New Kroger Coupon Policy for Central Division

by Beth Montgomery on October 19, 2011 · 33 comments

in Kroger, Store Deals

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Update: Since this time, I received an official copy of the Kroger Coupon Policy for Indiana, which varies slightly from the information below.

I’ve been pretty silent about the new Kroger Coupon Policy.  It wasn’t because I didn’t want to keep you informed.  It was because I wanted to make sure I had it 100% correct before I shared it with you.  A lot of local managers seem to be confused about it as well or don’t know about it yet.  However, I finally got a copy of the new Kroger Central coupon policy e-mailed to me by Kroger customer service.

First, so you’re aware, Kroger Central Division includes Indiana, Missouri, Illinois, Ohio, and Michigan.

So, here’s the new Kroger coupon policy for the Central Division with a translation to help you out!

We reserve the right to limit no more than five (5) paper manufacturer coupons for the same product, each coupon value considered (1) in the same transaction.

The key here is “reserve the right”.  This means, they may limit you to 5 paper manufacturer coupons, but they may not.  Really, your mileage will vary, depending on the store, product, or even the cashier.  This doesn’t mean you can’t use more than 5 paper manufacturer coupons.  It means, if you are purchasing 6 Coffee-mate creamers and have 6 $1/1 manufacturer coupons from the newspaper, they may only let you use 5 and that’s their right.

Limit one manufacturer coupon (paper or digital) per item purchased.

This isn’t new.  For a while now, Kroger has stated on their site that digital and paper coupons can not be used together.  Since stores don’t allow you to stack manufacturer coupons, it makes sense that you shouldn’t be able to use a digital coupon with a paper coupon.

Expired coupon are not to be accepted.

No change here either.  This makes sense.  You can’t use coupons after they expire.

Only Pharmacy Competitor Coupons accepted.

Again, this is a standard policy.  Most stores don’t accept competitor coupons (except Walmart and Target), but a few stores (like CVS) will accept them at the pharmacy for medicine refills.

Couponed items will not be sold to dealers.

This makes sense!  This stops people from using coupons to buy many items, then selling them for a profit.

Internet Coupon Restrictions / Print-at-Home Coupons

“FREE Item” internet coupons can be accepted if all purchase criteria is met.

This makes sense.  You should always be meeting the requirements of your coupons, regardless of if it’s for a FREE item or not.  So, basically, if your coupon says you get a FREE Crest Toothpaste (4 oz. or smaller) when you purchase a Crest Toothpaste (6.4 oz. or larger), make sure you have got those exact specified sizes.

Only two internet coupons per manufacturer, per customer, per day.

YUCK!  This one hurts.  I’ve done some research on this and from what I understand, manufacturer means manufacturer, not brand.  So, when Kroger has those great Mega Events on General Mills products and you have two printable coupons for Betty Crocker Hamburger Helper and two printable coupons for Pillsbury Crescent Rolls, you can use your choice of two, but not all four, because they are all General Mills manufacturer coupons.

This is where Kroger is going to lose most, if not all, of my business.  They are trying to stop coupon fraud.  Many people copy coupons on their printer or copier at home, which is illegal.  I applaud ideas to stop coupon fraud, since it hurts us all.  However, some manufacturers, like General Mills are generous with printable coupons.  Right now, there are 5 printable manufacturer coupons for Pillsbury Crescent rolls available.  Using all of them isn’t coupon fraud.  It’s simply taking advantage of all the General Mills printable coupons on legitimate coupon websites.

Internet coupons that display characteristics including: blurry, out of proportion, do not scan properly, or appear to be altered in any way, will not be accepted.

This is reasonable.  Typically this is a sign that the coupon has been altered or copied, so this is just to stop coupon fraud.

Doubling (if applicable)

Manufacturer coupons $0.50 and below will automatically double.  Doubling does not apply to the following coupons: free, Kroger store, Catalina, retail food store coupons, electronic coupons, and items prohibited by law.

Again, this isn’t a change.  This has been their double coupon policy for a while.

NOTE: The Store Manager ha the right to accept, decline, or limit the use of any coupon.

This means, be nice to your store managers and cashiers!  They can tell you no for any reason.  It’s their right.  But, I believe, they’ll use this coupon to limit shoppers getting FREE items.  For example, back when we were all using the $1/1 Cottonelle coupon to walk out with FREE Cottonelle 4-packs, that probably would have been a coupon they would decide to limit.  Instead, they just stopped carrying the product.

Kroger is implementing this policy to curb extreme couponing, coupon fraud, and shelf clearing  brought on by TLC’s Extreme Couponing.  Basically, with the new Kroger coupon policy, if you’re using a lot of printable coupons, you may want to shop somewhere else.

On a side note, the thing that kills me about this, is that they brought it on themselves.  I don’t watch TLC’s Extreme Couponing, but the few times I did decide to turn it just to stay informed, the featured shopper was shopping at Kroger!  And, more often than not, using coupons in a way that violated the original Kroger coupon policy or the fine print on the coupon.  By allowing shoppers on a popular national television show to break these rules, they really opened the door for others to think they can break the rules as well, especially those who are still learning how to extreme coupon.

Before you shop, make sure you check out all the grocery store deals and Kroger deals! And, checkout the Coupon Database for more FREE printable coupons.

What do you think about Kroger’s new coupon policy?  Will it be changing how often you shop at Kroger?

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