Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Shopping Albertson's - The Arizona Savings Way

Albertson's in Arizona is actually called Albertson's LLC. After a restructuring in 2006, Albertson's stores in Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Florida were grouped under the Albertson's LLC umbrella. Any grocery deals you see posted in Utah and California do not apply here in Arizona. There are 240 Albertson's LLC grocery stores across the states mentioned above.

I do not regularly shop at Albertson's. I go when there are freebies and that's about it. Their regular store prices are unbelievably high, they don't regularly double coupons, and Albertson's does not participate in E-Coupons. I don't know if Albertson's ever will because they don't have a club card. I will say, they have excellent produce. Any fruits and vegetables I've ever purchased from Albie's have been wonderful!
Step #1: Learn the kinds of coupons accepted by Albertson's.

Manufacturer Coupons (from Sunday newspaper)
These coupons are found in the free standing inserts in your Sunday paper: Smart Source, Red Plum and Proctor & Gamble.

Internet Printable Coupons
Albertson's accepts internet printable coupons. The coupons have to scan at the register in order for the cashier to accept them. They also must follow the same format as a manufacturer's coupon - redemption address, expiration date, and state "Maufacturer Coupon" somewhere on the coupon.

Albie's does not currently accept E-Coupons. If they ever do, you will be the first to know about it!

Catalina Coupons
At Albertson's, you’ll find the gray Catalina machines sitting at the registers. These machines dispense long, receipt-like coupons. Don’t let your cashier forget to hand them to you! Catalina coupons may be store or manufacturer coupons. You may receive a catalina worth $2 off your next purchase of $10 from the produce section. Or you may get a catalina for $1.00 off planters nuts, it just depends on the coupon.

Other Retailer's Coupons
Albie's used to accept competitor coupons. About 6 months ago, they stopped accepting competitor coupons ... hopefully that practice returns.

Store Coupons
You can find them in the weekly store ad from your newspaper or located in the front of the store. Albie's allows using one store and one manufacturer coupon per item. This means you can stack an Albertson's store coupon with a manufacturer coupon on one product. In-Ad Coupons usually require a minimum purchase. The minimum purchase is your subtotal before using any coupons. In-Ad Coupons usually have limits. These limits are per transaction. It has been my experience at Albie's, you have to ask the cashier to scan the in-ad Q as many times as items you are purchasing. The registers at Albie's aren't smart enought to know you bought 6 cans of tuna, you have to scan the coupon 6 times.

Step #2: Now, we wait for the perfect sale.
If you head to the store with a handful of coupons and no plan, you'll spend more money than necessary. Wait until the sale price or promotion matches your coupons, so you can save big!

Occasionally, Albie's runs Catalina promos like: Spend $25, save $10 on your next shopping order. When you combine a deal like this with coupons, you can get those really high savings of over 70%. Whenever you see a minimum purchase like “spend $25", remember that total is the subtotal you must reach before redeeming any coupons. If you can spend $25 and redeem $12 worth of coupons, you’ll still receive a $10 catalina good on your next shopping order.

You will also see promos like this: Buy 5 select products, receive $5 on your next shopping order. The best couponers will separate their transactions, buying 5 products at a time, and then roll the “$5 on your next shopping order” catalina from one transaction to the next. This minimizes or completely eliminates your out of pocket spending. It's always better to spend Albie's money than actual cash.

What is Albie's sale cycle?
Albie's sales and weekly ads begin Wednesday and end Tuesday. The new ad and "My Favorite Deals" for the week are posted each Wednesday morning.

Does Albie's offer a senior discount program?
If you're 55+, you can save an additional 10% on your food bill the first Wednesday of every month. Albie's also offers a 10% military discount the first Wednesday of each month. A minimum purchase amount may be required.

Doubling Coupons
Albie's does not regularly double coupons. Occasionally, Albie's will advertise a coupon event where coupons are doubled, tripled, and quadrupled. Coupons will be doubled up to a limit of 3 like coupons.

If the coupon states "Do Not Double", the cashier is supposed to suppress the double. If the coupon coding begins with a 5, it will double automatically. If it starts with a 9, it will not double. Cashiers ignoring the "Do Not Double" restriction is a complete "Your Mileage May Vary" situation. I've had cashiers suppress the doubles, while others at the exact same location let them all double.
Alright all you educated Albie's shoppers! Click here for the latest Albie's deals and jump in head first!

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