It probably comes as no surprise to Kroger shoppers that their preferred grocery store was once named America’s “most loved” national grocery store in a People magazine public opinion poll.
Kroger isn’t just one of the largest grocery and retail operations in the United States, it satisfies with a great selection of food, a pleasant shopping experience, and a plethora of perks! Whether you already know you love shopping at Kroger because it is “fresh for everyone” or are just being introduced to Kroger’s commitment that everyone should have access to quality, affordable, and delicious food, there’s no doubt that the chain’s rewards programs, discount fuel, and a chance at weekly free items will pique your interest in being a frequent Kroger customer.
And you can have all of this and save more money, too! You’ve come to the best place for tips, tricks, and money-saving trends. Here are the best ways we’ve found to save money shopping at Kroger:
Carry a Kroger Loyalty Card
The Kroger PLUS card is a no-fee membership program that has many benefits. Sure, you can shop at Kroger without it, but if you want digital coupons and personalized deals, as well as access to fuel rewards for every dollar you spend, you’ll find carrying this convenient card (or having it stored on your Kroger app) to be worthwhile.
Kroger also recently added an expanded loyalty program. This paid membership program, called Boost, has two tiers that enhance any free Kroger PLUS offerings. The first tier, at $59 per year, features free, next-day delivery and $100+ savings on specialty brands such as Murray’s Cheese, Vitacost, Home Chef, Simple Truth, and Private Selection. To receive extra perks, Kroger Boost’s third tier, at $99 per year, will get you free delivery in as little as two hours.
According to Kroger, Boost membership can save shoppers more than $1,000 per year on fuel and grocery delivery.
Use the Kroger App
The Kroger app allows you to unleash the full power of your shopping experience at your fingertips — and access some pretty cool hacks, too.
Not only can you load coupons, set notifications for free offers and other amazing deals, identify special promotions (that can nab you 4x fuel points!), create shopping lists, and even price check on the app, but you can take surveys, manage and fill prescriptions, and even see all of your past purchases and receipts.
Here’s a tip: Need to find an item quickly but can’t imagine where in the store to even begin your search? Did you know you could use the app to find out precisely where an item is located?
And the app doesn’t just save you time before shopping and while you are at the store, it can keep you from even having to stand in the checkout line! Put your Kroger app in Store Mode, bring your own bags, and as you pick your purchases, scan them with your app. Not only will the app keep a running total of your order, but any available digital coupons will be applied. When you’re ready to leave, just pay and checkout on your phone. How cool is that?!
Don’t Forget the Check-Out Register Coupons
Those extra machines that spit out coupons at the register are called Catalina machines, and the Catalina coupons that come out at the checkout can be used as cash for your next shopping trip. While some Catalina coupons are store specific and can only be used where they were earned — Kroger, for example — others are manufacturer coupons, which means they can be used in other stores.
These full-color long paper coupons aren’t random; they are triggered to print when a particular UPC code from a qualifying product is scanned. And they come in four basic types: manufacturer coupons for money off a specific product; money-back store coupons for a dollar amount off of the next purchase; coupons for a local business or venue; or announcements about a current or future product or in-store promotion.
First off, don’t miss out on grabbing your Catalina coupons when they print. Also, be sure to check the machines at other self-service registers in Kroger stores as some customers forget or purposely leave their Catalina coupons at the register, making you one lucky shopper with extra savings!
And one more tip — consider breaking up your transactions to “roll” your Catalina coupons and make them scratch even farther. How? Since these rebates are almost always only good on your “next purchase,” you can thoughtfully separate your purchase into two transactions. The first would be the items that qualify for the coupon itself, plus any coupons appropriate to use. The next transaction will be the rest of your shopping items, with the Catalina coupon so you can use the savings right away. Genius!
Get Free Grocery Pick-Up
It used to be called “Kroger Clicklist,” but now that it’s a more sought-after perk of the Kroger shopping experience, Kroger pick-up is free on orders of $35 or more (otherwise, there is a service fee of $4.95 per order). This option for collecting your Kroger purchases is both a money and a time saver — not only is it super convenient, but it allows you to use coupons while also avoiding going in-store and being tempted to purchase items that you don’t need.
Multiple Item Discounts
If you do venture into the store, excitement awaits. One of the most thrilling discounts to find at Kroger is a multiple item discount or one in which you can score 2 items for $3 or even 10 for $10! Obviously, these are great deals for bulk purchasing, but did you know that, unlike some stores, you can take advantage of the discount even if you aren’t looking to purchase the full ten items?
That’s right, you don’t have to purchase 10 items to get the “10 for $10” discount. Each item will scan at $1, or $1.50 in the case of a 2-for $3 sale. This is a fantastic way to enjoy the best unit price on multiple items on your grocery list, so always keep an eye out for multiple item discounts on shelves around the store.
Snag Free Friday Items
On select Fridays of every month, customers with a digital account can download a digital coupon for a free item! This digital download deal is usually redeemable within two weeks and shoppers claim they have benefited from free bread, yogurt, pet food, candy, and more.
