Jun 27, 2008

New Ralphs coupon policy

Out here in California, we have Ralphs supermarkets, which are part of the Kroger family. Up until Wednesday, Ralphs doubled coupons with a face value of up to $1 (so you would get $2 off for a $1 coupon). But according to the LA Times, now they only double coupons with a value of up to 50-cents. They will take off $1 for coupons with a face value of 51 to 99 cents.

I used to do most of my grocery shopping at Ralphs, but five years ago, there was a widespread lockout/strike at the major chains. The supermarkets agreed that Ralphs would stay open and share the profits (which might have been held illegal, if memory serves). Since I felt bad crossing the picket line and didn't want to face the picketing workers, I started shopping almost exclusively at Trader Joe's and Whole Foods. And for the last five years, I've done my weekly shopping at Trader Joe's. I particularly like their wide selection of and reasonable prices on organic and hormone/antibiotic free products.

But lately, as I've gotten into using coupons more thanks to The Drugstore Game, I was thinking about shopping more at Ralphs. With double coupons, there could be some really good deals to be had. And I did pick up a $330 gift card for $300. But this new coupon policy is putting a damper on my enthusiasm for shopping there again.

How much does a store's coupon policy affect whether you shop there?


Gina @ MoneywiseMoms said...

Well, after living in what I now know was the heyday of double coupons in Southern California, it's hard to go without it. Our Safeway has only just started doubling coupons, up to .50, so that's pretty much useless. Sigh.

You have it good!

Anonymous said...

You're lucky you have double coupons at all! Here in Northern California we've never had double coupons. Guess they think everyone in Silicon Valley is too rich to need coupons. Yeah, right.

Anonymous said...

I forgot to mention....we used to be able to use expired coupons at Albertsons/Luckys, but then SaveMart bought them out, so we lost even that little perk. Can you still expired coupons in Southern California?

MetaMommy said...

Before the strike, Albertson's was our local store. After the strike, we found ourselves using Trader Joe's for most of our grocery shopping, and going to Whole Foods for misc. things we couldn't get at TJs. Our Whole Foods shopping has since decreased to the rare trip (although quinoa is very well priced!). Personally, I love that TJs prices are very reasonable without coupons. It's just one less thing to remember. And I need all the help I can get these days ;-)

Chief Family Officer said...

@Gina & CarolSue - Okay, I'm counting my blessings that I even have double coupons at all. But they don't take expireds here.

@MetaMommy - I love TJs too, and I would never abandon them. Just thinking about getting in on some of the great-with-double-coupons deals.