Update – Kroger Digital Coupon Confusion

by Beth Montgomery on July 2, 2010 · 4 comments

in Coupons & Rebates, Kroger, Store Deals

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It’s taken me a while to get back to you with what I found out about the Kroger Digital Coupons and if they’re stackable or not.   that’s because it’s taken me this long to find someone who actually knew the answer!   First, I’ll start with the good news -

Kroger is in the process of writing an official nationwide coupon policy to help with the store-to-store confusion!   When it’s finalized, they’ll be sending me a copy, so I can let you know.   I don’t know if that’s a coupon policy only for the digital coupons or for all coupons, but I really hope they hop on board and make some decisions about all coupons nationwide, so there isn’t ‘so much store to store confusion!   Currently, their coupon policies vary by region and/or store.

Now in other news… Here’s what has happened.   Kroger, wanting to drive traffic to their own website and simplify things for their customers, is now using a service that streams digital coupons from Cellfire, Shortcuts, and P&G e-Saver into one spot on their site and mixed them with Kroger store coupons.   So, Kroger’s coupon page is a mixture of store and manufacturer coupons.

- – Standard Facts – -

  • Most stores, including Kroger, allow you to use one store and one manufacturer coupon per item.
  • Manufacturers do not want stores accepting two manufacturer coupons per item and even include this in their coupon fine print.
  • Cellfire, Shortcuts, and P&G e-Saver do not encourage using their digital manufacturer coupons with manufacturer paper coupons.

- – Problems – -

  • There is no way for couponers to know which coupons are from which source, so if you load coupons from Cellfire, then unknowingly try to load the same coupon from Kroger’s website, you’ll get an error message saying you’ve already loaded this offer.
  • Manufacturer and store coupons are mixed up without any way for couponers to easily know which is which, so we can’t easily try to play by the standard coupon policies.
  • There is no way for the check-out system or cashiers to know which are store or manufacturer coupons.

- – Kroger’s Answer – -

Because of this, Kroger has taken this stance -

It is up to each store’s manager, if the store will allow digital coupons to be stacked with manufacturer coupons or not.

So, basically, you’ll have to ask at your store to get the answer.   And, when you do find the answer, it’s an all or nothing situation currently.   If the store allows stacking, then they allow all digital coupons, even manufacturer coupons, to stack with manufacturer paper coupons.   And vice versa, if they do not allow stacking.

- – In Good Cent’s Weekly Deals – -

Below is an excerpt from the official Indiana-Area coupon policy for Kroger Stores -

ONLINE COUPONS versus PAPER COUPONS:
Customers may not use an online coupon and a paper coupon together for the same item.   The online coupon will always take priority over the paper coupon.

Since In Good Cents uses the Indiana-Area circulars to do weekly coupon matchups for Kroger, I’ll be taking the “no stacking” approach to match my area’s current coupon policy until further   notice.   However, some stores in Indiana are still allowing the stacking of digital coupons with paper coupons, so you may get bonus savings if you’re one of the lucky ones.

- – My Unanswered Questions – -

Personally, I feel that Kroger has put themself in this situation, so if my store allowed stacking, I wouldn’t feel bad about doing it.   It’s Kroger that will get the heat in the end from the manufacturers, since we’re just following their current policy.

And, I probably shouldn’t care, but I over think everything, so I have a ton of questions I’ll probably never get answered!

  • How do the manufacturers feel about this?
  • Is Kroger store getting reimbursed for both coupons from the manufacturer if they allow stacking? Or are they eating that additional coupon cost?
  • Is this even legal according to Cents-Off and digital coupon participating companies, like P&G and General Mills?   Or is it out of their jurisdiction?
  • Are the cash register systems now up-to-date to stop stacking or are the cashiers told to manually checking for this?
  • Why don’t stores have an actual serious couponer or two involved in decisions like this? Any one of us could have immediately pointed out this issue, since we all want to stack for maximum savings and always think about store versus manufacturer coupons.

Oh well.   I guess this case is closed until we get that nationwide policy!   Can you stack digital coupons with paper coupons at your local Kroger store? What are your thoughts?

Don’t forget to check out all of the store deals and the other Kroger deals.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Anita July 3, 2010 at 7:42 PM

Hi! My hubby went shopping at our local Kroger store last weekend, and was told by the cashier that the Kroger-issued coupons that had been sent to my house were not to be stacked along with manufacturer’s coupons any longer. Now she was only talking about the ones that said “Manufacturer’s Coupon” on them, but most of the Kroger coupons have that at the top anyway. I have never had any problems with using Kroger store coupons and manufacturer’s coupons together before. She said that the managers were cracking down on coupon usage, and that it was not just a regional thing. I was very disappointed in this, since I use so many coupons there. Thought you might like to hear this. I live in the Delta area of Northern Mississippi.

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2 Beth Montgomery July 4, 2010 at 11:54 PM

Many stores release both store and manufacturer coupons. You can use a store and manufacturer coupon together, but not two manufacturer coupons, regardless of where you got them. Take the Target website for example. Half of the coupons on there are manufacturer coupons and can’t be used with another manufacturer coupon. This is standard practice, since stores are reimbursed manufacturer coupons.

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3 Missee November 3, 2010 at 2:38 PM

I live in Southwest VA and our Krogers have never accepted a store coupon stacked with a manufacturer coupon. I also found out the hard way, that you can’t stack a digital coupon with a paper coupon. Grrr! I am one of those many diehard couponers who utilize the stacking of digital and paper coupons. I may have to give up couponing altogether and just buy the cheapest in the store as not to cheat myself when I do go shopping or to deal with the hassle of knowing what you can and cannot do in which store. Food Lion still accepts stacked coupons, and CVS, so maybe I will shop at those places and give up Kroger. :)

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4 Beth November 3, 2010 at 3:10 PM

Missee, the e-coupons on Kroger’s website are actually almost all manufacturer coupons, so they aren’t suppose to stack with paper coupons. However, there’s a flaw in the system so Kroger has left is up to each individual store on if they are going to allow stacking or not. It’s an all or nothing though. They have to allow all e-coupons to stack regardless of if they are store or manufacturer, or they allow nowne, since the system can’t tell them apart.

But, technically, I’m surprised any allow it, since manufacturers don’t want their e-coupons and paper coupons stacked, since they have to pay twice or Kroger loses money. It’s an odd system that needs the kinks worked out. My Kroger allows paper store coupons to be stacked with paper manufacturer coupons, but doesn’t allow any e-coupon stacking. The Kroger coupons are tricky though. Most coupons they release have a Kroger logo on them, but they are manufacturer coupons. However, sometimes it’s a Kroger Store Coupon. They are often mixed together and look the same, except saying “store” or manufacturer”. It’s a bit of a mess, if you ask me.

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