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    Kroger Quadruples Fuel Points for Holidays

    Grocer offers extra boost for gift card purchases, money-saving tips
     

    The Kroger Co. will be offering its customers quadruple fuel points on holiday gift card purchases, as well as money-saving tips during the holiday season.

    Through Dec. 11, Kroger stores will offer quadruple fuel points on most gift cards sold at their One Stop Gift Card Shops. The fuel points can be redeemed for discounts of up to $1 at Kroger fuel centers and 10 cents on fuel at Shell stations. For example, for every purchase of $50 in gift cards from Kroger’s Gift Card Mall, customers will receive 200 fuel points.

    “We encourage customers to stop by Kroger and purchase gift cards to use like cash, in order to save on fuel,” said Carl York, advertising and public relations manager for Kroger’s mid-Atlantic marketing area. “We think it’s an easy and convenient way to kick off holiday shopping before heading out to retailers, especially before shopping on Black Friday.”

    Meanwhile, Kroger associates and money-saving pundits are suggesting other ways that shoppers can save money.

    Margaret McClure, vice president of Kroger’s bakery and deli operations, recommends careful menu planning. “Planning allows you to identify the shelf-stable items you can buy in advance and the fresh foods to purchase just prior to your holiday meal,” she said. “This will help maximize every shopping trip and avoid the stress of running out to the store at the last minute.”

    Pairing coupons with sales can help shoppers get the most for their money, said Marcy Robison, owner of the couponing blog www.stretchingabuckblog.com. “Stockpile holiday cooking staples, using a coupon when they are on sale,” Robison said, “so that you aren't running out to the store at the last minute and paying full price.”

    Andrea Deckard, founder of the site SavingsLifestyle.com, recommends watching for store discount offers on turkeys and hams that are bundled with other staples. “Many will offer great discounts when you purchase other items during your shopping trip,” she said. “This is also a great time to stock up so you can have inexpensive protein options available throughout the year.”

    According to the National Retail Federation’s 2011 Holiday Consumer Intentions and Actions survey released in October, 57 percent of consumers begin their holiday shopping in November and the first two weeks of December. Limited budgets and a general wariness over the economy are driving consumers to seek out seasonal sales, discounts and other incentives to maximize their purchases.

    Cincinnati-based Kroger operates 2,439 supermarkets and multidepartment stores in 31 states under two dozen local banner names including Kroger, City Market, Dillons, Jay C, Food 4 Less, Fred Meyer, Fry’s, King Soopers, QFC, Ralphs and Smith’s.

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