Saturday, June 19, 2010

Shopping Safeway - The Arizona Savings Way

If you have followed my blog for any length of time, you already know Safeway is my favorite place to coupon shop. If I wasn't using coupons, their ridiculous, regular prices would keep me out of their store. But, good for us, Safeway always has lots of sales and promos running. When you time your shopping trip correctly with sales and promos and then stack coupons on top of that, you are in for major savings at Safeway and any of the Safeway affiliate stores (Carrs, Dominick's, Genuardi’s, Pavilions, Randalls, & Tom Thumb).

Step #1: You need a Safeway Club Card.

Download a copy of the club card application here, fill it out and return it to your store. As soon as you have your card in hand, make a small purchase (candy bar, etc.) to activate your card. If you don't do this, it will take 6 weeks for the EQ sites to recognize your card as valid. This is a short-cut to start saving money immediately.

Step #2: Learn the kinds of coupons accepted by Safeway.

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
Safeway "gladly" accepts internet printable coupons- it says so right here in their coupon policy! 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. Safeway will not accept internet printable coupons for free products. This is not a new rule, but it is in place to protect Safeway from fraudulent coupons. Most of the fraudulent IPQs floating around are for free products or for very high values.
E-Coupons equal tons of savings and money makers at Safeway. Load these coupons directly onto your club card. When you swipe your card or enter your phone number, the coupons automatically deduct when the cashier hits total & you can see them on your receipt. The cash register will still accept a manufacturer coupon in addition to an e-coupon, but they both are manufacturer coupons.

Safeway has endorsed this practice via email: "Thank you for your reply regarding the coupon policy. We appreciate the time you have taken to provide additional feedback on this issue and we can certainly understand your concern. You have requested clarification regarding the combination of coupons that may be used to purchase an item. The coupon policy is as follows: You may use 1 manufacture coupon, 1 store coupon and your digital coupon(s) or any combination there of, for 1 item. You may not use 2 manufacture or 2 store coupons for one item. If the amounts of your single or combined coupons exceed the amount of the product we will not give you funds back and the store is permitted to decline to accept the coupon." 

This was in response to an email from March 2010. This can change at any time, but for now Safeway allows the stacking of coupons. There are links to the major E-Coupon sites on the right side of my blog. Make sure you laod these every 2 weeks as soon as the coupons are released. Sometimes, you end up with duplicate EQs on your card for the same item. When you purchase that item at Safeway, all of your duplicate coupons will deduct for the one item. This a glitch and should not be relied on. If you've ever used EQs, you know they are unpredictable and sometimes don't deduct as they should. If you have multiple EQs come off for the same item, count yourself lucky. 

Catalina Coupons
At Safeway, 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. The catalinas at Safeway must always be redeemed at Safeway (unless you have a local store who accepts competitor coupons).

Other Retailer's Coupons
As of 6/7/10, Safeway began accepting other retailer's coupons as payment. This is included in their Safeway Coupon Policy, which you should always have with you when you shop at Safeway. The definition of a retailer's coupon is a manufacturer's coupon that has another store's logo or name on it. In order for a retailer's coupon to be accepted, it must scan and it must state that it is a manufacturer's coupon. Examples include Walgreen's Register Rewards and Catalina Coupons printed from other retailers.

Store Coupons
Safeway calls them ‘Super Coupons’. You can find them in the weekly store ad from your newspaper or located in the front of the store. Safeway allows using one store, one E-Coupon, and one manufacturer coupon per item. This means you can stack a Safeway store coupon with a manufacturer coupon and E-Coupons on one product. Super Coupons usually require a minimum purchase. The minimum purchase is your sub-total before using any coupons - more info from Safeway on that policy here. Super coupons often have limits. These limits are per transaction.

Printable Store Coupons
Safeway has some great printable and loadable store coupons here. Note: only the first few coupons are Safeway store coupons. The rest are standard manufacturer coupons, the same that you’ll find on any other printable coupon database.

Step #3: 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!

Safeway 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 Safeway's money than actual cash.

What is Safeway’s sale cycle?
Safeway 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 Safeway 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. A minimum purchase amount may be required.
Doubling Coupons
Most Safeway stores double coupons, usually 50 cents and under. This is subject to regional competition & you’ll need to watch your weekly ads or inquire at your store as to whether your store doubles. Here in Arizona, we are lucky to live in one of the most competetive grocery markets in the country. This makes for awesome sales and fantastic coupon policies. Since December 2009, Safeway has been holding a $1 coupon event. Any coupon under $1 equals $1. A 10 cent coupon equals $1. We don't know how long this will last, but soak it up while it's here!

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 Safeway shoppers! Click here for the latest Safeway deals and jump in head first!

1 comment:

  1. Are you sure Safeway offers 10% off to seniors the first Wednesday of every month? I can't find this mentioned anywhere.


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