What Kroger's Yellow 'Woohoo!' Tags Mean

To "Woohoo!," or not to "Woohoo!" — that is the question Kroger shoppers may find themselves asking when they see a tag with a temptingly low price on a steak or a cake or any other item that might be a budget-buster at full price. These "Woohoo!" labels, while they indicate an item that is getting close to its sell-by date, don't mean damaged goods by any means. For this reason, smart shoppers at Kroger and its many affiliates have long been taking advantage of what are often deep discounts. 

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One thing to know before you start looking to score a deal is that the tags may no longer be bright yellow and scream "Woohoo! Great Deal." It seems many Kroger stores began switching around 2020 to yellow-bordered tags that simply say "Reduced" in white lettering on a yellow background. The same appears to be true for Kroger affiliates as well — I'm a regular Pick 'n Save shopper and dedicated "Woohoo!"-er myself, and while I do recall the yellow tags from a few years back, a check of the farthest reaches of my freezer (home to any number of discount bread loaves) confirms that those "Reduced" tags have been the norm for, er, a good long while. Anyway, the important thing to know is that while the new tags may announce the markdowns with less enthusiasm, the deals remain the same.

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What to do with those 'Woohoo!' buys

Like I said, I'm Team "Woohoo!/Reduced" all the way, and the discount sections are the ones I hit up first. I don't shop with a detailed list so much as look for bargains and then figure out what to make with them, which adds a fun, "Iron Chef"-y element to meal planning. Marked-down meat is my favorite, and as long as it's cooked within a day or put straight into the freezer, it's always okay. No lesser authority than the USDA says frozen food is safe to eat "almost indefinitely," and I've eaten quite a bit of frozen meat that's, umm ... Not quite as old as the ice age bison consumed by 1970s Arctic explorers, but getting there.

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"Woohoo!" breads and other baked goods can also last in the freezer halfway to doomsday, while shelf-stable "Woohoo!" items may be good for many months past their sell-by dates. "Woohoo!" produce, on the other hand, is more problematic. I tend to over-buy marked-down tubs of mixed lettuces, which don't freeze well but also won't last much more than a week. While I'm usually able to re-purpose wilted greens and other produce in homemade dog food (yes, I cook for my husky) or feed it to the rats (pet rats, both named Ian), I realize this handy household hint isn't applicable in everyone's situation. I guess the best advice I can offer regarding "Woohoo!" fruits and vegetables is: Don't be like me — exercise some restraint.

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Will Kroger workers judge you for being a Woohoo! shopper?

Usually at the end of any Pick 'N Save grocery shopping expedition, my cart is full of "Woohoo!" buys, but I admit that until recently it never really occurred to me to wonder if people would be judging me for this. When researching this article, though, I came across an r/Kroger Reddit thread where the OP, a Kroger employee, asked their fellow Kroger workers what terms they used to describe shoppers who only bought from the discount sections. While a few complained about "vultures" who'd follow them around watching as they applied the discount labels — a practice necessitated by the fact that there doesn't seem to be any one specific time when products are marked down — most respondents left no doubt that they didn't look down on Kroger bargain hunters at all.

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One Redditor was able to answer the question of what to call "Woohoo!" shoppers with a succinct, one word reply: "Co-workers." Another answered at greater length, saying "I call those customers my comrades" and speaking of "praying to the Reduced Gods that there's something I can eat" on their lunch break. In fact, a common thread among many commenters seemed to be that they're broke, too, so they're also looking for bargains and not likely to turn up their noses at anyone doing likewise. Executive summary: While a rare few may raise an eyebrow at your "Reduced"-label buys, others will consider you a smart shopper. 

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