WRAL SmartShopper

WRAL SmartShopper

Back to basics week 5: Grocery store reward programs

Posted February 4, 2010
Updated February 11, 2010

Many of our local grocery stores have loyalty/reward programs that offer benefits when you shop at their stores. The four main grocery stores in the area all have store reward cards that you will need to get the sale price at any of the grocery stores. In addition to the cards, though, there are some other great rewards you don’t want to miss.

Lowe’s Foods InstaSave e-offers and Fresh Rewards Cash

Lowe’s Foods has 2 reward programs: InstaSave e-offers and Fresh Rewards Cash. They also offer a fuel reward based on your spending. In order to get any sale prices, you need to have their Fresh Rewards Cash Rewards card. If you still have the old Greenpoints Reward card, you can sign up for the new card at customer service.

Instasave: Each week, Lowe’s Foods offers special savings to those who log on to the Instasave site and add electronic coupons to their Lowe’s Foods reward card. When you buy the qualifying items, the discount comes off automatically. For instance, this week they are offering Eastern Rome Apples, 3 lb bag, for $1.29. which is a very good deal. In order to get this price, you must enroll in Instasave, and add this deal to your card. Each week there are new deals and cyber coupons and in order to get them added to your card, you must go to the Instasave site and add them. You will get a reminder e-mail each week and all you need to do is click on the link and it takes you right to the site.

Fresh Rewards Cash (FRC): There are two parts to the FRC program – Loyalty Rewards and Promotional Rewards. You earn loyalty rewards based on your spending for the preceeding calendar quarter. You need to average about $50 per week in purchases to qualify for the loyalty rewards. The promotional rewards are more assessable to everyone. Each week Lowe’s Foods offers FRC rewards when you buy qualifying products. For instance, if you buy a certain amount of a product, you may earn $3 in FRC. That FRC goes into a cyber account and when that account reaches $5 in FRC, you will receive a $5 coupon that can be used on your next purchase. All the details are in the FAQ page at the link in the box above. Weekly FRC promotional rewards can be found in the sales ad each week.

Fuel Rewards: Save .05 on every gallon of fuel for every $100 you spend. See the link above for a Lowe's Foods gas station near you.

The Greenpoints program that Lowe’s Foods offered has been discontinued. If you still have a Greenpoints balance, you can cash them in at the Greenpoints home page.


Harris Teeter e-VIC

In order to get the sale prices at Harris Teeter, you need to have a VIC card. Sign up at customer service if you don’t already have one. Harris Teeter offers a rewards program called e-VIC. Sign up your VIC reward card online and receive an e-mail from Harris Teeter each Wednesday. Included in the e-mail you will find information on the weekly deals and the e-VIC specials for the week. These specials are only for e-VIC members and are added electronically to your VIC card every week. By signing up for the e-VIC program, you will also qualify for weekly and quarterly sweepstakes. Once you have signed up for the program, you do not have to log in every week to add the deals to your card. They are automatically added every week. When you buy the qualifying e-VIC items, the discount comes off at the register. There is a limit of 1 for each e-VIC special each week. It’s a very easy to use reward program.


Food Lion Shopper’s Companion

Food Lion’s loyalty card is called the MVP card and you will need one to get the weekly specials. Food Lion also offers the Shopper’s Companion program that includes a weekly e-mail every Wednesday. Go to the Food Lion link above and sign up to receive the weekly e-mail. Included in the e-mail you will find weekly sales, contests and 4 Food Lion store coupons you can print from your computer. Sometimes the coupons are for Food Lion brand items and sometimes they are for name brand items. The coupons are usually good for at least 2 weeks, sometimes longer. There have been some great coupons including $2 off $5 produce, meat coupons, deli coupons and more. A few weeks ago there was a coupon for $1 off Swiss Miss Hot Chocolate and it was on sale a week later for $1.00 – free hot chocolate!


Kroger Digital Coupons and

Kroger’s loyalty card is called the Plus Card. Once again, you have to have it to get the weekly specials. They also offer a program called Kroger Digital Coupons that allows you to choose digital coupons that are added to your Kroger card. Once the cashier scans the product, the discount comes off at the register.  Kroger also participates in the program. Register your Kroger card at the link above and then choose which electronic coupons you want added to your card. You can also add digital coupons to your Kroger grocery card through See the link above for more information.

Kroger Fuel Rewards: For every $100 you spend, you get a 10 cent discount on gas at a Kroger gas station.


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  • Faye Prosser - Smart Shopper Feb 4, 2010

    Thanks for your suggestions, Ingrid and Sherri! I don't usually spend enough at any one store weekly to qualify for the minimums either so the Kroger reward points are nice.

  • univapts36 Feb 4, 2010

    Don't forget Kroger's Reward Points; points are automatically awarded with each sale and these in turn translate into CASH ($5 for the first 500, then $1 for each 100 thereafter) Unlike Lowes Foods latest creation , there is NO minimum purchase per week necessary ; if you are like me a coupon queen that scours all stores' sales, I do not always have an average of $50 a week at any one store. Krogers Rewards are paid out four times a year (last year alone that translated into $112 for me and my family!) Added bonus; unlike Lowes Foods and Food Lion, Kroger regularly mails its customers booklets with recipes and tons of coupons, both manufacturer's and store's. When your Rewards certificates are mailed out each quarter, those too are accompanied by a lot of great coupons (free coffee anyone?) Just so you know, no, I do not work for a supermarket but I am an avid coupon queen and savings savy mom.

  • sherri3 Feb 4, 2010

    If you have a Food Lion MVP card, stretch your grocery dollars even further by linking the card to your local school or charity. Food Lion will donate a percentage of your qualified purchases to your chosen recipient. Here's the link: