Kroger puts new limits on couponing

Kroger stores, fighting back against extreme couponers, are posting new coupon policies in their Cincinnati and Dayton area stores this week.

The company posted the new guidelines on its Facebook page last Friday and couponers are responding with both positive and negative comments.

What's New

Kroger now specifically states that only five coupons can be used for the same product during one shopping trip.

This is designed to keep "extreme couponers" from clearing the store shelves when a popular product like Tide, or Cheerios, or Lean Cuisine goes on sale.

In the past, extreme couponers would come in with 20 or more coupons for Tide, for example, when it was on sale.  They would snap up 20 boxes of Tide, using 20 $1 off coupons on top of the sale price, leaving none for other shoppers. 

This new policy is designed to prevent "shelf clearing."

Limits on Internet Coupons

The other big change concerns Internet coupons, printed online. Kroger is limiting shoppers to just two of these coupons per day, per manufacturer.

So if there is a sale on Sara Lee products, you can buy only two with coupons printed online.  In the past, extreme couponers would buy many more.

No More Stacking

Kroger also re-affirms an earlier policy prohibiting "stacking," of Internet coupons on top of manufacturer's coupons.

This prevents shoppers from using both a 50 cent off online coupon on top of a 50 cent of Sunday newspaper coupon on the same item.

Kroger says many of these policies were in effect previously, but it is just making them clear in every store.

What's Next?

However, many coupon bloggers are concerned that Kroger may take the next step: ending double coupons. It ended the policy of doubling coupons up to $1 at its Texas stores last month. Bloggers worry it is using those stores as a "test market" to see how the change goes over.

Kroger denies planning to end double coupons in other markets.

To read Kroger's new policy in full and see what customers are posting on their Facebook page about it, click here.

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