So after collecting coupons from the Sunday paper, the Tuesday mail, and from the internet I am sure your hands are tired of holding those scissors! Have no fear...there is a third type of coupons that you do no have to cut and those are the electronic coupons. The way this works is simple. First you need to make sure you have a Kroger Plus card (if you do not have a Kroger in your area then check with your local grocery stores and their customer loyalty cards to see if they allow for electronic coupons). Once you have your Kroger Plus card in hand head over to these websites:
You will need to create an account with each of these sites so that you can input your Kroger Plus card number to load the coupons to. Once your account has been created you are ready to load coupons! This process is very easy and similar to the way you select printable coupons. Begin browsing the coupons and choose the ones that you would like to use. Most sites say "Select Coupon" below the picture of the item and you need to click this button. Once you have chosen all of the coupons you want, you may have to select "load coupons to the card." Some sites load the coupons the moment you select the coupon so to make sure your coupons loaded correctly go to the "Selected Coupon" tab and make sure that all of your electronic coupons are shown on this page.
The nice thing about electronic coupons is that you can load them from all 3 sites and for the same items! So just because you loaded a "Save $1.00 on Tide" from Kroger.com does not mean you can't load another "Save $1.00 on Tide" coupon from Cellfire.com or PGESaver.com! *Secret Alert* Electronic Coupons adds a whole new dimension to couponing because you can pair printed coupons with electronic coupons to double your savings!!! Here is an example of what I mean:
Saturday night Chad and I went to Kroger and they were having a great sale on Progresso Soup. If you purchased 10 participating items you got $5.00 off making the soup only $.99 per can! I had paper coupons and printed coupons that said "Buy 4 cans of Progresso Soup and save $1.00." I had also loaded electronic coupons to my Kroger Plus card from kroger.com and cellfire.com that were "Buy 2 cans of Progresso Soup and save $.50" With my first 4 cans of soup I was able to use 1 paper coupon for $1.00 off, my cellfire electronic coupon for $.50, and my kroger.com electronic coupon for $.50 making the cost of 4 cans of soup only $2.00! *Secret Alert* While Kroger will double paper coupons up to $.50 the will NOT double electronic coupons. The value you see for the electronic coupon is what you get!
It is very easy to see ways that you can begin to save big by combining sale prices with paper coupons and electronic coupons! I have gotten into the habit of first downloading my electronic coupons and then searching for paper or printed coupons that will match up with the ones on my Kroger Plus card. This way when that item goes on sale I am equipped with coupons necessary to really save on that item or to get that item totally free!!
So how does electronic coupons work in the store? Well I make it a habit to have my Kroger Plus card in hand to give to the cashier before they ever start scanning my groceries. This way I know that my card has been registered and my electronic coupons will come off once the item is scanned. As the cashier scans your groceries the electronic coupons will automatically be deducted from your bill. You do not have to tell the cashier about these because if you have an electronic coupon loaded to your card...it will come off once the item has been scanned! As you check your receipt you will see the deduction of your electronic coupon below the item. The picture above is of my receipt to Kroger from my shopping trip this past Saturday. Notice that there are several deductions with the words "eCpn" beside it. Those were the savings I had from the ecoupons! You may notice on this receipt that I purchased Oscar Mayer Ham for $3.29 and then had an ecoupon for Oscar mayer Ham for a savings of $3.29. This made the ham totally free...but then I used a paper coupon for "$1.00 off any Oscar Mayer meat product." The use of my electronic coupon in combination with my paper coupon required Kroger to pay ME to take the ham home :) Just because you have an electronic coupon or because you know you are getting the item for free does not mean you can't still use a coupon! If Kroger has a deal where you buy 3 boxes of cereal and get the 4th for free...then if you have coupons to cover all 4 boxes of cereal use them!! You can use a coupon for EVERY item that the cashier will scan...regardless of the fact that you are getting the item for free :)
One last word on using electronic coupons is always know what you have loaded to your card! If you have an iPhone then be sure to download the free apps for Kroger and Cellfire. A friend told me about these apps and it has really helped me on my shopping trips! With the touch of a finger I am able to see every electronic coupon that has been loaded to my Kroger Plus Card on Cellfire and Kroger.com! The app also allows you to add coupons to your card while you shop. I now make it a habit to check these apps to see if there are electronic coupons for every item I put in my cart! If you do not have an iPhone then simply print a list of these coupons directly from the website. Since P&G does not have an iPhone app I will still print a list so that I am sure to always know what savings are loaded to my shoppers card.
I hope that it is starting to make sense how you can use paper, printable, and electronic coupons to really save at the grocery store! Tomorrow I will show you step by step how I organize this massive coupon collection that I have started! We will also begin to work on identifying sales and how you can utilize them to stock up and save big! As always if you have questions or if something is not clear then leave a comment below and I will be sure to answer it!
*Jacque reminded me yesterday that when you spend $100 (collectively) at Kroger you earn $.10 per gallon off at any Kroger Fuel station! The wonderful thing about this is that they do not take coupon use off of your total! So Saturday night our $230 bill earned us 2 trips to Kroger Fuel to get $.10 off of gas...and we only paid $65 for our groceries!
*Kris had a good question about double coupons. She asked if you have to tell Kroger to double the coupons and the answer is no! When the cashier scans your coupon if it is for $.50 or less the computer system will automatically double the value! At the bottom of your receipt it will say "Bonus Coupon."
*Wondering how I got $3.29 off the cost of my Oscar Mayer meat? Kroger.com is having a game where you go on their website and flip a coin to try and earn free products! A friend told me about this contest last week and I was lucky enough to win on the second day that I tried! My prize was a free package of meat and it loaded the savings directly on my Kroger Plus Card. The game is called "Game Day Greats" and it will run for 6 more days...so get over there and play the game. You may have Kroger paying you to take something home :)
*Please be aware that it is Kroger's policy that they do NOT allow paper coupons and eCoupons to be combined. I have found that some stores do allow you to use both, but understand that not all will allow you to combine the coupons in this way*