Shop Private Label Items
Buying generic or store-branded items is a smart shopping strategy, and Kroger has always been a leader in private label affordable grocery items, with brands like Simple Truth, Private Selection, and Home Chef covering categories ranging across natural and organic products, gourmet selections, and prepared foods. In fact, at one time Kroger had as many as sixteen legacy private label lines!
But recently, Kroger announced a consolidation of these lines into one budget-priced private label to rule them all — Smart Way. Comprising about 150 products with additional items scheduled to become available, Smart Way is your new go-to to save money on everything from jarred pickles and four packs of canned corn, to nonfood items like dish soap and boxes of napkins.
Look for Smart Way’s orange-and-white label that features the brand in lower case letters along with taglines like “saving in the right direction” and “smart ways to save every day.”
What’s more, Kroger guarantees that you’ll be satisfied with their private label brand items, or they may give you a national brand label on the house! The Kroger Brand Promise states that if you try one of their products and you’re not delighted, they will make it right with a replacement or refund (as long as you have the receipt).
Get an Out-Of-Stock Upgrade
Empty shelves and scarcity of preferred grocery items have been a valid concern lately. But Kroger has you covered! When using Kroger pick-up — which, remember, is free for orders over $35 — and one of the items you ordered is out of stock, Kroger’s pick-up associates are trained to make satisfactory substitutions for out-of-stock items that are as close as possible to your original request.
This could mean you score the same type of out-of-stock item in a larger quantity upgrade, or the same type of item from a similar or better brand and offer it to you for the original, lower price.
And don’t worry, Kroger will make sure you approve any changes to your order or exchanges before you pay, so you’ll get all the bonuses of the swap without any surprises.
Do the Survey
Receipt and in-app surveys are more than just a way for Kroger to solicit feedback on their offerings and services, they are also an easy way to earn extra discounts and rewards points.
Make sure to check the bottom of your physical receipt for a code that says “Answer a survey for 50 bonus fuel points,” and pay attention to any pop-ups or links in your app or online Kroger account that offer you the opportunity to make your voice and opinion known about your Kroger shopping experience.
It takes only minutes and earns you a bonus of up to 50 points each time you do it. And when added to your shopping totals, this can really add up!
Kroger is already one of the best places to save when fueling up because it offers high-quality gasoline, which is sourced from Shell, but does not require a membership to enjoy its low gas pump prices. But while anyone can take advantage of this boon, carrying a Kroger PLUS shoppers card, which is completely free, can really power up the savings.
The Kroger PLUS earns shoppers one fuel point per dollar spent with every ten points worth a cent off Kroger gas per gallon… up to $1 off per gallon! There are even bonus earnings for certain grocery items or gift card purchases, and Kroger app users can even score special 4X fuel points bonanzas! Kroger does have a maximum of 35 gallons of discounted gas per fill-up, and once you’ve used it — either for 35 gallons or a single gallon — it’s gone, so you’ll want to use your accumulated gas points wisely. The smartest shoppers have told us they take multiple cars to fuel up at the same time (without putting the pump back in its holder) using their Kroger Fuel Points, or they use multiple gas canisters to take advantage of their maximum discount each time. That’s a savvy way to save.
Take Advantage of Kroger’s Cash Back Rewards Program
Cash back on groceries sounds about as good as it gets. In what is basically a rebate program, Kroger’s Cash Back Rewards works in the Kroger app to pay you back for qualifying items. You can decide if you want the funds through PayPal or as a Kroger in-store credit.
To take advantage, you’ll log in to your store account online or on the app and load any offers. Purchase those items, remembering to scan your shopper’s card. Within a week the reward value will be shown in your account, and you can transfer the cash to spend (PayPal transfer require a minimum of $20 accumulated).
Fetch Additional Savings
After using all of these hacks to save money at Kroger, put even more savings in your cart and snap your receipt to start earning points with Fetch as well. Fetch is free to download and use; there are no hidden fees or subscriptions, and it is compatible with either your Apple or Android device and easy to install on your smartphone or tablet.
Whenever and wherever you shop, but especially at Kroger, open the Fetch app and upload a copy of your receipt to earn points on every purchase that can add up to gift cards to save you even more money — or treat yourself for being such a savvy shopper. The best part is that you don’t need to change your shopping habits or add anything special to your cart. It’s like found money!
Fetch even offers special grocery deals that earn bonus and special offer points, so you can shop Fetch partner stores, like Kroger — and even conveniently save your favorite grocery deals which can earn you more points — to your Smart List in the Fetch app and be reminded when there are greater savings to snag. Nab bonus points when you purchase any of hundreds of special promotions that can easily be found at Kroger, like Pepsi products, Barilla pasta, Sargento cheeses, and Entenmann’s baked goods.
So whether you shop in-store, have your groceries delivered, or use Kroger’s free pick-up option, snap a copy of your physical receipt or connect receipts in your email inbox to Fetch so that the app can automatically apply points for purchasing participating products and special deals.
And once you’ve accumulated enough reward points, you can redeem them for gift cards across countless shopping categories, including popular brands in travel, beauty, electronics, pets — and especially groceries.
That’s a super fresh way to save money shopping at Kroger and get some “green” back from America’s most loved grocery store.
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