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If you shop at any of the Kroger brands — like King Soopers, Fred Meyer, Fry’s, Smith’s, or Ralph’s — you’re likely familiar with Kroger. You may even love Kroger because you’ve discovered just how much you can save by shopping there. But do you know ALL the Kroger shopping hacks that you can use at any of their stores?
The Kroger family of companies is actually made up of more than 19 grocery chains and 15 different brands. This makes it one of the largest grocery and general retailers in the country — second only to Walmart. Kroger may have many names, but you can save the same way at nearly all of them. And I’m here to show you how.
For more smart shopping tips and savings hacks, text HACKS to 57299.
1. Sign up for your Kroger store’s loyalty card to access the best savings.
This is an obvious one: you’ll want to start by signing up for a loyalty account with your local Kroger store. You can do this online, in the app, or in the store.
Once you have an account, you can load digital manufacturer coupons from your store’s site to your account (and avoid having to clip paper coupons). Reminder: You can’t combine digital manufacturer coupons with paper manufacturer coupons for the same exact product.
At checkout, just enter your phone number or swipe your card at the store. All your loaded manufacturer coupons will get automatically applied to your total.
TIP: Don’t want to do the whole digital coupon thing? Just check out at Kroger’s customer service desk to receive the discounted pricing.
2. Download the Kroger app to manage your rewards on the go.
Most of the bigger Kroger stores (Kroger, Fry’s, Fred Meyer, Ralphs, King Soopers, QFC, etc.) have their own app. You can manage rewards and fuel points, create shopping lists, load digital coupons to your loyalty card, see weekly ads, order groceries for pickup, activate Kroger cash back rewards, and manage prescriptions all from the app.
Download your store’s app with these links:
- Kroger (iOS / Android)
- Fry’s (iOS / Android)
- Fred Meyer (iOS / Android)
- Ralphs (iOS / Android)
- King Soopers (iOS / Android)
- QFC (iOS / Android)
3. Use your digital Kroger coupons on grocery pickup and delivery orders.
Whether you order grocery delivery through Kroger or one of their many sister stores (minus Ruler Foods), you can absolutely use digital coupons when you place your order through the app. The digital coupons will automatically get applied to your delivery order once you clip them.
As far as combining coupons goes — the rule of thumb is if you’re able to stack coupons together in store, you can stack them for your grocery delivery order, too.
TIP: Grocery pickup from Kroger stores is free on orders of $35+ (below that, it’s $4.95). For Kroger delivery, you’ll pay $9.95 – $11.95 per order for same-day delivery. Next-day delivery is cheaper, at $6.95. Delivery fees may vary by store and location.
4. Get up to $1 off per gallon with Kroger fuel rewards.
The Kroger fuel points program is an easy way to save money on something you do anyway — fill up your gas tank.
Every dollar you spend at a Kroger store is normally worth one fuel point. If you buy a gift card for travel, dining, retail, or entertainment through the Kroger website, you’ll earn 2x, 3x, or even 4x the fuel points on that purchase!
There is no limit to how many points you can earn, but keep in mind that points reset every month, and you can only use points for up to 35 gallons of gas. Check the bottom of your receipt or sign in to your account to see how many fuel points you’ve accumulated.
- 100 fuel points = $0.10 off per gallon of fuel for one fill-up at participating partner gas stations (i.e. Shell stations) or a Kroger store gas station
- 200 fuel points = $0.20 off per gallon of fuel for one fill-up at a Kroger store gas station
- 1,000 fuel points = $1 off per gallon of fuel for one fill-up at a Kroger store gas station
5. If you don’t like a Kroger brand item, you can exchange it for a national brand.
Kroger has several private-label brands, including Private Selection, Simple Truth Organic, and other brands specific to their other grocery retailers (King Soopers, Fred Meyer’s, etc.).
If you’re not happy with a store-brand purchase, you can return the product within 30 days for a full refund. Or you can even exchange the item for a national brand. Both options just require you to bring your receipt.
6. If your items are out of stock, Kroger will give you an upgrade.
When one of the items you order for Kroger delivery or pickup is out of stock, a Kroger associate will replace it with the same item in a larger quantity, according to their policy. If that brand isn’t available, they’ll replace it with a similar or better product and sell it to you for the original, lower price.
With grocery pickup, the associate will make sure you approve any exchanges before you pay.
7. Keep your receipt and you could win $5,000 in free groceries.
Next time you buy something at your local Kroger store, check the bottom of your receipt and participate in a quick customer satisfaction survey for a chance to win $5,000. You’ll receive 50 bonus fuel points just for participating!
Although only one person gets the monthly $5,000 drawing, 100 people get $100 Kroger gift cards … every month. Think about how many people actually take those surveys (probably not many) and decide if it’s worth it to spend five minutes on a questionnaire (totally). May the odds be ever in your favor.
Related: Like taking surveys? We did the digging to find out if Survey Junkie is legit (or even worth it).
8. You don’t have to purchase 10 items to get the “10 for $10” discount.
Kroger often has “10 for $10” sales, but you don’t actually have to purchase 10 items to get the deal. Each item will ring up as $1. The same goes for similar promos like “2 for $3.” (Each item will scan for $1.50.)
9. Kroger grocery pickup prices are the same as they are in store.
Related: Here’s how to decide if Instacart is worth it.
