has some of the best bargains in the business. But savvy shoppers know that there are ways to save even more at the grocery chain.
Even as Kroger increases its organic offerings, Kroger is working to maintain its position as a value-centric retail chain. The company has invested $3.6 billion in beating out the competition when it comes to prices, Kroger said in an earnings call in June.
While the company is investing to keep price low for all shoppers, there are some secrets to saving more money than the average customer.
Here’s how to get the most out of every Kroger shopping trip.
Sign up for a digital account
Linking a digital account to a Shopper’s Card (Kroger’s loyalty card) means you can load online coupons on the card, instead of bringing your clipped coupons to the store. The digital account also lets you keep track of your fuel points, shopping lists, and prescriptions, so it’s a convenient (and free) way to shop more efficiently.
Go online on Fridays
Every Friday, shoppers with Kroger.com accounts can visit theFree Friday Downloadwebsite to get a coupon for a free item. Past offers have included bread, yogurt, pet food, and candy, reports theKrazy Coupon Lady.
While you can only claim the coupon on Friday, you can use it while shopping any time for the next two weeks.
Keep track of your fuel points
For every $1 customers with Shopper’s Cards spend at Kroger, they earn 1 fuel point. One hundred fuel point is equal to 10 cents off each gallon of gas.
Be sure to check your current fuel point count, which resets every month, at the bottom of your receipt or online, so you can be strategic in your fuel point strategy – if you have 1,000 fuel points, and you’re filling up your tank with 35 gallons of gas (the limit for a fuel points fill-up), you can save $35.
Get more fuel points with gift cards
Gift cards – as well as mobile phones without contracts and some other promotions – allow you to earn double the fuel points. So, a $20 gift card means 40 fuel points, not 20.
Unfortunately for the super-dedicated bargain shopper, you can’t buy a Kroger grocery gift card and then use it to buy groceries to double your fuel points as a work around, reports theKrazy Koupon Lady.
Download the app
Kroger is investing big in tech, so downloading the app will keep you on the cutting edge of new deals and offers. You can do everything you can on your digital account on the app – keep track of rewards and fuel points, load coupons, see specials, order groceries for pickup, and manage prescriptions.
Know when to shop
The Krazy Koupon Ladyreports that weekends and after work are the worst times to visit Kroger, as the stores tend to be swarmed with customers. Instead, you can avoid long lines by shopping earlier or later in the day on weekdays.
Strategize for mega sales
- REUTERS/Mike Blake
Kroger is known for its mega sales, where customers can save money by buying a certain amount of a product. In a mega sale, when you buy a certain number of participating items (usually 10), you automatically get a certain amount of money off your purchase. Picking the perfect 10 items can take a little planning, so check out Kroger Krazy’sextensive breakdownof how to get the most for your money.
Check out manager’s specials
- Business Insider/Hayley Peterson
“Manager’s special” is Kroger’s term for clearance sales. Usually, an item is overstocked, nearing expiration date, or simply not selling well,reports Kroger Krazy.The specials are specific to each store, so don’t expect to see what the deals will be simply by looking at print or online coupons.
Investigate organic deals
- Simple Truth Facebook
Kroger is investing big in the organic and fresh produce business, while still working to keep prices low. As a result, you can find some great organic deals, both at full price and on deals on Kroger’s organic brand,Simple Truth.
Understand how “buy one, get one” works
- Megan Feeney for Business Insider
While some stores (and even Kroger’s mega sales) require you to buy two of the same product to cash in on a buy one, get one free deal, Kroger’s is not one of them, reportsQueen of Free.Instead, both items are half price, so, if you only need one bag of pretzels, there’s no need to buy two – the deal will apply either way.
If you’re a dedicated shopper, get the 1-2-3 Rewards Visa
Kroger’s prepaid debit card allows you to earn money for groceries when you use the card outside of Kroger. The name comes from the card’s rewards structure: 1 point for every $1 spent on the Visa, 2 points per every $1 spent in Kroger stores, and 3 points for every $1 spent on Kroger brand products.1,000 points equals $5 in free groceries.
Pick up Catalina coupons on the way out
After you pay at registers and self-check out, the Catalina machine will spit out long, thin sheet of paper that many shoppers dismiss as junk. In fact, these are coupons thatyou can cash in on your next shopping trip.