Who am I in love with this week, you ask? The generous provider of free groceries, that’s who. I’m talkin’ Kroger. I love Kroger like I love Robert Downey Jr. (no way I was sharing my Iron Man tattoo that came in my free lunchmeat last week with my kids). Sure, I know Kroger’s not in the neighborhood. But when it comes to making the most of my economically-challenged budget, the Thumb sucks.

I show my displeasure for the Thumb’s lack of stepping-up-to-the-coupon- mommy’s-plate by teaching them a valuable lesson: don’t mess with the coupon mommy. I taught my 1-yr-old to chant “Stick it to the Man!” in the Thumb’s check-out line while I buy things using only “Get a Free Something” coupons.

I don’t need a bunch of petals to count the ways I love Kroger. First, Kroger gives more than it takes in this relationship. I bought a Kroger Gift Card for myself for $300, but using their “Cash your Rebate Check Here” special, they gave me $330 on it — that’s almost a whole week’s worth of groceries on my new coupon mommy plan! I convinced them to call Kroger Headquarters to verify that I did not have to cash a George Bush Rebate Check to buy that gift card, despite the wording on their newspaper ad. It totally pays off to argue your point with the highest possible grocery authority (“What? You don’t want to take my internet coupons? Zero out my total, I’ll go buy it at Kroger!”).

Secondly, I love Kroger’s multiple attempts in different venues to garner my affections. They are pioneers in a new technology called eCoupons. These are virtual coupons you load onto your Kroger card. No kidding! No paper to lose. No calluses from clipping. There are three different sites sources that you can get them from:

But wait, there’s more! Load these offers on your Kroger card and use a paper coupon also! On the same item! In the coupon mommy blog world, it’s called “double dipping.” Here’s an example of what I got this week using this trick:

I picked out…
2 Cover Girl Eyeshadows at $2.24 each
2 Cover Girl Mascaras at $4.21 each
1 Cover Girl Blush at $4.25

I used these eCoupons loaded on my Kroger Card…
P&G eSavers BOGO Cover Girl Eyeshadow
P&G eSavers BOGO Mascara

I used these newspaper coupons also…
2.50 off 2 Cover Girl Products (from newspaper)
2.50 off 2 Cover Girl Products (from another newspaper)
FREE blush when you buy 3 Cover Girl Products (also from the newspaper)

I paid…
$1.45 total for all 5 items.

Okay, really, it was less than that because that lovely check out girl deducted the original price of the eyeshadow, mascara and blush instead of the Kroger Card sale price…so actually you can take another $1.40 off for eyeshadow, another .75 cents off for mascara, and another $1.42 off for blush. That would mean that they paid me $2.12 to take that makeup home. Kroger just loves when I look pretty!
Another reason to chose Kroger? They will double and triple up to three of the same coupon, even internet printed ones (the Thumbsucker will only double or triple one of any coupon. And, they won’t even take internet coupons). A Triple Trifecta is when you can get three packages of Cottonelle Toilet Tissue for .25 cents each. Or three free bottles of Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce for your Fourth of July crock pot of pulled pork. It is also gratifying to teach your child to chant “Mommy Rocks” during this transaction. This is usually followed by a “You Go Girl!” from the sacker. Weekly, we get our three free Clif Kids Bars and three free Nesquik pink milks, thanks to the doubling system. Being the snappiest snacker in class lessens any embarrassment caused to my 5th-grader when I occasionally argue with checkers and store managers.

All said, I can usually get $140 worth of groceries for $50 or less weekly at Kroger. That’s like making close to $100 an hour in my book. For shopping. Worth the extra 10 minute drive to see the new love of my life.