KFC Firelogs now available

Story in USA Today.  Just in time for winter, KFC is bringing the heat.

Kentucky Fried Chicken doesn’t have a new spicy sandwich but rather a firelog that smells like its fried chicken.

The limited edition 11 Herbs & Spices Firelog costs $18.99 and is available while supplies last at www.kfcfirelogs.com. The price includes tax, shipping and handling.

“The smell of the Colonel’s Original Recipe fried chicken is unmistakable,” the fast-food chain said in a statement, noting it worked with Enviro-Log to create “the ultimate winter necessity.”

Catalina Files for Bankruptcy!

Is the Catalina coupon printer at your local store about to start printing IOUs instead?

The company best known for providing money-saving checkout coupons that print at the register is looking to cut some expenses of its own right now. Catalina Marketing filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection this morning, in a move aimed at increasing its “financial flexibility”, reducing its outstanding debt by about $1.6 billion and “positioning the company for long-term success”.

The company is portraying the restructuring process as a positive. “After carefully evaluating our options, we determined that a court-supervised restructuring is the best way to strengthen our financial position for the long term,” Catalina CEO Jerry Sokol said in a statement. “Today’s announcement represents a significant step forward in transforming our business because it enables us to accelerate investments in technology, advanced analytics, data science and talent to strengthen our core capabilities and enable new data-driven solutions for our customers.” Coupons in the News article here.

Coupon users are Not the crooks

A former coupon industry executive who knows a little something about clipping coupons and saving money may have just saved himself up to $21 million – but he’s failed in an attempt to secure his freedom.

A federal appeals court yesterday upheld the December 2016 conviction and subsequent sentencing of Chris Balsiger, the former CEO of coupon processing company International Outsourcing Services. That means Balsiger will continue serving a 10-year sentence for wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to obstruct justice, and will have to pay $65 million in restitution to the coupon-issuing companies he defrauded.  Entire Coupons in the News article here.

Worst of grocery shoppers – new survey

What annoys you the most about couponing at the grocery store? When someone clears the shelves before you can get that week’s hot deal? When cashiers give you the side-eye after the register rejects a legitimate coupon for some reason? When a couponer in front of you tries to get away with fraud?

None of those annoyances were named in a new survey of the worst grocery store etiquette offenses. But that could be because there were so many other annoyances to name.

The survey, released by TreadmillReviews.net, focused on do’s and don’ts in three areas of the grocery store – in the parking lot, in the aisles and at the checkout. Coupons in the News article here.

50% off coupons no one is using!

You would think an exclusive coupon offering 50% off your entire purchase would get any shopper excited, especially this time of year. But more than a half million shoppers who recently got a half-off coupon delivered straight to their inbox couldn’t seem to care less.

And the store that issued the coupons is thrilled about it.

So why would it issue coupons it hopes no one uses? To settle a lawsuit it hopes no one remembers. Entire Coupons in the News article here (and the fee the attorneys received – which wasn’t paid out in coupons or merchandise…).

Dollar Tree working hard to revamp FD

Deal-seeking shoppers know they can go to Dollar Tree to get odds and ends for just a buck apiece. They go to Dollar General to get everyday needs at low prices. And they go to Family Dollar to… get depressed about how disheveled and disorganized it is?

Family Dollar management is acknowledging that many of its stores have become less than appealing, with unclean aisles, unstocked shelves, unattractive product assortment and unmotivated employees. So it’s promising to pick up the pace of some much-needed makeovers to help turn things around and bring disaffected shoppers back.

Read the entire article from Coupons in the News here.  Family Dollar shopper comments are pretty funny and harsh.

mini-Krogers in select Walgreens

Need something to make for dinner, but you don’t pass a grocery store on your way home from work? Need to pick up a prescription but don’t want to have to make a separate stop for groceries? The country’s largest supermarket chain and one of the largest drug store chains think they have the solution.

Kroger and Walgreens this morning announced a new pilot program in which several Walgreens locations will feature a Kroger store-within-a-store, offering everything from fresh food to frozen and packaged products, to meal kits. “Kroger Express” is already up and running in a Walgreens location in Florence, Kentucky, and a dozen more will open in the new year in various Northern Kentucky Walgreens stores, just over the Ohio River from Kroger’s Cincinnati headquarters.

Kroger Express is an expansion of a pilot partnership first launched in October. That’s when the same 13 Northern Kentucky stores began offering what Kroger and Walgreens promoted as “one-stop shopping”, albeit in a more modest form. The initial announcement said that various Kroger-branded items would be available inside the Walgreens stores, which would also serve as alternate pickup locations for Kroger shoppers who ordered their groceries online. Entire Coupons in the News article here.

Holographic Coupon Kiosks?

Next time you go shopping at Rite Aid, don’t expect to see holographic images luring you to print some in-store coupons. A five-year partnership between the drug store chain and a technology company has come to an acrimonious end, as the provider of Rite Aid’s holographic coupon kiosks pulls them out of hundreds of Rite Aid stores in the hopes of deploying them somewhere else.

Provision Holding has announced the settlement of a lawsuit it filed after its deal with Rite Aid went sour. Back in 2013, the two companies announced an agreement in which Provision would install “3D Savings Centers” in Rite Aid stores. The kiosks display holographic video advertisements, which are visible “without the need for any special glasses and without any discomforting eye stress”. You might see a soda can or some other object floating in midair, with the aim of attracting you to the kiosk’s touchscreen display, where you can print coupons for the promoted products.

A full-scale rollout began in 2015, and eventually the kiosks were available in about 650 Rite Aid stores in major markets including New York, Los Angeles, Detroit, Philadelphia and San Francisco.  Full article from Coupons in the News here.

KISS shopping – Coupons in the News

Maybe you’re the type of shopper who cringes when you think about those who stock up on groceries at Costco or Sam’s Club, when you know you can pay a lot less by clipping coupons and shopping the sales at your local grocery store. Or maybe you’re the type who would rather head to ALDI or Trader Joe’s, knowing that you can pay a fair price without having to keep track of coupons or what’s on sale that week.

Either way, a shopper who might end up overpaying at a club store, and one who finds under-the-radar deals at a limited-assortment store, have one thing in common – what they tend to value most of all, is simplicity. Coupons in the News article here.