Friday, August 20, 2010

A Couple of Depressing Shopping Trips...

Well, I headed out during my lunch to stop by Albie's for free Breyer's ice cream and then I was going to swing by Safeway (for the first time in months!) to get some more freebies.

Let's start with Albie's....

I remembered why I hate Albie's today. I went in with the plan of getting 4 Breyer's ice cream pints and a gallon of milk. After coupons, my total would have been 19 cents. I should have known when the older, grumpy looking manager opened her lane, that I should have just stayed put. But, I gave her the benefit of the doubt and headed over. Before I even put my ice cream on the belt, she already had the ad out informing me it was a limit of one per transaction on the "Buy 4" deals. I was pleasant and told her no problem, I'm only getting 4 ice creams.

After scanning my 4 ice creams and milk, she didn't want to accept 4 of my Breyer's coupons because it was doubling too many of the same coupon. At this point, I was getting annoyed... I wasn't doubling any coupons and it wasn't as if I had wheeled up to her register with my cart overflowing in ice cream pints. I told her that I wasn't doubling any coupons and Albertson's did not have a coupon policy showing they wouldn't accept more than one like coupon at face value. She was mad, but she didn't have a coupon policy to show me any differently, so she took my coupons.

Then her face lit up like a Christmas tree and she said she wouldn't take them anyway because the ice creams were only 50 cents each, so I'd be making 50 cents on each one. This is true. I asked if she would adjust them down. She said no because that would be coupon fraud.

Ok, game over. When I am accused of coupon fraud, I'm done. If anything, Albertson's should exhibit some customer service skills and adjust those coupons down. Plenty of grocery stores do this across the valley and it is not coupon fraud. Coupon fraud is photocopying coupons or making coupons up on Photoshop. I abandoned cart, voided the order, and left.

I was irritated because I had come out in the heat to get the ice cream, but whatever. I'll still swing by Safeway...
Here's my Safeway transaction:

.88 Dial Hand Soap (3)
-.35/1 MQ 8/15 RP (3) tripled up to 88 cents each

1.99 Hostess Donuts
-1.00/1 MQ - print here
-1.00/1 EQ - load here
.01 overage

-.01 subtotal + .10 tax = .09 total

Here's what I had to go through to get that transaction done...

The dirty rumors about Safeway clamping down on coupon policies are true. I hadn't experienced this first hand, but holy cow. I felt like an absolute criminal when my cashier saw my coupons. My normal happy-go-lucky Safeway has turned into a war crimes tribunal. She asked to see them first - okay. I handed over my 4 coupons. She didn't want to take my 3 Dial soap coupons because it would triple up to a dollar and give me overage. I already know the Safeway registers are smarter than this, they don't generally allow overage and I told her this. She called the manager up and they sat there for several minutes trying to figure out how to make sure I didn't get overage. I repeated several times they should just scan it and they would see it would only multiply up to the item's value. After brushing me off a few times, they decided to scan the coupon and then add back on the difference as a grocery item. Ok... low and behold, when they scanned the .35/1 coupon, it only took off an additional .53 adding up to (everyone together) 88 cents off the 88 cent soap.

Ok, we got through that fiasco... now onto the next one.

The cashier saw I had a 1.00 EQ come off so she asked me which item it was for. I told her it was for the Hostess Donuts. She said if she scanned the Hostess IPQ and it beeped, she couldn't take it. Ok. She scanned it - no beeps. But she still didn't want to take it. At this point, I just told her to take the donuts off because I already knew walking into Safeway this was a possibility. She said she would let me do it just this once, but that they wouldn't allow combining of EQs and MQs anymore. So, I ended up keeping the donuts on my order.

Wowza.... I feel like I just wrangled a 2000 pound steer to get the bag of donuts and 3 soaps! Now that I am aware of the craziness at Safeway, I will be continuing to spend more time at Fry's. New coupon policies and grumpy cashiers don't get under my skin, but I do feel bad for you newbies who are just starting out. There is no reason to make you all feel like you're stealing stuff off the shelves. So, Safeway may just be on my dislike list with Albie's. If you are going to shop Safeway, be aware of the new coupon hysteria going on among the cashiers over there.


  1. What a shame. Perhaps at Albies you could've told the cashier to only ring up 3 ice creams, that way they'd be $1 each and the $1 coupon wouldn't give overage.

  2. what safeway were u at?

  3. Ugh! I hate days like that! Grumpy cashiers and changing coupon policies are the worst. It's especially frustrating when you're only purchasing a few items! I hope things get better for you!

  4. I looked at their policy(safeways) online and couldnt find anything where they say they dont allow stacking of eq and manufacture q. how frustrating. safeway really needs to get their at together.

  5. Definitely agree with you Kim. I went today, and the experience was very similar. Though I did end up purchasing my items, right as I 'rolled up' to the register, the "wanna be" manager took over for the young gal. I had nothing iffy about the Olay - seriously only 1 eQ. He was not a happy cashier. The neighbor of mine got even more grief......I have to say they are cracking down, and I just avoid Albies altogether. Much easier to shop at Fry's. Glad I'm not the only one who has these issues! Definitely frustrating for a new couponer - agreed!

  6. I went to Albie's in Scottsdale and took my husband so he could buy four pints of ice cream and so could I in separate transactions without drawing too much attention. We each went to different cashiers. Both of us had the Breyer's coupons beep after the first two, but both cashiers worked their magic and took the other two coupons. 8 pints of ice cream and I made $4.00. Awesome.

  7. that's the fattest bummer ever...i feel you sister. :) FRYS is my new BEST FRIEND!!! :)

  8. I did the Ablie's one too. The first time I did it and it worked fine and I actually got 4 breyers and 4 ben and jerrys for $1 total. The next day I went and I probably had the same lady as you because she even called her manager over and she said it was coupon fraud over and over. My arguement was "You did it yesterday?" Where's the customer service? Sorry but I work in the service industry and I'm pretty certain it's a rule you need to be polite and have customer service skills or get out.

  9. Does this mean you will focus more on Frys for "my fav deals" etc? I would LOVE that since I mainly shop at Frys and think they are all around awesome.

  10. UGH makes me not want to try the free ice cream. I wonder if the buy 3 trick is a better bet. No overage but then they can't point out that the ice cream is $0.50 each. Or better yet, try for 4... but if they don't allow it, then have them void one! Then the price reverts back to $1 and they *shouldn't* have a problem with the Qs!

  11. I think we need to band together and write some serious complaint letters to Albie's and some awesome love letters to Fry's. I do this periodically and it's amazing what an impact a few letters can have on a company (good or bad).

  12. I got 4 Breyer's, used 2 coupons, no beep, paid 4cents.
    I did this twice @ self :)



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