10. Plan your Kroger delivery for later to avoid Instacart’s extra costs.
Same-day Kroger delivery is typically completed through Instacart, which means a higher delivery fee ($9.95) plus a 5% tip. If you can wait until the next day (or longer) to get your groceries delivered, you’ll find it’s almost always done through Kroger delivery instead of Instacart. Scheduling your order ahead of time like this will save you at least $3 in delivery fees, plus the tip.
What time does Kroger close?
Early riser or late-night person? Kroger has a wide window of delivery time slots from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m., which you may notice is outside the normal store hours of 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
A Kroger rep assured us that if you can place the order, your groceries will get delivered during that time slot — even if it’s before or after the store’s regular operating hours.
11. Sign up for a Boost membership and get Kroger free delivery on every order over $35.
For $99 a year, you can sign up for a Boost membership and get free Kroger delivery on all orders of $35+ — including deliveries fulfilled by Instacart! The 5% tip for your Instacart driver is still on you, though.
To help you figure out if Boost is worth it, you’d need to order 15 Kroger deliveries or 10 Instacart deliveries in a year to pay for the $99 annual fee. Shop Kroger delivery twice a month and you’ll save $262.40 to $418.40 on delivery fees alone! Plus, with Boost you earn two fuel points for every $1 spent, and you get additional savings on Kroger Special Brands.
Here’s a peek at the special savings for Boost members:
- $2 Off When You Spend $7 on Simple Truth Produce
- Buy 1 Private Selection Meat or Seafood Item and Get $2 Off
- Buy 3 Simple Truth Frozen Food Items and Get $3 Off
12. Stack manufacturer coupons with Mega Event sale items to save big.
Several times a year, Kroger and most of their affiliate stores hold Mega Event sales that allow you to mix and match specified products for a discount at the register.
Mega Events are typically listed as the following: Buy 4, Save $4; Buy 5, Save $5; or Buy 10, Save $5. Unlike regular 10 for $10 sales, you must buy all four, five, or 10 items to get the discount. Pair printable, newspaper, or digital coupons with items purchased in this promo, and you’ll save even more on your total grocery bill.
Related: Your average cost of groceries has gone up — here’s how much more you’re paying for groceries this year.
13. Look for Catalina coupons at the registers — they’re not junk!
Catalina machines dispense long, receipt-like coupons and are typically located next to the registers at Kroger stores (both the regular registers and self-checkout kiosks).
Catalina coupons may include store or manufacturer coupons. Sometimes they’re a dollar-amount off your next transaction, and sometimes they’re a coupon for a specific product.
TIP: I like self-checkout lanes because I can look around for coupons and Catalinas that other shoppers have left behind. Since Catalinas often look like junk or an advertisement, there have been times when I’ve found Catalinas for free items or even for $2 or $3 off my next shopping trip!
14. Manager’s specials are marked with yellow and red tags in the store.
At my local Fred Meyer, the manager’s specials — aka the items reduced in price because they’re seasonal or approaching their expiration or “best by” dates — are marked with yellow and red “Reduced” tags.
You can usually find manager’s specials located in carts in the middle of aisles, in endcaps, and near the door of the stock room. Produce and dairy manager’s specials are located in the same area as non-discounted items.
15. Meat or produce item approaching its expiration date? Haggle for a discount!
Most items that are approaching their expiration date, like meat, will already be labeled with a yellow and red manager’s special tag, but sometimes items are missed!
If you see a product that will soon be expired — or even a piece of produce that looks uneven or not as fresh as the others — ask for a discount. I do it all the time!
Related: Here’s what to know about saving money on groceries with the Flashfood app.
16. Scan the shelves in search of closeout tags.
When Kroger plans to discontinue an item, they’ll dramatically reduce its price and slap a white closeout label on the shelf. You’ll typically find closeout items on regular shelves next to full-price items, so be sure to scan the shelves in every aisle in search of these last-chance deals!
17. Sign up for a Kroger debit card for an extra $0.05 off gas and 2% off Kroger brands.
If you’re a loyal Kroger shopper, applying for the Kroger Rewards debit card has its perks. You’ll earn 1.5 fuel points per dollar spent (50% more than without the card), plus 2% off Kroger’s store brands.
18. Get a 10% senior discount at certain Kroger family stores.
At my local Fred Meyer, they give you 10% off your grocery bill on the first Tuesday of every month if you’re 55 or older. They’ll even send text alerts to remind you.
You may find your local Kroger or sister store offers one, too. For example, all 119 Kroger stores in Michigan hosted a one-day-only Kroger Senior Discount Day on Aug. 2, 2023, which gave shoppers 10% off their in-store purchases. No ID or digital coupon was required.
19. Use rebate apps like Ibotta to save even more.
You’ll get a traditional receipt when you shop at Kroger, so you should have no problem using the same receipt for all of these rebate apps:
- Ibotta — Use this Ibotta link to receive up to $20 in welcome sign-up bonuses!
- Checkout51 — Add offers from Checkout51 and then tap “Redeem.” Select the items that appear on your receipt, take a photo, and submit!
- Fetch Rewards — You’ll get Fetch Rewards points just for uploading your receipt, and they’ll automatically add more points if you bought brands they’re currently offering bonus points for.
- Makeena — Snap a picture of your receipt and upload it to Makeena to redeem eligible rebate offers.
- Coupons.com — Clip coupons in the app, purchase an eligible product, then upload a picture or screenshot of the receipt.
- Shopkick — Earn “kicks” when you buy qualifying products and take a picture of your receipt. Kicks translate into gift cards when you’ve earned enough of them. You can also earn kicks by scanning products in store that you don’t intend to buy.