Houston Area Kroger's Stop Doubling/Tripling Coupons

Kroger No Longer DoublingTripling

I woke up this morning to some really upsetting information. A friend on the Family Friendly Frugality Facebook wall posted that Houston area Kroger’s announced that they would no longer be doubling/tripling coupons.

I was pretty bleary eyed and barely awake, so my first response was, “Oh boy, THAT rumor is circulating again.”.  Let’s face it, in the coupon world there is always impending doom on the horizon! How many times have we heard that Walgreens and CVS are getting rid of Register Rewards? Or that stores are going to stop accepting printable coupons outright.

However, something about this didn’t feel like all those other times (and the source much more reliable…Thanks for the info Cheryl!) so I quickly Googled to find out more information.

It didn’t take me long to find out that, unfortunately, she was right.  In fact, I even found this specific status update on their Facebook wall, filled with upset customers.

The New Policy

Here is Kroger’s new coupon policy effective April 13, 2011:

 

*With the growing popularity of digital coupons, mobile apps and manufacturers producing coupons valued at more than 50 cents, we feel it’s an ideal time to test out a new money-saving program and discontinue double/triple. There’s a possibility we may re-introduce double/triple by hosting special shopping events intermittently.

*We will still continue to accept coupons at face value. Part of the new policy states there is a limit of one electronic or paper manufacturer coupon per item. The opportunity to stack is no longer available. A digital coupon and manufacturer paper coupon may not be combined on the purchase of a single item. More than 100 digital coupons are available daily at www.kroger.com.

*If you have loaded an electronic coupon to your Kroger Plus card, then the digital coupon will apply before the manufacturer paper coupon.

*In addition to accepting coupons at face value, Kroger still offers a number of ways to save. We saved Texas shoppers more than $25 million in 2010 through different programs, including the generic drug pricing ($4/30-day supply and $10/90-day supply), fuel rewards, everyday 10% senior discount for shoppers who are 59 and older and our pick 6 wine discount. Also, Kroger customers will continue to receive Loyal Customer Mailings that include coupons tailored directly to the products they buy most.

*Through the fuel rewards program, shoppers save 3 cents per gallon everyday at Kroger Fuel Centers. There are 67 Kroger Fuel Centers in Greater Houston. Customers can save 10 cents per gallon at Kroger Fuel Centers and at more than 500 participating Shell locations in the area when they earn 100 fuel rewards points. Kroger 123 Rewards MasterCard holders continue to save 15 cents per gallon on fuel at Kroger.

*Rewards points can be earned in the following ways:

– Spend $100 on groceries, earn 100 points. ($1 = 1 point)

– Spend $50 on gift cards and we double the points. (1 $50 gift card = 100 points)

– Fill or refill 2 prescriptions at a Kroger Pharmacy. (1 prescription = 50 pts)

It’s no surprise that I am not pleased with this change. Prior to using coupons, I never shopped at Kroger because I simply felt they were too expensive. Once I learned how to strategically shop, I quite drastically moved from no shopping at Kroger to almost ALL of my shopping at Kroger.

My Thoughts

Now, I am upset about this…but in a way I get it. Doubling/Tripling falls on Kroger, which means that it is an expense that they have to pick up. If they want to stop, that’s fine. It’s their company, and they know their bottom line a lot better than I do! Maybe their numbers are dropping and this is something they feel they can cut with little effect on the majority of their customers. Since apparently they claim that,

*Kroger data shows that only 7% of households take advantage of doubling and tripling.

*Only 1% use more than 10 coupons in a transaction. (Huh? I must know everyone of those 1%!)

Source: My Litter

Data that I’m not sure I totally think the truth would support…but I digress. The truth is that it is Kroger’s prerogative to change their policy whenever they want to.

It is also my prerogative not to shop there.

It’s not some last ditch effort to get them to change their mind. It’s not a political stance. I’m not being over dramatic and resistant to change.

I go where the low prices are.

And Kroger? Without doubling and tripling coupons…you are too expensive.

Without the ability to stack coupons? You are too expensive.

Your gas incentives? Well, I don’t think they are as appealing as you think they are.

I’m lucky, my local Randall’s still doubles/triples, we have Walmart (who just recently revamped their coupon policy to become more coupon friendly!) and Target, and with HEB just across the road (gosh I hope they’ve done something about their bird infested parking lot) AND at least 4-5 CVS/Walgreens within a mile of my house…I have no reason to shop with you any longer.

I have choices. I’ve always had choices, but I chose you.

You decided that I wasn’t a customer worth keeping, so I guess now we part ways.

I’m sad this morning. I remember when our grocery budget was out of control and I first learned how to strategically shop at Kroger. That wouldn’t have been possible if I had decided to tackle our budget after Kroger stopped doubling/tripling. It may seem like a small inconvenience, but as we couponers know…it’s the little bits that add up to a LOT.

I’m disappointed in you Kroger.

**This is a pilot program here in Houston Texas…there is no reason to believe that this will not spread throughout the country. Make your voices heard! Go (politely) leave a message on Kroger’s Facebook wall. Write to Kroger Customer Service.

If there are no voices of dispute, they will consider that our consent.

Blog: Family Friendly Frugality

Section editor & featured author: Momtastic What To

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