Couponers upset with change in Fry's coupon policy

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

MESA, Ariz. -- It may be only nickels and dimes, but a Valley grocer's decision to end one popular coupon program is no small change for some.

Tuesday was the last day to use those coupons you want to double, because starting Wednesday, October 1, Fry’s is doing away with that in their new coupon policy. The decision is something many couponers in the East Valley are upset about.

Tennille Cobb likes to save big by clipping coupons.

"I've saved my family thousands and thousands of dollars already," said Cobb. "If you have your coupons already organized in your binder then you’re ready to go. You just have your list and you’re ready."

Cobb said Fry's new coupon policy is not sitting well with her.

"I count on couponing for my budget. Since the economy went south several years ago, we have less money to buy the groceries and the things we need, so couponing has made such a difference for my family," said Cobb.

Fry's tells 3TV their new coupon policy only accepts coupons at face value. No more accepting coupons valued at less than a dollar as a dollar, or doubling coupons.

"Kind of frustrating and disappointing because it is going to be harder on the family," said Amy Prather, a couponer.

Cari Henning with www.sassy4savings.com said she had always shopped at Fry’s because they accepted coupons valued less than a dollar as a dollar.

"Quickly deciding to take it away and only giving us a couple days notice: it is tough, and I understand why a lot of people are getting upset about it," said Henning.

Fry’s tells 3TV in a statement that they will be reducing thousands of prices across the store.

"I still don't think the deals will be as great," said Henning.

Couponers Cobb and Prather said a group of East Valley couponers will be boycotting Fry’s.

"To not shop at Fry’s for a month to let them know we're not happy with the changes," said Cobb.

But shopper Robyn Mackelprang said she thinks most people will still shop at Fry’s.

"I think proximity to Fry’s and being able to get in and out and the service is worth it to me to still come here," said Mackelprang.

Fry's tells 3TV they decided to cut this coupon promotion because of the investment they're making to lower prices throughout the store.

Sassy4savings said to get the most for your buck, you'll just have to study the different coupon policies at each store and decide what works best for you.

Here are the details of the Fry's decision:

"Fry’s Food Stores has announced a comprehensive price reduction plan, investing millions of dollars to reduce thousands of prices across the store. Fry’s started reducing prices throughout September, and all new low prices will officially be in place starting October 1.

The Fry’s team carefully selected items that are frequently found in most customers’ shopping carts to ensure all customers would benefit from the price reductions.

The items range from fruits and vegetables to grocery and household staples. National and private label brands are included in the widespread price reduction.

The program includes a significant number of lower prices in natural foods and organics, reinforcing a rapid increase in natural foods sales over the last decade. That trend is accelerated with the highly successful launch of the Simple Truth line of products, a Kroger exclusive. Fry’s is rewarding natural foods and organic customers as part of this initiative as well.

As part of this investment in lower prices for all customers, Fry’s has made the decision to stop its current coupon promotion (every coupon equals $1 or double couponing in Yuma’s two stores) effective Oct. 1, 2014.  The 120 Fry’s stores will continue to accept manufacturer coupons, digital coupons, e-coupons, valid printables and Catalina coupons at face value.

“We continue to leverage our scale as one of the largest retailers to work with suppliers to reduce costs, and in turn pass those savings along to our customers,” said JoEllen Lynn, Fry’s spokesperson.