Sunday, February 28, 2010

Kroger Coupon Policy Woes (but awesome Chex Mix deal!)

Kroger has all of their Chex Mix (including the chocolate kind) and Cheerios Mix on sale 2 for $3. Since I have a ton of printable coupons for these, I rolled on over there this afternoon and picked up 8 bags for $3.97 or about 50 cents each (Saving over $18) - how does that work, you ask? Well, I had 2 cpns for regular chex mix, 4 cpns for chocolate chex mix, and 2 cpns for Cheerios mix. Each was for 50 cents off one bag and they doubled (Kroger doubles cpns up to 50 cents) even though they said "do not double" on them. ("super-couponer" note: if a coupon says "do not double" but its serial number starts with a 5 all the way to the left of the bar code, it will likely still double. If the serial number starts with a 9, it won't. I know that is crazy picky, but it's a pretty consistent rule of thumb in the couponing world).

Here's the "woe" part - After the checkout girl rang up all the bags, she told me that they only take two internet coupons at a time now. I said, "Two for the same type of item? Or two total per transaction for any internet coupon?" I asked because I could at least get get 6 bags with the coupons I had (two were for regular chex mix, 2 for chocolate, and 2 for Cheerios mix) if the former were the case. The manager was next to us, manning the self-bag lanes, and he said 2 per transaction total. He said that due to fraud, only accepting two at a time is the only way they could control it. So, I said I didn't want all of the bags then and asked for my coupons back so I could use only the two that were about to expire. I told that that since Harris Teeter is still accepting the printable coupons I could take them over there. Meanwhile the 5 people behind me in the express lane were all annoyed. I think that is what inspired the manager to then say that he'd let me use my coupons "this one time." Here is what Kroger's website states about printable internet coupons - I'm not sure my store was following it the way it is laid out.

So, as if I didn't have enough reasons not to shop at this Kroger (New Hope Commons), this added to my list. They don't double up to 99 cents like HT does, they don't do triple or super double coupon specials, their produce seems to be wilting every time I shop there, their variety for some of the things I buy (like yogurt) is limited, and 80-90% of the times I've been to this Kroger something I was looking for was sitting in a puddle of something else that was leaking next to it. These complaints are not new to them. I filled out a mail in survey a few weeks ago. I'm not saying I won't shop there for certain deals when they are cheaper than anywhere else, I'm just saying I'm not planning to change my usual shopping routine at HT any time soon.

I am not a fraud couponer - I print to my 2 coupon limit each time. This is obvious by looking at my coupons since their expiration dates vary. I know that some hard core couponers have coupon parties and share and trade coupons with each other just to get multiples of things they use, though. This new policy would affect them the most, I think.

*** Just a note about HT - Technically, Harris Teeter only doubles coupons for up to three identical items per transaction - coupons used for those items after that are redeemed at face value. Also, technically with the purchase of two like manufacturer’s products, they accept two internet coupons, per store, per day. I say technically have never had a problem with my Harris Teeter doubling more than 3 coupons for identical items or accepting multiple internet coupons for like items. Check out the rest of HT's Coupon Policy here.

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