Sunday, July 10, 2011

Kroger-Wheeling WV-Now Enforcing 3 Like Coupons

To say that we aren't surprised is an understatement.
The local Kroger ads have, for some time now, included a blurb line boasting: "Double Manufacturer's Coupons up to $0.50....Limit 3 Manufacturer's Coupons will be doubled per LIKE items purchased."

However, in this part of the region, they were not actively enforcing the policy. And because we knew that it was "coming down the pike", we call every time we head out to our local Kroger because we shop according to a plan. I've mentioned before that I am not a "shop-on-the-fly" kind of girl. I like to have a plan. One that is checked, double checked, and will affect my bottom line positively. And yesterday, when I made the call, I was told what I've been told for years: "Unlimited Manufacturer's Coupons double."

So, off to Kroger I went, and did my shopping according to plan. Long story short, get to the register, and a manager proceeds to tell the cashier ringing me out that they accept 3 like coupons only.

Que the violins! No, better yet, Que screeching brakes!

"What?", I asked. "When did this go into effect?"
Manager: "Oh, a few months ago."
Me: "That's not what I was told when I called in today."
Manager: "Yeah, for a few months now."
So I asked: "Ok, then the computer shouldn't double the 'over 3' like coupons but should double the first 3, right?"
Manager: "I'm not sure".

We discussed for a few moments because apparently, though I heard her say "No more than 3 like coupons per transaction"...she really meant to say that only 3 will double.

The policy is 3 'like' coupons to double during a transaction, but, apparently, you can use more than 3 like coupons in a transaction. There IS a difference, and even the manager was confused. Even though, according to her, the policy had been in effect for a few months now. Shouldn't she be well versed in the policy if it's a few months old now?

This is a lesson to be learned. Know the policy.

Per Kroger, they will double the first 3 'like' coupons, and the rest of the 'like' coupons will be redeemed at face value.

In Wheeling, WV, you will now be required to split transactions to be able to maximize your 'like' coupons.

This means, if you have 6 'like' coupons, you will have to do two transactions. The first and second transaction will require you to use 3 'like' coupons each. Otherwise, do one transaction, the first 3 coupons will double, the second 3 will not. :(

How that will affect the Mega Sales Events is confusing as well because THOSE sales require you to purchase 10 participating items. It used to be that you could use 10 'like' coupons on those purchases, they would double (subject to the coupon double policy), and you could and would realize massive savings on items.
Now, it seems that possibility is tossed out the window. In essence, you can use 3 'like' coupons on 3 different items. That will take you to 9 Mega Sales Event items, leaving you one more. You will either have to buy an item with out a double coupon, or possibly buy another item that you might not necessarily want to purchase. Remember for the Mega Sales Event you need that 10th item to qualify your other items at great savings.

....AND you will have to do separate transactions each including 10 items if you were planning on stocking up on certain items. (This brings to mind the FREE pasta from a few weeks ago).
As if being at the grocery store acquiring your purchases doesn't already take up time!
Now, depending on your shopping list and coupon usage, the time checking out can be doubled, tripled....etc.

This begs the question, really, :"How it will affect the bottom line in terms of my shopping budget?"
It also will likely change the way I shop mega events. Frankly, I want to be able to get the best price for those items, in the required number of products to be purchased, and do so using coupons. This will change the game.

If it isn't obvious by now, I do NOT support the change. I feel that the number ONE reason that I shop at Kroger is to be able to make my money stretch, and doubling coupons did that for me. If the deal is good enough, you will likely find me in a Wheeling, WV Kroger check out line, doing multiple transactions...

In the end, I foresee price matching at my local Wal-Mart...where they don't double, but they don't limit the number of coupons I can use either. Technically, Kroger doesn't either. They just limit the number of coupons that can or will be doubled in a single transaction. To lessen the check out anxiety, and the juggling of transactions, Wal Mart may well become the store I shop at most.

Well...I'm going to go cry in my nearly free cereal.

Until Next Time: