I’ve shifted a good amount of our household grocery spend over to Costco over the last decade as they are ideal for items like gas, dog food, and alcohol and other low-margin Kirkland store brand items. Sadly (and by their own design), Costco doesn’t have everything. In fact, they brag about the limited number of products they carry (“4,000 SKUs compared to the 30,000 found at most supermarkets”). For those 26,000 other SKUs, we still frequent Trader Joe’s, Kroger, and occasionally ALDI. Of these popular grocery store chains, Kroger seems to be getting an increasing share of our grocery spend for 5 reasons:
- They have a ton of SKUs
- They have a lot of high-quality, good-value generic products (and frequently run sales on those products)
- They have a great produce section
- They have a few locations near us, which makes it easy to stop by when running errands
- They don’t have membership fees like BJ’s, Costco, or Sam’s Club (there are ways to shop at Costco without a membership and shop at Sam’s Club without a membership but they aren’t always the most convenient) – yet they still offer a ton of coupons and discounts
So, naturally, I’ve looked for ways to maximize our grocery spend efficiency at Kroger. And, I’ll highlight a number of Kroger ads, digital coupons, promotions, and credit card offers that you can potentially stack together:
Let’s dig in to each and how they work.
1. Kroger Plus Shopper’s Card & Weekly Ad Offers
The Kroger Plus Shopper’s Card – the free membership rewards program that Kroger has had for decades – is the starting point for all Kroger shoppers. You can get a card in store or simply create an account at Kroger.com where you can tie your membership card to your phone number so you can simply enter your phone number at checkout and discounts will automatically be applied to your purchase.
Kroger generic brand items are typically very competitively priced compared to other grocery chains, and many of them are discounted further for Kroger Plus members each week. Where you can take this to the next level is by viewing the Kroger weekly ad flyer to find what the week’s best deals are prior to shopping and stock up, where appropriate.
2. Kroger Digital Coupons & Promotions
Taking things a step further with Kroger Plus, Kroger offers ‘digital coupons‘ online that you can ‘clip’ to add to your account. You need to first create an account at Kroger.com in order to access these coupons and tie them to your account (phone number). Then, the digital coupons that you’ve clipped are applied automatically in store or online at checkout (automatically online or via your phone number in store). You can also download the Kroger app and clip digital coupons in the app when you find them on items you’d like in store. Some of these coupons stack additional discounts on top of Kroger Plus sales, and a few can be really good – e.g. $0.19/lb. (vs. typical $0.99/lb.) for sweet potatoes. I loaded up.
Kroger lists other digital and store promotions here, which includes mostly the top digital coupons, but other online and store promotions as well.
3. Kroger Pickup, Delivery, & Minimum Cart Size Digital Coupons
On top of item-specific coupons, also within the ‘digital coupons‘ section of the Kroger site, I have been seeing significant order-specific coupons. On my first pickup order I was able to add both a $15 off digital coupon for pickup and a $10 off digital coupon for exceeding $75 in cart size. These discounts are stackable on top of all other sales and coupons.
Update: after redeeming the first Kroger $15 off for pick or delivery order of $75 or more – I received a second similar offer in my account. So, it appears that you can redeem multiple of these lucrative coupons.
4. Kroger Cash Back Rewards Program
Also tied to your Kroger Plus Shopper’s Card account is Kroger cash back rewards. Items eligible for cash back rewards are different than digital coupons, but can also be clipped online and later cashed out through your card as an in-store credit or via PayPal. The selection here is less robust than the digital coupon section in my experience, and seems to be heavily focused on alcoholic beverages.
5. Manufacturer’s Coupons at Kroger
Kroger takes manufacturer’s coupons and their policies on them are fairly lax. These coupons can stack on top of other offers highlighted here, however, they are exclusive to internet and other printed coupons (typically from newspapers/mail) and are for name brand items – which may still be more expensive than generic Kroger brand items, even after coupon. As of right now, these types of coupons can only be redeemed in store (or can be handed to an associate to apply to pickup orders), so you would not be able to use them on delivery orders. Often times, you will actually be able to find manufacturer’s coupons in the aisles at Kroger, which can immediately be used at checkout.
6. Kroger Credit Card Offers from AmEx, Chase, Citi, Etc.
There have recently been some significant Kroger credit card offers that stack on top of the standard Kroger sales, discounts, digital item-specific coupons, and order-specific coupons. Here is one that I recently found on my ‘Amex Offers’ for my Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express for getting $25 back on an online order over $50:
Note in this case that your remaining cart balance will need to be $50+ after all other promotions are applied.
Other AmEx Kroger offers recently available include:
- Get 20% back as a statement credit by using your enrolled eligible Card to make purchases in-store at Kroger, online at kroger.com, or via the Kroger mobile app by 1/31/2023. Limit of $20 back in total statement credits.
- Spend $40 at Kroger stores and get a $20 statement credit. Offer can be used up to 3 times.
I tend to get 3 or 4 of these types of offers per year. They typically have shown up more frequently on American Express cards, versus Citi, Chase, or Bank of America.
7. Kroger Grocery Rewards Card Cash Back
There is a Kroger Rewards World Elite Mastercard and Kroger Rewards debit card, which each have some decent perks such as bonus Kroger Fuel Points, however, it wouldn’t be my go to credit card for shopping at Kroger or other grocery stores. That go-to would be the Blue Cash Preferred card from American Express. Among a number of other perks and a generous welcome bonus offer, it offers 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%), including at Kroger. This makes it my pick for the best grocery rewards credit card – and that 6% cash back is on top of everything else I’ve highlighted in this article. It can even be used on physical gift cards in the store.
8. Kroger Pharmacy Coupons for Groceries
The Kroger Pharmacy is underrated (in my experience a lot quicker and cheaper than CVS or Walgreen’s), and they occasionally run promotions that provide coupons towards groceries. I’ve seen the following offers in the last year that could be stacked on the other offers I’ve highlighted in this article:
- $25 off a grocery order when you transfer a prescription from another pharmacy
- $5 off a grocery order when you get a flu shot (if you have insurance with preventative benefits, you can get free flu shots at Kroger as well as free COVID vaccinations and boosters)
9. In Practice: Stacking Kroger Discount Results
All of these coupons, discounts, and credit card offers can make Kroger a compelling option for deal-seekers. As just one low-effort example on a recent order, I was able to bring a $95.70 order down to $59.78 before credit card offers:
I was also able to apply the $25 AmEx offer on top of this (as my order still exceeded $50 after discount), bringing my total down to $34.78. And with 6% cash back using the Blue Cash Preferred card, $95.70 in groceries ended up being just $32.69, or about a third of the already low cost, as I mostly only buy generic Kroger store brand items. I say “low effort” as I wasn’t focused on loading up strictly on the best deals (e.g. only digital coupon offers with steep discounts) and I didn’t have any manufacturer’s coupons, but I could have done that, and it’s easy to see how one could really squeeze some of the offers even further.
10. “Double Play” at Kroger
Taking all of the above, a couple could also fairly easily double-up on the order-specific coupons as well as the credit card offers, provided each person has their own Kroger Plus account and individual credit card with a qualifying Kroger offer. Let’s call that a “Kroger double play”.